“Tired Night” by Sabbir Samdani
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, Sabbir Samdani finds the deadly side of love and lust.
by Sabbir Samdani
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY
The pain was an explosion of red at the base of his skull. His mouth was bitter, like burnt coal. Ernesto Dela Cruz slowly opened his eyes. He had to, he wasn’t dead.
A sickly yellow light streamed through the window. Hushed voices wafted into the room from below. Dela Cruz crawled to the window and peered out.
“What was that shamus snooping around here for Carmen?”
“How should I know David? Maybe something to do with Jake’s death.”
“Your toy, excuse me, chauffeur, gets himself killed, and this dick comes snooping? Fucking nice. Like I don’t have enough problems.”
“He was a good friend.”
“Right. Just go home.”
Carmen Bolivar tilted her statuesque head, opened her mouth slightly, flashing a brilliant set of pearly whites with a mocking grin, her stunning dark face lay almost beyond the reach of the cone of light swaying from the ceiling.
“Your wish, my command, and all that good stuff darling.” The words were tiny shards of glass through her teeth.
“Yeah, don’t bother waiting up for me, honey,” David Solanki sneered at her back. The hatred was palpable. It saturated the air like poison.
“Rodrigo, take care of the P.I., hurt him and toss him somewhere else, nothing more. I’ll be at the club.” David rubbed his neck in mock frustration like a sleek movie gangster and walked out.
Rodrigo looked surprised as Dela Cruz crashed the heavy chair down on his head. He made the hit count, he owed Rodrigo one.
He grabbed Rodrigo’s gun, tied him up, and left the room.
He stepped behind a crate at the sounds of hushed footsteps.
Carmen crept inside, her movement feline. She tiptoed up the stairs. Dela Cruz heard her trying to open the locked door.
She came back down with a puzzled look on her face.
“Looking for me?” Dela Cruz startled her.
“What are you doing here?”
“Your husband keeps some nasty company.” Dela Cruz didn’t answer.
“Maybe. But he didn’t kill Jake.”
“He isn’t exactly the jealous type…”
“Was there a reason for jealousy then?”
“None of your business, shamus. Let Jake rest in peace.”
Dela Cruz could feel the tiny 9mm shell inside a plastic bag in his pocket. It had a story to tell.
“Either way, cops will be here soon. I can drive you home if you wanna stay out of it,” he said tonelessly.
“Not much of a choice.” The mocking grin made another appearance.
The night air felt cool as they walked to the car.
Dela Cruz started the engine.
“Why’d you kill him?”
“Nah. I found the shell. From your gun. Beretta 9mm if I had to guess.”
“That so? What’s stopping me from putting holes in you right now then?”
“I can’t prove a thing if you get rid of the gat. Why’d you kill him?”
Carmen remained silent for an eternity. But secrets wanted to come out. Once they came, they came easy. Carmen’s voice was dreamlike. Far away.
“Jake wanted me all to himself. What we had was sweet but that’s all. He couldn’t see it that way. He threatened to ruin David. He knew all about David’s operations.”
Far away, the Verrazano floated like a fairytale bridge.
“I can’t start from scratch. I don’t know how. So I shot Jake. He didn’t even resist when I walked close and took out the gun. God knows I wanted him to. He just gave me this look like he wanted to die.”
“He was just a kid in love.”
Carmen’s voice was steely. “Where is the shell, Dela Cruz?”
“In my pocket.”
Her draw was far quicker than most gunmen Dela Cruz ever saw. He saw quite a few.
“You’re covered.” Rodrigo’s Glock glinted dully in Dela Cruz’s right hand. It was pointed straight at Carmen’s stomach. “Just drop the piece on the backseat, nice and easy. Don’t try anything. I won’t miss at this distance.”
Carmen slowly put her gun down. She seemed tiny, helpless, and lost. The practiced gestures were out in full force.
“I can’t go to jail, Dela Cruz.”
The traffic was few and far between. In the distance, ship lights glittered like tiny crystals.
“The Jury will sympathize. The beautiful, neglected wife. You’ll get out in three. Hell, maybe you’ll even get a TV show out of it.”
The night was too pretty for this ugly business. Dela Cruz pulled into the parking lot of the police station.
SABBIR SAMDANI was born in Bangladesh, raised in NYC. A product of the NYC public education system, he is a through and through New Yorker. He works as a technologist for a large corporation. He writes for pleasure, and to make social commentary.
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: Oct 12, 2015
Featured: Music/Popular Culture/Art
- Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist
- Bronx Biannual: The Literary Journal of Urbane Urban Literature
- Letters to Kurt
- We Owe You Nothing, Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews Expanded Edition
- Of Grunge and Government: Let’s Fix this Broken Democracy!
- Demons in the Spring
- Sale Simon’s Cat Bundle
- Sale Drug Chronicles (Complete Set)
- Rock Star Digit
- Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Scene
- Sale Amiri Baraka 3-for-1 Sale!
- Go de Rass to Sleep