the pearl

Six Secrets

Frankie Clay gets taken in by the cops after they break up the riot at the Elks Lodge show. They rip the safety pin out of his ear and it bleeds like fuck all over his t-shirt and hurts like a son of a bitch.

So he throws some punches, ends up knocking out a few pigs, then gets beaten down by even more pigs before being thrown into a police van and taken to County.

The Colonel won't bail him out, and Mom just goes "Oh Frankie, I wish you wouldn't do things like this," so he gets a few nights in County before he's hauled up before a judge, who takes one look at him and decides that the best thing for him is a choice: Prison, or signing up in the Army.

Should've realized the judge was one of the Colonel's buddies, with that fucking haircut. But he already knows the Army's routine, and it beats prison, so he signs the forms, gets his mohawk shaved off, and becomes Private Franklin Clay.

And fuck him for liking it.


Roque votes. Not just national elections, like most people he knows, but state and local — all the way down to school board.

When he's just talking shit with people, he's the angriest most right-wing motherfucker out there, making Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh look like motherfuckin' granola-chompin' treehuggers.

But when he has that ballot in his hands, he has a set order. Democrat women first, then Democrat men, then any woman.

And every time he votes, he grins.


As far as anyone knows, Pooch proposed, Jolene said yes, and they got married shortly thereafter.

What they don't know is how many times Pooch proposed where Jolene said no.

And each time, she'd give a reason, and he'd try to fix it, because he knew that, one day, she'd say yes.

He learned how to fix cars, because she couldn't marry a man who wasn't good with his hands. He joined the Army, because she didn't want to marry someone who didn't love their country. He learned French, Spanish, Russian and a bit of Pashtun, because she wanted someone who had a wider view of the world. He bought a house in Springfield. He introduced her to his team. He even learned how to bake the angel food cake that her grandmother used to make, just so she could marry a man who was good in the kitchen.

When she finally said yes, he got down on both knees and thanked God, Jesus and all the little angels up in heaven.

And she just smiled.


Cougar wanted to be a priest.

When he was a small child, he would wear black button-down shirts and put little strips of paper under his collar, and make his sisters call him 'Padre Carlos'. They still had photos of him, solemn and wide-eyed, holding his First Communion Bible, and threatened to show them to his teammates if they ever visited.

But the Army would give him money towards college, and although he needs a BA to join the chaplain service, they want him, and he enlists without a second thought.

Unfortunately, it's during Basic Training that his fellow recruits introduce him to the following things:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Women
  3. Guns

Saint Augustine once prayed "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet, Lord, not yet!"And Cougar starts praying that every day as well.

None of the team knows about his priestly ambitions. And he hopes that his sisters will never show those photos.


The last time they were in Wales, Jensen snuck out to Cardiff one day purely to get a photo in front of the Water Tower. He emailed it to Jen right after taking it and it only took five minutes before she called.

"God fucking DAMN you, Jay, you fucking bitch, how dare you go there without me and Jules? You don't even like the fucking show!" She takes a breath. "I am gonna kick your ass so hard it'll take Clay a fucking week to pull my foot out."

Jensen laughs. "Jen-Jen...I'm totally taking you here once I get more than one day of leave, all right? They've got fries that are the size of your fingers here."

Jen grumbles. "Better get me a souvenir, bitch," she mutters, just before hanging up.

Jensen laughs and makes his way back to the rest of the team. No one sees the photo on his phone until they spend a few days at Jen's house, where a print sits in her living room, next to a tiny blue phonebox.


Aisha once killed a man with a 3.5mm knitting needle. This is even in her CIA file.

In the process, however, she ruined an extremely delicate silk-cashmere lace scarf she had nearly finished, pale green, with tiny leaves and vines carefully shaped in a complicated lace pattern.

Blood was ridiculously notorious to wash out, the fibres had snagged on the man's clothing, and it was far easier to scrap than salvage.

But she might have just missed his heart due to that fact.

And stuck to basic cables from then on.

This The Losers story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at