Excerpt from Pam Benjamin’s recent book, “The Pigeon Chronicles or Bike Messenger Assassins”

“Fuck man, I haven’t had a solid shit in three weeks.”  Bucket fell out of the bar bathroom steadying him self with the chewed and beaten booth. He had an unlit joint between his lips. “Whiskey shits are the shit.”  He meant “the shit” as a positive thing.

“Three weeks?  High class problems you got there. I’m going on three years.” Condor spun his back field plastic men in red before throwing the little white ball wildly into the slot.

Bucket scored from his goalie, again. “That’s me.  All class.  I’m one classy son of a shit.”

“Yeah, ass butter, man. That’s what I’m talking about.  Any shit is a satisfying one.” Condor tried to throw the white ball back in the slot and missed the table horribly sending it flying to the frowning morning tender.  He began to sing to a vague Cat Steven’s tune, “Morning ass-plosion, my tummy’s warning…”  He even warbled a sort of vibrato on “warning”.

“Yo, Streisand, I got your jazz hands and fake lashes in my bag if you wanna drag queen us outa here.”  Retch chuckled low at his own joke. “You dicks need to eat some fucking bird seed.  Get some god-damned fiber in your diet and stop your bitchin’. You gonna start the fucking game or what?”

The Pigeon Chronicles or Bike Messenger Assassins by Pam Benjamin
Published by Ink. San Francisco
Episode 3

Carrier was officially drunk now.  He’d forgotten about the game with Bucket to hear the Muni story that he was so concerned about an hour previous.  It was seven in the morning now, light streamed in through the window next of the closed swinging half door creating a bright little square on the black floor.  They all carried a 16 oz. Bud Light and empty shot glasses littered the small leaning table.  They did shots of well-rum as it seemed the most perverse thing to do when walking into a bar at six a.m. Carrier’d been on the sauce since seven the night previous.  “Does anyone have work today?” He mumbled absently.

“What day is it?” Bucket boomed to no one in particular.

It was Tuesday.  In less than two hours they would be speeding around the city on bikes attempting to avoid hangovers with bottles of water and un-brushed teeth. The Pigeon’s had a serious mission today. Orders came down from the Fat Cats on high last Friday.

“You wanna know the Muni story?  I’ll fucking tell you.  Fuck this game!”  Bucket spun his three plastic half-backs and slapped his palms on the table in front of Carrier. “We kill people for money. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.”  Bucket veered and tilted like a broken metronome as he spoke.  He held himself upright with one hand and bobble pointed somewhere near Carrier’s face. He was getting serious. “We orchestrate death with bikes.”

Retch chimed in, “What my esteemed drunken asshole is trying to tell you is that I threw the smoothie at the baby stroller.  The lady freaked and yelled at the Asian tourists who confused the streets with camera flash.  Condor swooped…”

“Like a hawk I swoop down and take out my prey with piano wire!”  Condor broken-winged flew in front of Carrier at the table.  They looked like some huge three beaked squawking chorus of drunken pigeons all trying to out story one another.

“The Target always got a mocha-frappa-fuck-soy-latte-shit at that Fuck-bucks on Market.  Every fucking day, four fifty.  You know what I do with four-fifty?”  Bucket spewed from his mini soap box.

“That’s two PBR’s and a shitty tip.” Carrier agreed.

The Pigeons sped on overlapping one another with quickened excitement. “So we knew where he’d be, right?  And Retch knows the Muni dude who drives the day time Seven line…”

“And Condor hid behind the parked car…”

“And the tourists forced him off the sidewalk after the smoothie incident, and he was so fucking worried about spilling his god-damned latte…”

“And I was weaving like a maniac down the sidewalk so he couldn’t get back up on that brick…”

“And ooops.  Seven in the face.” Retch finished, “My Muni boy took the fall and didn’t say a word, and for a piddily ten percent.”

“Ten percent of what?”  Carrier’s eyes bulged.  These guys couldn’t be serious.  This was some tossed mid-morning prank.  There was a hidden camera somewhere in the room and a reality T.V. host was bound to pop out from behind the bar and call it Survivor.

“One hundred large.  Muni got ten.  We all got thirty.” Bucket finally lit the joint that had built a summer cottage in his mouth during the last diatribe.

“Uh, Really?” The morning tender shook his face with palms up. “You can’t smoke in here, douche-bags.  Get the fuck out.”

“We got work to do anyway.  We’ll just smoke this baby outside.”  Bucket pointed finger guns and sauntered to the door squinting at the new morning light, “You with us?”

Carrier was suddenly sober. “Yeah.  Yeah. I’m in. This ain’t cowboy’s first rodeo.”

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