Across The Wire

I Came to a Place of Rough Neglect and Left Myself There  

By Scott Mitchel May

Notes From The Scene

We found a pear.

We found it near the lobby’s desk and it was chewed.

Chewed and also rotten. 

By the time we found it.

She was behind the lobby’s desk.

She had a gunshot wound to the head and the bullet was lodged in the wall behind the desk, behind where she was standing.

Unclear if she was given a chance.



I’m so sick of this shit, this cocked-up shit; the whole world is full of this cocked-up shit.

We found a tooth.

In a drawer.

Of the desk.

Renaud says it’s a baby tooth.

Bagged and logged into evidence; file #46568.

Other than that, nothing of note.

I hate

The Doins’ Within the Room

“He said he was comin’, so he is comin’. Watch cable and chill the fuck out.”

“My momma says don’t trust nothin’ you can hold and I can’t hold HBO and I can’t hold happy-horse-shit.”

“Your mama was an ignorant Gypsy whore.”

“Be that as it may…”

“He’s comin’”


“When what?”

“When he gets back from the place.”

“What place?”

“Don’t make me say it.”

“What place?”

“The gettin’…”

A knock at the door snags his attention and eases her mind. There is a green-yellow light outside and the shadow it casts against the cement looks about right for who they are expecting. They hold still. Quiet. The rate is $7.50/hr. They are running low on time.

“Get it, damn you!”

“Well, now how do we know it’s him back from the place?”

“How do we know? Who the fuck else is it gonna be?”


“What do we got so good that intruders would want to intrude upon it?”

“We got the stuff; when he gets back.”

“He ain’t back. Or, he is but we ain’t let him in. Either way, we ain’t got the stuff.”

“They could know we gettin’ the stuff. They could be knocking and anticipatin’ us gettin’ the stuff. We answer, they hit us, we wait with them, then, when he shows, they kill us and him and take the stuff.”

“You are a dumb-fuck.”


“Yeah, ok.”

He answers the door and when it opens wide enough he is hit on his head with the butt end of a Maglite Flashlight that takes four D Cell batteries and is knocked unconscious and They come through the room’s door with guns drawn which they use to glue her to the bed and they yell “Don’t move a fuckin’ hair or I’ll…” and the rest she misses because she’s watching him bleed and she’s thinking that this is the stupidest time for him to be fucking be right about something he speculated on.

Notes from the Scene

Her dress is hiked up and she’s not wearing underwear.

They never tell you how you’ll feel in the academy about such things.

Roderick finds a shed pubic hair three feet away but it’s brown and hers are yellow.

Fuckin’ hourly rate shit-hole.

A casing is found.


Varmint round.

Must’ve put it right to her forehead.

No explaining it otherwise.

A chill to the air.

Her face is pocked with a lifetime’s regret.

Her teeth are a shattered ruin.

No witnesses.

No one left around.

The no vacancy light is on.

The rats know when to do their thing and go.

Rm 465 has been swept.

A bowl of pears was found.

More  Doins’ Within The Room

“I keep tellin’ everyone he ain’t back! He took the money and he left.”

“That he did.”

“You got money! You got dope!”

“We ain’t got shit!”

“He’s right.”

“Don’t you motherfuck to me!”

“I ain’t motherfuckin’ to nobody! If I was high, you’d know it.”

“We wait.”

“I told you…”

“Shut the fuck up, Leonard!”

“All I’m sayin’ is I never get credit for when I’m right.”

“I tell you plenty!”

“You never tell me squat!”

“I tell you all the damn time, you just ain’t listen!”

“Never say you’re sorry neither…”

“Well, I’m sorry you got us hogtied, that’s for sure.”

“I hate you so much.”

A knock at the door. He is back from the place from which things are gotten. One of them bites a pear. They answer.

Notes from the Scene

Three bodies upstairs.

All shot in the head.

Three .22 casings

Looks like four coffee mugs.

They were waiting a while.

No clue who did this.

Three males.


Coke, likely.

Three out of state Drivers Licenses.

God damn it.

Nothing left to do but the paperwork.

See you down the road a piece, Scumbags.


Scott is the author of the short story collection DeKalb Illinois is a Paradise What Eats Its Own (Alien Buddha 22), the novels Breakneck: or it happened once in America (Anxiety Press 23) and Awful People (Death of Print Feb 24), and the novelette All Burn Down (Emerge Press Oct 23). His short stories and essays have appeared in many magazines across the internet.