Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jackie Boy - Flash Fiction Friday; Cycle 31

Jackie looked down at the shiny, black .38 in his lap. The weight of it seem to hold him in his chair. Cold sweat trickled down the back of his neck and his stomach tightened into knots. "What's this for George? What do I need a gun for?"

George settled back into his seat and took a long drag of his cigarette. "Jackie boy, you are going to do a job for me. A simple little job, but it is one that has to be done, and you are the man to do it." George smiled like he had a chicken bone caught in his throat. It was his way of trying to be charming.

"But George, I'm just a nickel and dime man. You need someone hustled for a few hundred bucks or a pawn shop busted into, I'm your guy, but I don't want no truck with guns. If they even catch me toting this thing around, I'll go up for a stretch. We go back a long way, you and me, clear back to the ol' street gang, and you know I don't do muscle work. No knives, no guns, no fires. You got guys for that kind of gig, so why shove it off on me?"

"Because Jackie boy, if I use one of my regular boys, it'll lead straight back to me. You know I don't wear no prison orange, and that's because I'm smart an' careful. No Jackie boy, you are the man for the job. Everyone knows you are small time. Everyone, and that's why no one is going to look for you. Now tonight you are going to a little bar on Lamont and you are going to show up right before closing time. There is a little old man who owns the place who just can't seem to get it through his thick skull that our protection is worth paying for. He is starting to rile up our other clients and that just won't do. So, you air him out and the rest fall back into line. Simple. I'll meet you back here at 2:30, you can tell me how it went and I'll dispose of the gun. In a week, you'll have your money." George smiled a little wider as if he was trying to rearrange the bone in his throat.

Jackie picked up the pistol off of his lap and held it as if it was roadkill. The revolver weighed a hundred pounds in his hand. Its cold heft made him shudder a bit. He tried to hand it back. "Naw George. You know me. I don't have the guts for this sort of thing. I'm tender hearted. I couldn't hurt a flea. You want me to scam the old buzzard for everything in the register, sure. You want me to break in after hours and bust up the joint, swipe his liquor, and crap on the bar, Hell I'd even consider that. But to walk in and shoot a man in cold blood, naw George, you got the wrong guy. Find somebody else."

George shook his head no. "If it's about the money Jackie boy, you know you will be well compensated. I have always been more than generous in the past and you will be paid what it's worth. So shut up and take the gun!"

Jackie blinked as a bead of sweat from his wet forehead dripped into his eye. He set the gun away from him on the coffee table and with a trembling hand, slid it to George. "I can't do it George. I'm a chickenshit. I cry at the fuckin' movies for fuck's sake George!" he pleaded.

George shook his head no. He picked it up and shoved it into Jackie's chest, hard. "You can and you will do this Jackie boy, cause this is only going down one of two ways!" he screamed. "You off this guy tonight or I come and off you! Cause I ain't going to have you squeal and cop a bargain the next time you get busted. No. Come two-thirty, I'm going to be back and one of you is going to be dead. Get me?"

Jackie took the heavy black lump off of his chest and stared at it. Jackie was stunned at how lethal it looked, as if it had an innate menace to it. He looked up to George's snake-like eyes. They had the same menace too. Jackie knew George would carry through, he would kill him. "W-what if I miss? What if I just wing him? I'm no crack shot. I've never even fired a BB gun!" his voice wavered.

"Just get in close, like this. Then just aim for the eyes. If you can get behind him, put it right behind his ear and pull the trigger. One shot to kill him and one more to make sure. Simple, Jackie boy, simple." George pasted on his chicken bone smile.

Jackie never heard the sound of the shot that made a ragged hole in George's forehead. He just felt the recoil, saw the flash. And from the other side of a puff of smoke, Jackie watched George's corpse settle back in the into recliner among the remnants of what had at one time been the back of his skull. George still wore that sickening grin and cigarette smoke trailed from it."I ain't doing your dirty work," Jackie spat, "and quit calling me Jackie boy!"



  1. Awesome! Now that's the way you end a tough negotiation.

  2. There was a Mickey Spillane book I read once where the point was made never give a gun to a man then insult him or give him an ultimatum. Doing both is really a huge mistake.

    Great work!

  3. Well done! Once he explained how to kill someone to Jackie, my mind went uh-oh. The dialogue was great, I could almost put a face to Jackie from the voice used alone.

    L Turner

  4. Very good progression... love the dialogue! There's a lesson here... don't piss off the guy with the gun!

    Great read! I always enjoy your stories, Doc. :)

  5. Great story! Is it wrong that I found myself cheering for a man who just killed another man? That's the power of persuasive writing, I guess.

    I loved the chicken bone smile image, too.

  6. Your stories are so nice and visual... and yes, I shamefully cheered Jackie...

  7. Doc, I believe I can post a comment here now. It is also on the F3 site.

    This is great. It has such a 1950's black and white film feel to it. The setting and characters are so perfect. Wonderful negotiation tactics too. 'Do this or else.' Well, we see what 'or else' got him. Love this.


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