Cemetery Club

Cemetery Club by J. G. Faherty Read Free Book Online

Book: Cemetery Club by J. G. Faherty Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. G. Faherty
finding his way to the dark hole in the center of the floor.
    Aimee’s bloody carcass balanced on his shoulder, he entered the pit, his steps sure and steady as he descended into darkness.
    *  *  *
    The door to Gus’s Bar and Grill opened, letting in a quick gust of damp wind that sped through the room, lifting collars and cutting channels through musty air permanently tainted by decades of smoke, urine and cheap beer.
    “Shut the damn door!” Gus Mellonis shouted from behind the bar. His voice echoed off the walls, easily overpowering the Rolling Stones ballad playing on the jukebox. It was after midnight and only six stools supported customers; another half hour and they’d be gone, too, which was just the way Gus liked it.
    The door slammed shut and two figures emerged from the shadows of the front alcove into the bar. One of them wore a black suit so wet from the rain that rivulets of water ran from the jacket onto the floor, where they formed puddles as soon as he stopped walking. Fresh mud stains covered both his knees. The second figure was just as wet. Mud and grime coated his faded green shirt and Dickies.
    “Holy shit!” Chuck Passella, a long-time regular at Gus’s, slammed his hand on the bar. “Pete Webster? What the hell you doin’ here? Half the town’s lookin’ for you and the other half thinks you’re dead. Hey, you want a beer?”
    Pete gave him a crooked smile, as if his mouth wasn’t working quite right and nodded.
    Chuck turned to Gus. “Pour him a beer, on me.”
    Gus poured the drink. As he set the mug down, he stared at the blotchy white marks on Pete’s face. “Christ, Pete. You don’t look good. What happened to you?”
    Pete just stared at him.
    When no explanation followed, Gus shrugged and turned to Pete’s companion, who had similar markings on his cheeks. “How ‘bout you, pal?”
    The man shook his head but remained silent.
    “Where the hell you been Pete?” asked Chuck. “And what happened to Frankie?”
    Pete leaned on the bar and motioned for Chuck to lean closer. The other patrons slid their chairs over as well.
    Without warning Pete smashed his beer mug against Chuck’s head. As the old man’s unconscious body toppled to the floor, Lester Boone vaulted over the bar and punched Gus in the nose, knocking him into the liquor bottles on the shelf next to the cash register. Gus grabbed a bottle and swung it at his attacker but Lester paid no mind as it bounced off his temple. Before Gus could swing again, Lester shoved his thumbs into Gus’s eyes. The bartender screamed high and loud as blood and fluids spurted from his ruined orbs.
    The remaining five men seated at the bar reacted quickly, despite their varying degrees of sobriety. Four of them ran towards Pete while the fifth climbed over the counter to help Gus.
    Pete picked up a barstool and swung it by one leg, baseball style, catching two men and sending them stumbling backwards. Shards of wood flew in all directions as the stool splintered, leaving Pete with a two-foot section in his hands.
    Nick Pacinino charged forward and swung his fist into Pete’s face. The brittle crunch of bones breaking filled the bar and Nick howled in pain as his knuckles snapped. Then he had to step backwards when Pete, his jaw hanging to one side, swung the stool leg at him. Nick took another step and tripped on some debris. The pain of landing on his injured hand caused him to cry out again. A moment later, Pete stood over him, gripping the wooden leg with both hands.
    “No, Pete, don’t!” Nick raised his arms to ward off the blow he knew was coming.
    Pete brought his arms down in a vicious arc, driving the broken end through Nick’s throat. The older man managed a final gurgling, blood-filled gasp before his life pumped out in a red geyser.
    “Fuckin’ bastard!” Rory Calbert wrapped his arms around Pete’s chest and brought him down to the floor, executing the tackle exactly the way his old football coach

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