Sneak Peek on Patreon

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Take a sneak peak at a short story on my patreon. Contribute what you can. The completed story will be up by the end of the month. Thanks again to all those that are showing support. https://www.patreon.com/posts/11514746

“Go on,” Berlusconi said. “Put the earpiece on.”

John’s ribs were burning, the blood trickled from his mouth onto the dark green carpet of the office. His body refused to move, the pain held him down like a weight tied to his body. A big man stood next to Berlusconi’s desk, his knuckles red. “Looks like big man can’t make it up, boss.”

Berlusconi smiled and sucked on a cigarette. “Patience, Anthony. John’s an old hand at this, probably experienced more pain than any of us know. He’ll make it.”

John slowly got to his feet, his legs shaking. The fire inside kept raging. The big man Anthony played John’s ribs like a punching bag. He could easily be a heavyweight contender, he was just as big and beefy as they come. John finally stood upright, his eyes looking straight at Berlusconi sitting in his black leather chair. Behind him was a wall of glass, the twinkling lights of the city burned brightly in the night. John’s mind was out there, past the office, sitting at a bar with a drink in his hand and feeling sorry for himself.

“Up before the ten count,” Berlusconi said smiling. “Told you, Anthony, an old hand at this. Come on, John, take the earpiece.” Berlusconi tapped his desk and dipped some ash in the ashtray. John moved slowly towards the desk, his eyes still on the outside world. He took the earpiece, no bigger than small seashell.

Berlusconi said, “Put it on.”

John fitted the piece in his right ear.

The sound of his wife’s breathing pierced his ears.

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Ready For Anything

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They wanted me dead. Well let them try. I held the pistol tightly, the cold steel fit my hand like a glove. My one and only best friend. I looked at the door of my office, the light seeping through the crack underneath. Anderson warned me they were coming, coming to fill me with lead and toss my carcass in the water. I can hear the footsteps now, tapping, tapping up the stairs. I fished a cigarette on of my pocket and lit it. The tobacco felt good, like it was the first time all over again. If I was gonna go out, might as well do while feeling good.

They were at the door now. I saw the knob turn. I cocked my gun, ready for anything.

Support on Patreon!

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https://www.patreon.com/seanogrady

I have decided to take the next step with my writing and distribute it through Patreon. Through Patreon, I want to build up my support for my writing and earn some money that can go to getting my first novel self-published- such as hiring a quality editor and book cover designer. Your help will push me to create monthly content and you can even share in the story writing process as well. Here is a quick break down of the level of support you can show:

$1- two flash fiction pieces a month (each 1,000 words long)
$3- Two flash fiction pieces and a short story (2,000~5,000 words long)
$5- Two flash fiction, short story, and you can either be a character in my next monthly short story or you can contribute to creating the story by providing an opening sentence or a single sentence story idea.

Any support you can provide I will greatly appreciate it. I will also continue to supply brief writing pieces on my blog, but the longer content will be on my Patreon page. Spread the word if you can, to anyone that enjoys crime fiction or at least entertaining writing, share the link above and direct them to my Patreon page. Thank you all for your love and continuing support. I won’t disappoint you.

Fight Night

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Asuka wiped the blood away from her eyes. A flying superman punch grazed her brow. She quickly dodged it, but not fast enough. She felt the gloved fist slicing her head, a tiny itch like a mosquito bite. Then the sweat and the blood began to mix in her right eye, blocking out her vision on her right side. Sarah Cortez could have struck again taking advantage of this new development. Asuka quickly cleaned her eye, keeping her left arm up to block any more mischief. Her internal clock reminded her there was two minutes left in the round.

The blood kept trickling in, swirling with sweat and stinging her eye. Asuka ignored it, trying to focus on the advice screamed at her from her side of the octagon; Dan Parnell screaming at the top of his lungs, trying to pierce through the dense noise of the crowd.

“Keep you hands up, close the gap. Close the gap.”

Asuka was about six paces away from Sarah with her back almost against the fence. Bad move with Sarah “The Terminator” Cortez closing the gap with a quick low kick and a few jabs. Asuka kept circling, keeping the hands up. She wanted to strike, but she couldn’t. Her body wouldn’t, it was holding her back.

She was afraid.

A left leg swung at her midsection. Asuka bent low to guard her ribs. The leg smacked her right arm with the full force of ten years of Muai Thai training. The impact was like a steel bat had hit her. Asuka’s elbow dug into her ribs with the full force of the kick. She cried out through her mouthguard.  She moved quickly away, but Sarah kept coming. Now she knew why Sarah got the nickname, she absolutely would not stop, ever, until Asuka was dead.

One minute left.

Her ribs hurt, blind in her right eye and her heart pounding against her chest. Still, Asuka’s body seized up, refusing to attack. She heard Dan cry out, “Fucking attack, get in there. Attack!.”

Goddamnit, Dan, I want to. But, if I get close she’ll fucking murder me. I can’t win.

Sarah’s hard brown eyes locked in with Asuka’s. Asuka thought she saw a quick smirk cross the woman’s lips. She knew what Asuka was thinking. That’s right bitch, just try to attack. Can’t stop the terminator. Sarah pounced, leaping into the air like a tiger on the attack, a flying roundhouse kick. Asuka almost didn’t notice, the movement was too fast, to swift for her body to calculate how to react.

All she did was ducked.

The foot flew over her head; Sarah landed right in front of her.

Now’s your chance!

The tension was gone, the force that held Asuka back had receded. She looked right into Sarah’s eyes, staring deep into the wide pupils as her right fist fell on Sarah’s jaw. Asuka dropped her punch like she was Thor summoning all the might of Noer for one mighty blow. She drove into the jaw, pushing her body against Sarah’s face, almost losing her balance in the process. The crowd roared at the turn of events. The underdog had upsetted the script, now she was the attacker, the one in control. Sarah wobbled, her legs like stilts now, the glassy look in her eyes like she didn’t know where the fuck she was.

Asuka charged at the Terminator, knocking her ass on the floor. They tumbled to the ground like wrestlers. Asuka was on top, got past Sarah’s guard and pressed her legs tight against Sarah’s body. The face was open and Asuka began raining fist like she was beating up her pillow when she was young. Punch after punch finding their mark, bashing against Sarah’s face. Boom, boom, boom, boom.

“Stop, stop, stop!”

The referee pulled Asuka away from Sarah’s, waving his arm in the air. The bell rang three times; the chime of victory, the chime of defeat.

Night at The Round-About

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Johnny sipped his scotch and looked at his watch. Eleven thirty, almost time. He looked up at the band on stage, the quartet jamming away, a soft fusion number that gripped the crowd. Johnny liked the tune, got him tapping his fingers. The lights of the bar were low, the candles on the tables twinkling like fireflies in the night. The Round-About was the only live Jazz club in Milwaukee, the only place Johnny felt comfortable in.

A man sat next to Johnny at the bar. The man wore a large black overcoat, leather gloves and a scarf tied around his neck. Johnny could see the tiny specks of snow hanging on the man’s hair. His nose red like a Russian.

Johnny said, “Pretty cold?”

The man let out a short huff. “So cold the witch’s tits called in sick. How can you people live out here?”

“Lake view, mostly.”

“You can get that anywhere without the cold. What you drinking?”

Johnny answered and the man ordered one from the bartender. The bartender was a thin girl with stick arms and a big chest. She handed the man his drink; he held the glass, the cubes tickling in the amber liquid. He looked hard at the woman, she gave a slight smile and moved on.

The man said, “At least there’s one good thing about this place,” the man said.

“Come around more often,” Johnny said. “She’s here Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

The man took another quick glance. “Still, not enough to get me going.”

The band finished their set. Applause sprang up throughout the club. Johnny and the man joined in, the man leaning to the side with each clap.

“You feeling alright?” Johnny asked.

“Like you really care.”

“You’re right. I really don’t. Still, I’m curious.”

The man chuckled. “The whole world’s too goddamn curious. Ain’t your problem, man. I just drink, ain’t nothing more than that. Christ, it’s cold.”

“I get that,” Johnny said.

“I thought you midwestern types appreciate straight talk.”

“Yeah, but we appreciate a bit of respect instead of some drunk running his mouth in front of a stranger.”

“Packers suck, too.”

Johnny shrugged, finished his drink and set the glass down, not looking at the man. He waved the bartender over to him. “Mr. Lorenzo here?”

“Yes,” the bartender said.

“Can you tell him Johnny’s here. I need to see him. He’ll know who I am.”

The girl left the bar and walked across the main floor. She disappeared behind a corner and came back a minute later. “Mr. Lorenzo will see you.”

“What makes you so damn popular?” the man said. He had finished his drink and had his back to the band. Johnny just looked at him and walked away. He walked towards the hallway at the other end of the building. Rounding the corner Johnny saw the door at the end of the hall. He opened the door. A bald man with round-rim glasses looked up from the papers that strew across the small desk. The man looked up and smiled. “Been a while Johnny Boy.”

Johnny didn’t say a word. He walked to the desk and took a seat across from Lorenzo.

Lorenzo said, “Milwaukee treating you well?

“Can’t complain, except for the drunks.”

“Yeah, we get a few of those. Thank God they’re not what keeps this place going. Be bottom up if I did.”

“How the games going?” Johnny asked, clasping his hands together.

“Been steady. Just got the last drop a few hours ago and been waiting for ya. Not even the stick-up job in Kenosha did much of a dent.”

“Yeah, we’ve heard about that.”

“Twin Cities got it that fast, eh?”

“Not just that. They heard it was your call to stage that Kenosha job.”

“People got active imagination” Lorenzo rocked slightly in his leather chair, the squeaks of the chair echoed in the room. “Where they get that from?”

Johnny’s thumbs rubbed against each other. “You got big talkers out in Kenosha. Should’ve done your homework, get someone that knows how to keep their mouths shut.”

“Like I said, where you that from? Where’s the proof.”

Johnny kept silent, his eyes stayed locked on Lorenzo. The muffled sounds of music seeped through the closed door.

Johnny pulled out the gun. The bullet smashed through Lorenzo’s clean shaven head, smacking him against his chair. Johnny shot again at Lorenzo’s heart. He holstered his gun and pushed the slumped body of Lorenzo away from the desk. A sports bag was tucked under the desk near the dead man’s feet. Johnny unzipped the bag, the green stacks stared back at him. He picked up the bag and walked out, closing the door behind him. Johnny walked away, eyes looking at the exit door on the right. He saw the man at the bar talking to the bartender.

“Can you tell him,” the man said, “his brother’s here.”

Johnny kept going. He passed through the doors out into the dark, snowy night.

This Ain’t Heat

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“Watch those fuckers,” Dave yelled through his ski mask. I kept my AK on the fat-ass guard and the customers. Dave hopped over the teller’s counter and ran to the opened vault.

My grip was tight on the rife, though my breath was seeping out nervously. This wasn’t like the movie “Heat,” no confidence, no badassery or command of presence. We pretty much planned the whole stick-up on the fucking film, looked easy enough to do at the time. Dave wasn’t any better with his confidence; he got control from the bullets fired. People will do anything when a gun is fired at them; heck, they might even blow each other.

“Don’t shoot us, please.” That meek little voice was the bank manager on the floor surrounded by the lowly customers rather than his posh back office he was ripped out of, now he was here among the rest of the turds.

“Shut up,” I said. “Keep talking and you’re gonna get it. We just want the fucking money.” Speaking of which, I saw Dave working away, stuffing the piles of cash in the bag. “You almost finished?” I said. “Starting to grow a fucking beard here.”

Dave zipped up the bag an left the vault, hopping over the counter again. “Good things to those who wait,” Dave said.

“I’ll do my fucking waiting later. Let’s bail.”

Spoke too soon. Sirens.

I looked out the front door, San Bernardino’s finest choking us off from freedom.

“Goddamnit, we came so close,” Dave said. “We ain’t gonna be losers again, right Steve?”

I just kept looking, the swarm of white squad cars like locus. “Got no fucking choice,” I said, my voice shaking as my hand worked the rifle bolt.

“No fucking choice,” Dave repeated. He raised his gun and fired. Bullets shattering the glass doors, the police scattering, people screaming. My hands shook, but I fired anyway. The police shot back, bullets going every which way. Dave grabbed the money bag and bolted for the back exit. I gave some cover fire and sprinted after him. The fools on the ground stayed there, too scared to even try to make an escape.

Escaping out the back way I was surprised, no cops around. Just our car ready to make a B-line for freedom.

“Get in, get in,” Dave yelled. I smacked my head against the roof as I dove in. Fucking smarts, but I’ll be laughing at it as soon as we get the fuck outta here. Dave jammed the key in the ignition, the car roaring to life.

“Hold the fuck on,” Dave said, “We’re…”

Dave’s head exploded, blood smattering the windshield and me.

I froze, what else could I do. You see a sight like that, your friend’s head open and on display across the car and you try fucking doing anything afterwards.

I heard footsteps and yelling, the cops were coming in.

It just wasn’t fucking fair.

 

 

Loser

I’m a fucking loser.

The radio played Human League’s “Mirror Man” while Steve Coogan sat, hands on the wheel but not going anywhere. His eyes looked at the front door of his small bungalow, the small cat ornament hanging on hook. Sarah wanted that; she always liked cat decorations. Steve allowed her to hang it like the dutiful husband he was.

Just a fucking loser.

Steve fixed his red tie, looked at his blue suit and felt ill. His stomach churned, his heart bang like a tap dancer against his ribs. Whenever he lied or the feeling of inadequacy kicked in, these were the feelings he felt. It kicked in when Sarah spoke after breakfast, giving him a goodbye kiss before he left the door, “Don’t let the kids get to you, hon. Enjoy your work today.”

Work. Enjoy your work.

The sky was a clear, crystal blue over Green Bay. The spring weather was good, the sun’s touch bringing life to everything. Things looked brighter, that was probably why Steve felt even sicker, his emotions conflicted with the mandated cheeriness of the scenery. He saw cars leaving the neighborhood, people heading out to places of purpose.

Everyone’s going to work. What about you? What about you, sitting here with your empty briefcase. Where the fuck are you going? Just walk back in there and tell her the truth. Take the screaming and the name calling, take it all. It’s what you’re best at anyway, isn’t it. Being everyone’s punching bag, being their bitch.

Steve’s teeth began to gnash and grate against each other; he jammed his key into the ignition and started up. The front door opened, Sarah came out with a confused look on her face. Steve looked, the anger that twisted his face had turned to stunned shock; he was away in his own hate-filled world and looking at Sarah had called him back. She walked over to him and tapped on the glass. Steve rolled down the window.

“Why didn’t you leave yet?” Sarah said, a thin veil of worry on her face.

“I-I was just thinking I forgot something,” Steve said. Sarah reached over and planted a delicate, soft kiss on Steve’s cheek. “Hope it wasn’t something important.”

“Actually, I remember now.” Steve took hold of Sarah’s small face and returned the kiss, lingering longer than he needed.

“Don’t be late, hon,” Sarah said.

“I won’t be,” Steve said, a faint smile gracing his dry lips. He backed the car out of the driveway, Sarah standing there and waving. Pulling away from the house the view of Sarah grew smaller and smaller.

The feeling of disgust grew larger and larger.

You did this, you bastard. You’re the one that fucked up. No scapegoat here to pass your sins on to. Look in the mirror. There, there, it’s you, you fuck.

Steve’s grip tightened on the steering wheel, his arm wanted to smash through the window, to shatter something, anything. The rage and the disgust, building and crawling within him like cockroaches on a garbage heap, he just wanted to to let it all loose. Steve was on the highway now, people with a purpose zipped past him, his car stuck in the slow lane, the going nowhere fast lane. He thought a driver was laughing at him, the faint mocking laughter hitting him, drilling to his head. That laugh, no that wasn’t was stranger’s laugh. It was his voice, his laughter cutting himself to the bone. Through the chuckles the voice kept repeating the refrain: You ruined everything, You ruined everything, You ruined everything. Steve pulled off the highway towards Lambeau Field.

Amy’s face appeared in his mind’s eye. You. Why do you always come at the worst times. At once he wanted to hold her and kick the shit out of her. The winks, the stares, the playful poking she always gave his arm. She signaled to him and he too the bait. He could have blamed her for everything, for how his life turned, that was fucking easy. Parking in Lambeau Field Steve glanced at the back seat through the review mirror. He remembered Amy’s brown hair sprayed across the seats, her moans and cries echoing in the car, their bodies rocking the vehicle back and forth.

Such a fucking pig.

The school caught wind of it, but Steve never found out how. No one would tell him anything. They only said that he was fired. He was lucky about that, if you can call it luck. There was no definitive proof, just rumors. But rumors can be strong enough to alter one’s perception. The school just sweep it under the rug and he was gone. No more job here or anywhere in the district, an invisible pariah.

Steve stepped out of the car, the warm morning air smacking him in the face. He wished he could go inside the stadium and just sit, sit and look out at the field. He just wanted to be somewhere that made him happy, that brought some joy to him. Walking up to the locked gates with the chain around them crushed that thought.