Monthly Archives: September 2015

Red and the Jesuit by Frank Sonderborg

Loud banging on my apartment door is always a bad sign. Even with a door that had steel reinforced pins to stop any sudden entry. I was positioned between the legs of a six foot Russian, red haired model. Naked and feeling very vulnerable. I knew the red was direct from a bottle, as my mouth was full of blond snatch.

“They found me,” she said, from somewhere up beyond her towering twin peaks.

The door was holding up well to the battering and I could hear a stream of Russian curses as the goons tried to smash it down. I was off the bed and in my cloths, quicker than you can say “Putin on my Top Hat.”  Red was pulling on her panties, long jeans and T-shirt.

“Who the fuck is it?” I asked.

“Max. He wants his blood money.”

I said, “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

In my line of work you do need a Plan B. And a Plan C, D and if possible an E. The door was coming apart as we scuttled through my Narnia escape cupboard and into the next apartment. We left by a side fire escape. The backup Dodge fired up and we headed for the Jesuit’s place. He had texted me the night before to say he was in town and we should meet up.

“Gimli,” she said, “I’m afraid.”

The reason a four foot nothing ex-soldier was doing the beast with two backs with a stunning six feet of red headed sex was simple – I knew no fear. Angry, always. Touching the insanity pad, frequently. Afraid, never.

On my special adapted muscle car seat we blasted on and into the night.

Cal was a retired Jesuit. An enforcer for the old Lord of the Dance, a lapsed Papal assassin and a good friend. Dressed in his trademark all black outfit, he let us into his town house.

“Indians on the warpath?” he asked, as I ushered Red into his home.

“Yeah, Russian in, where Archangels fear to tread. They’re after Red.”

He laughed at my bad joke.

“So how is Gimli? No, don’t answer. Pissed off as usual?”

“Pissed at the idea that these tattooed Russian circus fuckers are ruining my day.”

Red was staring at Cal.

I said, “Sorry, Red, this is Cal – the original Man in Black.”

Cal looked at Red. “This isn’t about money, is it?”

She looked at me. “It’s about ownership.”

“OK, Gimli the Dwarf,” said Cal, looking at the close circuit TV, “the bad guys have arrived. Its kick ass time, again.”

I knew he wanted me mean. So I obliged. “I’m no fucking Dwarf, goddamnit. I’m a man.”

“Can you use a gun?” Cal asked Red, ignoring me. She just put out her hand and took the offered Glock.

“We’ll need to kill them all,” I said. “It’s the only thing they seem to understand.”

The front door exploded in a shower of glass and wood, as the goons left subtlety to another day. Three masked, armed military guys came pouring through the door, throwing flash bangs as they came forward.

Cal ran at them, hacking his axe, aiming for the neck. His speed was blistering as he motored towards the door.

They were also breaching through the upstairs windows. I headed their way.

Red was terrified but she held it tight, along with the Glock.

There was three black masked, body armoured guys, moving through the flash bang smoke. I darted through them with speed, axe in one hand and sticking them with their impending demise. Cal had access to a lot of deathly toys and sticky explosives was just one of them.

I was flat on the floor when the plop of death went off and three healthy men expired.

I got up, grabbed the rope outside the window and was on the roof in seconds, chasing the backup.

I saw Cal was killing his way out through the front.

The two guys on the hoist weren’t expecting a mad, axe-wielding mini-man to come back up. They died very quickly as I hacked them apart. I looked down at Cal advancing on the two darkened SUV’s. The Russians had had enough and were trying to make a getaway.

Cal was shooting his sticky bombs at the SUV’s. They blew apart almost immediately. The short war was over. Long live the long war.

We gathered up Red and drove away in Cal’s Range Rover to the wailing oncoming sound of the NYPD.

“Why?” was all he asked Red.

“Because he’s fucking crazy that’s why.”

“Nobody’s that crazy,” was his answer, as he headed out of town.

“His name is Roman Solonik, nicknamed Max. An ex-KGB boy from Moscow. Lots of things about this guy but crazy is not one,” I said.

“He’s my husband,” she said quietly.

Cal hit the brakes and pulled over.

He looked straight ahead as his knuckles tightened on the wheel.

“We wiped out a complete Speznaz assault team because of a fucking domestic dispute.

Have you never heard of counselling?”

“So,” I said, “Do you think Max will be upset?”

Cal thought this was funny and smiled.

“Why Gimli?” Cal asked her.

“Because everybody is terrified of Max. Even me.”

“So get a fucking divorce.”

“I tried and this is the result.”

“I think he’s got the message. You can go back to him now,” I said.

We dropped her off near her apartment. It was the price of love and a possible armistice.

I had convinced her she would be safe. Or I would be coming for his head.

Between Max and Cal’s contacts, the encounter would be swept under the NYPD Russian File carpet. Cal headed for the nearest Jesuit safe house.

“Gimli,” he said, “next time can you stick it to an unmarried Dwarf Princess?”

B&WFrankSBio:  Frank Sonderborg lives in the UK and does his best to write interesting stories.
His stories have appeared in: Action: Pulse Pounding Tales 2, Noir Nation 3, Noir Nation 5, Pulp Modern JFK Issue #6, Shadows and Light, 100 Words 100 Books – (The O’Brien Press), TheBigAdios, Thrills, Kills ‘n’ Chaos, Shotgunhoney, Near2TheKnuckle.
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Scorpio by Tess Makovesky

Ed had a bad feeling about this. He stroked his bald head as three men approached across the tarmac apron. Two in uniform and one in prison drabs, with his hands behind his back.

Stroke. Why had he agreed? It wasn’t as though he needed the money. Stroke. Perhaps it had been sheer curiosity – the desire to experience something new. He hoped it wouldn’t kill the cat. Or him.

Close up the prisoner was rat-like, with furtive eyes that never looked in one direction for long. No wonder he’d been nick-named Squinty Jim. Ed met his gaze for a second and got chills. Those eyes. They were dead. No thought, no feeling. A predator’s eyes, intent on his prey. Ed hoped that wasn’t him.

“Strap him in the second seat,” he said to the cops, nodding towards the plane. “You’ll have to un-cuff him, though.”

“You sure that’s wise?” The younger cop scratched the end of his nose. “He’s not doing life for nothing.”

“He’ll need his hands free in case of an emergency. I can’t have a passenger who can’t look after himself.”

“Fair enough.  Your funeral.” The cops deposited the guy in the plane, unfastening the cuffs at the last second before hurrying off. “We’ll wait here with the car. Best of luck.”

Ed showed the guy – he refused to think of him as Jim, it personalised him way too much – how to fasten his belt. Then he strapped himself in and went through the standard routine.

“Don’t we get helmets or life jackets?” said the guy.

“In a crate like this? Get real.”

“Yeah? Like the man said, it’s your funeral.”

Ed stroked his head again. If one more person mentioned funerals he was going to change his mind. Favour to the chief constable or not.  Stroke. He fired the engine, the clatter of the prop shockingly loud. That should shut the guy up, especially as he hadn’t shown him where the intercom was.

It might have worked, but didn’t. The guy found it anyway, and switched it on. “Do I call you Biggles?”

Ed gritted his teeth. “I may have offered to do this but I don’t have to like it. So sit back, shut up, and let me concentrate. And if you get any lurid ideas about murdering me, let me remind you we don’t have parachutes on board. So it’ll be your funeral too.”

“Whatever.” The guy drew one hand across his throat and grinned.

Ed concentrated on getting into the air. The trundle to the runway, the steady gain of power, the rush and lurch as the wheels left the ground. It never ceased to get to him, in a way little else in this mad world did. He steadied the throttle, checked the coordinates, and settled down to fly.

Ten minutes later they were over the red-hatched area on the map. “Okay, here we are.  Do your worst.”

He hoped the guy would cooperate. For the sake of the victim’s family, of course, but also for the guy himself. Ed couldn’t imagine having that weight on your conscience for years. Everyone, even Squinty Jim, deserved a second chance.

The guy peered down, watching the tiny trees and walls, the bronze and purple of the moors. “Dunno,” he said at last. “It all looks the same from up here.”

“I can’t go much lower without getting tangled up in power lines. Isn’t there anything you recognise?”

“Yeah,” said the guy, breathing deep. “I recognise the smell of fear. The way your Adam’s apple bobs. And the tremor in your eye.”

Ed banked the plane and took another pass. “Never mind all that. There’s an old farmhouse down there – does that bring anything back?”

“Only the way she struggled. And the need to do it again.”

Ed had been watching the ground. Too late he switched his gaze, saw the glint of the razor blade in the guy’s clenched fist. “What are you doing? No! You can’t.”

“I can, and I will.” The guy brought his hand crashing down, over Ed’s balding head, across one ear, until the blade bit deep in his neck.  “Ah. That’s better.” He dabbled his fingers in the blood.

Ed felt things go cold. He fought to hold the plane, but the throttle slid out of his numbing grasp. “Why?” he breathed. “You’ll die too. Why did you do that?”

“It’s in my nature,” said Squinty Jim, and smiled a cold, dead smile.

TessBio:  Liverpool lass Tess moved away to work at a tender age. Since then her movements around the country have resembled a game of ‘Pong’, but she’s now settled in the far north of England, where she roams the fells with a brolly, dreaming up new stories and startling the occasional sheep.

Although officially a history graduate, Tess has long been a student of the darker side of human nature, and one of her favourite hobbies is watching and listening to the people around her. Many of her stories feature revenge, but she’s never been tempted to get her own back on anyone herself. Except, of course, by writing them into her stories.  You can follow her ramblings, both figurative and literal, at her website

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