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Billy the Kid Faces the Music: A Short Story

Updated on October 07, 2015

Welcome Back to Part Three

I promise this is the end. This began as a short story and a short story it will end. If you haven’t read the first two chapters you can find them to the right of this text. It appears our hero (?) has gotten himself into quite a mess. Let’s see if he can figure a way out of this dilemma.

Danger lurks along the mean streets
Danger lurks along the mean streets | Source

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In the Café

The Russian’s laughter echoed off the grease-stained walls of the café. He poured two shots of vodka and pushed one in my direction.

“Damn, boy, you have mouth on you. Do you wish for death? Crazy Mick bastard, I do not know whether to gut you like a carp or make you lieutenant in my organization. I need men like you. You are either fearless or crazy, yes? Which is it, Billy? Are you crazy to talk to Ivan like this?

I didn’t answer the big Russian. There was no point. He had already made up his mind, probably before I entered the café. We were just experiencing foreplay before we got down to the bump and grind. I raised my glass to him in salute, drank it off and continued to look in his eyes, bottomless pools completely lacking in compassion.

The laughter ended and darkness descended. This was the Ivan many had seen just before a nine millimeter bullet tore through their brain pan. There is a story that has been on the streets for years, a story of Ivan teaching a rival a lesson and, in fact, making him an object lesson. The poor bastard, who mistakenly believed he could crowd Ivan out of the Heights, was quartered with a meat cleaver and his sections hung from various stop signs around the neighborhood, a head on 85th, an upper torso and arms on Ellwood, the lower torso on 56th and the legs just outside City Hall. It was before my time so I can’t verify it, but I don’t doubt its veracity.

“I have problem, Billy,” he said to me. “Perhaps you help me with it, yes? There is man selling crack without my permission. This I cannot allow. You will do me favor and take care of this problem, yes? If you can do that for Ivan, perhaps you will be worthy of my daughter. Perhaps I can find place in organization for crazy Mick bastard. What say you, Billy?”

Not the solution I was hoping for but better than being fed to the fish.

“Let me make sure I hear you correctly, Ivan. You want me to kill a man. Are we on the same page?

“I want you to take care of problem for Ivan, yes? His name is Carlo Bangini. He owns dry cleaners on south side. I send Georgy with you, make sure there are no problems. Go now. Make Ivan happy and then we talk about my daughter.”

Either way I was a dead man. I could speed up the clock by telling him no, in which case I would be dead within the hour, or I could do his task and then die at Georgy’s hands afterwards. Men like Ivan do not negotiate and they sure as shit don’t leave witnesses.

The killing car
The killing car | Source

Taking a Load to the Dry Cleaners

Georgy and I made our way over to the dry cleaning shop. We took his car, a ten-year old Cadillac, leather seats, nice stereo system, as clean as the day it left the showroom floor. Say what you will about the Russians but they love their cars and they know how to take care of them.

We pulled up at the curb a half-block from Bangini’s place. Georgy shut off the engine. He reached under the seat, pulled out a Glock 19 with silencer and handed it to me. “Make quick, Billy the Kid. I will wait here. In, out, bang, bang, we leave. Understand?”

I took the gun from him. Checked to make sure it was loaded. It had been awhile since I’d shot a Glock but it felt like an old lover in my hands. I smiled at Georgy, stuck the gun in his ribs and pulled the trigger. I have to admit, I felt kind of bad about it. He had taken such good care of the car and now he was leaking blood on that fine upholstery.

I pushed his body so he was leaning against the driver’s door. Just a big guy taking a nap in his car on the streets of New York. Nothing unusual about that. Chances were the cops wouldn’t notice him until he got ripe.

I wiped the gun down and left it on the floor, walked half a block and entered the dry cleaners and asked for Bangini. The girl went to the back to get him; he came out front alone.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

“You don’t know me. Let’s keep it at that. I was given a job by Ivan to kill you. I ain’t doing it but I wanted you to know. Your days are seriously numbered if you don’t get out of town very soon. It’s your choice. My mind is at ease now that you know. Have a long life, my friend, and for Christ’s sake, leave the crack alone.”

Winter is a time of death
Winter is a time of death | Source

And That Should Have Been the End of It

Here’s the thing: I don’t like taking orders, and I sure as shit don’t like being told who I can screw and who I can’t.

I got as far as the subway station and turned around. Walked back to Georgy’s car. He was still in it, taking his nap. Very peaceful. He wouldn’t be needing the gun so I grabbed it off the floor and stuck it inside my coat. I left the car and started walking. It was only ten blocks. Really no need for us to have driven. The wind picked up and it was brutal, stinging my nose and ears, sending shivers through me, the concrete jungle feeling like an icebox. New York in the winter, man, it can be a bitch. I’ve walked these streets all my life. Maybe it’s time for a change.

Petra’s Café was getting busy with the lunch crowd. I was hoping Ivan was still there. It was too damned cold to be searching for him. I got lucky. He was still at his table, still holding court with his admirers when I opened the door and walked in with more bluster than confidence.

He looked up when I entered. For just a brief moment a look of surprise passed over his face. Then it was gone and he was in control again.

“Billy Boy! You do job for Ivan, yes? Where is Georgy?”

“He’s taking a nap, Ivan. He said you’d be joining him shortly and you know, he was right. No, I didn’t do the job for you, Ivan. I decided to hell with it, you know? So I came back here to give you a word of advice. You don’t mind, do you?”

The Russian leaned back and laughed. “Crazy Mick bastard. No, please, tell Ivan words of advice.”

I pulled the gun out of my coat. “Never give a crazy Mick bastard a loaded gun.”

I shot him. I shot two of his men as they started to rise. There was silence for several seconds and then a woman screamed. She kept screaming as I backed out of the café, gun trained on the rest of the Russians. My legs felt like linguini. My hand shook. The wind took a bite out of my ass as I stepped outside. It pushed me to the subway. The subway would take me to Penn Station.

I’ve always wanted to see the south. This seemed like a perfect time for a train ride. As for the Ivan’s daughter? Chances were pretty good she wouldn’t want to date me after plugging her old man.

Thank You

Billy the Kid, that crazy Mick bastard, is heading off for more adventures, but this is where we leave him. He’s a loner by nature and he really doesn’t want our company as he takes a train for locations unknown. I can’t say I blame him.

Thank you for reading these three chapters. Maybe one day I’ll feel the need to tell more of Billy’s story. Until then, I hope he’s smart enough to stay in the shadows out of harm’s way.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 17 months ago from New York, New York

      Wow, what a powerful ending and truly didn't see it coming! But loved it Bill and thank you for this awesome end to your rioting, short story. Happy Wednesday now!!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Though I didn't read the first 2 chapters, this was a great conclusion to the story. Nice work!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! I appreciate you following along through the whole story. Have a superb day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kristen! I'm glad Billy turned the tables on the bad guy. I was worried for awhile.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 17 months ago from SW England

      I like the tying up of all those stray ends, especially Ivan's! He's got guts, that Billy of yours. It'll be good to see him again in the future so I'll look out for his return. Guess he needs to be a loner for a while!

      Superb, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! It was a fun story to write and went in a direction I hadn't envisioned when I started. My characters know much better than I about writing fiction. :)

      Have a wonderful Wednesday!

      bill

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 17 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Wow, the Sopranos with borscht. I loved this. You even got the accent correct. Good job Bill.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 17 months ago from Nibiru

      billy the kid....lets draw!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you liked it, Linda. I had fun writing it but even so, it's nice when someone else enjoys it as well. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Careful what you ask for, Clive! This Billy guy is one fast s.o.b. :)

      Thanks my friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 17 months ago from SW England

      I'm finding that happens to me more and more and it's weird but great fun! I like not having to be in control; how strange.

      Hope you Wednesday is wild and whacky too, bill!

      Ann

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 17 months ago from Rural Arizona

      After reading these three chapters, I would have to see more of Billy. Job well done my friend.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 17 months ago

      I loved the short story and the ending. I definitely would want to hear from Billy again.

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 17 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Triple A, Bill, great stuff. Thanks for letting Billy blow the bad guys away - I reckon he's got a touch of the Jack Reacher's about him.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great writing here! You have shared an interesting story with a valuable ending.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, it is weird but as you say, great fun. I don't mind driving the bus for my characters at all. They do a better job with directions than I ever will. :)

      Wild, whacky rain today and lots of it.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I'm glad you enjoyed it. With a name like Billy the Kid, you had to know there would be some gun play in store. :) Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Pop! Maybe Billy will resurface once the heat lessens a bit in the Big Apple.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Jack Reacher for sure, FatBoyThin.....how did you know? One of my favorite characters so you are right on! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, DDE! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 17 months ago from london

      This is great! Bill. This last one pulled no punches! Bim! Bam! (made that up). Way to go! I like the ending. Now like a cowboy he rides out of the saloon and into the world of the unknown. Excellent!!

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 17 months ago from The Desert

      Great story, Bill!

      I did read all three parts, though I have to admit, I logged on to this one and realized that it was continuing the first (which I had enjoyed, though don't think I had a chance to comment on it), and I also realized that I missed something in between, so I went back searching for part two. I'm glad I did. The three parts together are needed for a great story, although the great writing makes them able to stand alone if they need to.

      You created a great character, and though this short story has a great ending, I hope to "see" Billy the kid in the future.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I loved it but you made me late for a meeting. I couldn't wait to read it so I sat in my car and read it. Well worth it! Hey don't you already have one character in the South?

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 17 months ago

      Nice story Bill Sir, it's the ultimate climax that amazed us, the virtues triumph... A good way to motivate the younger ones. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bim, Bam for sure, Manatita. Nice analogy...like the old west in real time. That's what I was "shooting for." :) Thanks my friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 17 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Great story. Very interesting and ending is as it should have been. You made it very exciting and awesome. Thanks for it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Emese. I'm glad you found the second part of the story. Something tells me that Billy will resurface at some point down the road.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, sorry about the meeting. Yes, all roads seem to lead to the south lately. Wouldn't it be something if all the characters in both stories met up? :) Nice call, buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you m abdullah javed...it's always nice having you stop by. Blessings to you always, my friend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 17 months ago from The Caribbean

      Georgy's death and the time it happened surprised me, but it was a good move. Now Ivan's death? Seems like a lot of people will breathe easier, but I won't ever trust Billy the Kid. What a good story series!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Venkatachari M. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! I decided Billy needed to fight fire with fire. A good guy? Billy falls somewhere in-between good and bad....my favorite kind of character. :)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 17 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      You and the Kid packed a punch in this 'at least for now' finale... exciting pace that is reminiscent of my Mafia days...oops, I' ve said too much...LOL.

      Hope you are having a great week, dear Bill.

      Love, Maria

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 17 months ago from United States

      I had to go and read your latter part to come back here and comment, Bill.

      Riveting indeed :)

      Would not mind reading about Billy, the kid!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 17 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      This is another exciting addition to your 'Billy The Kid' stories. Glad you got this out of your system. It is a tough genre with plenty of competition.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 17 months ago from Hollister, MO

      "In the shadows," indeed. Loved it.

      'Billy the Kid' is welcome back, any time!! ;-)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      It would be a shame if Billy got on a train and met a beautiful, fun loving gal and you didn't write about it. PLEASE! This was a riveting piece of writing. I saw you as you backed out of the cleaners, gun in hand, ( Still smoking. ) You are a brilliant writer! I love everything you write!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria. I am having a wonderful week and I hope you are as well.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruchira! I'm not sure if Billy will be back. Maybe he'll contact me later.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I'm not sure it's out of my system. We'll just have to wait and see, but thank you for your loyal following.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I'll tell Billy you said so.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you are so kind. Thank you! I'm so happy everyone loved this story. Who knows? Billy may resurface down south one of these days. If he does I'll let you know.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 17 months ago from South Africa

      Oh dear, by now I have such an aversion of guns, I get an anxiety attack when I read about people shooting each other. But how else will the Goodies be able to get rid of the Baddies?

      This story is a true Mafia-drama. I'm not sure whether I'm glad or not because Billy gave Carlo Bangini the opportunity to flee - as Carlo will just keep on trading drugs.

      Take care, Billy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, sometimes in life, as you know, there are no perfect endings. My goal was to make these people as real as possible...no real good guys among them all....just human beings doing what humans do. And I'm with you on the gun issue. I hate them. :)

      Thank you for the visit.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A fine conclusion Bill, and you left it open in case you ever want to track down revisit the life of Billy the Kid. Good writing.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 17 months ago from Indonesia

      As always, your story is very interesting to read. I'm crazy about the story about Billy The Kid the movie and reading your version is as interesting as watching the movie version. Thanks for sharing this and I look forward to reading your next short stories.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 17 months ago from Shelton

      I really enjoyed this side of your writing Billybuc.. but I must have missed the first two... so going on a happy trail run and seek them out so I concluded before I began.. hmmm :(

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 17 months ago from United Kingdom

      Brilliant!!! I really didn't see that coming. Billy the Kid is an intriguing character and I hope he rides through town again sometime. Great story, Bill.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 17 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I wanted to leave it open so I had options. You never know when the muse will want to revisit Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you agustfanani! I enjoy short stories and don't do nearly enough of them. I'm too busy with novels, but I'll try to do a few more in the near future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Frank! That's like watching the end of a movie before the beginning. LOL Oh well, I'm just grateful you stopped by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I suspect he will, Zulma, but first a few more projects need to be completed. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! I'm very happy you enjoyed it.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 17 months ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      As usual, you do not disappoint. Loved the story, the ride, and the ending-Perfect!

      Kim

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 17 months ago from USA

      He may have just dug himself a hole bigger than he realized. Good story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kim! I had fun writing that one.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, we'll just have to wait and see. I'll let him dig that hole before revisiting him. Thanks for reading along.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 17 months ago from Central Florida

      Wow, talk about balls! I did not see that coming, Bill.

      This is an excellent short story. It really didn't need to be any longer that this. Kinda like an hour-long TV show. There's an idea. Who can you sell it to? :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! I wouldn't have a clue who to try selling it to, but I might eventually get it ready for a short story contest. :) Thank you and I'm glad you liked it.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 17 months ago from south Florida

      You made Ivan fearsome, Bill, but Billy the Kid was fearless. Can't beat that. He could make a good living off the bottom feeders in D.C. I enjoyed this dramatic short story, and can't help seeing Tom Hardy playing Billy in a screen version. Perhaps one day . . .

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 17 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Really enjoyed your short story. This could make a good script for a movie.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, great choice for Billy on the big screen. Thank you! Maybe one day Billy will ride again. First he needs to find a safe hideout. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Gypsy! I appreciate that.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 17 months ago from New York

      Well, Billy left nothing to chance. It was easy to see Gregory would've offed him anyway. I must admit I was surprised when he shot Ivan.

      Bill, you certainly know how to write a story. I know Billy will be back.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Mary! I am so happy you enjoyed this story. Who knows? Maybe Billy will ride again.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 17 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I never kiss and tell. Crazy Mick.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Crazy Mick is a hard man to kill, Deb. Maybe he'll reappear at a later day. Who knows? But thank you, my friend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 17 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Whoa! Great twist ending for our tough and independent Billy. "That crazy Mick bastard" was smart -- those Russian crime/mob guys don't kid around; they are the absolute worst to deal with, and Ivan's plans for him would have been painful to say the least. "He’s a loner by nature and he really doesn’t want our company as he takes a train for locations unknown. I can’t say I blame him." Neither can I. We all hope that Billy returns...but this is the caveat for great writing; we readers just don't want these stories to end. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Genna! I'm so happy you enjoyed this story. I certainly enjoyed spreading my wings and writing it.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 17 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I knew there'd be a twist, but I still enjoyed it. Good luck to 'The crazy Mick'

      Great story

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence! It seems there is still some life left in that crazy Mick. :)

      bill

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 17 months ago

      I am slow getting on here and find that I missed the first two segments. However, this was quite fascinating and very much the work of a creative genius! Thanks for the story of adventure. I must go back and see the other two posts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! I'm back to doing some creative writing and enjoying it immensely.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Great stuff. You have successfully compelled me to continue, my friend. I will be back to read more.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Mel. Thanks for hanging with me and Billy.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This installment has an interesting and unexpected ending, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you thought so, Alicia. Thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 10 months ago from Texas

      Nice twist to the ending, but I suppose I already know you found the desire to tell more of his story. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shamarie and yes, this story will continue. I'm having too much fun to stop now.

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