Frank Wallace’s ears pricked up at the clanging coming from the back of the building. Those goddamn raccoons back for another run at his pails.

The little bastards were persistent, he had to give em’ that. Even after tightening down the lids with a mess of bungees, they still went at it. Sometimes even managing to get em’ sprung, scattering trash all over his yard.

Well, not tonight you shit-heels, he thought. Not ever again.

It was one of the dirtier sides of his occupation, dealing with the vermin. Rats, mice and cockroaches were the usual customers—but over the years Frank had become more than efficient at dealing with them. So much so, the complaints dwindled down to just a few a week . Even the decrepit old bitch in 32D, who pitched a fit every time a goddamn pigeon landed on her sill, gave it a rest and things were good for a while.

Then came the coons and even Frank had to admit he was stymied. Those little burglar masked fucks were in a whole separate league of their own.

They were smart and cunning as all get out. He’d even go as far to say he had a grudging respect for the little cocksuckers.

Frank lit a cigarette and waited for the clattering to stop. Which it would. Soon.

He had always been good with his hands, especially anything electrical. As far back as a tyke, if something threw a spark, he was fascinated by it. Now, his ability to make anything electric his bitch was why he was where he was. The slumlord that owned the building would rather take bi-monthly trips to his favorite Nevada cathouse than spring for a new wiring system. It was up to Frank to make sure the shithole didn’t burn down and passed it’s yearly inspections.

That’s where his idea for the raccoons came in.

A few stripped down wires from a broken down washing machine, hooked up to the main breaker, leading to a simple switch he could trigger before settling in for the night. Job done.

Finally the clattering stopped.

Frank waited for his show to end, rested his beer on a coaster, stubbed out his cigarette and got up from his comfy lazy boy to go investigate.


The man was still convulsing. Thick foam sputtered from his lips onto his scraggly beard like pink soap suds. The poor bastard had evacuated his bowels , the stink something awful.

That of course could of happened at any time, Frank thought to himself. The homeless aren’t exactly known for their sense of hygiene—but there was no doubt that the thick, black liquid pouring from the vagrant’s nose and ears were a result of the shock.

One bloody tear leaked from the corner of the man’s left eye. A wet, gurgling sound emerging from his throat.

That’s it, Frank thought, he’s a goner. Time to put an end to this nonsense.

Frank picked up the shovel that was leaning against the wall, gave it a batter’s grip and swung the blade down sideways. Three well placed blows and the backyard was silent once again but for the hum of the city.

Frank dragged the body into the darkness of the ally and went to work.

As he shoveled, Frank shook his head in frustration. It’s not like he meant for this kind of thing to happen. All he was trying to do was get rid of some pesky raccoons. If one more of these unfortunate souls got hold of his trap he might have to consider turning the voltage down a bit.

After all, winter would be coming soon. The ground would harden.

And he was running out of places to dig.

~ fin ~

Adam Carroll was raised on the mean streets of rural New Hampshire - where the winter's are hard, life is cheap and love comes at a cost. Usually the cost of a good set of snow tires. When he's not writing, Adam can be found slinging corporate Cappuccinos at you-know-where. Fuck you, it pays the bills.