All Stories, General Fiction

Squirrel by David Henson


typewriterSquirrel was a little under average tall and railly. Mostly crooked teeth. Reddish hair, oily. Everbody started calling him Squirrel back in high school. He didn’t mind so much. Better’n Twerp from earlier on. One night Squirrel goes to the Tap Bar, and Big Ed’s wife, Ellie Lynn, is there without Big Ed. Ellie Lynn looks like she’s had a few so Squirrel goes an sits by her. Ellie Lynn seems real happy for Squirrel to buy her a few, and he has a few himself. Well, to cut to it, Squirrel and Ellie Lynn end up closin the place and goin to his truck to get at it. After finishin, Squirrel says to Ellie Lynn “Let’s do this again sometime, wanna?” Ellie Lynn don’t say nothin. She just gets outta Squirrel’s truck and walks off laughin and pullin up her pants.

Next night Squirrel goes back to the Tap. No Ellie Lynn this time, but Squirrel goes in anyways, sits down at the end of the bar and has a few. Before long he starts tellin the bartender how he got at it with Ellie Lynn last night. He’s talkin so loud half the people in the Tap have to hear him. Sure as hot weather somebody must’ve slunk out and told Big Ed, cause in he comes round midnight. Lucky for Squirrel he sees Big Ed before Big Ed sees him, so Squirrel goes round behind the bar and kinda duck-walks all the length of it to the door and slunks out.

Squirrel gets in his truck and pulls his gun outta the glove box. He thinks about goin back in the Tap then thinks better. He fumbles round with his keys for a minute and is just about to drive off when he’s gonna be sick. So he cranks down his window and pukes — right on Big Ed’s boots. “Squirrel, I’m gonna beat you to an inch of you’re puny life,” Big Ed says, grabs Squirrel and starts pullin him out the window. Squirrel starts hollerin and reaches down and grabs his gun. Big Ed keeps pullin and in the fricas Squirrel’s gun goes off and shoots Big Ed right in the chest. Now Big Ed falls back pullin Squirrel out the rest of the way. Squirrel, he lands on Big Ed, who’s laying face up sputterin blood everywhere, not least all over Squirrel.

Well, Squirrel’s pretty much horrified, but before he can even jump up, Big Ed goes all quiet and still. Squirrel knows he’s dead sure. He’s gone and kilt Big Ed right in the heart. Squirrel grabs his gun, gets back in his truck and, bein Squirrel, goes to Big Ed’s house of all places.

Squirrel pounds on the door, and Ellie Lynn opens it. “Ellie Lynn, you can run away with me now. I’ve gone and kilt Big Ed.”

“Squirrel, you fool,” Ellie Lynn says. “You couldn’t kill Big Ed if you had a bazooka and a army. Now get outta here. I was drunk last night.” Then Ellie Lynn notices all the blood on Squirrel and starts screamin.

Squirrel kinda freaks, pushes Ellie Lynn into the house, shuts the door behind’em, pulls out his gun, and starts wavin it. Ellie Lynn looks at it with great big eyes. “What you gonna do with that, Squirrel,” she says kind of whispery. Squirrel don’t know whether to shoot Ellie Lynn, hisself, or the both so he goes back out to the truck.

Squirrel’s not sure where to go. He’s real low on gas and drunk up all his money. So he aims his truck for the woods. That don’t surprise. He’s known them woods since before he was Squirrel, before Twerp even, being as he was born in’em in a shack of a place. Even now he cranks his window down without thinking when he gets to the trees so he can smell in the pine. He don’t get very far fore his truck turns empty. Squirrel leaves it at the side, grabs his gun, and starts walkin.

It’s bout dawn when two cops head toward the tree Squirrel’s up hidin in. They might’ve walked right on by, but Squirrel gets so excited when he sees’em he drops his gun. When it hits the ground, it fires off and slugs one of the cops in the leg. “Oh shit oh shit,” the cop starts  screamin and dancin round.

“You get down outta that tree, Squirrel,” the other cop yells. Squirrel don’t move. Then the cop that’s shot stops screaming, falls to the ground, and gets real quiet. That bullet must’ve hit somethin cause even in the dim light Squirrel sees blood gushin out. “Shit!” the other cop yells, rushes to his partner, kneels, and presses his hands against the blood. Then the not-shot cop yells at his shoulder for help, but he can’t get up cause he’s gotta keep holdin back the blood trying to gush out of the other one’s leg.

Squirrel, he’s still up there through all this. He thinks about jumpin down and runnin for it, but figures he’d probly only get hisself dead. So he just sits there in that tree, smellin in the pine, waitin.

David Henson

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7 thoughts on “Squirrel by David Henson”

    1. Indeed. A very squirrelly individual. I like the hillbilly tone. In those parts, every animal carries a gun. Reminds me of scenes in the Coen brothers movie “Blood Simple.”


  1. Hi David,
    Our best stories have some unforgettable characters.
    Squirrel is one character who will always stay with me.
    Even though it was a bit dark, it still made me smile.
    All the very best.


  2. This is a late in the day comment but I could see this as a short movie (or even part of a long one!) – had me gripped from the word go!


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