Kansas City Czar


This fat fuck, Charlie Paseo, aka Charlie Potato had called me to K.C. the last couple years to let the air outta several poor dipshits. They’d farted or zigged rather than zagged in some unacceptable way that caused some offended asshole to pay Paseo to hire me to murder their ass. Then the deal went down the shitter.

“Goddammit, Potato, whudya mean you’re using somebody else? Them last three sumbitches ain’t dead enough? You want me to dig up that last one and hammer that pipe another foot up his ass?”

Problem was, Charlie Potato liked boys and had locked on to this hunk from St. Louis, hoping to get a taste. I gotta admit, the dude was a looker, slumped in the recliner in a corner of Paseo’s office behind his puke-joint, Imperial Topless. He got up to go piss — legs all the way to the ground, an ass like a sculpture. This wasn’t business, Potato was in love.

“Cindy, I ain’t tossin’ you out, babe. I’ll see you get jobs, girl. it’s just that you been so fuckin’ good, I don’t want you getting’ caught or killed or some shit.”

Double Dog Bullshit, I thought, but didn’t say to a huge, vicious toad like Charlie Potato. He looked like a defensive lineman, mean enough to defend a pizza from a rabid wolf.

“Work…like what?”

“Gotta sumbitch up in North I need done. Only gonna pay five large, but it’s a piece of cake.”

“Yeah, gimme the info and he’s dead.” Five grand was shit. The usual was twenty, but again, don’t piss off the monster.

The mark was some straight red-neck who was suing the Imperial over some damned barroom brawl. Five grand was cheaper than a lawyer.

I memorized the address, got a gander at the mark’s mug shot, accepted the usual half pay up front, and walked out into the frozen January night. But Cindy McGuire was no dumb ass. I parked a half block down and waited, gambling Paseo would need an hour to realize this stud wasn’t gonna give him any.

One hour and ten minutes and here the hunk came, black macho leather jacket and all, bending to climb into a Corvette. When I eased up behind him, he jumped like fuckin’ Superman. This guy was no pro hitter. Potato was paying him to try for a little bedroom action.

“Jesus, Cindy, you scared the shit outta me.”

“Sorry, baby, I just got so distracted by them legs inside, I just hadda talk with you in the flesh. You need any help with your mark, sweetheart?”

“Naw. Fat fuck running a numbers game won’t be a problem. Tomorrow night at eleven, he’s history.”

Dumb dork. The only numbers operator Potato dealt with was Jimmy “The Rat” Fratello, who ran a low rent clip game on South Troost.

So the next night, I sat up on The Rat’s storefront and sure as shit, he closed at eleven and walked out to his Lexus in the deserted, ass-cold street. Potato’s new hire walked up and put three in his gut. He added another in the forehead. The Rat hit the ground deader than last year’s Academy Awards.

I eased the Caddie up beside him. He whirled pointing the little .38 with it’s one remaining round in my face. “How’d you know…?”

“Listen sweetheart. I was jes’ covering for you…on Charlie’s orders,” I lied.

He lowered the .38 and I gave him one each, heart, and chest with my Glock .40. His expression read “oh shit” as he went down in the snow next to the Rat.

I hesitated, looking at the loss of a great lay. At least, Potato wasn’t gonna get another run at the dude. But what the hell, basically you turn ‘um upside down, dim the lights, and they all look alike anyway. Besides, I had a mope up North to murder.  I stepped out, found the usual front half, ten grand in his pocket, and headed north.

Charlie  frickin’ Potato was too stupid to ever connect me to his love object’s unfortunate demise. He’d eventually figure out he got The Rat Fratello offed for half price.

~ fin ~

Gary Clifton, forty years a cop, has been shot at, shot, stabbed, lied to and about, and often misunderstood. He has over 150 short fiction pieces published in various venues, a novel, Burn Sugar Burn, in National paperback, and a masters in psychology from Abilene Christian University. He is currently retired to a dusty north Texas ranch where he doesn’t give a damn if school keeps or not.