“Willie Nickels died today in the gas chamber…” Click.
Gordon Chandler twisted the radio knob in his Plymouth, sucked the life from his Chesterfield and tossed the butt.
“I hope the bastard’s lungs burned just like that poor girl’s did,” Gordo exclaimed to the roadrunner perched on the warehouse ruins. The carbonized columns stood like trees in a charred forest. Uninterested, the bird vamoosed. He rolled his window shut.
Gordo knew every detail. He cast the tire prints. He found the dented, orange gas can. He interviewed neighbors who recognized the can. He discovered the blackened remains in the ashes. The detective had done everything but strap Nickels down and drop the pill.
Nickels deserved to drown in a cyanide bath. The onetime pimp ran the city. Nothing happened without his permission. Graves were full of people who didn’t get the message. No one could touch him. Few tried.
Gordo tried. He poured the plaster in Nickels’ driveway. He planted the gas can. He flicked his Chesterfield into the gasoline spread around the abandoned warehouse, not knowing a runaway had sought refuge there.
Exhaust fumes whispered through a garden hose, poisoning the air. His eyelids fluttered.
Above is my entry to the Golden Donut Award contest at MurderCon2019. The rules required that the story be limited to 200 words, so that is why it so brief. My entry made it to the finals and, like Nickels and Gordo, died there. Only the roadrunner lives.
Lynn Long - author of Down for the Count - a Gulf City Saga