“Bar Guerrero” by Cecilia Fulton
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
This week, Cecilia Fulton seeks vengeance in NYC.
by Cecilia Fulton
New York, New York
I can’t get out of my seat belt fast enough.
“Honey, please, slow down, please, don’t, it’s okay.”
“It’s not—” I say as I fumble with the buckle “—fucking okay, it’s not fucking okay—” click-clack of the clip, retreating swish of the belt, I turn and twist out and open the door and get slammed with the cold, the roll of the J train overhead, push myself out and lean back in, look at her “—this doesn’t happen, I’m a fucking cop, you’re my wife, no one does that to my wife, he thinks he can do that when you don’t have a man with you, are you fucking kidding me—” that last part to the air around the car as I turn my head and roar it out. Slam.
She paws toward the windshield and moves her mouth, to which I just respond with a hand outstretched, palm open, nothing you can do about it, babe, this is who you married. Off I step, around the front of the car, toward the bar, and I am fucking solid. Waiter, waterboy, whatever the fuck he is, my wife comes in to use the bathroom and he curses at her, tells her to get out of there, my wife, who didn’t do anything to him. Where the fuck do we live, a fucking slum of Caracas? No, asshole, this is New York City, and I am the force of order, and that’s exactly what I will say—Hey, did you talk to my wife just now, because I will accept the apology on her behalf—and I will show him my shield. Yeah, maybe it’s not exactly protocol, but fuck that. I am always just right in there with the rules and my bosses will know, if this ever gets back—will it ever get back?—that I must have been pushed. I’ll show him my shield and be like, You wanna rethink what you said, you wanna apologize, and maybe I won’t call ICE on your ass? You think I won’t call? That what you think?
Boots on the ground is what this is, my boots on the night-dark sidewalk, up to the door, breathing in, here we go, remember, don’t need to go too hard on this one, whatever he says I turn it against him, I take his force and turn it against him, best thing is just I say my piece and I get the silent support of the people in there—I need to make sure they see the shield—and then he says it and maybe I clap a hand on his shoulder like, ok, we’re done, hombre, and I’m out, and I can tell Sherri it was fine, he apologized, and I’ll open the door on her side and cradle her head for a second like in that movie, and smell her shampoo, and that’ll be a moment.
The dirty rubber door seal swipes against the floor. There’s warmth, Mexican cowboy music—here we go, is that him, squat motherfucker in the back, wiping his hands on his apron? Peripheral vision scan: people to my right, Hispanic guys in their thirties—not sure about them, one of them looks sour. A woman on my left with her man, she’s my potential helper. The bartender is blank in the face, nothing for me there—might even be a problem—and there’s the door to the kitchen on the right of the bar, grey double doors, and there’s the bathroom door just to the right of that. That’s where it happened, that’s where he told my wife to fuck off, get away from there. That’s where he told my wife to fuck off. The anger’s rising inside and I shake out my shoulders in the winter coat, and I can feel my service weapon in the back of my pants—I wish I had it closer. Where’s he going, ducking into the kitchen, coward son of a bitch? I’m charging back there and I’m feeling calmer, and the doors swing open, but he’s right there and he’s got a sawed-off and the doors are swinging and there’s a pile of packages peek-a-booing on the grey kitchen floor, neat and tidy, wrapped up just like kilos, and I put out my hands to stop the blast, the blast can’t be stopped and the doors are swinging, doors swinging, God help me God help me help me.
CECILIA FULTON works as a prosecutor in the northeastern US. A busy mother of three, she has only recently begun tapping into her dark imagination.
Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to [email protected]. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Apr 11, 2016
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