Nice Jewish Boy by Paul Greenberg

 

I seemed to have found a niche, I thought, as I worked the lobby of the Marriot. The affair in the ballroom was the Bat Mitzvah of Ms. Jennifer Sandler of Springfield, Massachusetts. It didn’t take long to spot a mark walking towards the bar.

5’3, jet-black hair, curvy. A tiny black dress with a string of pearls around her neck, a yellow and white Bvlgari snake watch, crawling up her right wrist, estimated value, about twenty grand, rings, but no wedding ring. Too bad.

When I got to the bar she was ordering a Tanquery and tonic. I ordered myself a JB on the rocks. “Jewish Booze,” she commented. “Drink up, it’s open bar.” She gave me the big eye, admiring my Brooks Brothers suit, navy with blue and white bead stripe, white shirt, tie and shoes, hesitating ever so briefly on my 18K yellow President Rolex with the diamond dial. I could see the calculator in her brain working, estimating its value. About twelve grand, by the way. Now I knew what I was up against.

She tossed back her drink and headed in the direction of the rest rooms, looking over her shoulder to make sure that I was following her. Her foot was holding the door to the ladies room open when I got there, so I went it.

“Lock it,” she said. I did as I was told. She was against the wall pulling up her dress and moving her panties aside.

“Fuck me,” she said. So I unzipped and banged her against the tile walls.

After we were done, she told me her name was Molly Gold, and asked me mine. “Bill Stein,” I said, as I washed up at the sink.

I watched her as she fumbled in her handbag, pulling out a barrette at the same time separating a box cutter from the rest of the crap in there. Looking in the mirror, she pulled her hair into a bun while I moved in back of her and kissed her neck. She pushed her ass against me.

“Come on. I’ll introduce you. My friends will be so glad that I found a nice Jewish boy.”

“There’s only one problem,” I whispered into her ear. “I’m not nice.” I tightened my arms around her neck and twisted sharply to the left. There was that sickening snap. Her head slumped. Then done. Christ, I thought. I hate when women pigeonhole me.

I dropped her like a hot knish, grabbing the pearl necklace, the Bvlgari and the rings.  I looked in her handbag and picked out the box cutter. Primitive, but effective, I thought and tossed it in the direction of the toilet.

I peeked outside the door. The party was in full swing in the main ballroom. I took off for the exit in the opposite direction.

When I got to my BMW, I consulted the local newspapers that I had purchased that morning. I could still make the 4:00 pm in Holyoke. After that I could hop on Route 391 to Interstate 91, work Connecticut and then straight into Bergen County.

It was late March and spring was in the air. A beautiful time for a wedding, I thought.

 

Paul GreenbergPaul Greenberg’s crime fiction can be read at Out of the Gutter, All Due Respect and Shotgun Honey. He lives in Beverly, Massachusetts with his wife Sandy and two sons. http://pgreenbergcrime.wordpress.com/

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One Fingertip by Peter DiChellis

Hey. You ever hear about me? I’m a murder victim. A dead man. I’m a murderer too. What else am I? A wealthy liar and a brazen thief. All that.

Want to know what happened? I can’t spill everything. Because you might whisper my wicked secret to your best friend or yap about it on Facebook or goddamn tweet it or something. And I can’t let you do that. I will share a tiny morsel of my story, though. Just one sweet taste. And only for you.

I used to work in the money-cleaning business. Drug dealers in the Brooklyn mob paid me to turn their dope money legitimate. Make it untraceable. I had a business partner, a former Bahamian banker who lived uptown. Then one day he told me he decided to hold onto some of the money we’d cleaned. Said he needed time to think.

But here’s the thing. In the money-cleaning business nobody needs time to think. You just need to move the fucking merchandise and keep your mouth shut. So when people hold onto money and say they need time to think, I get nervous. And that’s why I did what had to be done.

The cops got an anonymous call about a suspicious odor coming from my apartment. I used an old pay phone in another state to make the call. Wiped my prints from the coins first. Wore gloves. Told the cops the putrid smell in the apartment must be a couple of dead rats who should have known better. That’s why the stink reached all the way to another area code, I said.

I didn’t leave much evidence in the apartment. My blood-smeared bathtub, of course, scarred with deep cuts in the sides and on the bottom. From the ax and the meat cleaver. Some of the blood was mine, but most was my business partner’s. All the bone chips and specks of soft tissue were his. I also left behind half a pack of heavy-duty trash bags, with no prints. I didn’t need to use the whole pack because my business partner wasn’t an especially large man.

And in the bathtub drain, I laid the tip of one of my fingers, hacked off at the top joint. Soon enough, some CSI genius used that one fingertip, the only body part they’ll ever find, to identify me as one of the victims, not the killer. By now you probably guessed the cops had my prints on file, so my fingertip made it easy for them to ID me. I’ll bet you figured out I kept the cleaned dope money, too, though the cops don’t know anything about that.

Maybe I told you too much already, but let me tell you one more thing. Just so we have a clear understanding between us. Next time you’re out somewhere, in a bar or coffee shop or anywhere really, maybe you’ll see a man with one fingertip missing. It might be me. Don’t stare. And don’t reach for your phone. When people stare and reach for a phone, I get nervous. And then I do whatever has to be done.

You understand, right?

 

DiChellis bw smallPeter DiChellis writes short mystery and suspense fiction. His sinister tales appear at Over My Dead Body!, Shotgun Honey, YELLOW MAMA, and other popular online ezines, and in the mystery anthologies The Shamus Sampler (Volumes I and II) andPlan B Volume III. Peter is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. For more, visit his site Murder and Fries athttp://murderandfries.wordpress.com/

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Submissions Are Now Open…

Hi all,

It’s been a while, but it is with great pleasure that I announce Thrills, Kills ‘n’ Chaos is now open for submissions.

Please fully read the SUBMISSIONS page and if your story falls within those parameters then send it over.

With HALLOWEEN fast approaching I would love to see some good old fashioned horror stories, too. Ghost stories, slashers, haunted houses, vampires, werewolves – you get the idea.

Write them, edit as best you can and send them to tkncsubs@gmail.com

Good luck,

David.

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NEWS…..

First I must apologise for the lack of activity with the mag. I don’t like it just as much as you but it is what it is.

Work, family (and sporadic writing ) have been full on for the past few months. Some things have to give when it gets like that and the magazine has suffered – badly.

So, what’s going to happen?

Well, here are my plans…

1. I’m going to be giving the place a dust down and maybe change things up a bit.

2. I’m going to clear the whole submissions inbox and start afresh. Everyone with a story in there (if they’ve not already got fed up with waiting and sent it elsewhere) will get an email.

3. Submissions will re-open in time for Halloween and we will take it from there.

I know some folk will be a little pissed off with me for not getting back to them regarding their stories but life is just too hectic sometimes and I’d like to extend my full apologies to them.

Thank for your support and an announcement will be made shortly regarding submissions.

Peace…..

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AJ Hayes Writing Contest at Noir @ the Bar L.A.

TKnC:

Updates on the Aj Hayes Writing Contest. It looked a great night…

Originally posted on Ashedit:

The essence and style of AJ Hayes was very evident last night as crime writers and readers hoisted toasts at the bar, read excerpts of his work, and celebrated the winners of the first annual crime writing contest named after him. It was an event within an event, hosted by Noir at the Bar L.A. and held at the Mandrake Bar in Los Angeles. First, the Hat…

To the side of the stage, a battered chair sat with a brown fedora on the seat. This was the designated place of honor for AJ's hat.

To the side of the stage, a battered chair sat with a brown fedora on the seat. This was the designated place of honor for AJ’s hat. Just a few seats away, in the front row, sat Thury Hayes, AJ’s beautiful wife, anxiously waiting to hear the names of the winners.

Thury & Nestle

Eric Beetner(L) announced the talented recipients of cash prizes made possible by the excellent promotion and publicity of Steve Weddle and the Do Some Damage crew.

Angel Luis 
1st Place: Angel Luis Colon…

View original 133 more words

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Apologies…

Sorry 1

You may have noticed a complete lack of activity around here for a month or so. For that I’d like to apologise to everyone who has a story in the inbox. It may look like it but I’ve been being ignorant. More the fact that I run the magazine on my own, real life has been hectic and any spare time I’ve had has been used up with my own writing. I’m hoping to have my first novel finished soon and that has taken precedent over submissions – a bit selfish, I know.

So, my plan is to start tackling all submissions and getting a reply out to folk within the next 2 weeks. If you’re successful your story will be published quite soon after that.

Best of luck…

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The Light by Tabitha Wilson

I had been holding on tight for at least a couple minutes but it didn’t appear to be working. The dog’s ribcage was still rising and falling as he breathed. In fact, he didn’t even seem to mind that I was squeezing his neck so viciously. “Dumb dog,” I said and released him. He popped up off the linoleum, panted loudly and wagged his tail, hoping for more. His ignorance sickened me and I turned away and went to my room in the finished basement, though I could never really get away from hearing his wheezing and panting.

My mom let me have the basement when I turned 12. She needed the extra room upstairs for the baby, anyway. John Charles. What a stupid name for a baby. I don’t know why she kept having babies. There were already four of us before John Charles the baby came along and stole my room, which used to be pink, but was now painted blue and yellow and had a border of sailboats around the top edges of the walls. I guess my mom thought John Charles the baby was going to start sailing the seas before he even reached his first birthday.

I turned on the old TV set and switched the dial until I found a channel that would come in. A man was speaking into a microphone and waving one fist around in the air. It was Sunday so the only things on had to do with the Lord and the Devil, who was going to get you if you weren’t careful. That was one thing I was thankful for. At least my parents didn’t make us go to church like the neighbors. Sometimes I would watch them from my tiny basement window shuffling into the long station wagon, all dressed up like birthday presents. I got up on the stool and looked out the window even though I knew they had already left. It was almost ten, and they wouldn’t be back until quarter to one. I turned, jumped off the stool and landed on my bed, which was unmade as usual. At least nobody hassled me about that anymore.

“And the Lord Jesus said unto us, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thou shalt receive the light!’” The man on TV was bellowing even louder now.

I stood up on my bed and opened my arms and proclaimed, “I shalt love the Lord with all my heart and soul and mind.” I waited for the light until my arms got tired and I collapsed onto the pile of sheets.

* * *

On Wednesday, my mom announced to the dinner table that Grandma was coming for a visit and she was going to stay in the basement. She said it nonchalantly as she stuffed mashed peas into John Charles the baby’s puckered mouth with a rubber-clad spoon. My three younger sisters sat unaffected, twirling ears of buttered corn in front of their smug, round faces. I looked at my dad, but he was busy reading the newspaper as he shoveled roast chicken into his mouth, small bits being distributed throughout his beard.

“Now, Lila,” my mother said without looking at me. “Don’t get cross. You have a double bed and there’s plenty of room to share.” I said nothing, but gave her the evil eye until I realized she was too preoccupied to notice. Quickly inhaling my dinner—you weren’t excused until you finished—I mumbled, “May I be excused?” and took my plate to the kitchen without waiting for an answer.

My grandma looked a lot like a bird, with two toothpicks in orange pantyhose jutting out from her knee-length skirt and landing in a pair of squared, buckled heels. She arrived just after dessert, which I missed because I was being forced to clean my room. We all sat in the living room pretending to have a nice time while my grandma cooed and kissed John Charles the baby sailor. My mom had even costumed him up in a sailor suit just for the occasion. He looked like an idiot, his fat head waggling around in a sailor’s cap and a drooly fist punched into his pink gums while Grandma pecked incessantly at his cheeks. Oblivious to the horror show on the couch, my sisters were playing with Barbies near the fireplace, but the dumb dog with the thick neck had joined in and was panting loudly at my grandma’s feet. Finally, my dad put a stop to the madness and told us it was bedtime. I heaved a sigh of relief until I remembered I was going to be sleeping next to an old woman who probably smelled funny.

It took her years to get down the basement steps, me holding her papery hand and leading her slowly. Her sturdy heels clicked like tap shoes every time she struggled to the next step. Arthritis, she said was the reason. “My bones just don’t like me anymore.” I couldn’t blame them. She looked like an unhealthy chicken and smelled like curdled milk. After we’d gotten into bed, she started chattering on about how beautiful John Charles the baby was, so healthy! And those chubby cheeks! He reminded her of my dad as an infant. I pretended to fall asleep and she finally quieted down. I did go to sleep for a while, too, until she woke me up with her wheezing. I put the pillow over my head but it didn’t help. “Heeee-haaaww, heeee-haaaww.” I was going to be a wreck for the President’s Challenge Fitness Test in gym tomorrow. The moonlight from the small window cast a long stripe through the darkened basement onto my grandma. I could see her chest moving up and down as she struggled to breathe. Her dyed, curled hair was trimmed just above her neck, which I noticed was awfully scrawny, and I finally saw the light.

Tabitha KingBi0: A mail-order bride by trade, Tabitha Wilson divides her time between collecting wooden teeth and raising leprous felines in her abandoned military storage facility located somewhere beneath an Iowa cornfield. She also owns a snarky greeting card company and creates subversive products for Fred and Friends. Her work can be found (now and very soon) on Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, and Yellow Mama. Contact her at facebook.com/cardjackers

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