“The Alderman” by Vincent Francone
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, Vincent Francone’s Chicago killer thinks of using foie gras to force his victim to meet his end. Next week, Seamus Scanlon takes us to Galway, Ireland for a chilling story focused on an urban legend.
“So you wanted to kill the alderman.”
“Why should I tell you?”
“Things’ll go easier for you if you cooperate.”
“I wanted him dead because of the foie gras ban. He was the guy who got it banned in Chicago. And he’s my alderman. I’ve lived in Rogers Park my whole life. I’ve seen a lot of asshole politicians come and go, a lot of machine Democrats and Daley patsies, but this guy is the worst.”
“So that’s why you did it?”
“Ask yourself this, detective: Do you want to live in a city that tells you what you can and can’t eat? The alderman, my goddamn alderman, who has never once responded to the crime in the neighborhood, who ignored my phone calls and emails asking what he planned to do about the gang activity on my block, who hasn’t lifted a finger to improve the area at all, my alderman spearheaded a ridiculous campaign to stop the sale and consumption of foie gras in the city. When the absurdity of that sunk in, I knew I had to kill him.”
“So you . . .”
“I planned to get as much foie gras as I could—there’s a few places in town where you can get it—and force him to eat it by sticking a long hose down his throat.”
“Just like the ducks he cares so much about, I wanted him to die painfully from a burst stomach.”
“So you . . .”
“So I got a hose from my neighbor and I got some foie gras, but I couldn’t get close enough to the alderman. Then I got to thinking about how hard it would be to carry out my plan. I’d have to kidnap him, which requires a lot of strategy and timing, then I’d have to keep him bound for a significant amount of time and go through the process of sticking the hose all the way down into his belly and force all the pâté in. And where would I keep him, anyway? My place? Imagine the mess to clean up. It seemed like a lot of work, so I switched my plan of attack. I decided to suffocate him with a plastic bag, just like the bags he’s been working to ban.”
“A plastic bag?”
“Yeah. He’s gotten some award for his commitment to environmental issues, mostly because he’s seeking to get rid non-biodegradable plastic bags from every store in the city.”
“Is that so bad?”
“No, but again, what will that do about the crime in Rogers Park? The scum who walk the streets night and day, shooting and stealing and dealing drugs? The hookers on Howard Street, the punks who loiter on Morse intimidating store owners—what’s Alderman I-Love-the-Fucking-Environment doing about them? Not a goddamn thing.”
“So you wanted to kill him with a bag?”
“Yes, but I couldn’t find one. All the grocery stores on Clark Street stopped carrying them. They all use paper bags, and a paper bag wouldn’t work. And I realized that carrying out that plan would also mean kidnapping him, and like I said, how was I going to do that?”
“So that’s why you . . .”
“That’s why I shot him.”
VINCENT FRANCONE is a writer living in Chicago. He has been published in Rhino, Spectrum, and The Oklahoma Review among other journals, and he won first place in the 2009 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition for his long poem, “Chicago”. He is at work on a novel and a collection of stories. Read his blog at: zombiedante.blogspot.com and look at his collection of authors taking themselves too seriously at faceandhands.blogspot.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 to [email protected] Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Jul 8, 2013
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