The Mud

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Yikes Fortino is a relative "nobody" - He discovers the ease of killing when he ends the life of "just a demotic strain of street urchin that wouldn't be missed by many except for the people that she annoyed" - Who will suffer, who will care?

Submitted: July 13, 2013

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Submitted: July 13, 2013

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THE MUD

Before anyone could survey to notice, the killer had slipped into a crowded deli, leaving the young women crumpled-up on the winter ground like a snow soaked wool coat - wet, cold, inanimate. His fidgeting hand stealthily dunks the long bloody blade into a kosher pickle barrel much as he had buried it deep into the windpipe of his unsuspecting victim, now surrounded by good Samaritans who can only inhale the sheer terror of the violence hovering so near. Back onto the sidewalk for a quick peak to be sure she is dead. Yes, she is finally out of their hair. Slowly walking to take in the all of the wonderful colors and styles of the clothing in the department store windows, he breathes easy knowing that his work is done. Only the mud from his shoes remains - the thick black mud that will be tracked through the lives of so many.

A cozy warm feeling now begins to imbue her after the initial icy sting of her death. At first, the memory of the blade penetrating her flesh brought incredible anger and a desperate hunger for the answer to the obvious question. Why!? But now she only feels the perfect peace that exists in the final seconds that separate consciousness from sleep - and she's stuck there. Only the whispers from those that still linger, bemoaning her murder, and the sweet cherry cola she finished not more than a few minutes ago occupy her final thoughts. And then, a massive crescendo of inexplicable joy and fulfillment --- and then...

"I don't know her name but she always walked by here" the deli owner tells a police officer. "She'd come into the store now and then for a soda and leave. Never sat to eat, just a soda and she'd leave - though she always did go out of her way to wave hello through the window when she passed. This is horrible, horrible."

The killer is now two blocks east of the defining moment in his wretched and soon to be shortened life. There's a conspicuous happy hop in his stride as he continues to digest the satisfying meal of 'travail bien fait' he'd just wolfed down. He marvels at how easy it was to kill. They had told him that she was nothing more than a nuisance, just a demotic strain of street urchin that wouldn't be missed by many except for the people that she annoyed on a daily basis – "ha, ha, ha." He searches his blackened conscious and knows immediately that whoever may, or may not, have cared for this unfortunate woman had little to do with the effortlessness of his lurid and dastardly action.

What must it feel like to know the ease of killing? That the darkest and most shameful act spanning the history of your genus does not lay heavily on your head; or your heart; or even your stomach. Yikes Fortino, who not an hour ago frigidly stared into her terrified blue eyes with warm blood flowing over his knuckles, around his wrist and down the underside of his forearm, now knows the guiltless power of ending one's story.

He rises from the bench and begins to navigate the quickest way to Rittenhouse Square. The back alley just behind the Chatham Hotel was always a great place to do some quick dirty business without any pedestrian fanfare. He decides to walk a block north, and then cut across the park to meet Blimmy Van Blunk and "Fat" Joe Turner - the cowardly slime brokers responsible for the mark place on the blonde haired pretty head of... "what'shername".

Yikes looks down at the watch on his guilty right arm: "need to be there by two ... One o'clock?" he screams (in his head) - now nervously looking around to see if his shrill yelp escaped the confines of his disproportionately small head. "What the fuck is this?" he mutters under his breath. Then he remembers, "The pickle barrel, shit, it stopped". Arriving at the path that diagonally intersects Rittenhouse Square, he looks back down at the watch. "Pickle juice" he thinks, now noticing that about three quarters of the black face on his treasured Zorro watch, that his mother surprised him with on his birthday over fifty years ago, is drowning in the spiced pungent liquid. "Better get a move on..." he reasoned with himself “...Can‘t be late.”

His thoughts shift to the money that Blimmy had promised upon the completion of his grisly deed. "Right after, I'll pay ya" he can still hear him saying back on the rainy corner of a 58th & Willows summer night. "Good, looks like they just got here too" Yikes thinks, as he peeks into the alley, now relieved that he is not late. Walking hastily toward "Fat" Joe's car, he sees Blimmy pulling himself out of the front passenger door. "That's weird" he thinks, because Blimmy always sits in the back seat ever since he went through the front windshield when Jimmy Ross smashed into a dumpster trying to get away from the cops after they had just burned down the old Christmas decoration warehouse. "Who cares where he sits" he thinks now greeting Blimmy and "Fat" Joe.

"Hey Chink" he call out. Blimmy was also known as Chink because he had eyes that were closed and slanted "just like a Chi-ney" he would say.

"Hi Yikes..." Blimmy answers in his familiar gruff froggy growl. "...It's in the trunk" flipping Yikes the keys. "...Hurry-up"

Yikes fumbles for a second, but finds the trunk keys to the old sky-blue Impala "Fat" Joe has been driving since the early eighties. "You can land a plane on the hood of this baby" Joe liked to say, and Yikes thinks of him saying it every time he sees this car, including the moment the key slips effortlessly into the trunk lock.

"Fat" Joe has now moved about four feet behind Yikes with his back to the car, looking up the alley to insure their privacy. Pop, the trunk jumps open as Yikes lets go of the key. Amidst the jumper-cables, Turtle wax, crowbars and other likely inhabitants of a small time crook's car, Yikes sees a small, dark blue, plaid pattern piece of luggage just next to an old red kerosene fueled railroad lantern. As he reaches into the trunk, he sees something move to the left of the suitcase, and then something else moving just under his outstretched arm.

"Snakes!" Yikes screams, now feeling the forceful shove of "Fat" Joe heavy frame sending him airborne, headfirst into the cavernous trunk. Blimmy slams the trunk shut. Only a muffled rendition of Yikes' snapping kicks and shrieking wails could be heard. "That's that..." Blimmy gurgles toward "Fat" Joe. "...Wait'll he stops banging, and then we'll get the fuck out of this shithole." Inside the dark chamber of death where Yikes was making his final statement, the only thing more stinging than the painful venomous injections of the six Yellow Jawed Tommygoffs, was the smell of Jewish Pickles and the thick black mud that will forever stain the lives of anyone that ever loved… "what'shername".


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