Buzzard’s Last Day in the Big Q

(Short Story | Horror,  Crime)

Hide in the shadows with Buzzard Crosby during his final day at San Quentin, where the inmates run the asylum and they aren’t too happy about Buzzard flying the coop…

BUZZARD CROSBY SAT on a hard wooden bench, back to wall, close enough to a guard to know he’d eaten pasta with extra garlic for lunch. Buzzard huddled in the guard’s massive shadow and watched the doings around San Quentin’s yard. Cons milled around like fish in a tank.

The prison chaplain walked into the yard, stretched, noticed Buzzard, and quickly scuttled off in the other direction.

Two Lifers, Bryce and Washington, caught his attention. Bryce stalked a bird strutting obliviously on the blacktop. The bird looked like a pigeon at first except too white. Buzzard decided it was a dove. Definitely a dove. Washington seemed to be circling in front of it.

Washington nodded just a bit and Bryce stomped feet, waved arms and shouted. The dove flushed. Washington snatched it, Jesus, snatched it right out of midair like that dude on Kung Fu or something. Quick sucker. It fluttered in his grip before he stuffed it inside his jacket.

“You are dead meat,” said a voice, close enough to nearly whisper.

Buzzard jerked toward the sound. It was Perkins, another con, another Lifer and a real dipshit. “Get the hell away from me!”

Perkins didn’t move. He licked his teeth.

The guard motioned at Perkins with one hand and rested the other on the baton at his belt. “Get the hell away from him.”

“Why you protect him, man?” Perkins said to the guard. “You know he ain’t just another bad mother. He’s evil. He’s broken.”

The rest of them were always talking about Buzzard’s motives. As if their reasons for killing were somehow better. Father deserved to die the first time. He deserved to die when Buzzard killed him again. And if Buzzard got the chance to kill him a third time he would. Simple as that. Why should he feel guilty?

“I said get away from him,” the guard said.

Perkins spun leisurely and walked. And talked. “Dead Buzzard. Dead. Dead. Dead.”


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