I stared up at the two men leering down at me through my open window. If it wasn’t for the flashing lights of their cruiser, parked behind me, I would have thought that they had stolen the outfits.
The man next to my door was a skinny little goblin, swimming in his navy blues. His companion, standing silently a few steps behind, was a troll squeezed into child’s clothes. A tiny, wild part of my mind cackled that they must have picked up each other’s uniforms.
“I’m sorry,” I said aloud. “Look, I know that I was going a little fast, but it’s late at night! I just want to get back home to my wife.”
The goblin scratched at the pockmarks on his cheek. “Nah, see, we got this game,” he drawled at me. He flicked his eyes towards his companion, who let out a deep snigger. “We call it Wheel of Torture, see? Show him.”
The goblin jerked a finger over his shoulder at his mountain of a partner. I twisted my head, looking back, and saw the big man holding up a wheel the size of a dinner plate. It had been subdivided into crude slices, with curiously childish handwriting scrawled across each slice.
“See, we get bored out here, stuck on traffic in this little town, so we made this! And it’s your punishment for getting caught! Now, traffic’s been kinda sparse, so we spun the wheel for ya.”
“Spun for ya,” the troll repeated in a throaty chuckle.
The goblin exchanged a smile with his partner, and then returned his attention to me. “So, sir, get outta the car.”
I did as he commanded. I wasn’t any sort of giant, but I still loomed a good six inches above the skinny little goblin, who took a half-step back. “Now, our first spin got kneecap,” he said, his hand dropping to his belt to fumble with the clasp holding in his pistol. “But we figgered that we’d be nice, let you choose which one you wanna lose!”
I couldn’t seem to find any words. “I’m sorry, what?”
The goblin had finally freed his weapon. “Too late!” he chirped, and I felt a steel ball peen hammer slam into my left knee. An instant later, a loud bang assaulted my ears.
My left leg gave out beneath me, and I fell to the ground. A wave of agony, hot and liquid, rose up, making me wretch. Stepping closer to stand above me, the little cop giggled, his voice curiously high pitched. “Ready for your next spin?”
I clenched my eyes shut, trying not to vomit. “Oh, no!” the goblin called out a moment later. “Looks like you landed on ‘sex’! Better get yer hole ready!” The troll sniggered again, and I heard the sound of the zipper on his pants being pulled down.
Inside my head, something suddenly clicked, snapping into place. The pain, previously all but unbearable, was muted, muffled, pushed aside. Wait a minute! These small-town hick fucks thought that they were going to rape me!? For some dumbass game!?
Without a conscious thought in my head, I lunged for the little goblin. He let out a satisfying squeal of fright as I loomed suddenly above him. His gun was still in hand, but it was butt first as he raised his hands to defend himself. I slammed my clenched fist into his face and felt something crunch beneath my knuckles.
As the shrimpy little prick dropped to the ground, I twisted the gun free from his hand. The steel was cool in my hand. The troll had started forward at the sight of his partner being assaulted, but I raised the pistol up to point between his eyes, bringing him to a halt. My entire arm was shaking, but the gun remained rock-steady. My weight was on my good leg, but as long as I didn’t look down, I could imagine that my left knee was still uninjured.
The big man stopped, letting out a wordless grunt of surprise. For a long moment, we stood there, neither of us moving. And then my eyes fell to the wheel, dropped into the dirt at the side of the road.
I gestured towards it with the gun. “Pick it up.”
The other cop did as I asked, holding it out in front of him like a shield. I twitched the weapon at him again. “Spin it.”
A whimper escaped the troll’s lips, but he did as I asked. The wheel spun with a clicking sound, and the man glanced down as it came to a stop. “Sez broken arm,” he read off in uncertain tones.
I pulled the trigger of the pistol. “I don’t give a shit,” I replied as the man’s head exploded in gore.
I turned my attention back to the scrawny little fellow at my feet as his partner’s corpse hit the ground. “What about you?” I asked. “Wanna try your luck at the wheel?”
“No! No!” the little shrimp screamed, his legs scrabbling across the ground as he tried to wriggle away. I pulled the gun’s trigger again, and a ragged tear appeared in the little goblin’s neck. His wiggling became wild spasms for a moment as he vainly tried to stem the arterial gush of blood from his severed artery. He lay still after a few seconds. I put another round into his skull for good measure.
Gun still in hand, I managed to stagger back to my car and slump into the seat. The pain of my shattered knee was growing louder, tougher to ignore. But I was in the middle of nowhere, and I didn’t want to deal with the consequences. Not now.
I put the car into drive and pulled away. Thank goodness I drove an automatic, I thought to myself with a touch of black humor. That would really cause problems.