Nick PT Barnum in "The Abortionist."



The mayor, Benjamin Carr, a Yale educated incumbent blessed with overwhelming Democratic voters, an overwhelming black and Latino community, didn’t want his name associated with anything negative. However, being mayor of the largest city in Connecticut, that was not possible. He banked on the city’s investigators to handle politically sensitive cases with kitten gloves, and swiftly. The homicide unit which was headed up by Nathan Chambers did his best: a drowning at a city swimming pool where civil liability might result, championed the mayor when he added extra life guards, and more safety protocols. He was the peoples’ mayor. He weathered so many storms, and he turned it around to favor the office. He was the mayor that fought crime for the common good, and promoted justice, and kept the largest city rolling along in approximately that order.

Underneath the towering pyramid of authority squats the private investigator, laboring in anonymity over some bludgeoned prostitute or some cheating spouses making their rounds to every motel, hotel, even backseats of their automobiles. Small numbers that go the wayside, keeping the mayor’s house clean. In other words, people that the city had long forgotten; homeless folks who died via heat stroke, starvation, disease, frost bite. These types of citizens never caused him any kind of humiliation or scandal. However, the real investigators, those on the payroll, handled crimes that involved: the body on the ground that was an eleven year old girl, preferably white, an all city athlete, a priest, or some out of state tourist who wandered onto Main Street and was robbed.

On April 3rd, there was a shit-storm brewing out of control. The fifteenth murder of a mentally challenged citizen was discovered at WentfieldPark, by the swings. It took fifteen murders for the citizens to finally hit the mayor’s office with dissatisfaction. This was not because the mayor was well liked, intelligent and black, and stood in a real good position to be reelected over and over again. It was Detective Nathan Chamber’s unit who kept a tight lid on the murders. He was a professional in making his superiors look good. He survived by learning to read the chain of command the way a Gypsy reads tea leafs. When the mayor is asking questions, he made himself indispensable with the answers. When the brass is looking for reasons to reach down somebody’s throat, he would put together a report so straight they’ll think he slept with a copy of the general orders. But when they’re looking for a scapegoat, he would manage to make his unit invisible.


Each mentally challenged victim was so badly dismembered that they looked a wreck. Therefore the serial killer was dubbed “the abortionist.” The mayor promised more men on the case and more overtime, but that wasn’t going to help, so Chambers hired Nick PT Barnum, the city’s most successful private eye to help in the search.

Two more murders were realized before Nick Barnum found and cornered the abortionist at an old Casco Factory on Railroad Avenue. The abortionist was a priest who tried to convince Nick that he was ordered by God to destroy the imperfections created by the all-mighty. The retarded people never should have lived. He wanted to correct a wrong, and that he had no malice in his heart. That was a hard statement to swallow, because when Nick found the seventeenth victim, it was an eight year old mentally challenged boy. His body was ripped and almost shredded to pieces. It was a horrible image, which kept replaying in the private investigators mind over and over.

Nick Barnum sent a text to Chambers explaining the situation. Nathan thought about the insanity plea, and how the sick bastard might want to ride it. He also thought about the family who lost their loved ones, because of the sick son of a bitch. He knew the mayor wanted the serial killer alive, so he’d look like the champion once again. The mayor, in public, ordered Chamber’s unit to dust their own assholes for fingerprints.

Chambers had a decision to make. He could tell Nick to take the priest away and never to be found, or bring him in so the mayor could parade him around like a hunter’s trophy.

Nick PT Barnum received a text message, and he put the phone in his back pocket. He turned around to face Willie Da Greek and a few of his henchmen. They were carrying a large black body bag, and construction tools. What made Nick squeamish a little were the sanders, and the axe.

“The serial killer would never be caught,” whispered Da Greek.

Nick nodded slowly as he walked out of the factory.

He closed his eyes wondering if he and Chambers made the right decision. He paused briefly when he heard the sander. He then started to move when he heard the priest scream…



#

© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 34 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

The length of this story makes it very difficult. Short stories or flash fiction are very hard to write, but you do them very well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Wow Frank, this one sent shivers up my spine. Well done.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Billy and Jodah for taking the time out to read my short...:)


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, sometimes it hard to tell the good guys from the sickos, they all have an angle. You always excel at this type of writing, well done once again.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you tobusiness :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

OMG! What a way to go out, a sander, yipes. This was chilling and a fantastic short story. I don't know why, but i keep hearing a buzz in my psyche.lol..Tweeted.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much and it's always ... good to see you exploring my pages :)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Psychotic MANIAC! I tell you he sure reminds me of Adolf Hitler the evilest creature that ever sprang from a woman, He hated Jews, gypsies and retarded people certainly wasn't in his books. He allowed horrible and hideous crimes to be done to them and many experiments were done on their skulls, eyes, hairs etc to see if retarded and Jewish people where real human beings. How CRUEL and demon possessed a man can become all to satisfy some greed or hunger for something.

Thanks for sharing :)

have a swell day Frankie


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you lady for the visit.. bless you


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Interesting:) Very good work. Amazing how you can tell a story with so little words :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Carrie :)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Tit for tat; another satisfying justice! lol


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

oooo u said tit... LOL thanks Jackie for stopping by :)


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

Powerful writing, as always, Frank. Very clever of you to have make the association between killers and abortionists. It's a tough pill to swallow, but one wonders sometimes... why killing is so easy and legal on the one hand, and demented and sick on the other. Or are they not so different after all? These are some of the things that came to my mind as I read this piece.

PS I'm glad to see your book(s) on Amazon. Voting up!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much savvydating for reading my short piece :)


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 2 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

This is an awesome, gripping, and then ripping, story.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Fantastic, Frank. The ending was chilling.


Kathleen Odenthal profile image

Kathleen Odenthal 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

Beautifully written, as always


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Wow Frank, what a twist. I did not expect the ending.

Thumbs-up, UAI snd shared


Boyd III 2 years ago

Okay, lets see if I read this correctly, The serial killer will not be brought to justice, and the mayor was taken down a peg or two, Nick allows Willie to kill and torture the maniac? I like how you have the story center around the mayor and then you shoot us in the foot by adding the serial killer's back story. Good piece to read. Didn't find it chilling nor did i sense a twist. just good straight forward writing Eric


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much fitnessjim and Flourish for reading my Barnum piece


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Kathleen, and Shyron and Boyd for taking the time out to read my shorts.. bless you all :)


Neastsett 2 years ago

the mayor wont get reelected because the serial killer would to have appeared to elude the police, yes?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

yes, lol thanks for reading Nestest :)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Not only an axe, but a sander as well. Da Greek is rather creative. I wonder if they explained to the priest in between the screams that they were dispatching one of God’s “imperfections”; that they had no malice in their hearts, but were only righting a wrong. Superb flash fiction, Frank…you are still the master with this genre and style.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Genna for being loyal to my shorts :)


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

Justice is served! Chilling stuff from a talented writer. Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you annart :) bless you


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Excellent and suspenseful thriller here, dear Frank. This one is particularly well-written and keeps the reader reading with anticipation. Love that ending!

Boy, you do understand about the real world of politics, as I thought I was reading from a page right out of the newspaper of the city in which I work as far as those who hold public office!

Voted up +++ and away

Have a great 4th.

Blessings always


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Faith thank you so much :)


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 2 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Very nice, Franklin! Not only is the issue solving the crime, but containing the backlash. You did well in showing both the political and procedural components of crime-fighting.

Take it easy.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

wing again thank you so much..:)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Too bad politics is ever interwoven with crime fighting but that is a sad fact and in some cases the politics itself is a crime. The comments above referring to Hitler and also to abortion makes this even more interesting a piece to read. Another good one by you with great interplay of subject matter!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Peggy :)

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