A Vague Implication

by Darren Subarton


.......I was sitting in front of her building in my Lincoln. The Old No. 7 was going down very smoothly in this heat. Stakeouts and shakedowns - it seems like that's all they've got me doing anymore. I forget why I even started taking cases for the force by now. Probably the same reason why I enlisted during the war -- I thought I could actually make a difference. Funny how time changes but heals nothing. One thing, though, doing deep DT work for the NYPD may be a headache but you can't ever say you're really bored. Old No. 7 usually keeps the rhetorical conversations flowing like supple prose.

.......I snuffed my toughest mark about a month ago, though I can hardly sit here and think about her like that. Let me tell you a little bit about Dalgis. Jesus, she had to be the most beautiful creature I've ever seen in my life. Why are the pretty ones always so messed up? The truly lovely ones always have so much emotional baggage; that's part of their appeal.

.......I first got assigned to tailing Dalgis about 5 months ago. She was a prostitute but not your everyday "$20 dollar grab-bag" type of whore. She was one hell of a catch if you could grab her, but she was too hot to contain.

.......I mean, you would have understood if you saw her. She was about 5' 11", 135 pounds, sexy hazel eyes, shoulder-length dirty-blond hair, olive skin and the body of a hotty Puerto Rican firecracker. God, did she have a set of eyes; they were large and in-charge. Every time she looked into my eyes I felt like I had fallen in love a thousand times over.

.......You see, the Commissioner used to shag Dalgis, and she still worked as an informant for him, had connections we couldn't have touched with a good luck horseshoe wedged up our asses-hell, there's even rumors the Mayor had a couple of dates with her. When I met her, she was getting the goods for the Commissioner about Vincent Vidella, a white-slavery trader who worked out of Chinatown. That guy made shit smell pretty. Anyway, the Commissioner wanted her to get information about a cash account Vidella had that none of the NYPD's DTs could get close to. The account turned out to be the Commissioner's own, or so the rumor went-part of a secret deal the Commissioner set up with Vidella a few years back: kick-back money. I was never filled in on the details and I never asked.

.......Dalgis decided to play the Commissioner against Vidella and set herself up with a grande supplement to her income. You never want to try'n screw over the police, trust me; they practically invented the gangster archetype. I never should've gotten involved with her, but if you saw her, if you talked to herÖwell, you'd've known what I meant.

.......I think this was the hardest job the force had me do so far. I've shaken down cripples for running numbers, burned down buildings, taken protection money off the newspapers, unions, kidnapped children, tailed chimo priests to pedophile clubs, you name it. At one time or another I've done some pretty rotten jobs for the department but this was different, very different. There was something about her, maybe the way she talked to me with those eyes? Jesus, she was born to be a queen for kings and rulers of mighty nations. She had it. She was a professional; she was like me, a lifer in the game because she never had a choice.

.......Some guys don't like that kind of thing -- you know, having a whore as a lover. A lot of guys feel uncomfortable sharing their woman, they feel like they're inadequate lovers. Not me, I love whores. There's no bullshit: no flowers, no anniversaries, no excuses, no nothing. I could be a midget in a cowboy suit or a freak with an arm hanging out of my ass; with a whore, you're going to get laid no matter what. I've never met a woman like her and I've slept with the best money or threats could buy. Whores are my Achilles' heel; they're the only other people besides cops and PIs that understand how this crazy world works.

.......I've really got to tell you about how we met. I couldn't help it, after tailing her for a month I had to meet her. At first it was just the obvious infatuation while filming her with my digital camcorder for reports. Then I realized there was quite a bit more to her than just a hot little skin-popper; she had innovation. So I used up a favor having someone in bunko set me up a date with her. They told her I was a businessman in the telecommunications industry, and we met at the Plaza a few times. I still tailed her, turned in my reports, ran business as business should be run. I started looking into a few leads, just scraps of things on computer files downtown, and asked a few questions to the right people. I found a friend of Dalgis'.

.......Her friend's name was Miss Cocoa, a transvestite fluffer for gay porno films. He also moonlighted as a bouncer at a downtown sex club called Cocksure. As it turned out, Miss Cocoa first met Dalgis about ten years ago when she ran away from her father's serene Albany home. They lived in a squat house together on the Lower East Side; the pre-Miss Cocoa broke her into the porn industry, even did a few pictures together. Miss Cocoa never got out of the film business. Dalgis went on to tricking but the two stayed friends, very close friends; they sometimes shared tricks and the needle.

.......When I met with Miss Cocoa, he let me on to something that was about the last thing I'd ever expected. Dalgis had been confiding in him for a while about this john that was getting funny with her, one of her regular dates. Miss Cocoa didn't know who, just that they were very powerful in city government. The john was married with a wife and the typical basket but was obsessed with her, wouldn't leave her alone. Said the guy wanted to leave the square life behind, take up with her. Said he knew it would cause a scandal if they married now and told her he wouldn't do it with his wife swallowing air. He asked Dalgis to kill her and when she refused and stopped seeing him, she started getting threatening phone calls, thought her phone was tapped, noticed that somebody was following her.

.......I slipped Miss Cocoa a couple of bills and drove off. Was I the person Dalgis thought was following her? I never noticed another tail over the past several months and I'm good with things like that. I wanted to call her. There were so many things I wanted to say, couldn't say, couldn't understand. I looked for the catchwords and emotion, searched deep and on high, but they were also lost. On my way over to Reubinstein's for a bite to eat to think things through, my beeper went off. It was the Commissioner. He wanted me to meet him in half an hour at the Savoy Lounge on 11th Avenue.

.......The Commissioner dropped the big one on me, said he wanted me to snuff Dalgis out. Said she was going to expose some information that would turn the NYPD, the Mayor's office, and three quarters of City Hall from hole to shinola. Old No. 7 and I took a drive out to Wild Wild West in Brooklyn, taking some time to think things out. "Wild West" poured the best drinks for any strip bar I'd ever been to and the girls were a class above the rest. It wasn't like a typical Brooklyn strip house where anyone could take off their clothes and get up and dance; these women were heartbreakers. I always went there to think important things out, and this was perhaps my toughest decision yet.

.......I didn't want to kill her but I had to, it was my job. I couldn't imagine how to do it to her. Usually I'd just walk up and put a bullet in their head like they were a sick dog. Sometimes I'd burn their buildings down, but that doesn't always work. Then it hit me. I'd make a bomb. I'd blow her to dust, there'd be nothing left. No signs, no memories, no grave to visit, nothingÖshe would be eliminated off this earth. I couldn't stand it any other way. I finished my drink, got a lap dance, and headed my car to the Union Headquarters on Atlantic Avenue, downtown Brooklyn.

.......I have to shake the unions down every couple months so I got to know a few of the bosses pretty well. I even had one of the carpenter Locals send some men over to my house and build a deck for me. Whenever I need work done I always talk with the fellas; one hand washes the other. I decided I'd build a bomb from Solidox, an oxidizing agent that welders use for the hot flame to melt metal. It's volatile and hard to trace, and I knew the union would have a bunch lying around someplace. You can buy it at most hardware stores if you have a license, but I wanted to see how those guys were doing anyway. They were having some problems with this organization, kind of like the black Mafia, called the Black Coalition. The Black Coalition bosses would show up on job sites and force foremen to take black workers over the whites, using strong-arm tactics to get their point across. I had to set up a couple of these Coalition guys to take a fall for some malarkey, you know, shake them up a bit. After all, that's why the unions are paying the force so well, and that's why the force is taking care of me.

.......I picked up twenty sticks of Solidox, some PVC, duct tape, and thirty bucks this guy owed me on a bet from the Chavez fight two weeks before. On my way home I picked up a pound of sugar and a six-pack of Miller. The Miller was to drink, and the sugar was the bomb's energy source. Six sticks would've been fine but I wanted the job to be done right, that's why I used fifteen. I couldn't even imagine the mischance of only blowing her partly up, crippling her for life; I'd seen too much of that during the war and it still sickens me. I wanted to make sure she was going off to a better place than this one. Whores always go to heaven; they have to put up with too much crap here to go anywhere different. Like I said, they're enlightened, some of the few who truly understand the defunct machinery of human nature.

.......When everything was set, I called her and made plans to meet at the Plaza again. Once we were in the room I'd run out for a pack of smokes and blow half the floor up. With any luck, I'd take out some aristocratic assholes and their pretentious wives too. I thought again of her eyes and her laugh; oh how I loved that laugh. She had a different giggle, a giggle like lovers have. I thought of her curves and silk-like flesh, so temptable and corrupting, almost child-like.

.......When it came time to kill her, everything worked perfectly. We were in the room and she started to draw some bath water. I told her I was running down to the lobby to buy some smokes and slipped the bomb under the bed before leaving the room. I blew the living hell out of her and the 9th Floor. The Commissioner was happy with a job well done, he told me, handing me a padded envelope. He said he would've even put me in for a letter of commendation if it were under different circumstances. Just like the Army-I got my medals for doing the dog's work, the bottom-feeding job of killing innocents and coined enemy. Same jobÖjust a different battleground.

.......I was pretty thorough with my clean-up: they found Miss Cocoa in a dumpster near the west-side piers, and the desk clerk at the Plaza left town without notice. I also found out a little more about that john that was following Dalgis, and realized that the whole thing was a vague implication, a slight of justice that would have slipped through the cracks like so much else in this system. It never had anything to do with the NYPD, the Mayor, City Hall or anyone else; just an animal, worse than a crab on a convict's balls in a dirty Tijuana dungeon. I have the john's car wired; tomorrow morning the Commissioner is going to burn in hell as soon as he starts his ignition. It's a lonely dark place there -- I know, I'm already living in my own.

Copyright (c) 2001 by Darren Subarton

Darren Subarton lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his Congo African Grey parrot, Simone, slinging do-dirty noir fiction and breaking hearts internationally with his poetry. His poems and short stories have been showcased in such magazines as Hardboiled, Blue Murder Magazine, Plots With Guns, The Mississippi Review Online, Aura Literary Arts Review, Fat Tuesday, New York Hangover, Global Tapestry Journal, Futures, and 12-Gauge Review.

Recently submitted for Edgar consideration and inclusion in the Best American Mystery Fiction and Best American Short Stories anthologies, he currently writes bar reviews for 12-Gauge Review, and various freelance assignments in the Internet, streaming, wireless technology markets.

He can be reached for questions or comments at sirdarren@hotmail.com.

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