Saturday, 9 April 2011


...and here's number two...

No One to Depend On

Outside the rain was coming down fast and hard, the night a bumptious affair of electricity and a rattling cacophony of thunder.  But through the paper thin walls of the apartment someone next door was playing Santana’s Nobody to depend on.  A Latino bluesy classic which always caught his ear whenever he heard it.  Sitting in the darkness, half listening to the music and half to the storm, with one leg crossed over the other, his foot kept to the beat of the song.
I ain’t got nobody I can depend on
I ain’t got nobody I can depend on.

Appropriate he thought, staring thoughtfully up at the fly specks on the ceiling.  In this line of work there was no one you could depend on.  None.  Not if you wanted to live.  Shaking his head and smiling sadly, he reached over, pulled back the shade on the window and peeked out into the raining darkness.  Noting the rain coming down in driving sheets on the flooding wet street below he retracted his hand and glanced down at the large bulky looking weapon lying on one thigh.  A Colt Woodsman .22 rimfire semi-automatic.  A special one.  The front sight had been filed off so a long barrel-shaped silencer could be attached to it.  The silencer was as long as the weapon.  A bulky, ungainly thing to shoot.  But one that almost guaranteed to make hardly a peep when the trigger was squeezed.

Now, if whoever it was in the next apartment playing his music would turn it up just a little more.  And as if on queue Santana’s guitar jacked up in intensity twofold.  A smile of wicked delight stretched his thin lips.  Cleary he heard the English and Spanish lines of the classic song.
Ain’t got no one
Tengo a nadie
That I know of
No tengo a nadie

Rain, a hard rain, kept drifting around and slamming into to the window with a swift fury.  The late night summer storm filled with lightning and fierce crosswinds blew in just as he stepped into apartment and closed the door behind him.  It was a lousy night to die.  But then, ‘suppose any night was lousy if death came knocking on your door.  Yet this night—this storm—seemed appropriate.  It’d been a long time coming for the two he was here for.  A long time.  Almost six years.
And he had warned her.  Told her the next time he saw either of them he’d kill’em both.  Their last meeting wasn’t pleasant.  He’d used a tire iron to break the man’s jaw and almost put a bullet in the woman’s head.  Why he didn’t kill them both for what they had done to him still was a mystery to mull over.

Francine.  His wife.

Bill.  His twin brother.

Caught’em both half undressed and entangled in each other’s arms.  Bill was like that.  Anything he had Bill wanted.  Since children, Bill was always the laughing, playful, selfish bad boy of the family who got what he wanted no matter what it cost.  In and out of trouble all his life—fully expecting he, the more responsible brother, to get him out of his jams and make things right.

In high school they met Francine.  Dark haired, brown eyed, with the smooth, flawless complexion of an angel.  Both he and Bill had fallen for her the moment they laid eyes on her.  And Francine . . . Francine couldn’t keep her hands off Bill.  Couldn’t keep her hands off either of them.  Through college she dated both of them.  Made love to both of them.  But Bill acted as if Francine’s desires for him was just another romp.  Just another notch on an already extensive tally of conquests.

Yet one day, in a fit of rare clarity and perspicacity, Francine declared her undying love and devotion to him.  Not to Bill.  But to him.  Her words brought tears of joy to him.  They ran off to Vegas and got married.  They lived an almost perfect life for four years together while Bill—Bill of the laughing eyes and boyish charms—used his considerable charms to win the hearts of women loaded in dough and took every dime they had.

Through the wall came the soul-speaking wail of guitars and drums.  Yes, he thought; so appropriate.
I ain’t got nobody that I can depend on
I ain’t got nobody that I can depend on.

Of course Francine’s words were flatly insincere.  Lies.  She never gave up seeing Bill.  Never left his bed.  Never replaced Bill’s laughing eyes for his in her heart.  For four years both she and Bill plotted and planned and waited for the right moment to arrive.  That day came with their inheritance was finally released by the lawyers.  Both he and Bill received a half million dollars—after taxes—from the estate of their uncle.  And Bill . . . Bill and Francine . . . they wanted it all.  Every penny.  A cool one million dollars in cash.  And to hell with whatever he wanted.

He found out their game.  He realized what was going on.  He went over to Bill’s condo to confront him—and that’s when he saw the two of them making love on the living room divan.

He should have killed them then.  But for some reason he didn’t.  Now—six years later—he was going to rectify that problem.  Had to.  Now they were intruding in his professional life and he couldn’t have that.  Six years after leaving the two of them he had quietly built up his trade. He was well respected in his chosen occupation.  Well paid.   But his twin was again . . . again! . . . trying to take what was rightfully his.  Destroying in the process what he had so carefully crafted for himself.
In the darkness of the apartment he heard a man’s voice talking and a woman’s voice laughing out in the hallway.  The sound of keys jangling and then the lock on the door clicking open came to his ears as he lifted the muzzle of the weapon up and pointed it to the door.  The two came in laughing and carefree.  Bill tossed keys onto a dresser, took a hat off and shook the rain off before tossing it onto an empty chair.

Francine . . . Francine . . . was breathtakingly gorgeous.  Long brown hair fell passed her shoulders as she shrugged off a soaking long coat and turned to walk across the room to a closet.  In the tight fitting dress and red high heels she looked like Aphrodite.  Better than Aphrodite.

The name came out quick and sharp, like a karate chop to the jugular, and filled with fear.  Bill turned first toward Francine and then toward the direction she was looking at.  Toward him. That’s when he shot Francine twice in head. Phat! Phat! The silencer hissed twice.  Francine’s body flew back against the wall and she slid down to a sitting position on the carpet, leaving a long smear of blood on the wall as she collapsed and a look of sheer disbelief permanently frozen on her beautiful face.

Bill tried to escape.  Made it to the door and had a hand on the doorknob. But the silencer spat twice again.  He screamed—but in a surreal twist of fate—the music next door increased dramatically and drowned out Bill’s screams of agony.  He dropped to the floor, both hands gripping the knee and leg which caught the lead, and withered on the carpet in pain.  But not for long.  Coming out of his chair he took a step forward and used a foot to kick his brother—to use his brother’s head like a football—and knocked him senseless.

Ain’t got no one
Tengo a nadie
That I know of
No tengo a nadie

Bending down he took the neatly folded handkerchief jutting out of his brother’s suit pocket and carefully wiped his prints off the weapon.  When satisfied with his task he bent down to one knee, grabbed his brother’s right hand and firmly wrapped the man’s hand onto the grip before letting go.  Standing over his unconscious brother a vicious little smile played across his handsome face as he stared down at his creation.

Years ago his brother had bought the Woodsman to go plinking cans and shooting fish. It was registered in Bill’s name back home in their local police department.  Somehow it came into his possession and over the years he had used the deadly accurate weapon to take out a few hits.  Ballistics would confirm it was the weapon used in at least two assassinations.  It was the weapon that killed Francine.  It was the weapon in Bill’s hand.


Reaching inside his coat he pulled out a cell phone, flipped it open, and called the cops to report a shooting.  Flipping the phone closed he bent down again, wiped it clean with the kerchief, and inserted the cheap pre-paid phone into Bill’s right coat pocket.  Standing up he walked to the door, and using the kerchief to cover the doorknob, opened the door and then turned to look at his handiwork.
Yes.  The music—the night—was absolutely perfect.  Next door the music of Santana continued to play in its mournful whine.

I ain’t got nobody that I can depend on
I ain’t got nobody that I can depend on.

The End


B.R. Stateham is the author of Murderous Passions, a police-procedural novel featuring homicide detectives Turner Hahn and Frank Morales.  The writer is a sixty year old dreamer of crime noir and dark fantasies.  The second book in the Turner/Frank series is entitled, A Taste of Old Revenge.  Shadow Line Press is slated to publish the novel in August of 2010.  Find the author at www.brstateham.comOr check out many of his Frank/Turner writing efforts at his dedicated noir web site at


  1. Well, that was a tight and hardboiled slice of the blues!

  2. The Bill came due and they both paid. Tidy tale of sweet revenge. Owned a Woodsman once. sweet gun. Load 'er up with hot shot 22s and you can DO some damage.

  3. Very nice work - can't beat a bit of revenge!