Christopher Higgs

Bunny starts barbering some bing, probably betting on some bangtails, wasting more mustard than her old man's got kitchen for.

What a knockdown button. Pulls her wireless blower from her basket and plucks a little salary.

I pray to god she's gone fish or else some of them blockheads will explode.

I'll collect a fat bushel of berries for this gig. A gob of cabbage.

She's got the bees.

Two boys chin over the ball game.

I'd dig nothing more than to jaw like this forever, but I gotta fade.

Well murder me rotten! You got sweet butter britches, you know that, pip?

Close your head, or else I'll close up shop.

Dip my bill to a flask of corn, let it burn my tongue, my throat, and even make believe.

Slip me the deck of Luckies from the glove box and fire one up for yourself.

I hate to go dizzy over a dame, especially a ginger, but her eyes said drink me and her lips said please.

At first duck soup no problem. Eggs in the coffee. Then the tinhorns made dust posthaste like a firecracker fleeing the scene.

She's in Dutch with the mayor.

Has elbows tagging along.

A few things fell through.

Two ginks tail: a couple wrong numbers, trouble boys, hatchetmen, big torpedoes.

Thank your sparklers, I dry-gulched the two of them.

Tie up your trap for a click, or else take the gate, sister.

I hop in the boiler.

Bunny's one smooth ankle.

You gotta be asking yourself, which one of us has the bulge?

Not often I bump gums with a marked chippy happens to be part of the con.

Wearing extra syrupy glad rags. Good god those gams look incredible!

I ain't no grifter no more.

Let's split before the doughnut men arrive.

Swizzle down the eel juice. Chisel a few extra balloons out of the old man.

Bunny grilled me.

Under my flogger, would you bite a gumshoe if he's tailing you?

Huh, Kitten?

Your man's the big whistle.

You're a double down.

I'm lousy with emotions.

Peep this, I'll give you the lay of things, the true meanings. I just need to put the screws on a few plugs to throw fights for good scratch.

Most do what he asks; the ones who don't go redhot to sea.

You're lit!

I could navigate her map for hours. Pull two all-nighters and then some.

You're my meat. You're the person I'm supposed to follow.

Pretty little secretaries all chopping the mill.

A big promotion out of nowhere.

I meet the hombre at the hock shop and we swap stories.

You better get on the horn to your mouthpiece pronto. Or that pretty little mush of yours, ha, ha, ha.

Let's you and I nibble one, shall we?

Bourbon, nix the ice.

Most of my consciousness is out on the roof.

I'll paste you so hard, my paw will crush your pan. One mitt and you'd be salad.

Listen, peeper, I got no reason to tip cups tonight.

I put the screws on real tight.

You sap, you rube.

Let's screw before the fuzz twinkles.

I bet you skate plenty of rinks.

Spill it, cheese eater.

Bunny whistles down a hack. My last words:



I hit a hash house for flapjacks and orange juice.

That husband of hers was a pretty high pillow.

He pours funnels of hooch in the gullet of his buddy.

Gumshoe! he barks.

Was I talking to you, Jasper?

Just looking for the kale.

Hit the jump for a few sticks of tea, a couple jujus, maybe a puff of the pipe.

Seemed as though Bunny'd lammed off somewhere real infrequent.

—Skirt. —Sleuth.



Jump off your thumb, goose! I'll clock you into February.

You trying to bleed me dry with your booshwash?

She's a looker alright, a ripe tomato.

You fancy a jolly up? A clambake? A sizzling wingding with fresh peppers?

Kippy, doll. I'm ripe plums for yuh. But now you're twiddling sourdough and trying to cop the sneak. You got no business for it.

Sweet fancy Moses. Those wet smacks? They couldn't roll but snake eyes between um.

Maybe I'm hiding a Chicago typewriter under this coat. Maybe I go ahead and open up your blinds, poke a little daylight through your treasure chest.

Can it, Romeo. Zip hit the lip.

She was gumming the works. I needed to fix the pipes immediately.

Why not ring up the chopper squad and blab all your secrets.

Flagpole. Cheat beater.

What's your chisel, Bunny? What's your chisel?

Christopher Higgs is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously (Publishing Genius Press). Other of his work can be found in past or future issues of many impressive publications. He teaches at Ohio State and curates the online arts journal Bright Stupid Confetti.