A Man Full Of Stones


-Hey, Morgan.

-Well, well.  Look at what the tide dragged in.  S’up, Mikey?

-That him?


-The guy in the corner.  Watching Vlatka on stage.  Bony-looking dude with the glasses.

-Yeah.  That’s him. Guess who gets to take that creep to the airport in an hour?



-Atlantic City?

-Nope.  Philly.  God, I’m looking forward to that like a punch in the nuts.


-So what?

-Is it true?  I mean, what they say about him?

-Believe it or not it’s true.

-That’s hilarious.

-But hey, he’s good at what he does and Mr. Donofrio likes him so what do we care if he’s a freak?  To each his own, that’s my motto these days. To each his fuckin’ own.  Throwing some deadbeat clown a beating is one thing but that other nasty stuff?  Do me a favor and leave me the hell out of it.  If Mr. Donofrio wants to contract those grisly details out to some Rain Man-talking sideshow from Boston, he can be my guest.



-I’m going to go talk to him.

-I wouldn’t do that if I was you, Mikey.

-Why not?  What’s the worst that could happen?

-Come on.  I just want to see what he’s like.  Where’s the harm?

-You’ve been warned.


-Hey, how y’doin’, man.  I’m Michael.

-One of Mr. Donofrio’s guys.

– Just talking with my buddy Morgan over there at the bar and he says he’s taking you to the airport this afternoon.  Back up to Patriots country.  Providence, right?

Travelin’ Man.


Travelin’ Man.  Thru and Thru.  I’m Moving On.

-Oh, right.

Take It or Leave It. Gotta Get Away.

-Everything go all right during your time here in A.C.?

It’s All Over Now.

-Yeah, I guess that’s a good thing.

If You Need Me…Hand of Fate.

-From what I understand fate had very little to do with our problem down here.  Anyways, I’m sure Mr. Donofrio appreciates your work.

Happy. Fool to Cry.

-How about this weather, huh?  Can’t remember a June on the Jersey shore this nice in a long time.  Hope you got to take in some of the sights.  What do you think of our fair city by the sea?

Pretty Beat Up. Mixed Emotions.

-I hear that. Get any action?

Casino Boogie. Tumblin’ Dice. Winning Ugly.

-Oh a craps man, huh?  I hear that.  I kind of suck at math so I could never really follow that stuff.   Me, I like a little blackjack, the trotters.  “Wild Horses”, know what I’m sayin’?

-I see you dig Vlatka.

-She’s something else, isn’t she?

Dancing in the Light.

-Ain’t that the truth?  That, my good friend, is one hundred percent, flawless Croatian prime.  No additives or fillers.  See, Mr. Donofrio likes to keep the girls clean here at Cherry Bombs.  Not even an ankle tattoo.

Two Thousand Light Years From Home?

-Guess so.  Some place called Zagreb I think.

-Grown Up Wrong? Backstreet Girl?

-Who’s to say?  A real beauty though.  I’m mean, look at that.  Your eyes can run out of breath just roaming up and down those legs.

Rocks Off?

-Excuse me?

Rocks Off?

-Oh.  I get you.  Um, if you’re interested I’m sure something can be arranged before you leave with Morgan for your flight out of Philly.  Probably run you a Benji for starters though.

Leave Me Alone.

-Okay.  But you let me know if I can help you out with Vlatka, okay?

-Be my personal pleasure.



~ fin ~


A huge fan of the interpretive private eye films The Long Goodbye (1973) and The Drowning Pool (1975), Kieran Shea‘s stories have appeared previously in Shotgun Honey, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and elsewhere. He’s also written a couple of novels and one short story collection.