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News & Features » November 2019 » “Moby Mick” by BV Lawson

“Moby Mick” by BV Lawson

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, two men go on a boat ride, where some relationships end up dead in the water . . . 

Moby Mick
by BV Lawson
Chesapeake waters, Virginia Barrier Islands, VA 

Paul steered the deadrise boat around the shoals, keeping his distance from the shallow Chesapeake waters around the barrier island. Wouldn’t do to get stuck in the muck. Not today.

His companion turned his attention away from the migrating oystercatcher birds and made note of the course change. “We’re heading out a little further this time.”

“Heard the spadefish were biting off Metompkin and Hog Island.”

“Haven’t had spadefish in a while. Good eating.”

Paul smiled. “Today is all about good eating, Mick.”

As they maneuvered even farther from shore, Mick called out and pointed to something in the water. “What’s that?” He bent over the side of the boat to get a better look. “Can’t be a shark, can it?”

“That’s a dolphin. Haven’t you seen dolphins before?”

“I don’t know mammals too good, just fish.”

Paul looked at the GPS and killed the engine. But he didn’t toss out the anchor. Not yet. He judged the distance to the water and the direction of the currents. About right. Then with his very best WWE wrestling move, he head-butted Mick in the chest and then used his upper body torque to push the other man into the sea.

Mick yelled at him as he bobbed up and down in the waves, “What the hell did you do that for? This some kind of sick joke?”

Paul said calmly, “Payback, Mick. Just payback.”

“If it’s that hundred I owe you for the game, I’ll pay it back, okay? Didn’t know you were that chintzy.”

“I don’t care about the hundred bucks, Mick. I care about the hundred thousand.”

Mick, treading water, made a move toward the boat, but Paul pulled out a gun. “You stay right there for now, Mick.”

Mick sputtered, “What hundred thousand, Paul? Tell me what you mean, for god’s sake.”

“I want to know why my business partner skimmed a hundred grand off the books meant for the new delivery truck. And then used some of that hundred grand to take my wife on a romantic weekend to Ocean City.”

Mick shook his head, which must be kind of difficult in those waves. Kind of like rubbing your head and patting your stomach at the same time. Mick’s voice was getting higher now, more shrill. “Paul, let’s talk about this. We go way back, don’t we? That’s gotta count for something.”

“It counts for more than you know. Makes it feel like even more of a knife in my back.”

“I’ll make it right, Paul, I swear. Just let me back in the boat, will you? I thought I felt something bump my legs.”

“You’re correct about two things, Mick. We are going to set this right. And as for the other, well…”

Paul reached with his non-gun-hand toward a box near his feet and kicked it open with his foot. He pulled out an open bag filled with fish guts and blood and heaved it into the water. Then he cranked up the boat’s engine and pointed the hull back toward the shore that was now just a speck in the distance.

He thought he heard the sound of yelling over the engine noise, but it grew fainter as he pulled away. When he looked back, he saw Mick with his mouth open in a scream as he stared down at the water—until he disappeared, as if yanked from below.

So, maybe Paul had lied just a little. After all, he himself knew aquatic mammals pretty well. Enough to tell a curved dorsal fin from a straight fin. And to know that sharks had been spotted in the shallower waters of the Mid-Atlantic over the past few days.

He laughed and said aloud, “Really, Mick? A dolphin?”

Paul didn’t look back any more as he made his way to shore. He had plans for dinner tonight. He was taking his wife to that new seafood restaurant where they served killer stuffed flounder from Wachapreague. And next week, she said she’d join him for a little boat ride out to the barrier islands.


BV LAWSON‘s stories have appeared in dozens of publications, and BV is a four-time Derringer Award finalist and 2012 winner, as well as a contributor to the Anthony Award-winning Blood on the Bayou. BV’s Scott Drayco crime series has also been named Best Mystery in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, chosen as a Featured Library Journal Self-E pick, and been a finalist for the Shamus, Silver Falchion, and Daphne Awards. BV lives in Virginia with her husband and enjoys flying above the Chesapeake Bay in a little Cessna. Visit her website at bvlawson.com. No ticket required.


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: Nov 4, 2019

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