Authors: Richard Raley
The Foul Mouth and the Cat Killing Coyotes
The King Henry Tapes #
By Richard Raley
Copyright © 2012 by Richard Raley
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and events are fictitious and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, places or organizations is entirely coincidental.
All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author.
NOVELS BY RICHARD RALEY
THE KING HENRY TAPES
The Foul Mouth and the Fanged Lady
The Foul Mouth and the Cat Killing Coyotes
The Foul Mouth and the Troubled Boomworm
The Foul Mouth and the Headless Hunny (forthcoming)
The Betrothal: Or How I Saved Alan Edwards from 40 Years of Hell
NOVELLAS AND SHORTS
Prime Pickings: An Eater Short
Little King Henry: A KH Short
Conquering Hero: A KH Short
Friendship is Madness: A KH Short
As always, a toast to
Who taught me so many wonderful new words in high school.
Mancy Type – Element (Ultra Title)
Necromancy – Death (Bonegrinder)
Pyromancy – Fire (Firestarter)
Geomancy – Earth (Artificer)
Aeromancy – Air (Winddancer)
Hydromancy – Water (Riftwalker)
Electromancy – Lightning (Stormcaller)
omancy – Ice (Winterwarden)
Sciomancy – Shadow (Shadeshifter)
Spectromancy – Light (Beaconkeeper)
Floromancy – Plant (Forestplanter)
Faunamancy – Animal (Beasttalker)
Mentimancy – Mind (Mindmaster)
Corpusmancy – Body (Facechanger)
Child’s Name (Mancy Type)
King Henry Price (Geomancer)
Heinrich Welf (Necromancer)
Valentine “Boomworm” Ward (Pyromancer)
Asa Kayode (Hydromancer)
Miranda Daniels (Aeromancer)
Estefan Ramirez (Electromancer)
Debra Diaz (Electromancer)
Curt Chambers (Spectromancer)
Malaya Mabanaagan (Spectromancer)
Quinn Walden (Spectromancer)
Raj Malik (Cry
Hope Hunting (Cry
Miles Hun Pak (Sciomancer)
Eva Reti (Sciomancer)
Naomi Gullick (Floromancer)
Preston “Pocket” Landry (Floromancer)
Tamiko Lewis (Floromancer)
Nicholas Hanson (Floromancer)
Sandra Kemp (Floromancer)
Patrick “Rick” Brown (Faunamancer)
Jesus Valencia (Faunamancer)
Jessica Edwards (Faunamancer)
Robin White (Faunamancer)
Athir Al-Qasimi (Mentimancer)
Isabel Soto (Corpusmancer)
Samuel Bird (Corpusmancer)
Yvette Reynolds (Corpusmancer)
Jason Jackson (Corpusmancer)
Nizhoni Sherman (Corpusmancer)
There are days when I wake up in the morning and I just want to kill someone. With my hands especially. Smash their nasal bone into their brain. Strangle them until not a mote of air escapes their throat. Pummel guts until they’re coughing up kidneys and livers both. I wake up and I want to kill someone with my bare hands.
Which is odd
. . . I’ve never killed anyone before, so why the bloodlust? Well, I killed a few vampires months back, but I’m not sure they count as people, being as they’re as far from human as you get, nasty symbiotic blood creatures that they are. Even animals have the decency of having arms and legs . . . not vamps . . .
It’s the anger. Anger over all the shit I’ve dealt with in my life. That’s what makes me waking up wanting to kill, wanting to fight
. I wake up pissed off, ready to throw down and crack knuckles. I want to feel that wondrous pain of a barehanded punch, that sure pressure of a kick to the gut or ribs. I want to ruin. I want to destroy.
Most days it goes away by breakfast, just fades with the cloud-covered spring sun. Others, it sticks with me and I control it like a secret all day long, every hour, every minute. Just mine. My anger. My ace in the hole if things go down. Rarely do things actually go down
. . .
But this day
. . .
shit went down
And a piece of my very pissed off soul cried out, claiming ‘
You don’t wake up wanting to kill because you were nurtured into it King Henry. It’s not that pissed off fourteen-year-ol
d making a curtain call. You wake up wanting to kill because it’s a piece of your very makeup. Goes all the way to your core, to your genetics, to your divine fucking spark, to the place where the Mancy calls to you. Most geomancers are the shield, the plowshare, but occasionally we get ourselves a sword, or in your case: a big damned axe.
Let’s rumble, mother
fucker, tear the whole world down. Let’s crack a city or two in half. Let’s watch mountains crumble. Give me everything you got and I’ll still be standing there flipping you the bird.
That’s what you feel
. . . inside.
f you don’t learn to control this part of you . . . one day, people really are going to die.
And it’s not always going to be
Nine times out of ten, Fresno turns out to have itself a false spring. There’s a brief week of sunshine, of hope, followed by rain and winds that rip away every bit of soil and trash and fling it into the air, along with a nice kick in the nuts for
. Spring didn’t come until April, and in May it is already summer, sometimes even shooting to three digits. In March it’s just wind and rain and shit dripping from winter’s hairy ass-cheeks.
5PM hit and I closed up the antique part of my shop as fast as I could
, before some old lady out past her bedtime could ruin my night asking about my teapot display. The measly cash in the cashier drawer was almost depressing. I’m pretty sure it’s going backwards. Still, I pocketed a couple twenties.
“Maybe that’s why it’s going backwards, dumbass,” I mumbled to myself.
Clicking off the main lights, I walked out the door and locked it behind me. Outside, the wind whipped about like some retard on a bicycle, unsure where to go and not able to figure out the brakes.
Piece of shit city
. Not for the first time I thought about moving the shop. Ceinwyn told me I had to be a day’s drive from the Asylum to keep the Lady happy, that didn’t mean I couldn’t look the other way. North instead of south. East instead of west. Where else though?
Reno? Desert shithole.
Tahoe? Too close to the Asylum shithole.
San Francisco? Too much water shithole
too expensive shithole.
? Just plain as shithole as Fresno.
Oregon? Full of tree-hugging hippies shithole.
It’s the big problem when you start thinking about moving . . . you might live in a shithole but that doesn’t mean you can find another place any better. That’s probably why my parents never moved during the housing boom when the bankers fucked everyone, including themselves. Shithole Price is one-hundred percent shithole . . . but it’s also one-hundred percent
And the move would be expensive as fuck all
for me . . . especially the workshop.
. . . I’m stuck in Fresno, shithole or not.
s my home.
And ain’t that some sad turtle crap.
I walked by my electric motorcycle. Poor thing needed cleaned. It hadn’t moved in three days, since I’d been spending my nights in the shop perfecting new artifact designs. Don’t worry—for those interested, you’ll be hearing about them later.
Might even be some explosions. Might even be some explosions
. For now . . . we got us some ass-kicking fast approaching.
Next, I went
across the parking lot. My shopping center was small privately-owned stores and a burger joint, not exactly high volume all day long, but there’s some traffic, mostly at the burger joint. I paused at the corner, waited on the light to change, then walked to another shopping center. It being Fresno, there’s one on each corner.
This shopping center’
s more active. It had four different food places, drive-thrus heavy with cars belching wasted fumes. They might make almost nothing but hybrids and electrics nowadays, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s given up on the old way, expensive gas or not.
, I thought as I headed for a Taco Bell, but I was just jealous not everyone had a pyromancer ex-girlfriend.
Besides the food
joints there was a little linen place on the end, so cheap they got their stuff from Pakistan of all places, then the main attraction: a humongous grocery store—the kind where you got to bag your own shit and you’re so exhausted by the process, by the time you get home you just want to leave everything but the ice cream in the car. Exhausting or not there had to be a thousand cars around the place. People can do without a lot of stuff, food ain’t one of them.
As example: King Henry Price in Taco Bell buying himself the whatever mix of beans, meat, cheese, and tortilla they had on sale for a buck-ninety-nine that month. I used one of the twenties I stole from my own register to pay for it. Too bad my de
bt with Ceinwyn wasn’t itemized. I’d have loved to receive a call from her complaining about me buying a
whatever-the-fuck instead of making artifacts.
. . . guy’s got to eat, even legendary fucking-King fucking-Henry fucking-Price.
I sampled the
whatever-the-fuck in store, decided it was decent enough, then ordered three more with a large coke to go. Dinner of champions.
walked back to my shop same way I’d come.
have been a problem. Never been one before. Only . . . I’m walking through the grocery store cars and I come across this
off-road truck with those big tires and mud stains on the sides covering up flames and lightning tough-guy with small penis crap. Which, okay, ignoring their bad taste in transportation is no big deal.
off-road truck has itself two skuzzy looking dudes hanging out in the truck’s bed. One of them had a sleek black overcoat trying to look all
, but the other wore holey jeans and an even more tattered leather coat. Tatterdemalion is Mexican, Overcoat is a white boy. Neither look like they’re house broken. Look a lot like I‘d have ended up without the Asylum in my life.
I wouldn’t have cared at all
even then, just one predator scoping out another predator at the watering hole and walking by, no big deal. Only there was a third guy on the ground and the asshole hassled at a chick trying to get to her car, pushing on her grocery cart, getting in her way. The third guy was another Mexican and of all the shit to wear, he had a businessman’s suit on. Guess we’ll call him Suit. Suit, Tatter, and Overcoat . . . had to cause problems, didn’t they?
It’s important for you to understand, I didn’t do this
as a white-knighter. It wasn’t out of a sense of no honor or righteousness. I wasn’t trying to be the good guy protecting the little lady. Even if the little lady had a nice ass and some legs showing more skin than anyone sane ever did in March.
That wasn’t it at all.
It’s simpler than that. I just can’t stand bullies.
And those three fuckers? Bullies every one.
Maybe you’re saying . . .
but King Henry, didn’t you beat on people all the time back in the day and even in the present?
Yeah, but I never start it. I might step in it. I might never back off. Might be a big ass mountain right in the desert, but . . . never start it. Even with Welf . . . bastard’s mouth always set off the shot heard round the world.
Suit kept harassing the chick,
blocking her cart with his hips, sliding close to her quick enough to make her twitch away from him as his hands reached to touch her arms, working their ways down for a shot at ass-cheek. He started out asking for her number all smooth-like but after Rejection Number Three he now demanded it, obstinate in disbelief. Tatter and Overcoat just laughed through the whole thing like typical hanger-ons, Overcoat specifically motioning him to go for second base.
, I thought, holding my three
whatever-the-fucks and my large coke.
Why couldn’t this shit happen when I’m wearing all my gear?
I had my static ring, turned back to a five-second trigger the minute I got away from Annie B, but that was it. Well
. . . and the Mancy itself. I started to pool anima. Guess a white-knight would worry about
. . . if it was fair for a mancer to fight three guys with his something special?
Suit, Tatter, and Overcoat weren’t exactly office workers out of their leagues and they looked like they could handle themselves. Means for King Henry: all options are on the table.
tting my Taco Bell stuff on the dirty ass, trash-covered ground, I walked towards Suit with a purpose.
I didn’t bother with no
pleasantries like you’re expecting. I might got the Mancy, but that don’t make me a superhero. There wasn’t going to be any of me asking them to unhand the lady or ‘
’ fucktard sayings. I just kept walking towards them, nodding my head when Suit got extra rough and wrenched his fingers to lock on the lady’s shoulder. Overcoat kept the cackling laughter up, Tatter had this little sneer twisting in the wind.
The lady saw me. What she see? What people usually see. Jeans, a mancer coat of deep brown fabric, a ring on o
ne hand initialed KHP, a pissed-off face scarred over an eyebrow and at the cheek, plus dirty eyes ready to ruin lives.
I never made a noise as I slammed a hammer
-fist into the back of Suit’s head. He lost some balance, hand slipping from the lady’s shoulder and grasping at the shopping cart for support. I helped him on his way, foot tangling in his legs to dump him face first on the asphalt.
There’s some shock and awe for you, bitches.
“Get in your car and go,” I finally said. The lady didn’t need any more encouragement.
stopped laughing, Tatter stopped sneering. They stared down at me from their place atop the
truck. “Are you out of your
?” Overcoat shouted at me.
Suit started to push himself up so I kicked him in the ribs.
Not with the top of my shoe with all the cushion neither, I went toe to rib. Maximum ouch.
Tatter and Overcoat finally got in the game, dropping down to the ground on either side of the
truck. The way they landed without the slightest bit of a stumble sent my first alarm bell ringing. Even some freak-of-nature pro basketball player would have paused at jumping down six-feet and these guys went right for it.
started a game with
las personas equivocades
, didn’t he?” Tatter asked me, popping his knuckles. “White
couldn’t let no man get a
, had to butt his
“Now he’s going to get himself fucked up!” Overcoat agreed
, sounding a lot like some of the hanger-ons I attracted in high school back when I fought every week. “Fucked up by King Vega’s Coyotes!”