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News & Features » May 2017 » “Hamptons Beach Bash” by Howard Gimple

“Hamptons Beach Bash” by Howard Gimple

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, Howard Gimple takes us to a deathly beachside showdown.

Hamptons Beach Bash
by Howard Gimple
East Hampton, NY

We’re parked at the end of a long driveway. Pristera wags a finger at me. “Stay in the car.”

“Of course.” I wink.

“Don’t make me handcuff you to the steering wheel.”

I shrug. “Whatever.”

He’s almost at the front door when there’s a huge explosion. The door flies off its hinges. Metal and glass shards rain down. Through the haze I can see him on the ground. In pretty bad shape.

I dive into the front seat, grab the radio mic and scream, “Mayday! Mayday!” I don’t know what the hell Mayday means but it always gets a lot of action in the movies.

There’s a staticky buzz. “FBI.” Then, “Agent Pristera?”

“I’m at Rivette’s house in East Hampton. There’s been an explosion. Pristera’s hurt.”

“Who is this?”

“No time to explain.” I drop the mic.

Someone’s running towards the beach. It’s that bastard Rivette.

I go after him. He has about thirty yards on me. But I’m fifteen years younger.

We’re on the beach and he’s still ten yards ahead. The sonuvabitch is in better shape than I am.

My lungs are burning but I keep slogging on the sand. Rage and adrenaline do wonders for your stamina.

Rivette slows down. Stops. Turns. We’re face to face. Breathing hard and loud, like we’re stars in a gay porno movie.

He’s smiling. He looks at me like he was my professor and I just aced the final. “I’m very proud of you, Stewart. I never dreamed that of all the highly competent people standing in my way, you would be the one to foil my plans.”

“You’re proud of me?!” I scream. “You killed seven people!”

“You’re the only one who knows that.”

“You’re fucking crazy.”

“That could be. A sane person would have disposed of you awhile ago but for some reason I had a soft spot for you.” He reaches into his pocket. “I can rectify that now.”

He pulls out a tiny gun. It looks ancient. Another one of his fucking antiques. He points it at my chest, pulls back the hammer and squeezes. Nothing happens. “Damn!” he yells. “I should have taken the Remington.” He eyes it disdainfully then chucks it at my head. It grazes my forehead. Now I’m pissed.

I leap at him and we both go down. We thrash around on the sand. I remember from his bio that he was a wrestling champ in college. He’s still got some of his old moves. The next thing I know I’m on my back his hands are around my throat.

The only thing I know about wresting is from watching it on TV. Hulk Hogan, Bruno Sammartino, George “the Animal” Steele. What would they do? Fight dirty, of course.

There are no wooden chairs or metal stanchions to use as weapons but there’s plenty of sand. I throw a handful in his face and jab the heel of my hand into his nose (I saw the Iron Sheik do that once). He falls back. I scramble on top of him. My knees are on his shoulders, pinning him to the sand. He’s squirming, kicking, punching trying to throw me off. I can feel his strength ebbing.

My left hand is wrapped around his throat. I raise my right and smash it down on his face. He bellows like a gored water buffalo.

I’m screaming, “Why’d you do it? Why’d you kill them?”

I hit him on the side of the head. Again and again. He goes limp. I keep punching. His face is getting mushy, like a bag of rice pudding. My knuckles are raw and my arms are aching but I keep swinging.

Hands grip my arms and shoulders and drag me off him.

Now I’m flat on my back in the sand, looking up into the hazy afternoon sun. There’s a bunch of blurry blue figures standing over me.

I try to stand but it’s not going so good. I collapse back on the sand like one of those little wooden dolls where you push a button on the bottom and it flops over. The best I can do is to sit up. Any second I’m gonna puke.

Somebody grabs my arm and yanks me around. My eyes begin to clear. Shit. It’s Timson, the East Hampton cop I coldcocked and handcuffed to the road sign the other day.

“You’re under arrest.”

“For what?”

“Murder. Assault. Kidnapping. Resisting arrest. That’s just for starters.”

***

HOWARD GIMPLE recently left his position as senior writer for the Stony Brook University alumni magazine and website to pursue writing fiction full time. While at Stony Brook, he taught two freshman seminars: “Rock & Relevance,” about the political influence of ’60s rock ’n’ roll, and “Filthy Shakespeare,” exploring the dramatic use of sexual puns and innuendos in the plays of William Shakespeare. Prior to that, he was a writer at Newsday and an advertising copywriter. Born in Flatbush, the heart of Brooklyn, Howard now lives on the north shore of Long Island with his wife, Chris, and his two goldendoodles, Brinkley and Mia.

***

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 info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: May 8, 2017

Category: Original Fiction, Mondays Are Murder | Tags: , , , , , , ,



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