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One Day Ferrari

Might’ve been three hundred miles out when the smell hit me. Now I knew it wasn’t my job to pick around and look for things less I was told. But maybe if curiosity got the best of me and my mind wandered and I pulled over somewhere secluded but no one needed to know that.

My job was to drive. Don’t ask no questions, don’t be stupid, only run if I got to, and drive the car from point A to point B. Don’t give it to no one you aren’t supposed to. Get paid a flat rate, extra thrown in if done over a long distance. Maybe some food money if the Family knows your name.

Only reason worth doing it. Cars weren’t anything special. They needed to blend in.

Maybe one day I’d get a call. They’d want a Ferrari. Naw, fuck that, a goddamn Maserati; and I’d drive that cross country. Open highway all the way with the top down with the grass sweeping past like a green tide. What a fucking dream.

I kept thinking about it, tryna remind myself of what that dream used to feel like, when that smell hit again. Wasn’t a skunk. This was prairie country and no skunks around till I hit the backwoods again. Maybe, what, another two hundred miles?

But fuck was this one sticking around. It was in here with me. And it was close to eighty out and yeah the AC was blaring but I knew it’d be getting worse and soon.

Then my mind got to wandering again.

They found about the deal I’d made. Retirement. One last drive, I’d said to the other Family, and I’m all yours. They don’t look up to traitors but I gotta do what I gotta do. Besides, I’d be on their side now and I’d help them take over the routes here.

I gotta do what I gotta do. Girl with me. Kid on the way. All three of us need a way out.

All of us.

I wasn’t nothing and this was all for them.

And now the bosses took one of the spare bodies they’d got floating around somewhere and shoved it in the trunk and told me to cross a few state borders in plates that’d come up bad. I’d get pulled over with a body in the back. Even if I’d been doing this long enough to not be pissing my pants and blabbering on about interstate car exports by Russian mafia families on the West coast a bunch of plains country cops wouldn’t believe whatever lie I came up with and drag me in. No fucking chance they’d believe me. They’d find a corpse in the back. I’d look like a killer and the name sounds Spanish. All the fucking proof they’d need to drag me off.

Assuming they don’t put me in a ditch and put one in the back of my fucking head.

Assuming-

Don’t think like that.

-They’re even cops to begin with.

I needed a plan then. Don’t pull over and look. They’ll find you faster that way. Get somewhere off the main road, secluded, and ditch this fucking thing and wipe every fingerprint and drop of sweat out of this car.

The girl and the kid inside her were only halfway from my stop point. I didn’t know if the Family knew the address. They’d come for her first. I needed to beat them there.

Fuck this. Fuck everything. I needed out now. This all needed to end.

I pushed on the gas until the world raced past and the smell wasn’t as bad anymore.

I drove along that single land road and let the setting western sun bring me home.

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In Memory of William E. Wallace

This last Saturday (February 25, 2017) we lost a member of the Shotgun Honey family. The incomparable William E. Wallace, who after a lifetime of crime reporting turned his experience towards crime fiction. Not only as a writer, but as a consumer and reviewer. My first experiences with William were from reviews he had written about Shotgun Honey books and stories, and naturally when he began to submit his own work. We were priviledge to publish three of his short stories and what we hoped would be the first in a series of Eddie Pax novellas, Face Value.

William, or Bill as his friends called him, was the kind of guy who played the cards he was dealt, face up regardless. We knew he had terminal cancer, and he fought it, endured it with more courage and grace than most, but prepared or not we weren't ready.

The crime writing community, the small press community, have lost a treasure with the passing of William E. Wallace who acted as an advocate, a contributor, and a friend. I don't know what stories he may have finished in those last days, but I hope to read them one day.

Our condolences to William's family, friends, and fans.

Ron Earl Phillips
Publisher and Friend