Return to Capture home page


The Barlow Bros
A short story by Celeste Gomez

       I was in the city for the weekend, visiting my old friend, Chuck. He had an appointment at his methadone clinic on Saturday morning so I tagged along. While waiting outside, we ran into a welder and fellow recovering addict he knows. A beer bellied, wide-faced man by the name of Justin. He's from a small place, Trenton, and according to Chuck, Justin is one of the town's more cerebral exports. For some reason he began telling us about the Barlow brothers, Andy and Gary. They are something of a local legend in Trenton.
       "These guys are a couple of major animals," Justin nodded gravely. "Big dick stories all over town about them, lots of those young douchebags in their oversized team jackets and ironed hair want to try them out." He grinned, all bottom teeth. "Those broads practice by sucking on the working end of a baseball bat."
       A scrawny little man, a fellow clinic-goer, asked Justin if he had a "spare smoke."
       "I don't carry spares," Justin replied and winked at us.
       "Anyway," he continued. "The Barlow bros are usually in jail for some stupid beef, assault, car thieving, bad checks, that kind of bullshit. They get out for a month or a week and then do some stupid shit to get thrown back in. They call the jail their 'hotel.' But they never been down below, just county time, so really they're just small time jack offs.
       But don't get me wrong, they're big time pricks too. They got this routine. Like last time they were out, they show up at this guy Ted's house at a barbeque he's having or whatever's going on and they sucked up all the beer and booze, smoked all the dope. They push around the guys there, nobody stands up to the Barlows, everybody knows them. They harassed all the chicks, kicked the dog around and even let Ted's bird fly out of the cage. Fucking assholes, eh?"

       "The way the Barlows work it is they never leave, ever.
       They slapped Ted around, sell his stuff to buy more booze and rock. They get blow jobs from Ted's old lady, Cindy, then fuck his daughter, Tina, watch his new TV then sell it for more booze and pills. It's like 3 days later and the daughter's around 20 and she always wanted to screw the Barlows anyway and the old lady's like 37 or something and she fucked them both years ago when they hung around her junior high and she gets pissed off screaming at them that she's not gonna just sit here and give blow jobs, they've gotta fuck her too or they can fuck right off." Justin paused and stared at me for a moment. "Actually, she looks kinda like you but you're better looking." He lit a cigarette and continued.
       "Anyway, Cindy's yelling at Ted that it's been like six years since he fucked her and man, he's gonna look like a total faggot in front of the town. They're laughing at Ted, even the women, and the Barlows say they're gonna pimp them to raise more getting-high money. Cindy and Tina say yeah, right, you're gonna pimp us, sure you will. Cindy smokes all of Andy and Gary's cigarettes and they get royally pissed and she yells at them, 'Go ahead then, pimp me, you pieces of shit! You can't fucking well do anything except wreck shit and go to jail.'
       Tina ends up fucking both them at the same time but Cindy doesn't bother. She tells Ted that Andy and Gary are both too high to get it up all that hard. For Tina it's more something to brag to her girlfriends about even though she said Gary passed out while trying to back-end her."
       Justin sneered at the thought. "What a loser." He then looked about as if lost. "Where was I? Oh, yeah, so then the Barlows start saying they're gonna sell Ted's trailer. I mean like his fucking house! That's when Cindy says no fucking way and opens her big mouth to tell them Ted's holding a really nice '74 Chevy fleetside stashed at the Shell station out on the highway." Justin sighed with exasperation at Cindy's treachery. "You believe she would do that?"

       "Why didn't he just phone the police?" I asked.
       Justin's eyed popped open at me as if I was even dumber than Ted. "Are you nuts?! No fucking way Ted can rat them out, not in a place like Trenton. Back there, a rat's worse than being a cocksucking queer. Everybody's going to say: 'So what if they trashed your place and sold your shit and fucked your broads, they're skanks anyway, and you still don't rat anybody - ever. You never ever rat."
       "So what happened next?" asked Chuck, trying to keep the story on track.
       Justin nodded and seemed slightly annoyed his grave statement about the evils of informing was brushed aside so quickly. "Yeah, okay. So before they go to get the truck, Ted's a diabetic, right? And he's shooting his stuff before they go and the Barlows, they're such greedy fucks, they want some too, don't know shit about it just see Ted banging this crap. He smiles and says sure, here, I'll set it up for ya. Then Andy and Gary have these massive seizures, flop around and they're barking like dogs and bite the carpet, chew on the coffee table, then out cold." Justin jabbed a finger at the ground between us. "I mean OUT. Ted thought they were dead. Ted says he was yelling at himself after he realizes, 'I'm so fucking stupid why didn't I think of this before these assholes pawned all my shit and banged my broads eight ways to Sunday, those fucking hosebags!' But he said he's no rat and would never call the cops but going fire to fire or whatever that's called, that's okay."

       "So both bros turn blue. Cindy and Tina empty their pockets then them and Ted drag Andy and Gary to the side of the road, leave them partly in the ditch. It looked like a normal place where guys like the Barlows would crash after getting totally polluted. They'd probably wake up and not even remember what happened, think it was just another fucked up night.
       Next day, Ted looks out and one Barlow, Gary, he's gone but the other's still there, still out of it. Another day and Andy's still there. A few hours later they both show up at the trailer, covered in leaves and mud. Ted freaks, thinking they came to beat the shit out of him but they say: 'You got anymore of that stuff, man?' Ted gives them another big whack and now both Barlow bros are fucking retarded. I mean like dumb as a hammer kind of retarded. They're in jail because nobody knows what to do with them now that they need diapers and all that. Pretty fucked up, eh? Ted told me all this and he's shitting his pants in case Andy or Gary ever snap out of it.
       Hey, where you guys going? You want to get high?"


Celeste Gomez is a writer and visual artist, along with graciously donating her editorial skills to Capture. She lives in Seattle.