Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.
Grand Central Terminal in New York, NY
I love this town. Spent my whole life here, all thirty-three years. If I get on that train tonight, I ain't never coming back, cause if I do, I, Joey Orsini, am a dead man.
I work—used to work for one of the big crime families here in the City. We got a new boss not long ago. The old man retired and his son took over. Boss told me the other night to take his car and go dump the body that was in the trunk. No problem, I told him. Done it a dozen times before.
About eleven o’clock I drive over to 163rd street, where it dead-ends at Hawtree Basin. Pull up to the fence and throw the body over into the water with a cinder block tied to his ankle. Job done. The crabs take care of the rest. That’s why I don’t eat seafood in New York City.
I turn around to leave and there's a patrol car blocking the exit from the dead-end street I’m on. Twenty minutes later, I’m having coffee with two detectives down at the precinct. Turns out the poor bastard I dumped over the railing was a U.S. Senator. It also turns out that even though the State of New York doesn’t have the death penalty, the feds do when you off one of their own. I think the cops believed me when I told ‘em I didn’t kill him, cause they got really interested in the fact that the body had been in the trunk of my boss’s car.
New York Harbor and Brooklyn from Governor's Island
The cops didn’t know much about the new head of the family since he's so new to the job. All they had were a few photos that were out of focus. So these two detectives want to make a deal with me. If I help them nab my boss and pin the murder on him, I don’t go to death row in some federal prison. My back was up against a wall. I was a dead man either way. Lethal injection on one hand for a murder I didn’t commit. On the other was my boss plugging me in the forehead when he finds out the cops was asking me a bunch of questions.
There was a big meeting coming up between my boss and the head of another family in the City. The place was an abandoned warehouse on Essex. The cops gave me a laser pointer and said all I had to do was point it at my boss so they would know which one he was. Simple enough. They let me go, but not before putting one of them tethers on my ankle so I wouldn’t run off before the big day.
Soon as the meeting starts I pull out the laser pointer and marks the Boss with it. At the same time I calls out to him and points to the second-floor window where the cops is watching from. I say just one word….cops.
All hell breaks loose, which is what I’m counting on. Lead is flying in every direction. I looks at my buddy standing next to me and he levels his forty-five at the cops, then his head explodes. Blood and brains spray my face and shirt. I heads for the side door as fast as I can run, wiping the remains of my pal off my face as I go. A cop steps into the doorway just as I get there. A round probably meant for me catches him in the chest and sends him to the floor.
Out on the street, I’m just another panicked bystander running for cover. A bus pulls up just when I need it and I jump on. The driver don’t like the sound of gunfire, so he hauls ass without letting anybody else on. That’s good, cause I get the back of the bus all to myself.
I had the tether off and back together in less than two minutes. The cops ignore it when a tether stops transmitting for just a couple of minutes. They found out that most of the time it meant somebody accidentally banged it on the bottom of the toilet or the edge of the bathtub. So I figure they ain’t paying no attention to me after I take the tether off. At the next stop, I hop off the bus, but the tether stays on board.
I make my way on foot to Grand Central and use my credit card to get a ticket to Philly. But I’m a no show for that ride. Brings me up to right now, sitting here in an alley waiting for Number 49, the Lake Shore Limited, New York, Boston, Chicago and all points in between. I’ll buy my ticket on board. I got a new ID waiting for me in the Windy City and from there, I’m heading west. Thinking about trading the Big Apple in for the Big Sky.
I love this town, but I’m getting on that train, and I ain't never coming back. Cause if I do, I’m a dead man for sure.