“Won’t Find Me” by V. Joseph Racanelli
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, V. Joseph Racanelli cleans up a mess in the Catskills.
Won’t Find Me
by V. Joseph Racanelli
Sullivan County, New York
The ice pick hung there on a nail.
I grabbed it—Ricky was going down. I told that fucking idiot not to leave anything behind. He knew.
It was a bar fifty miles from us, the Old Forge in Middleton. But up here, everyone knows someone. You can’t take chances. He did. All for fifty dollars. The world is a jungle—up here especially. Everyone knows someone. And the state police know everybody.
He looked at me with sad brown eyes. It was funny—like those stupid cat pictures with the big eyes that my mom had when she was alive. She hung ’em on the fake wood–paneled walls in our cabin up the Manor. I found them in lots of places. Even brought home a few for Mom. Anyway, that was before.
Ricky didn’t run. There was nowhere for him to go in that little garage. It had windows, but we had only one neighbor, across the road.Old Ruben? He couldn’t see even if he ever put down his filthy shot glass and bothered to look. He prolly wouldn’t care even if he’d seen. Got anything for me, he’d ask.
Took a second. I hit Ricky in the throat so hard he went skinning over my Camaro’s white hood. Slimed it with blood.
I must have hit the whatever-you-call-it—the carrot artery. I was sprayed in my eyeballs, up my nose, on my lips. I tried to wipe it off before any seeped in. Too late, I’m guessing. Motherfucking asshole probably had AIDS. I was gonna have to be tested again. Go back to that clinic in town. Everyone would know. Fuck that. I’d have to risk it.
As he lay on the ground near the Camaro’s right front wheel, blood began to flow thick from his neck like coffee out of a Box O’Joe jug. It collected in a pool on the bare floor. I was gonna have to clean that up too, before it seeped into the dirt. There’s a job.
He’d pissed himself. I felt the wet through his blue jeans when I dragged him out the garage door, through the grass, and into the far end of backyard.
I had to dig the fucker a grave in the freezing cold. In the moonlight. There was a place behind a stand of three or four red pine. Near my mom. That would be too good for Ricky. But what choice did I have?
He shouldn’t’a left his jacket at the Old Forge. They were going to find him. Then me. Now they won’t find him.
V. JOSEPH RACANELLI’s short story “Do Days” was broadcast by BBC4 last year and performed at Liar’s League NYC. His work has been published in Dark Corners, a pulp fiction quarterly; I Let Go of the Stars in My Hand, an anthology from Great Weather for MEDIA; The Literarian, a Center for Fiction publication; the Boiler; and the River & South Review. A 2013 Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Story Prize finalist, he’s currently working on a collection of short stories and recently finished a novel set in Italy, where he lived for four years.
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: Mar 21, 2016
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