I peek around my blindfold. It’s slipped just far enough on my face so I can get a glimpse of a piece of sky. I see the most perfect rainbow. Just beautiful. God is frowning at me in pretty little colors. It’s one of those days.
My head is still swimming from the beatdown I got hours earlier from a couple of long-faced goons. I’m not a fighter. I write a column for a local rag under the byline “Splotchy”. Mostly it’s two-bit trash, advice to the lovelorn. I write the police blotter, too. Whatever nobody wants, Splotchy gets.
The most excitement we have in this sleepy little town is drunks slamming into lightpoles, maybe a housewife stabbing her husband with a steak knife. My life was dull as an old man’s tooth until last night beat the hell out of me.
It was around midnight when two hulking palookas in dark gray suits and matching cheek scars pushed me up against the wall outside the newspaper office. They smelled like a factory that makes things to hurt people.
“You dah eye splotchy?” the nicer one said.
The not-nice one threw a punch to my gut. I doubled over.
“You dah eye splotchy?”
“I-“, I started. “I use that name.”
“Huh?” I asked.
The not-nice one punched me in the nose. Was it broken? Did it matter? It hurt like hell.
“You getting blood on my shoes,” said Mr. Not-Nice.
“Listen,” Mr. Nice said. “We don’t wanna hurt you. Boss says he wants eye splotchy first thing in the morning. And if Boss wants it, Boss gets it. Let’s go.”
“I’m not eye-” I started, then Mr. Nice hit me once and everything went black.
The rainbow is disappearing, along with the feeling that I’m going to get out of this mess with all my fingers, toes and teeth intact. My head’s pounding, my hands are tied and Mr. Not-Nice is breathing on my neck like an asthmatic walrus.
I hear the voice of Mr. Nice. “Okay, let’s go. Boss wants to see the eye splotchy.”
My gut aches, and I can feel blood caked on the side of my face. With all my courage and anger, I say as loudly and clearly as I can in the direction of Mr. Nice — “Call me Splotchy.”
Inspired by Dr. Zaius (who also was kind enough to supply the picture above), who in turn was inspired by Sleestak.