This article is part of the Eastwood series.


"For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it."

- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America


[First Day]
[Second Day]

I'm startled awake early on the morning of the third day by pain shooting through my Trapezius. I lift my face slightly from the puddle of drool on the pillow. I can hear sitar music playing somewhere behind me. I can smell good weed and bad incense.

In addition to all my aches and bruises, it feels like someone just jammed a three-inch needle into my back.

"Oopsy," the voice is female, squeaky, and very familiar. "Sorry about that, I'm still learning how this works."

Bed. I'm face down on a bed, naked. There's a woman on top of me, which is a fine thing to wake up to, but not when you're laying on cracked ribs. At least she isn't heavy.

That needle-sharp pain again. I hiss through my teeth. The weight on my lower back shifts slightly and I hear a rustle of paper.

"Duh," she exclaims, "I was on the page for women."

I'm about to ask her just what the fuck she thinks she is doing to me when I feel the pain again, even more intense this time. My first instinct was right; this crazy bitch is stabbing needles into me.

"Um, jeez," she says, "it's pretty deep."

I can feel her tug on the needle and that's all I can take. I grunt and force myself up with my hands, knocking her off my back in the process. She yelps and an ashtray clatters onto the hardwood floor. I stand up and look down at her.

"I know you," I say as I reach over my shoulder and yank the needle out of my back.

It's a sewing needle with a drop of blood hanging from the tip. I toss the needle onto the bed.

"Number one," I pause to rotate my neck with a pop, "is that you don't do acupuncture with a sewing needle."

I grab her by her wrists and lift her to her feet. She barely comes up to my collarbone.

"Number two," I lift her chin with my finger so she's looking at me, "is that you don't do anything to me while I'm asleep."

She's pouting. She bites her lower lip and looks away.

"I bet you wouldn't mind if I-," I don't let her say it.

"Wrong, you don't do anything to me while I'm asleep. You don't give me a backrub, you don't put an extra blanket on me because I look cold, you don't even give me a million dollars while I'm sleeping."

It's then that I recognize her from the homework I did before I started this job. She is Klint's sister, Beckah.

She's had some surgery since the last season of Max Hard Fuck and her silver pageboy has been replaced with an artful mess of straw-blonde hair tied with ribbons. She's got one of those pixie noses that are in style now, epicanthic folds for her eyes to give her that Asian mystique, and it looks like she maybe bumped her chest up a letter grade, but it's Beckah. The faint spray of freckles across her cheeks and the high-pitched voice give her away.

"I was just trying to help out," she says, her brows knitted together in exaggerated remorse.

I really don't feel like comforting Klint's moody cunt of a sister first thing in the morning. Before I can tell her to get the hell out of the room she starts giggling.

"Ho-holy crappers dude," she points at my groin, "I didn't think you'd be that happy to see me."

The sight of my erection fills me with rage. I want to punch it in its fucking head, but I doubt that would achieve the desired effect.

That's about the time I notice the camera crew. Good morning, California.

"Oh," she's still laughing, "th-that's my camera crew. I've got a sex tape coming out next month. This Chinese tabloid said they would steal it and leak it for me."

"Did we?"

"Not yet," Beckah's eyebrows bounce and she grins.

The camera crew stomps up to us, their lights in my face. She shrugs out of her kimono. The doctor did a good job. Manhattan or Tokyo, not one of those Beverly Hills butchers who think every girl has to look like she's trying to press her face through a drumhead. She's got a henna tattoo across both of her breasts. Looks like a nipple-breathing dragon.

"Come on, stud," she wraps her arms around me.

She's soft and warm and I want her. No, that's an understatement. She's gorgeous and I want to pound her into a crater.

I push her away. I send them all packing. This isn't the job.

"I'm putting this on the bonus downloads," she calls as I throw her kimono after her down the hallway, "I'm gonna get ILM to make your dick tiny!"

The camera guy shrugs and gives me an apologetic look before following in her footsteps. Fucking Hollywood.

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The misadventures of an aging mercenary navigating the intrigues of the dividing States of America.

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