If Bruce Springsteen wrote crime fiction it would probably be like Dennis Tafoya’s. Full of working class pathos and hard won emotion that’s never sentimental, his work makes you feel for the junkies, criminals, and everyday survivors on the bottom rungs. If you like this short story that appeared in Plots With Guns, immediately find copies of his books Dope Thief and The Wolves Of Fairmount Park.
Doe Run Road by Dennis Tafoya
Junior Knapp was driving east on 30 as the sun went down, going home to see his mother one last time. He had pieces of a bullet lodged under a rib and when he breathed deep it was like there was broken glass moving around in his lungs. The stupid guard had gotten excited, and Junior shook his head again to think of it. They weren’t supposed to pull their guns. It was against the insurance, he’d wanted to say when the old fart was there with the smoke standing in the air between them, the man just as surprised as Junior to hear the heavy report of the gun and see the blood pouring out onto the linoleum. Junior remembered the man making an ‘O’ with his mouth, a witless, surprised look that he still had when Junior jerked the .45 free of his jacket and worked the trigger until the old guard went down.