I have to be honest here, the first story Setup, was penned by yours truly and is a rather long short story that starts as a foursome of Vegas mob types, plan to inflict a little pain on a Mexican drug cartel operating in The Golden State.
As the mobsters take it out on the Mexicans in Fresno, they decide to continue on to Monterey and Salinas (where the Mexicans also have something of an operation) before calling it a night along Cannery Row.
An early morning fishing trip turns south as the charter boat sinks to the bottom of the Pacific, taking one of the mobsters down with it (only to have him surface later, playing for the other team)
The remaining three haul ass back to Fresno for their other car (which has burnt overnight) and then the safety of Las Vegas. Along the way, they are detoured along a desolate stretch of Highway 58 East, between Mojave and Barstow during the dark of night.
On a forgotten stretch of isolated, windblown blacktop, the remaining three mobsters have a long chat with the Mexicans under a silver, summer moon as coyotes howl in the distance. Of course a shootout takes place with the mobsters taking a hit, but the cartel getting the worst of it.
9 millimeter, zip ties, gas station steak burritos and the remains of five men are all the authorities will find in time.
Now, Fiero, by the infamous Todd Morr and Salinas / Marina resident is just what I had expected from the central coast writer and author of Jesus Saves, Satan Invests and If You’re Not One Percent.
I’ve known of Morr and his offbeat style of writing crime for some time now after reading a short, but tasty piece of his work in Flash Fiction Offensive. The novella and novel are well worth reading by the way also.
Fiero takes place entirely in the small town (can I even call it a small town?) of Salinas during the 1980’s. It starts as a young want-to-be, tries to sell a kilo of cocaine that his friend (and want-to-be Los Angeles porn star) has left in his care.
Andy—the kid—is having no luck in moving the product as no one in town has the money for a taste of the Columbian.
As we turn the pages, we find that two methamphetamine cooking bikers (Eddie and Hack) and of course, Hack’s old lady, decide that they will simply take the kilo of cocaine for their own use.
A couple of local (looser kids) manage to get a quarter gram of Eddie and Hack’s crank and hoped up as they are, decide they’d like to have the kilo for themselves.
I forgot about the ex-cop (Grey) who works the small town 7-11 after losing his job with the police department for excessive force and brutality.
I’m going to tell you….I laughed my ass off reading the exploits of the kid, the tweakers, the kid’s porn star buddy, the losers and the ex-cop.
I’ve never read a more hilarious shootout and didn’t expect Morr to let us off (or maybe get us off) in that way.