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Lee Tyler Williams King of Laredo I get kidnapped all the time. It’s not so bad. Better than sweeping up hair, working for fifteen years as a geriatric crutch from the shampoo chair to the waiting area.    Looking like Vogt isn’t what my mother or the salon ladies think. The mistaken limo rides and junior college girls with jean shorts shopping on the strip who come up to me and think I’m that guy who ran for county commissioner. They remember my orange tan and enviable smile from the posters their parents used to stake next to the sprinklers. Restaurant owners sit me by the window and bring me house bourbon.    Strangers get shy and clumsy. They think I’m the one with all the power, the eternal overseer. They know they’re supposed to resent me, but they don’t. They trip over curbs when they see me, hold open doors for me at the bank and post office, even ask me to bless their child. Poverty of the spirit, I say, and cross the ugly demons.    Just once has someone poured coffee on my lap out of nervousness.    My wife wants us to leave town. If I had any sense, I’d listen to her. But what would we do for money if we left? And my mother couldn’t run the salon by herself.    Besides, the border is where my piss sizzles, where my wife sweats under her chin, where the mosquitoes don’t suck your blood, they serenade you.    When the kidnappers take me, they think I have all this money, and they’re scared to hurt me.They cover up my face and spit and curse. Use rope, never chains. At first I told them I wasn’t Vogt. It’s all just bad luck. I look like him, but that’s because my mother shampooed his father thirty-seven years ago and they fucked in the parking lot behind the salon. Then I guess he decided to wash his own hair. But his round pale face is what we both inherited.    I don’t know if my father ever knew about me, his son’s lookalike. He was a fertilizer kingpin and got run over on the strip years before I first got taken. I guess whoever killed him didn’t think the ransom was high enough.    The first time was to a desert trailer with a latrine in the corner. A deck of cards and a Bible on a crate. Bars on the windows, and a padlocked door. It got hot sometimes, but I had a sink. The guys who took me, I called them Poco and Lefty. They came in with pillowcases over their heads, left me food and beer and asked me whether I made my video. My last testament. The bait. Poco kept yelling, Half a million.    After awhile, I stopped believing who I was. I thought I was rich and dangerous. The ghostly overseer of men. I said I’ll pay anything. Why not make it a whole million? Shit, I’m the king of Laredo. Name your price.    This got them all frantic and they went to their safe house, and came back and screamed and left again.

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Profile for SprinGun Press

SpringGun | Issue 9 | 2014  

Kiik A.K. • Oxlip and Pearl • page 1 Chaim ben Avram • from the philadelphian talmud • page 2 Jill Darling • Laundry, and Other Domestic Adv...

SpringGun | Issue 9 | 2014  

Kiik A.K. • Oxlip and Pearl • page 1 Chaim ben Avram • from the philadelphian talmud • page 2 Jill Darling • Laundry, and Other Domestic Adv...

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