With guns drawn, Rusty and Bishop waded through an underground sewer of sludge most foul. The stench was putrid and it invaded their nostrils, filling them with a need to vomit that they desperately fought against.
“Fuck me,” Rusty said. “Again, I only say that as a figurative of speech.”
“You don’t need to keep explaining yourself,” Bishop said.
“What is this asshole doing down here?” Rusty asked. “I mean, he’s got us sloshing through a river of shit, piss, used toilet paper, used condoms, used syringes and I’m ninety percent sure an unwanted prom baby just floated by me.”
“Complaining about it just makes it worse,” Bishop said.
“I’ve got AIDS now,” Rusty said. “I’ve definitely got like fifty diseases. I can feel the diseases just pouring out of this place and into my body.”
Bishop could hear Buford’s voice coming from around a corner just up ahead. “Shh!”
Rusty and Bishop stood quietly in the muck and listened.
“Can we come to some kind of an agreement?” Buford asked.
“Raarga,” Skippy replied.
The reptilian voice startled the duo.
“What the fuck was that?” Rusty whispered.
Bishop shrugged his shoulders in response.
“I’ll bring back one drifter to the motel per month,” Buford said. “No need to bust through toilets in public places and eat people with actual lives. I’ll just bring home a nobody and you can chow down.”
“Raarga, raarga,” Skippy said.
“You love the thrill of the chase?” Buford asked.
“Raarga,” Skippy said.
“And the media circus?” Buford asked.
“Raarga,” Skippy said.
“You want all eyes on you?” Buford asked.
“Raarga,” Skippy said.
“Oh Skippy,” Buford said. “It’s like I don’t even know who you are anymore.”
“Raarga!” Skippy shouted.
“No, I didn’t bring anyone with me,” Buford said.
“Raarga, raarga, raarga,” Skippy said.
“You smell two other people?” Buford asked.
Bishop gulped. Rusty mouthed the words, “Oh shit.”
“You must be mistaken,” Buford said.
“Raarga!” Skippy said.
“Double-crosser?” Buford asked. “Skippy, you know I’d never turn you in. Look, I’m just going to peak my head around this corner and…”
Buford did just that and caught sight of the cop and the FBI agent.
“Freeze!” Bishop said as he pointed his gun at Buford.
Rusty aimed for the nerd as well. “Drop your weapon!”
Buford complied, setting his AR-15 gently down into the muck. He put his hands up and faced the officers.
“Sirs,” Buford said. “I have no problem obeying you but I must tell you that you’re going to have a much more difficult time with my associate.”
“Cut the shit and tell him to get out here with his hands up,” Bishop said.
“Yeah,” Rusty said. “And if he’s armed, we’ll blow him away!”
Buford sighed and turned. Rusty and Bishop were unable to see who exactly Buford was talking to from their vantage point.
“Skippy,” Buford said. “Some gentlemen would like a word…”
A dull, low roar echoed throughout the sewer.
“What was that?” Rusty asked.
Buford turned back to Bishop and Rusty once more. “Gentlemen, you’d better run.”
The nerd took his own advice and hurried forward, further down the sewer.
“Stop!” Bishop shouted.
“Fuck,” Rusty said. “If I have to chase him, I’m putting a bullet in his ass.”
“Fuck it,” Bishop said as he stepped down the sewer. “Let’s go get his asshole partner.”
Rusty and Bishop slogged through grime and peaked around the corner. They saw nothing but darkness.
“Show yourself!” Bishop shouted with his gun drawn toward the darkness.
Rusty shined his light straight ahead and walked until he saw it – a fifteen foot, green, scaly alligator, weighing roughly eight hundred pounds. It roared loudly, putting a chill in the bones of both men.
“Fuck me,” Bishop said.
“It’s a toilet gator,” Rusty replied.
Both men inched backward slowly, being careful not to disturb the beast.
“Shh,” Rusty said. “Nice boy. Good boy. Everyone just be cool.”
“Why the fuck are you talking to it?” Bishop asked.
“I don’t know,” Rusty asked as he stepped backward. “I’ve never been face to face with a fucking enormous alligator before, OK?”
Skippy hissed and then…charged. He waddled towards the men, fast. They let their bullets fly, shooting at the creature over and over but their direct hits just bounced off his rough, leathery hide.
“Run!” Rusty shouted.
Rusty and Bishop flew back the way they came, as fast as their bodies could move, with the gator in hot pursuit.
“Cole was right!” Rusty shouted. “Being a hero is fucking stupid!”
They reached the ladder. Rusty shimmied up first, followed by Gordon.
Up top, Rusty collapsed on the pavement and breathed hard, struggling to catch his breath and slow down his heart rate. Soon, Bishop’s upper torso emerged from the hole.
“Give me a hand!”
Rusty grabbed Bishop’s hand and yanked it upward.
“Fuck!” Bishop shouted. “My foot’s caught!”
“What?!” Rusty asked as he wrapped his arms around Bishop’s torso and pulled. “Come on, man!”
“It’s caught on the fucking….ARRGH!”
Rusty pulled and pulled…only to fall back on the pavement with exactly one half of Bishop on top of him.
Rusty moved the lifeless torso onto the ground, stood up, and looked down on it. Bishop’s face was frozen in a permanent state of shock. His lower half was entirely gone and bloody entrails emerged from his stomach.
“Oh God,” Rusty said. He stepped away from the body and puked his guts out.