Citybeat

Whitey lived near the canal, in a cavernous loft, in a largely vacant industrial park.

“What’s not to love about it?” he replied. “With the factories idled, you can hear a pin drop. And the stars are back. And the toxic runoff has mostly washed out to sea.”

Whitey pointed to the waterway.

“People still laugh about the colour. But it’s never been cleaner.”

He went in all the time.

“You see the bridge where the 93 crosses? That’s where the syndicate guys used to toss their guns after a job.”

When the weather was nice, Whitey liked to don his snorkel and see what he could salvage from the murky bottom.

He drew a pistol from the back of his pants.

“1911 Colt Government. Found it in a bucket of concrete, wrapped in an oily rag.”

He wasn’t troubled to think it might have been used to take a life.

“That’s a selling point for a certain kind of collector.”

+++

Whitey was in the water again when tragedy struck.

“All of a sudden, I hear a woman cry. And out of nowhere this kid in street clothes paddles into the shadows under the bridge. And the woman is crying, ‘Oh, my gawd! ‘He’s drownding!’”

But Whitey didn’t see anyone drowning. He didn’t see who was crying out. He didn’t see the point in sticking around. So, he got out of the water and headed home.

+++

He was just opening the door when they caught up with him.

“Hold up, hold up,” a reporter called out, waving a microphone for attention.

She was a giant of a woman, barely contained by a straining yellow raincoat.

“Citybeat News. We’d like to get your take on the drowning.”

She turned to the man behind her with the camera and equipment bags.

“Oye, Francisco. Chop chop. We gonna lose our light.”

She held out her hand.

“Remi Fasolati. Citybeat on the beat. Can we set up a shot?”

Cisco squeezed by with the equipment.

“The living room is good, yeah?”

+++

Whitey was skeptical.

“I mean, the kid was fine so far as I could tell. I didn’t understand what the crying was about.”

Remi checked her notes.

“The crying mother, you mean. She was the first to spot a man floating in the water. Her son reportedly jumped to the rescue.”

Cisco leaned over. “Pepe died trying to save you.”

“Pepe?”

Cisco raised his hand as if to slap Whitey across the room but only swiped at a tear instead.

“Little Pepito. He was such a good boy. His papa would have been proud.”

Remi patted his hand gently.

“Pepe was his favourite nephew,” she explained.

Cisco smiled bitterly. “Such a good boy. You know, he promised to give me a kidney. Can you believe that?”

Cisco lifted his shirt to show a heavily tattooed midsection.

“You see? Mine is no good. And now I will probably die, too.”

He hung his head.

Whitey didn’t know what to say.

Cisco didn’t seem to be waiting for a reply anyway.

Instead, he produced a shaving mirror and a razor blade and started chopping at a little white nugget.

Remi unbuttoned the top of her coat and fanned her chest, and Whitey was reminded of a giant popcorn kernel building up steam.

Cisco divided the powder into three long lines and brought the lot over for Whitey to do the honours.

“For Pepe,” he said in salute.

Whitey laughed at the idea that he would ever put Cisco’s mystery powder up his nose (especially with the cameras rolling).

But Cisco had a different idea altogether. He raised the mirror to his lips and blew the contents right into Whitey’s laughing face.

+++

Whitey drifted to the surface to see Cisco looming over him with a boom mic.

Remi’s voice approached from the right bank: “Oh, daddy, you know what I need.”

Whitey didn’t know, but he couldn’t work his mouth to say so.

Remi grasped him by the ears.

“Oh, give it to me, daddy. Give it to me — and I’ll give it to you.”

Cisco leaned into the mic to answer for Whitey: “Oh, baby. I’m all yours.”

Remi clambered aboard and started swaying in and out of view.

“Oh, daddy, I don’t need all of you. Just a. Oh. Just a. Oh. Oh.”

Cisco got in tight with the camera, then pulled back to record her breasts crashing together like wrecking balls.

“Just a. Oh. Oh.”

+++

For the finale, Remi performed an acrobatic manoeuvre that left her ass planted firmly in Whitey’s face.

It made for rare footage, but between the crushing weight and suffocating heaps of flesh, Whitey was cast back into the shadows.

When he turned from blue to purple, Remi tried slapping the daylight back into him with her tits, and when that didn’t work, she cried for an ambulance.

“Oh, my gawd! Is there a doctor in the house?”

Dr. Cisco, in a lab coat and vintage headlamp, high-stepped into frame.

“Right, where is the patient?”

Remi stopped beating Whitey with her tits and waved frantically.

“Over here, doctor. I’m afraid I fucked him to death!”

Cisco gestured for her to climb off the patient as he retrieved a stethoscope from his bag.

Remi did as instructed and bounced with delight as Whitey gulped the wind back into his chest and his eyeballs resettled into their sockets.

“You saved him, doctor!”

Cisco looked at her gravely and snapped his headlamp on.

“He’s not out of the woods yet! Fellate the patient!”

Cisco, meanwhile, stubbed out his cigar and swabbed Whitey with a thick layer of yellow antiseptic.

It was a bloody business. But Cisco knew how to handle a blade, and he was soon packing Whitey’s kidney into an insulated bag.

Remi’s voice approached from the right bank: “Oh, give it to me, doctor. Give it to me — and I’ll give it to you.”

A leering Dr. Cisco turned his gaze slowly to the camera and snapped the headlamp off.

“And cut!” He shouted.

“That was good.”

They congratulated each other as they collected their gear, and Cisco let Remi know what a star she was.

Then a car pulled into the drive.

Remi waved through the window. “Pepe brought us takeout.”

Cisco shoved the 1911 into his waistband and headed out the door.

It was a quiet night, and Whitey could hear the car speeding up the 93. It stopped for a moment at the bridge, and he might have heard the splash in the canal before the car continued on its way.

+++

Whitey drifted back to the surface, but he was well beyond knowing anything about it. On the far bank, a woman continued to cry as the ambulance hauled him away.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.