Manhattan, 1979. This could’ve been easy. Wring the neck, crush the larynx,
watch him suffocate. Toss a bindle of smack on the floor. It’s a drug deal gone
wrong. But nooo, Ms. Moneybags wants an
overdose. Accidental death. That was the
order. Maybe it got her an advantage in business. I don’t know. The little guy
was famous for some kind of music. Not my business. And I’m not a fan. But now
I’ve got this monkey on my back and have to use soft hands to subdue him. Could
not leave marks. Could not draw attention from the party downstairs. Who’d have
thought a twiggy dope fiend facing a capital murder rap would have so much
fight left in him?
He’d submitted to
handcuffs easily when I flashed my NYPD badge—his rap sheet said he’d been
busted before—but gave me a fish-eye when I shackled his hands in front, not in
back. When I pushed him onto the bed and starting cooking the dope in a spoon
he’d licked his lips and made clicking sounds in his throat. His eyes got wide
when he saw the massive dose. Playing in piss-bucket bands he’d surely seen
junkies OD. He’d gotten wise but played
Ligations on the
wrists could be explained by a degenerate history but I couldn’t shoot him up
like that. If he died fast thrashing, I might not get the handcuffs off before
hypostasis and the medical examiner would recognize he was bound after death
and rule homicide. The manacles had to come off. Wearing gloves made it
awkward. That’s when he made his move. He scurried off the soiled bed and I
just caught him by his torn, black, club CBGB T-shirt pulling him down. He climbed
on my back. I stood and we whirled
around. As I lurched about the dingy downtown flop room, he snarled into my
ear. He was vicious. He dug his fingernails into my forearms drawing blood. I’d
have to clean those nails after death.
Twisting, I got my
hands under his armpits. It was an easy press to lift him straight up—he
weighed little more a hundred pounds—as a male dancer lifts a ballerina. He
kicked at my back which did him no good; so he kneed me in the back of my head
catching the top of the spine. That was not good for me; I saw stars and my
heart fluttered. I dropped
to my knees; he went free.
Going for the door
he tripped over me. Regaining my senses enough I was on him, picking him up by
his belt, and carrying him horizontally. He did a sort of dog paddle with his
hands, looking to grasp anything. I
dropped him on the bed, flipped him face up, and lay my big frame over his. He
was trapped. Except his shooting arm was loose. He socked me in the eye. That
pissed me off. I yanked down on the arm and heard a pop. The arm spasmed but
did not rise; his shoulder was dislocated. Fuck. It might be okay; junkies can
convulse when they go adios.
As I reached for the
syringe, damn it if the little shit didn’t squirm free again. His pallor said
he was half-dead, but he still had spirit. Good for him. But enough was enough.
Cutting the room off I stopped him with a
right-cross punch to the cheek. He stiffened; his eyes rolled back. I caught
him, tossed him back to the bed, grabbed the syringe tout de suite, popped a vein,
and gave him the full
He flopped about
like a boated fish. I got up and let him fly. It was hard to watch but I hoped
he’d crack his skull on the heavy oak headboard. No such luck. After a few
minutes he went. His death rattle sounded like “Nancy” or maybe “fancy.”
Looking at my
handiwork I saw a mouse was formed under the eye where I’d punched him. Fucko,
that suckoed. But there was no way I was returning my fee to his mother so maybe
I could split it with
Greg lives and works in New York City.
Stop by his website The New York Crimes at nycrimelimericksandbeyond.com
for fun, free
stuff. And please, enjoy!
Noelle Richardson comes from a relatively large family and has been illustrating
and painting for about twelve years. She writes a little on the side, plays a
couple of instruments and dabbles in tattoo design.