03 July 2012



Massimo snorted into the glass of Armagnac and set it gently onto the table. “No, no.” He looked over at Simon. “I think you misunderstand.”

“Oh, no I understand.” Simon nodded at the burly Italian man seated before him. His voice, now an octave higher, sounded surreal as it began to waiver. “You need to get rid of your wife and you want me to take her out.”

“Yes,” Massimo smiled, nodding vigorously. “Exactly.”

“Yeah, well,” Simon cleared his throat and pushed his chair away from the table, “I can't help you.” He stood up, strode quickly to the door of the restaurant, glanced over his shoulder and disappeared.

“Americans!” Massimo shook his head at Antonio who had been standing silently beside the table. “They see Italians and think murder.”

Antonio laughed.

“Why?” Massimo searched the heavens with his manicured hands, a diamond ring sparkling on his left pinky finger. “Why is this so difficult?”

“It would have been easier in the old country?”

The older man nodded.

“This is a delicate matter.” Antonio adjusted his cuff links. “Maybe we are wrong to seek help from the regular channels. Now that we are in America,” Antonio poured himself a drink, “We need a new strategy.”

Massimo sipped from his glass. “I still don't understand why you don't do it.”

“You know I cannot. Your wife,” Antonio searched for the words with his hands. “We are too close, she is like a sister to me and we cannot risk anything being traced to you.” The younger man shook his head and sat down in the empty seat. “No, it must come from a stranger.”

“But what stranger?”

Anontio nodded. “Perhaps there is another way.”


“This job, it is an assignment, like any other, no?”

“Si,” Massimo nodded.

“Then we must treat it as we would a respectable position.” Antonio waved his hands. “We advertise, look at resumes, photographs, have interviews, check backgrounds and then, only then, we select someone younger, stronger, more handsome, more educated, more charming and more suitable for the position. She is your wife. It must be someone of your choosing.”

“Antonio?” Massimo stared into his glass for a moment, then beamed at the younger man, “I think I like this plan B.”

“Plan B,” Antonio held up his glass. “Salute!”

Glancing over his shoulder uneasily, Simon shuffled away from the restaurant. He turned at the end of the block into an alley where an empty vehicle sat unattended. Simon shuddered and glanced over his shoulder again.

From a shaded doorway, with his arms folded across his broad chest, a man studied Simon's puny profile. “Good lunch?”

“Damian.” Simon turned toward the voice, his mouth slightly agape.

The man stared at Simon as he spoke, enunciating every word. “You know Simon, I haven't eaten yet.”

Damian, easily a foot taller than Simon, looked down the alley at a stray cat as it jumped out of a dumpster and scampered over a wall.

Simon began to stammer. “I-I didn't.”

“You could have invited me, you know.” Turning to face Simon, Damian placed his hands into his pockets and shrugged, a police badge shining at his hip. “Just to show your appreciation.”

“I-I didn't eat.”

“Really?” Damian chuckled. “I thought that's what people did in fancy restaurants.”

Simon shook his head.

“No? Huh,” Damian scratched his head. “Must have it wrong then.” His eyes glistened as he squinted at Simon. “Well what, did, you do?”


“Simon?” Looking down at the ground, Damian kicked an empty soda can. “I don't believe you. Don't get me wrong.” He took his hands out of his pockets and waved them absently. “I really want to, but I don't.”

“I didn't do n-nothing.”

Sighing, Damian shook his head from side to side. “You know I really hate it when you miss your appointments, Simon.”

“W-what appointments?”

Damian smiled and folded his arms across his chest. “The ones your PO will say you missed when I take you in, unless,” the officer smiled, “unless you tell me what you did.” He jerked his head to the left. “In there.”

Simon looked back down the alley.

“You can tell me.” Removing a pair of handcuffs from his jacket, Damian dangled them before Simon's nose, “Or you can wear these.”

Rooted to the spot, Simon swayed as a tremor began to take hold of his legs.

“Why don't we discuss this,” Damian pointed to the empty vehicle. “In my office?”

“And I told him,” Simon sat in the passenger seat neurotically wiping his sweaty palms against his jeans, “that I couldn't help him.”

Damian sat motionless in the driver's seat as Simon studied his profile.

“Look, that's the truth. I-I swear.”

Damian didn't flinch.

“That's the truth, Damian, I-I swear to God. You have to believe me. I-I.”

“Shh,” Damian waved an arm in Simon's direction and resumed his contemplation. After several minutes, Damian nodded at the windshield. “It's okay,” he placed a key into the ignition and the engine began to purr. 
Damian smiled, “I believe you Simon, and to prove it, I'm gonna take you home.” He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief. “But first,” a click reverberated throughout the vehicle as the doors locked shut. “First, we have to take a quick side trip.”

Damian reached into the passenger seat.

Simon struggled helplessly against the white handkerchief held over his face.

Carefully, Damian removed his jacket, shoes and socks and rolled his pant legs up to his knees. Putting on a pair of gloves, he slid his arms under Simon's armpits, and dragged the unconscious young man through the woods and toward a lake.

At the water's edge, Damian stopped beside a long abandoned decaying rowboat with two oars. Positioning the body so that the legs would enter the water first, Damian rolled Simon onto his stomach.

Grabbing an oar, Damian inserted it as far as he could into the back of Simon's shirt, through his belt and down into the seat of his jeans.

“See Simon?” Damian stood panting over the body. “I told you I'd take you home.”

Mustering all of his energy, Damian took hold of the oar and pushed Simon down into the lake.

© Ehmee Smith, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ehmee Smith, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

04 April 2012


Alone, Father Marc Pierson pulled a dark green Oldsmobile to a stop into the only available spot in a vast parking lot.

Reluctant to leave the safe cocoon of the Oldsmobile, he sat behind the wheel examining the dials on the dashboard as he figured the mileage. He was almost a hundred miles away from the boundary of the diocese, in a vehicle that had been donated for use in the manifestation of God's work. Somehow he wasn't certain that he was about to do that.

Somewhere, a car door slammed forcing him away from this thoughts.

Three scantily clad young women exited a smoke filled minivan two parking spots away. Father Marc smiled warmly at the trio, watching as they crossed in front of the Oldsmobile, their six inch stiletto heels pounding against the concrete like rapid gun fire. Ta-ta-tat. Ta-ta-tat. Ta-ta-tat.

Laughing heartily amongst themselves, the women sauntered across the parking lot and disappeared inside the building. 

Standing beside a vacant stool at the entrance, were two male figures clad in matching black outfits. They chatted as they surveyed the parking lot.

Besides them, the parking lot was still.

Relieved that he hadn't been noticed, Father Marc sighed and removed the white collar fastened about his neck. Slowly, he turned it over in his hands studying every inch of it. Sighing, he placed the collar inside his jacket and looked over at the building. He wondered how they had engineered the light to make the building glow and yet remain almost completely shrouded in darkness.

Father Marc reached for the key and the Oldsmobile shuddered as the engine ground to a halt. Taking a deep breath, he stepped out into the darkness. His face glowed rhythmically, alternating between red and yellow, the reflection from a neon sign pulsating high above him on the side of the building. Slamming the car door shut, he looked up and read the neon sign as each word illuminated against the black sky, “Tit, Strip, Stop”. Forcing himself to face the building, he turned, swallowed hard, and strode toward the entrance.

Alone in the foyer, Father Marc stood motionless with one hand poised to push open the final glass door that separated him from all the depravity inside.


A shadowy figure began to materialize over Father Marc's left shoulder.

“Are you alone?”

“Marcello?” Father Marc turned toward the voice, “Is that you?”

“I've been waiting.”

“I am alone. I came as quickly as I could.” Father Marc shrugged. “It's a long drive from the rectory.”

“I know Father. That's why I am here.”

“We must talk.” Father Marc pointed to the entrance. “The car?”

“Yes. I,” Marcello emerged from the shadows just as three men entered the foyer.

The one in the center wore a white lace garter about his head. His white tee shirt boldly depicted a diamond engagement ring with the words 'she said yes' printed in it's center. Clearly inebriated, the young man was being supported on either side by his friends as they guided him into the foyer.

Discretely, Marcello receded into the shadows, forcing Father Marc to hold the glass door open for the three men. The trio barely acknowledged the priest as they struggled to get inside. Their eyes were focused on a lone spotlight illuminating the center stage where a semi-nude blonde female with her back to the crowd was slowly reaching down to touch her toes.

Father Marc shuddered. “You want to go in?” Marcello's voice whispered behind him.

“No,” Father Marc released the door handle as if it had suddenly become charged with electricity. “The car,” he turned to face Marcello. “This way.”

The two men walked out of the building and into the parking lot in silence, Marcello trailing behind the priest. As they approached the row of vehicles, Father Marc pointed to the dark green Oldsmobile. “It is not locked.”

Marcello nodded and cast a glance over his shoulder as he opened the passenger side door. They sat in the vehicle together, neither man offering to break the silence.

Finally Father Marc reached into his jacket pocket. Taking out the collar, he fastened it about his neck. “It is time, Marcello.”

“I didn't do it, Father. I couldn't.”

“I know, Marcello, I believe you but it is not up to me. There are accusations that must be faced and you cannot continue to run.”

“I know I am not perfect Father, but she was,” Marcello's voice grew hoarse and he struggled to continue. “She was my everything. How could they.” The young man gritted his teeth as he tried to swallow the bitterness that was beginning to wash over him. “How could they think I would do that to my own,” he swiped a tear from his cheek, “my only child.”

Father Marc sat silently, his hands clasped tightly in his lap and his eyes focused on the steering wheel.


The priest exhaled slowly. “Running only confirms their suspicions, Marcello. If you stand still and face them, they will be forced to look elsewhere. Let me take you to them,” he turned to study the young man's reaction. “Let us end this madness.”

The young man sighed, "You are right." He reached for the seat belt and fastened it about him. “Let us go, Father.” He nodded at the priest, leaned back into the seat and closed his eyes. “I am ready.”

Father Marc placed the key into the ignition and glanced up at the rear view mirror.

The little girl sitting in the back seat giggled as she fiddled with her curly brown hair.

© Ehmee Smith, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ehmee Smith, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

03 April 2012


A low rumble emitted from the pit of Jack's stomach making him wince as he slowly got up from the paisley blue tattered couch. His knee was throbbing again and he nodded silently as if to acknowledge the pain.

Moving toward the kitchen door, he stumbled, a grimace flashing momentarily across his face. He braced himself, propping his back up against the wall just beside the kitchen door. He closed his eyes, his heart thumping wildly in his chest.

Clamping his mouth shut and keeping his back flat against the wall, he forced the still air to flow evenly through his nostrils. He knew he would have no choice but to go see her now. How he hated making the trip. It always reminded him of how frail and vulnerable he had become. Time had weakened him, and ignoring the pain was no longer an option.

01 February 2012


Trenfil groaned. The light would have been better and the going much easier had he stuck to the road. But he continued to pedal, skirting the edge of the woods on the bike trail that would take him home.

Aw, Man. I shouldn't have snuck out. And I definitely shouldn't have taken the stupid short cut home. Could have been home by now. Could have made it back before curfew

He sighed.

But it was fun tonight.

He chuckled.

That look on Bobby Wispen's face when he had to pay up ten whole dollars in front of everyone.

Trenfil beamed and patted his jacket pocket.

Priceless! Bobby Wispen was full of it. Always making up stupid gory stories. Trying to scare me.

Trenfil rolled his eyes toward the heavens.

Like the one about the cops in the black Winnebago in the woods. Yeah, right!

Trenfil snorted.

Like seriously? Cops hanging out in the middle of the woods catching people and barbecuing them? Gimme a break!