Fever Part III
Bronx, New York, 1978. The three killers descended the stairs guns-in-hands.
They stepped over dead and dying club-goers. Fear and gore stank the basement.
Survivors crawled for shadows. Disco night with Donna had hemorrhaged into a
nightmare. Gang-bangers overran Plato’s Cave disco and imprisoned everyone in
the basement. My sugar swooned in shock when the bloody assault came. She was
my lookout. We had to survive.
the machine pistol butcher. He was young. His face was hard. “This is on you,
Brown. You had to keep ’em quiet. Sitting tight.”
Some prisoners had
charged the door when an escape attempt in a dumbwaiter failed. The death squad
opened fire on them. Now they scanned the darkness for me.
“Brown!” called his
scum-sucking partner. “come out. Bring the girl. It’s better for you.”
The gunmen prodded
the dead and dying. They eye-balled the living. Smoke from the earlier fire
hung in the air. A man broke for the stairs. He took a barrage of lead in his
back. Women screamed. Men whimpered. Everyone shrunk into dark corners. My
two-shot Derringer and police training were no defense.
I pressed Donna flat
to the darkened wall. She revived and screamed. I clamped a hand over her mouth
and hauled her off. The machine pistol burped. Muzzle flash lit the void.
Plaster exploded where we were. Hostages cried. Donna struggled. I clenched her
and ran to the rear.
I dragged the body
of the Latin guy—murdered in the stupid escape attempt—from the house
dumbwaiter. It fell in a pile. I jammed Donna into the carriage.
“When this stops,
get out," I lowed.
vertical doors shut, thumbing the down button, I threw a Hail Mary to God. The
electric motor buzzed and I crashed to the floor. The gunmen fired a barrage in
Excited shouts came
from the dance floor level. Footsteps pounded into the kitchen. A loudmouth
barked: “Kill whatever’s in it,”
The murder squad
vacated the basement. I rose and pressed the call button on the dumbwaiter. It
lit but the engine did not start. Donna had opened the door in the sub-basement.
She was safe. I smiled and edged softly to the stairs. Can I make a break for it?
The men upstairs
shouted and pounded the kitchen-level dumbwaiter door. The engine restarted.
I ran back and pressed
the buttons madly. The carriage whizzed upwards past me.
Leaping over bullet-decimated
corpses, I pushed aside dazed survivors and ran up the blood-slick stairs. The
creep with the machine pistol stood alone on the dance floor. He didn’t see me.
The Derringer pistol came out.
In the kitchen the
dumbwaiter stopped and the door rattled open. The gangsters shouted among
themselves. The punk looked to the commotion. No gun shots rang. Donna had sent
it empty. Smart move. I stepped into the club and fired both barrels into
Gore burst from the
punk’s face and he keeled. I grabbed his gun. A slick old dude on a banquet
looked at me. I put one into his gut. He gasped and doubled over. I ran for the
exit. Footsteps pounded from the kitchen. Its double doors blew open and I
sprayed a fusillade of bullets into the first man out. Trigger men behind him
fired their guns. I threw myself into the maze of tall cocktail tables and
rolled to the DJ’s booth.
mother...,” ordered the loudmouth.
My fingertips touched
a lighting control board. Flipping the master switch and pushing all the levels
high flushed the club with bright, swirling light. The mob shouted. One slid
across the gore of the hard-faced killer. He danced an inept Hustle and fired
blindly in the wrong
direction. He hit his own man.
A reel-to-reel tape
player stood ready-spooled. I hit “play.” The Bee Gees shook the world with
tell by the way I use my walk...”
I directed the show.
The dance floor flashed in alternating panels of red, blue, and white. A
twirling, mirrored ball descended refracting shards of multi-colored, crystal
light. Barry Gibb’s falsetto soared. I sang along. The dancing gangster fools
staggered. Picking them off was easy. I made head shots, body shots, and double
taps. It was a blood fest. It was a thrill and I loved it.
“Ooo. Ooo. Ooo,” I
Police Intel would
report the mayhem was a rival gang muscling into the dance club cocaine racket.
That fine white powder crowned itself king of New York nightlife. I wouldn’t
care. Each kill brought me closer to Donna.
alive! Stayin’ alive!”
Yeah, I love her.
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!