User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Smitty was where he wasn’t supposed to be and saw it all. Diamond Bill and two of his goons roughed up a fella, but it was the boss that shot the fella once in the head and twice in the chest. 

It was at that time he stopped trying to pry open the back door to the electronics store and stayed quiet. Diamond Bill’s justice would be swift, and there’d be two bodies in the alley. They probably chose the alley for the same reason Smitty did—no surveillance cameras.

A month later, unbeknownst to Smitty, a surveillance camera had lovely footage of him prying open the same door, coming out loaded with merchandise, right into the arms of the waiting police. He rolled over like an old dog and traded information on an unsolved murder for no charges on the robbery. 

Shortly later, Diamond Bill was arrested and charged with murder. The heat was turned up all over town looking for the eyewitness that ratted. Normally Gabby Smitty managed to keep his mouth shut about avoiding a burglary collar, except to one person, and that was only after several beers. 

Smitty reeled out of the bar at closing time. The last one out the door as always. A blackjack to the back of the head, some duct tape, and he was in the trunk in almost one motion. 

He came in a chair with Diamond Jim’s two goons from the alley hovering over him. Smitty knew he was in a warehouse near the docks by the dank smell. The old warehouses had their own weather because the air never exchanged. Dead fish heads from last decade mixed with the aroma of piss and vomit permeated the air. 

“Don’t take the tape off his mouth, he’ll talk a blue streak,” the tall one said. “Besides, the boss said we weren’t to do anything until he comes.”

The two played cards at a small table, keeping an eye on the moaning man taped to a chair. Smitty knew wasn’t going to get past the two goons by using force; he’d need to use cunning. 

He worked on loosening the duct tape on his wrists as the two were distracted by three sparrows flying around. Hell, the stupid birds were probably born in the warehouse and lived in it their whole life. He bent over and bit a small notch in the tape and chewed it. Sweat and adhesive weren’t a tasty combination. Wiggling his sweaty wrists pulled on his skin, but he was making progress.

“It’s 5am and still no boss. The sun is starting to rise, and it’ll be light soon. Wadda we do?” The short one asked

“Sit tight until the boss arrives, like he said.”

“What if we are being set up for kidnapping? The cops could raid the place anytime.”

“Just shudda up, will ya?”  The tall one replied.

“What if he eliminates all three witnesses to the murder he’s charged with? Did ya think of that? Maybe you ratted him out.”

“Shadda up already.”

Smitty managed to free his hands while the goons were arguing. He ripped the tape on his mouth so it looked like it was still there, but he could talk. He undid the tape on his ankles and put it back on his leg but not the chair. Smitty repeated this with his hands. He was now ready to spring up from the chair and run when the time was right. 

Smitty cleared his throat. “You should listen to him. We’re all witnesses. Any one of us could put him behind bars. Does he seem like a man that’d leave loose ends? Why do you think he chose you two for this job, at this deserted warehouse?”

The tall one jumped up. “Hey, I thought you taped his mouth. He’s talking.”

“Yeah, but maybe he’s right. Whadda you think?”

“I think you should tape his mouth again and wait for the boss to arrive.”

“I’m getting nervous. We could say he escaped.” 

“What, now we’re incompetent too?”

Smitty looked around the warehouse. Not much cover, a stairs to a catwalk above, large overhead doors at the ends of the building; it was open where they must have driven through. He glanced over his shoulder and saw an ajar entry door. That would be his escape route. 

Both goons stood and moved toward him. They stopped and turned around when they heard a car coming through the open overhead door. With their backs to him, Smitty jumped up and made a mad dash to the entry door. He glanced back when he heard the horn honking but kept moving. He was out the door when the honking stopped, and headed between buildings, looking for an entrance. 

Two gunshots sounded off and he sped up beyond what he thought he was capable of. He ducked into a warehouse full of crates and plenty of places to hide. 

Voices soon filled the warehouse as workers went about their tasks. Smitty figured he’d be able to hop into one of the trucks unnoticed and get out of the area. When he got back to civilization, the cops would want to hear about these murders, too. Maybe it’d be worth the money to them. If it was enough money, he might go straight and be one of those paid informants. It could work.


Donate a little?

Use PayPal to support our efforts:


Genre Poll

Your Favorite Genre?

Sign Up for info from Short-Story.Me!

Stories Tips And Advice