Friday, July 23, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #35

Honor Amongst Thieves
by John Donald Carlucci

The sharp pain in my stomach was getting worse. I tried not to grimace, but a knife fight in your guts can make your choices for you.

“Sir, you’re sweating a lot.” The stewardess said as she handed me a wet cloth.

“You have that affect on me, doll.” She dismissed me with a tired smile. I needed the bathroom, but my luck put me on a flight that served a bad dose fish to its passengers and the stall has been occupied with one retching person after another. Food services are terribly unreliable on African flights and I’ve learned to never partake.

“Arrrh,” I choked as the other passengers looked on with sympathy. I guess they assumed I had the worst case... I wish.

My partner Benny and I had a bad fight before I boarded. It was the kind of fight that breaks up partnerships real quick.

I absently tongued the bit of dental floss stuck between my back molars as I waited for that damn bathroom door to open.

“Damn it!” Blood stained my hand as I coughed from the pain and I couldn’t wait any longer. I gagged as I reached into my mouth, grabbed the floss, and yanked the bag in my stomach up my throat.

Inspecting the blood soaked bag, I realized what Benny had done. He’d filled it with crushed glass instead of the diamonds I was to mule back to America.

I guess Benny did believe I was stealing after all.


Katherine Tomlinson said...

Revenge is a dish best served...cold. That Benny knew what he was doing. Too bad the narrator didn't just kill him and have done with it. Excellent story.

Peter Dudley said...

Gruesome. He should have had the fish instead.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Ugh. That's never fun.

Precie said...

Gritty--no pun intended. I wonder how the passengers around reacted! Nicely done.

Jade L Blackwater said...

YOWZA! didn't see that coming... really painful, well told.

@Precie - gritty.... HA!!!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Perhaps because I work in a prison where dental floss is used for suturing, I knew that your dental floss would serve a purpose as well. I enjoyed this story.

September said...

Ohhh Benny! I actually didn't see this coming. What an ending. Benny might be in for a little revengeful surprise of his own if this guy makes it.
Nice job.

jin said...

Absolutely brilliant luv. You are lucky to have a mate that encourages your darker side methinks... because that's where you shine.

Cormac Brown said...

Ow. A good and short tale, John.

Mona said...

I guess even diamonds would have done the same job. After all they cut glass too...

Aniket said...

Interesting character. I liked the guy. I hope he miraculously survives and goes back to take down the whole organization.

John Donald Carlucci said...

Maybe I'll expand it and we'll find out.

There are bones in fish. Ish.

Tell me about. Last time I muled...well, that is another story.

I would hope with compassion, but I've been on flights - oy.

Thank you!

I am so happy that the floss rang true for you. It isn't just for message lines anymore.

He makes it. I think I need to write the rest now.

I am so lucky to have such an encouraging and twisted relationship.

Always glad when I please you.

I would image, but why waste them with a soda pop bottle will do.

I kind of like him also. Thanks to you guys, I'll bring him back.


Dale said...

Brilliant and expertly executed!

Aimee Laine said...

Yikes! So very well written!

Shona Snowden said...

A mini-thriller; well done in 250 words.

MRMacrum said...

Nicely executed. That snippet that can stand alone, yet leaves me wanting more.

Lee said...

I'll never listen to "Bennie and the Jets" in quite the same way again. Gruesome, but well played.

Allie said...

Niiiiice. One of my favorites.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi John

Nice twist there at the end. And scary.... Two bad guy and no one wins.

Dottie :)

Deb Smythe said...

Talk about a gut check. Yikes.

Joni said...

Uh, I need a Ricola just thinking about this piece.

Strong imagery. Very nice.

Laurel said...

You had me at a knife fight in your guts.

My favorite thing about this is that the ending isn't so much a know something bad is happening, just not what. But the tension swells really well.

JaneyV said...

Fabulous tension running through this piece. i like the way it unfolded in tiny details (like the floss/ the fact it was an African flight etc). And I love the the final punch at the end.

SzélsőFa said...

the whole story rang true, all the way. which makes me wonder...

Meghan said...

I love the line a knife fight in your guts. A great hook and the ending is great!

Vincent Kale said...

It's all been said above. Great post!

Craig said...

A definte contender.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Oh, what a surprise at the end!