The Prince of Upper Bessarabia by Gary Clifton

Two homicide detectives pursue the bomber of a gang boss's beer joint, but they don't hold out much hope that he'll survive long enough for them to haul him in; by Gary Clifton

There are a few rules, you know. Plant a bomb in a beer joint, you're supposed to wait until the place closes. And if you target the livelihood of a mobbed up guy like Tony David Colbacci, a.k.a. Tony Bone, it's a damned fine idea to get some place far away, soon.

Ten or twelve drunks saw this clown carry the sack into the men's john, plant it beneath the urinal, then run like hell. It went off okay - killed two guys outright. One was taking a leak and the bomb blew his right hand through the roof. Guess what was in it? Homicide sent me - I'm Slattery - and Red Harper out, probably because we were tops on the shit list.

We tried to calm Bone down, like water on a grease fire. Twenty interviews with drunks and screwed up dancers created a "who's got the most God awful tattoo" competition, but bupkis on the ID of the bomber. Bone, hell, he knew who and where the guy was before the fire department left.

This dopey, stoned dancer, Flower, told us she'd been doing the guy who was the Prince of Upper Bessarabia. They had a snit and he blew the joint up. "Seems logical to me." Harper rolled his cigar. Flower told us the jerkoff was staying in her apartment.

So Harper and I kicked the door and the sleazy little rat disappeared in a damned hole in the bathroom ceiling and was gone. "You'd behoove yourself to surrender to us, dipshit," I called after him. "Cuz I know a sucker you ain't gonna much like when he finds you." He should have listened.

Then a black powder bomb took down the mayor of Glen City's gazebo. We knew this Prince clown did it, mostly because Flower said he'd called her and bragged he did it. "How the hell did he find the Mayor of Glen City's gazebo and why didn't he blow up, like, the garage or kitchen?" I asked.

"He was gonna blow up the mayor's house and got the wrong damned town... why bomb that geezo thingy? Beats hell outta me."

Yeah, I tossed off a few. At four a.m., Flower called. I'd foolishly given her my cellular number. "Slattery, he's here in my bed if you want the turd," she whispered. "I jes' come home and found him... but he's dead."

"Why you whispering if he's dead?" My headache seemed fatal.

"Mama said you supposed to give them dead some reverends."

So Harper and I got on over there. The little rat was naked and deader than good manners. What Flower hadn't said was he had an iron pipe hammered two feet up his ass. "Suicide, plain and simple," Harper said.

"Yep, shoulda never bombed Tony Bone's joint. As God is our witness we tried to save him."

"Upper Bessarabia? Ain't that in New Jersey anyways?" Harper lit a new cigar.

1 comment:

  1. it´s a pity it´s so short! but maybe that´s the beauty of it! they don´t write them like that anymore.
    very good

    michael mccarthy