Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

News & Features » September 2014 » “In the Kitchen” by Josh Krigman

“In the Kitchen” by Josh Krigman

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, Josh Krigman gives a fry cook a deadly surprise in New York City’s Chinatown. Next week, Nancy M. Michael finds both beauty and danger during a storm in downtown Chicago.

Josh KrigmanIn the Kitchen
by Josh Krigman
Chinatown, New York City, NY

The floor was covered with Timothy’s blood when Maurice came down the steps from the dining room to see how things were moving along. The fry cook had mouthed off again and George, having wanted to do something about it for weeks, and who was now finishing up his fifth eighteen-hour shift in as many days, had taken action with the closest thing he could find, which, in this case, was the heavy cutting board to the right of the sink where George set his rings while washing the dishes. The rings went dancing into the air as George picked up the board and brought it across his left side into Timothy’s temple. The boy hit the tile floor in time with the rings, and while his head produced a dense and singular thunk, the rings made a few sharp pings before one bounced toward the stairwell and the other rolled under the sink. The rag Timothy had been using to playfully whip George only moments before lay a few feet from the supine boy, who was now just a body, and the blood pouring from his head and into the grid between the ceramic tiles began to turn the light orange rag red.

“Holy no!” Maurice said, still only halfway down the stairwell. George was on his hands and knees, looking for his ring under the sink. “We can’t—is he—he isn’t dead, yes?”

George said nothing. His shoulder was almost completely under the sink as he reached for the small piece of silver.

“What did you do?” Maurice approached the body. He leaned forward on his toes and stretched his neck forward to get a view of the boy’s face without getting too close. Timothy’s eyes were empty, and his black hair glistened with blood. George picked up the cutting board and put it in one of the large white trash barrels lined up in the middle of the room.

“He kept whipping me. It happened. It already happened, okay?

“So you just—”

“Help me move him.”

“No, no—it’s—I don’t . . .”

George pursed his lips and propped the body up against the back wall. He put a trash bag over the head and rocked the boy’s torso back and forth, shimmying the bag down over his shoulders and chest like the dead kid was a child who no longer fit into his winter sweater. The black bag was industrial strength and large enough, George now realized, to fit two-thirds of an average-sized seventeen-year-old. Once George rolled the bag down as far as it would go, under the boy’s hips and down to the middle of his thighs, he rotated the body so that the blood pooled in the bag instead of dripping on the floor.

Maurice sat on the stairs with his head in his hands as George unwrapped the black hose from the spool on the wall and washed the blood toward the drain by the back door. Each squirt of the hose turned the dark puddles into red wisps that twisted and curled, the way seaweed rolls underwater when you swim over it.

***

JOSH KRIGMAN is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York. You can contact him by visiting www.joshkrigman.com.

***

Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:

—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.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Sep 29, 2014

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



Featured: Music/Popular Culture/Art