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A FELONY OF BIRDS



Prologue



Physical violence always made him feel better. He wiped the blood off his fists with the kid’s tee shirt and then tossed the broken body in the trunk along with the bag of clothes. He sat and waited for his heart rate to return to normal. Yes, he was definitely feeling better. The beating had purged his system of two negative emotions—jealousy and hate. The young man in the trunk had the misfortune to incite both at once.

The kid’s first mistake was to catch Marta’s eye. Not that that was particularly difficult to do. Marta’s lust for young boys seemed inexhaustible, and it was a full-time job to keep those boys properly intimidated. It was bad enough that Marta liked to tease him with her flirtations, but to find the two of them together like that, in the kitchen, Marta’s skirt hiked up to her chin and that Mexican kid’s pants down around his ankles. It made him want to open the trunk and pound the broken body a few more times. And that was just the jealousy part.

The hate part came from his irrational loathing of foreigners. He just hated them. Always had. He knew the word for his condition— xenophobia—a fear of foreigners. Not that he feared them, exactly. There wasn’t much a man of his size feared. He moved to Wisconsin to get away from foreigners, but that was impossible, they were everywhere. Orientals, their slanty eyes made his skin crawl, and Mexicans, they were like roaches; breeding in dark corners. They made him crazy. His ailment wasn’t anything a good shrink couldn’t cure, but he actually enjoyed his own remedy.

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