Smart-ass in front of Slim in the security queue at Midway couldn’t keep his mouth shut, guy dumping his shit in the plastic box, two fucking cell phones and a PDA coming off his belt like he was Batman or something, a fat money clip with a Franklin on the outside.

“Take off your belt, take off your shoes, like being in the joint or something,” Two-Phones said. But Slim figured if some hack hadn’t made you bend over and spread your cheeks, then it was nothing like the joint. Slim gave Two-Phones his shower face.

Slim did his first jolt in Joliet at 18. Being fresh young white meat in that hole made him the blue-plate special on the shower menu, so he learned early not to give it up easy, and he gave it up so hard that pretty soon he didn’t have to give it up at all. One look at the shower face and Two-Phones decided to give his act a rest.

The Old Men wanted Fish Garbanzo clipped. Had a couple hot-shit trigger jockeys out of Detroit take a run at him last week, but Fish had that mutant nephew of his, Beans, with him – size of a single family home and some sort of handgun savant, like the only part of his brain that worked right was the part about shooting people. Beans left the shooters in the street sporting 9mm bindis.

So the Old Men called Slim. Fish was heading out of town – word was maybe a meet with the Feds. Airport suited Slim. Airport was the one place where Beans wouldn’t be strapped.

Fish and Beans were in the Food Court, Slim watching from the bookstore at the mouth of A concourse. Fish was a delicate old fuck, liver-spotted head, sipping on something. Beans sat down with a pile of slop he’d grabbed, shoveled it in. Then Fish and Beans got up, headed around the corner for the can. Showtime.

TSA pukes will take away your nail clippers, but Slim loved the shit they let you bring through. He had the computer power cord, the one with the half-pound brick of transformer, knotted up into a perfect sap, and he’d used the bench grinder on a toothbrush, filing that down to a point like an ice pick.

Beans was standing by the sinks when Slim pushed into the john. Slim snapped the transformer down hard right on top of Beans’ head. Not like that was gonna put Beans all the way down, though. Slim slipped under a massive right and drove the tooth brush up under the base of Bean’s skull all the way in to the bristles. He could see Bean’s face in the mirror, all Mongoloid looking now, eyes drooping, mouth hanging open. He caught Beans under the arms, backed him into the empty stall and plopped him down on the crapper.

“Fuck’s goin’ on?” Fish muttering in the handicap stall. Slim kicked the door in, the old man on the can, pants around his ankles, knees sticking out of his stringy legs like knots on tree branches. Slim waved his left hand up over Fish’s head, got his chin up, then drove the fingers of his right hand into the old man’s throat. Felt the trachea go. All over.

Slim locked the door to the stall then slid out underneath, did the same for Beans. He was just about to zip the power cord back in his bag when Two-Phones walked in the door and over to the urinals. Slim washed his hands, watching in the mirror. Fuck just leaves, he’s still good.

But Beans’ head was leaking and he must’ve slumped against the wall closest to the pissers. Two-Phones saw the blood oozing out under the stall – Slim could see him tense up. Fuck.

Slim bull-rushed Two-Phones, putting a forearm up against the back of his head, bouncing his face hard off the tile, then got his right hand around to the far shoulder, left hand cupping the chin, snapped Two-Phone’s neck. Before he dropped him, he plucked the money clip out of the right front pants pocket. Franklins all the way through.

~ fin ~

Dan O'Shea

Daniel O’Shea is a Chicago-area writer focused predominately on crime fiction. His collection of short fiction, OLD SCHOOL, was published by Snubnose Press in 2011. His debut novel, PENANCE, introducing Det. John Lynch was published by Exhibit A in 2013, with the second Det. Lynch novel, GREED, published in January, 2014. He has worked as a business and financial writer for decades – thirty years of writing about the tax code drove me to write about killing people. He is represented by Stacia Decker at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

His stories tend to be dark, but with overtones of redemption. If you’re one of those easily offended by rough language, violence or occassional bits of sex, move on. Fair warning.

I invite you to visit me on the web on my blog at, on Facebook or on Twitter at @dboshea.