Mordechai Stone

Contempt never breeds with familiarity

Dead Eyes

Have you ever had a gun held on you?

I have.

Three times.

Well, technically, four—but that one doesn’t count coz the gun was pointed at my chest, not my head, during a little drunkman’s-bluff between friends.  The other three I felt the pistol ‘held’ firmly to my skull and friendship had nothing to do with it.  Those three times the wielder of the magic wand wanted drugs, money or both and the pistolero was willing to trade my life to get what he needed.

In the business I chose in the early eighties, I learned very quickly that criminals come in all sorts.  My life depended on knowing who I dealt with.  And everything I needed to know came stored in their eyes.  In those small, round orbs I could detect with certain probability the outcome of most encounters.  What I observed gave me my course of action. And that course of action determined my life expectancy.

Scared eyes.

Anyone with scared eyes believes in God, and if they believe in God then they fear going to hell.  I do my business quickly with anyone with scared eyes, don’t do anything stupid and chances are almost 100% that I will live.  You see no one with scared eyes ever enjoys pulling the trigger.

Business eyes.

Money is their God. If I produce consistently chances are very good that they will never interfere with my ability to breath. It’s all about accounts receivable and accounts payable with this class of criminal, all about balancing the ledger.  Great people to do business with.  I always knew where I stood.  Their money or my life were the only two things that could balance the scale.  They don’t mind using the magic wand. It’s the pen they use to make marks in the ledger.

Crazy eyes.

Criminals with crazy eyes believe they are God or they just plain hate your God.  Race hate, drug-blasted brains, fucked-up genetics, religious fanaticism they all have one thing in common, they are unpredictable. I hate unpredictable criminals, very bad for business, very bad for living.  They could buy me drinks one day, kidnap and torture me the next.  I do business with crazy eyes one time because I know I might not survive a second encounter.

And now to the stuff of nightmares…

Dead Eyes.

They know God doesn’t exist.  They have no soul.  Walking dead, they feed then move on.  They don’t dream because they are a wide awake nightmare.

I had a guy with Scared Eyes hold a gun to my head and I survived.

I saw Crazy Eyes dancing in his head as he kept tapping my forehead with his magic wand.  I looked at the ground so he couldn’t feast on the fear in my eyes and I survived.

I looked into Dead Eyes as he racked the slide on his Browning and couldn’t turn away.  And although my body survived he took a piece of my soul. I still have nightmares and wake up in cold sweats when Dead Eyes slithers into my slumber.

The last time I saw that look was in 1997 long after I got out of the business. I picked up a beautiful girl in a bar.  We went back to her place and had incredible sex for hours.  She was insatiable.

In the dark hours of early morning I woke with a start, heart pounding.  Something stirred in the bed. I looked up and saw her naked, gazing down at me.  She smiled, her eyes cold, dark, empty stared straight through me as though I wasn’t there.

Dead Eyes.

She said, “I’ll be right back. I have something you might like.”  She went to the bathroom.  I heard her humming off key while she rummaged around. I quietly dressed and quickly left her apartment.

I ran and never looked back.

Categories: Short Stories