I always used to say there was something about finesse. That was
before I went straight. Let me tell you about why I don't say that no
more, and why I did.
Anybody can do murder. It's not really a hard thing to do, once
get past the thinking stage of it. Putting somebody in line with the
front of your piece and pulling the trigger is damned simple. A guy
who could not be a butcher, could be a killer. You take some simp from
the street, pushing a rack full of clothes, give him money, give him a
piece, tell him who you want done, and he could do it.
Sure. Unskilled labor.
Benny and I used to see how artistic we could be with the killings we
did for the South Side mob which often employed us. We shot people
from various angles. Even from directly overhead. Like we were film
directors. We would drop several loops of razor wire around them in a
contrived way which would encircle three parts of the mark's body, and
then draw them up tight. We would buy these jiggers from the pawn shop
used in Kung Fu movie type things and kill people with them. This is
what we did for a living, and we had to try and make it interesting.
Finesse. See? We got work that way.
That is until our boss wants us to whack a detective name of Corrigan,
who is looking into something the boss prefers he should not. We don't
ask questions about what, just who, where, how, and how much.
Benny says to me that he wants to do this solo, just to show how much
finesse he can show me, and I am to observe his show-offishness. He
says that, on the next one, I can do what I do best and he will watch.
Then we will argue and whoever does it best, after we decide, will buy
the other a pitcher of beer at Little Milton's. I say okay.
He is going to burn said Corrigan's face off with an acid spray he has
got in an aerosol can. He also says that he is going to shoot Corrigan
before he can make a scream. This will be finesse, as Benny must be
most fast to do it.
So Corrigan emerges from his detective agency and there is a broad with
him. This is in evening and they have worked late. Or done something
late, because this is a classy looking broad, possibly a Chink.
Benny begins his step-up before Corrigan can go to his car and Corrigan
KNOWS. He KNOWS, and you can see it in his eyes. He sweeps an arm in
front of the broad as he goes for his gun, but Benny has his spray can
in one hand and his gun already out in the other. He is fastest, man.
There is practically no one on the street and I am watching from the
safety of a cafe booth up against the window. I am waiting for the
art. I am waiting for the finesse.
That's when it happens.
I swear, I think I was the only one to see this outside of Corrigan,
the broad, and Benny, God help him. And I say that last part
seriously, believe me.
I think only a few of us were allowed to see it.
There is a shadow that rapidly falls over Benny and it is cast by
something that is over his head. It is large and it is green and it is
bigger than a Buick. It is connected to a white something and I look
and the burger falls from my hands because this is a big thing it is
It is apparently a guy who is at least as tall as an Oral Roberts
vision of Jesus.
You don't believe me? I wouldn't believe me, either. Especially
I tell you this guy appears to be white all over with a green hood and
cape and shorts and I do NOT want to look in his eyes.
And the thing that is larger than a Buick is his foot.
Now Benny was the man who had not time to scream.
The foot did not lift. It was just not there anymore, and neither
the 900-foot Joe with the green swimming trunks and cape. I do not
want to see him again. Ever.
And what was left of Benny...oh, God...let me put it this way.
mother who is now dearly departed used to pound out chicken breasts for
chicken Kiev, and Benny is approximately of this thickness. There is a
lot of him spread out on the sidewalk and Corrigan is shielding the
Chink broad's eyes with his hand and steering her back inside.
That is all I can take before I bolt to the bathroom and lose the $2.49
special I had just worked most of my way through.
When I could claim something that resembled my mind, I stumbled through
a door that did not face that side of the street. I did some
wandering, found a Catholic church, confessed the hell out of myself,
and then turned myself in.
Now I'm in for life, but that's all right. In here, I don't think
things can get me.
So now maybe you understand?
When a foot as big as a Buick is hovering over you, it has no real need
The Spectre is copyright DC Comics. No money is being made from this story, and no infringement is intended.