Chapter 4

Written by: Ray Stone


The refuse truck came past my pickup and stopped a few yards the other side of the warehouse with a loud hiss of airbrakes. I slid down on my seat, keeping an eye on it through the wing mirror. One man jumped down from the cab and ran over to the warehouse double door with a key while the truck began reversing. It stopped as its rear end disappeared past the doors. Seconds later the truck drove back into the street and returned the way it had come. 

“Damn it, that was slick,” I said out loud, forgetting my immediate feelings and admiring these guys. 

Don’t get me wrong. Me and Tony spent three years running our neighborhood’s booze and smokes business at night, and we had plenty of time stashing it, and us, away from the cops. We got good at that. But there’s a big difference between what we were doing then and what Tony was doing for his dad.

I turned the key in the ignition and the engine coughed into life. The street was clear and I didn’t want to hang around. One minute later I was looking at a roll of carpet taped up and sealed either end laying on a dirty floor littered with all sorts of rubbish. When I picked one end of the carpet up I puked. Still gagging, I got the end I held onto the pickup’s tailboard and pushed the other until I had it loaded. Without worrying about closing the doors, I left and as soon as I got to the end of the street, called Tony.

“Well done, Joe. See, I told you it was a simple job, right?”

“Tony, I don’t want to have anything to do with dead bodies. Can’t we just do the booze and other stuff?”

“First time’s the worst. After that it gets easy. Come on, Joe. You don’t wanna let me down, do you?”

“Well, no but -”

“That’s my buddy. Tell you what. When we finish today, let’s go to ‘Twinkles’ that topless bar on sixth and Marsh Street. We’ll celebrate and eat fried chicken. What d'ya say?”

“Yeah, I suppose.” I didn’t argue. The chicken at Twinkles was better than the meatloaf my mother had ready for dinner. 

“Okay. We’re at the railyard behind Saint Saviours graveyard. Get here as quick as you can. We need to get a move on if we wanna make the other collection on time.”

I drove as quickly as I could. When I arrived, I realized I had not covered the carpet up with the tarpaulin neatly folded in one corner of the bed. The rain must have soaked it through. If there was any blood, it might get on our clothes.

“Great timing. Digger just finished the hole.” Tony helped pull the carpet off. “Don’t worry… no blood. Strangulation. One more then we can enjoy a night out at Twinkles.”

Digger grinned. Twinkle…that’s your new name Joe.”


Ooh that's grim. I wondered why he didn't react when he heard they had another pick up before the night's end. Still great story, graphic and heart stopping.