Billy the Kid Burns in Hell: The Final Chapter
The End Has Arrived….or Has It?
The title says “The Final Chapter,” but in truth, all I said was that the story of Billy the Kid was coming to an end. After this chapter Billy and Genna will, in fact, be dead.
But Bobby and Dawn will rise from the ashes, and something tells me there will be stories involving them that must be told. You can change a crazy Mick bastard’s name but you can’t change the crazy Mick bastard, if you get my drift.
So let’s get it on. Billy and Genna await their new identities and make preparations for the final showdown with the head of the Russian mob in Washington Heights.
- Billy the Kid Returns Home: Part One of the Finale
The end is near, but will our anti-hero survive to talk about it with his unborn child? Let's find out how much trouble Billy is in this week.
The next day I called Pappi for a progress report.
“Billy the Kid, still an impatient cuss, ain’t ya? Your new names will be Robert O’Dowd and Dawn Paisley. You’ll both have a driver’s license from New York and a credit card from Chase. That will be enough to get you started. In a few weeks, apply for a new social security card. Tell them you lost yours and you want a replacement. I’ll provide the SS number and don’t worry, it will be legit. The real Robert and Dawn died recently but were never identified. You do not need to know how I know this, but it is a fact. Once you have my package I suggest you relocate. And I also suggest you have the money you owe me when we meet. Now let me get back to work. Don’t worry about my end of the bargain. You just take care of your end and maybe we will all live long lives.”
I hung up. The money Pappi referred to was fifteen grand I owed him upon delivery. I didn’t have it but I knew where I could get it. I turned to Genna.
“It’s all good on his end, darlin’. Now I need to find us fifteen large. You stay here. I’m going to take the car and visit my old neighborhood. I should be back in about four hours. If I’m not back by five you need to hit the road and get as far away as possible but don’t worry, I never break a promise and I promise I’ll be back with the money.”
Her dark eyes grabbed hold of my soul, looking, no doubt, for sincerity and a promise that everything would be all right. She must have found what she needed because she kissed me and told me to get my Mick ass back to her safe and sound.
Back to the Old Neighborhood
The Russians basically own Washington Heights but I grew up there, followed my old man’s footsteps there, and knew it one hell of a lot better than those Cossack sonsofbitches. I knew where the Russians sold their drugs, where they ran their whores, where they had their favorite meals and the flophouses where they screwed their playmates, and every single one of those locations was a source of income for me.
The thing about a cockfight, and I’ve been to a few and been in a few, is to hit first and hit hardest. The element of surprise is worth a couple seconds, and a couple seconds on the streets is the difference between walking upright and having dirt shoveled on top of you.
I found my first mark on Wadsworth Avenue and West 178th, under the shadow of the freeway, right where I knew he would be, peddling black tar, roofies, angel and anything else you needed to find peace. I didn’t know his name. I’d seen him on the streets from time to time, nodded at him, kept my distance when possible, but that was about to end. He was busy with a customer as I approached him from behind. Tapped him on the shoulder, caught him flush on the cheekbone with a baseball bat as he turned, teeth and blood spraying the sidewalk. The customer decided he didn’t need the drugs and took off running. The Russian was clawing at pavement as I leaned over him.
“Tell Sergei that Billy the Kid sends his love and that I’ll see him in two days.” I took the wad of cash from his pocket and was back in my car in two minutes. I counted my take. Thirty-two hundred in twenties and fifties. Not bad for two minutes. On to the next stop, this one on Audubon Avenue, another ugly reject from Siberia, this one pimping from the recessed doorway of a Laundromat. He was talking to Crystal, one of his girls, not a day over sixteen, when I broke his kneecap with a beautiful swing, got my hips into it, the breaking bone sounding like a gunshot. Crystal nodded at me, gave me a wink and sauntered down the Ave. I removed the money belt from my crippled companion, gave him the same message for Sergei, and walked away five grand and change richer. Beat the hell out of working for a living.
A stop on Bennett, then 178th and finally 188th and I was done. Seventeen grand and change for two hours of work. Six messages delivered to Sergei, all guaranteed to make his blood boil and also make him just a bit more careless. Anger will do that to a guy, short-circuit his reasoning and cause mistakes. I was counting on it.
I was back with Genna by noon. We were making love by twelve-ten, her beautiful brown skin washing over me and soothing the beast within.
I called Sergei the next day.
“Sergei, thanks for the cash. It will come in handy.”
“You are dead man, Billy. Your black bitch will suffer. No one steals from Sergei. I will eat your heart while it still pumps.”
He seemed a bit upset.
“You’ll get your chance, Sergei. See you soon. Don’t be late. Genna and I have a tight schedule and I don’t have a lot of time to waste on a limp-dicked Russian who can’t take care of his own territory or men. I’m real curious how you’ve managed to stay in charge this long, if one crazy Mick bastard can cause so many problems for you.”
While time passed and we waited for word from Pappi, we continued to make preparations. We went to a local hardware store and bought a couple things we needed. I found a ten-gallon glass jar at a pawn shop, and we bought a 1990 Toyota Celica for eight-hundred cash. It was a piece of shit but all it had to do was run long enough to get us out of New York.
Fourteen hours before our scheduled meeting with the Russians, in the dead of night, we were in the warehouse where the meeting was to take place, making a few necessary alterations to the building.
I knew the building well. Once upon a time my old man worked there, and many a morning I had gone with him to work, helping him load his truck with produce for the day’s deliveries. It had stood empty for years. The wooden floors were dry and rotted, as were the walls, and the smell of rat and human feces was overpowering as we worked by flashlight. Somewhere in the dark recesses we could hear scuttling sounds and the constant dripping of water.
“Is this going to work, Billy?” Genna whispered.
“It sure as shit better, Genna. Come on, we’re done here. Let’s get some sleep. Tomorrow’s going to be an interesting day.”
My guide for writing
The Day of the Dance
We met with Pappi at noon, handed him the cash and received a manila envelope in return.
“I heard you knocked off the Russian for over seventeen grand. I’ll be saying goodbye to you now, Billy. This meeting never took place. Good luck you crazy bastard.”
At twelve-thirty we pulled up to the warehouse loading dock in our recently-purchased Toyota. Our original car was parked on the street where we had left it the night before, in front for everyone to see. Genna helped me unload two bodies and drag them into the warehouse, a man and woman, identities unknown, gifts from my buddy Lorenzo who worked at the city morgue. They had been homeless, died on the streets, soon to be buried at Hart Island. They wouldn’t be missed.
“Are we doing the right thing, Billy?” Genna asked. “It seems rather brutal, doesn’t it?”
“They called the play, Genna. They tried to kill us. Now they pay for their mistake.”
We placed the bodies in the main room of the warehouse in full view of the front door. Anyone walking in would see them. I poured gasoline over them. We then went upstairs to the room directly above the bodies. I leaned over the hole in the floor I had cut earlier and was rewarded with a perfect view of the two corpses. I set down the ten-gallon glass jar, now filled with gasoline, and inserted a length of cotton rag through the open end. We ran a final check on the two disposable phones, making sure they worked, and then I kissed Genna and sent her on her way.
At two-thirty the Russians arrived. I knew they’d be early. I watched from the second floor window as Sergei and two of his gorillas got out of the black Cadillac Escalade, checked their weapons and confidently strolled through the front door. The plan hinged on the Russians closing the door behind them and they didn’t disappoint. I then watched as Genna ran to the same door and quietly locked it with a heavy padlock we had purchased from the hardware store.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that crooks are smart because they aren’t. In point of fact they are usually dumber than dirt, and these three were no exceptions to that rule. They walked right into the warehouse and right up to the dead bodies, and they looked on in awe as the ten-gallon bottle, rag blazing, came falling down upon them from above.
I didn’t stick around to watch the explosion but I sure as hell heard it. As I was running down the steps I dialed Genna and told her to start the engine. Her answer was muffled by the whoomph of gasoline ignited and the screams of three Russians who were suddenly very aware of their limitations. By the time I climbed into the passenger seat of the Toyota, the warehouse looked like a Roman candle, seriously aided by the accelerants I had liberally strewn around the main room. I would have loved to stick around and watch the building burn, but I had a new life to live.
One Month Later
Jackson, Wyoming is the quintessential tourist town, a perfect spot for Bobby O’Dowd and Dawn Paisley to begin a new life. It didn’t take us any time at all to find jobs. Dawn works as a pregnant barista at a coffee stand and I do grunt labor at a local ranch. Our new identifications are as good as Pappi had promised.
The day after the warehouse fire we were in Ohio. The national news talked about a hit made on a Russian mob leader in New York, most likely, they surmised, by another mob. Two bodies remained unidentified by authorities, but there was no doubt in my mind the Russians knew that Billy the Kid and his black bitch girlfriend had died there as well.
Billy the Kid was dead.
Long live Bobby O’Dowd, Dawn Paisley and their unborn child.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Billy the Kid and Genna as much as I enjoyed writing about them. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about Bobby and Dawn in the weeks to come. A peacock can’t change his colors and Billy can’t change who he is simply by buying a new driver’s license.
2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)