A Disarming Tale of Remorse


Photo Credit: picsbox.biz

Crime don’t pay.

Ain’t that what they teach you in reform school?

Here’s something else they teach you: don’t rob Peter to pay Paul. Was a time I didn’t know what that meant.

I do now.

It all started when I fell for Angelina Bartolucci. First time I saw her, I wanted her: long black hair, big brown eyes. And curves? Mama! That girl knew how to work her stuff.

Took a while before Angie noticed me. She was an uptown girl, but the broads have always liked me. Angie was no different.

There was a problem, though.

Angie liked jewelry – a lot.

She wasn’t shy in telling me that if I wanted what she had to offer, I better be able to deliver. I was so in love, I’d have done anything to have her… and to keep her.

That’s how I got in trouble with the Boys. I started doing small jobs for Nicky Pellegrini, taking bets, running errands… two-bit hustler stuff. Tending bar at Giannelli’s wasn’t cutting it; Angie had her heart set on a diamond bracelet. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if I couldn’t deliver, Angie would find someone who could. So I delivered… to the tune of a $10,000 bracelet.

I started holding out on Nick, keeping back a little, not thinking he’d notice. Meanwhile, Angie was parading that damned bracelet all around town.

One night the Boys came to see me when I was leaving work. Said they had a little message for me – it was one anybody coulda read on my face the next morning. I ended up in the ER with a broken nose and a warning not to fuck with Nick.

You think I woulda learned my lesson, right? But Angie caught sight of this ring, see, a three-carat rock she had to have. Spent a lot of time on her knees one night, convincing me just how much she had to have it.

I started holding out on Nicky again, and Angie got her rock. But I was scared – it was just a matter of time before Nick figured things out.

I’m easy to read, like I got ‘SCHMUCK’ tattooed across my forehead. Harry Shapiro, the neighborhood loan shark, told me the word was out: Nick was sending the Boys my way. Compassionate Harry offered his services.

So me and him cut a deal. Shoulda known better, but I’m a schmuck, remember? Nick got his money and I got to keep my new nose.

All’s well that ends well, right? Not exactly…

I missed a couple of payments, and while Nicky once had my nose broken, Harry broke my heart.

Last night when I got home, there was a package waiting for me – and a note.

I kept the ring and bracelet; now we’re square.

Tearing open the package, I shoved aside the tissue paper.

Then I threw up.

I knew that arm.

I knew something else, too.

Angie wouldn’t be needing any more jewelry.

Word Count: 500
Author’s Note: Written in response to challenge to write a story in which a man steals a large sum of money to pay a debt to a loan shark, is saved from a beating, but is then haunted by what he has done. Weekly flash fiction challenge hosted by ThainInVain.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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51 Responses to A Disarming Tale of Remorse

  1. alexraphael says:

    And a hand clap for the pun πŸ™‚

  2. alexraphael says:

    This is awesome. Loved it πŸ™‚

  3. W. K. Tucker says:

    Cut off her arm….gruesome little me liked that. I never saw it coming. Ha ha ha…

  4. Please forgive my tardiness in getting to this, you know I love your stuff!

    Everything about this story was spot on, I loved the title, the whole tone of the piece and the rather gruesome ending. Great work, my dear! ❀

  5. Lucy says:

    Oh, yuk. Good story. I hope Miss Thing, if she’s still alive, will mend her ways. Well, if she can mend with one arm…Lucy

  6. Kate Loveton says:

    Thanks very much! πŸ™‚

  7. Ramesh says:

    So well written, Kate. Loved it:)

  8. Dalo 2013 says:

    Boy, you sure do know how to hook in a reader from the first few sentences…and the desire to jump to the next word never ceased. The Angie’s of the world I think is where the term bittersweet was created for… Wonderful stuff.

  9. markbialczak says:

    What a twist. I shoulda known from the headline, Kate, but …
    What you can do in 500 words is a crime story wonder.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Mark! I did put a small warning in the title, but it doesn’t really make sense until the story of the story. Thanks for your really nice words – you have made my evening! πŸ™‚

  10. stacilys says:

    Kate, this is remarkable. I found nyself reading it with a mobster Italian accent. And the ending really was unexpected. Really Godfather-ish.
    Good job.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Staci, your comment made me laugh. I sometimes read my stuff out loud before I post a story, just to hear the dialogue. It was a hoot to write about ‘the Boys’ and try to capture a mobster’s language – at least as I’ve heard it in the movies I grew up watching. Glad you enjoyed the story!

  11. Kat Dullum says:

    I loved this! What a great story and the ending, well, never saw that coming. Has a very noir feel to it. Loved it!

  12. J. Sander says:

    Great story! Very well written Kate, I wanted it to continue.

  13. willow1945 says:

    What a story–I did NOT see that ending coming. Ouch! You’re an excellent storyteller, everything you write is a great read.

  14. Adan Ramie says:

    As others have said, this piece is really well titled. I was caught a little off guard by the ending; I had a feeling Harry was going to steal his girl, but I had no idea how. Gruesome and excellent.

  15. Pingback: Flash Fiction Challenge – Week 30 Submissions | Thain in Vain

  16. Also, love the title!

  17. Thugs like Nick really know how to put the screw in! What a great, smart characters and story! Nice work, Kate! TiV

  18. moi says:

    Harry scared me way more than Nick.

  19. rhonwynalyna says:

    Nice set up and finish! Love the lingo!

  20. Mark Gardner says:

    “Angie wouldn’t be needing any more jewelry.” I love the last line! Great job, Kate.

  21. Kate Loveton says:

    I’m a bit of a twisted sister, I’m afraid. I do like ‘got’cha!’ endings. Glad this one worked. Tess, I am always grateful for your reading and comments. πŸ™‚

  22. This zips along smooth as butter. Snappy voice. Great pace. The story is outstanding and I love the twisted ending. πŸ™‚

  23. Another wonderful short short. You need to put these into a book of shorts. The voice was great and the ending perfect. Good job!
    How are you liking the Casual Vacancy? I’ll reserve my comments until after you’ve read it!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      You know, I’ve been considering pulling some of them together at some point in the future. The idea seems overwhelming though… does sticking them in a looseleaf binder count? No? um… just a thought! (grin)

      ‘Casual Vacancy’ is up next. Right now I am reading ‘Red Clay and Roses’ by S.K. Nicholls, which is quite interesting. I’m enjoying it.

      As soon as I start and finish ‘Casual Vacancy,’ I’ll let you know. πŸ™‚

  24. Blimey! What an ending, poor Angie! Great piece again πŸ˜€

  25. Well written, Kate, very well written. Yes!

  26. gpeynon says:

    When you get to the end, the title really makes gruesome sense. Love it.

  27. Anjana says:

    oh God. It’s like, Oh my God!
    It’s just perfect, you have written it so well.
    I did not expect the end.
    Great Work as usual. πŸ˜€

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