Chapter 8

Written by: Ray Stone

The rain was falling again. I didn’t care. My jacket was soaked in seconds, and my feet squelched as water seeped through the bottom of my trainers. I stood on the edge of the curb and breathed in lungfuls of air. An old Chrysler driven by some black dude went past at speed sending a sheet of dirty water over my jeans. As the car disappeared up the street, I saw through the rear window an apologetic hand raised. So what? I didn’t give him a thought. In fact, I didn’t give anybody a thought. My head was so mixed up I wanted to puke, laugh, and cry all at the same time.

Tony was wise-cracking and laughing when he called. It didn’t bother him that he had killed Digger. Maybe he was a psycho, I don’t know, but all I could think of at that moment was the shooting and all the blood. As I stood in the rain, my head cleared a little and I decided to go see Mr. Sparizza and tell him I wanted out. After all, I wasn’t a ‘made’ man.

My heart was in my mouth as I rang the bell at the Sparizza mansion. 

“You see, Sir,” I explained a moment later, “I’m not cut out for killing and burying. Tony’s great at it but not me. I’d rather deal with the cigarettes and whiskey. That’s what I’m good at.” I smiled, but the smile was false and evaporated quickly.

“Well now, Joe. What you’re going through is understandable.” Sparizza did the same as his son and put an arm around my shoulders. I wasn’t all that keen on that. I’d seen things like that in the movies. You know - when a boss wants to get rid of someone, he always smiles and acts nice to the guy being bumped off and puts an arm around the victim. “Tell you what, Joe. Look after Tony for two more jobs, and if you feel the same, then I’ll put you back on the cigarettes and whiskey. Maybe I’ll let you go solo and take charge of that end of things. Whaddya say, huh?”

I didn’t want to let Tony down, and I’d have a chance of running the booze on my own. It was a way out. At least I wouldn’t have to deal with stiffs. I nodded agreement and left feeling relieved.




 There was an old red shrimper, the top of its rusting wheelhouse just visible above the quayside. Tony and I looked down at the untidy mass of ropes, chains, and piled fishing nets that littered her deck.

“Okay, let’s heave Digger down there onto the deck. The crew will arrive soon, and we don’t wanna be here then.”

Digger was rolled up in a carpet like the others. We pulled him off the pickup and threw him over the quay and onto the boat.

“Hold it! What’s in that rug?”

Two cops stepped from behind a crate, guns drawn.


Oh fabulous! Just when I thought they were about to get away with it. Terrific twist. I also loved the way he rationalized Tony's fathers reaction to him pulling out. So naive and yet believable because that is how Joe as been all the way through.