Evil vs. the Angels of Stony Island
by Jim Heaney

“Nick wants to talk with you.”
“Put the gun down. you might shoot me by accident and besides, you don’t need it. I knew we were going to have a sit- down. It was just a matter of when. There’s no problem.”
“Get in.”
We started driving.
“So what did you tell the feds?” Bob asked.
“Nothing. I didn’t know anything about the D.C. operation and all they did was to lock me up for a little bit. Somebody wants Nick real bad, but they couldn’t find him. So they let me walk.”
“Nick’s not seeing it that way. He thinks you spilled. I just want you to know it’s not personal. I always liked you. you know that. But…”
“Relax, I’ll explain it to Nick. He’ll understand. you’re not going to have to kill me. Let’s go straighten this out.”
We pulled into a roadside motel off the Beltway, and entered Number Seven, and not one of Sister John’s find-some- one-to-help-in-all-situations Number Seven, either. This Number Seven was populated by Nick and Alex sitting at a table with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Nick and Alex hadn’t shaved in a while. It looked as if life on the run didn’t agree with them. I didn’t like the looks of what was in the middle of the bed—a long roll of plastic sheeting.
“Drink, kid?” Nick asked.
“I quit.”
“Since when?”
“Since it became part of my defense.”
“Which defense would that be?”
“The one I’m going to need when they catch you.”
“How does not drinking help?”
“I quit, stay sober, go to AA every week, and when we’re sentenced, I blame it all on the booze. I’ll even have people from AA vouch for me. Besides, it killed elvis. It’s time to leave the life behind.”
Nick glanced at Alex and smiled. “I love this freakin’ kid. I’m going to miss him! Kill him, Alex. Then wrap him up and put him in the trunk.”
“Nick, you’re supposed to use the fucking plastic before you shoot me, like a drop cloth. Otherwise, when Alex puts a hole in me, I squirt red all over the carpet. It’s called an evidence trail.”
I could almost see the 60-watt bulb snap on above Nick’s head. As hoods go, he was so small-time I felt sorry for him. Not sorry enough to let him ice me, however, so I continued my tap dance.
“It would be a lot more efficient to take me to the cemetery after dark, shoot me by a pre-dug grave, and then bury me on the spot. Did you know I’m working at a cemetery?”
“I know, kid. you’re a weirdo. Bad enough we’re all going to end up there, but you make a living selling death.”
“Speaking of, guess who paid me a visit.”
“Who? Your FBI pals?”
“No. Your Aunt Rachel.”
He lurched back in his chair.
“I was down in the meat locker and she appeared to me. She said you were going to clip me and asked that I give you a message.”
Nick’s face was as white as his aunt’s ghost. He started to sweat. “Aunt Rachel said she misses you and she loves you, but if you whack me, she won’t be able to intercede for you any more. All of God’s anger about the bad things you’ve been doing will rain down on your head. your remaining years will be long and tortured, and you don’t even want to think about what comes after.”
“What did she look like?” Bob asked.
“What kind of fucking question is that?” Alex snarled.
“Just wondering! Geesh, Alex. Can’t a guy ask a question?”
But I was very, very grateful for Bob’s interruption, because from my recent experience I knew exactly what Aunt Rachel would have been wearing.
“She had on a black dress with long sleeves and she wore a white pearl necklace. Was she buried recently, Nick?”
“About six months ago,” Nick stammered.
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
I could tell there was a highlights reel playing in his mind, showing him the ladder in front of the restaurant, the black cat I’d scared Alex with, and now this.
“y-you c-c-an go. G-g-give him a ride home, B-Bob.”
“No way he lives!” Alex roared.
“I’m going to kill you, kid!”
He started to pull something from the back of his shirt and Bob stepped forward, delivering a crushing overhand right to Alex’s temple. When Alex hit the floor, his black revolver bounced out of his hand.

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