Author: Arnaldo Lopez Jr.
Publisher: Koehler Books/Café Con Leche books
Purchase on Amazon
About the Book:
Chickenhawk is an urban crime fiction novel that showcases New York City’s diversity, as well as the dark side of race relations, politics, sexuality, illness, madness, and infidelity. Eddie Ramos and Tommy Cucitti are Manhattan North Homicide detectives after a serial killer that manages to stay below their radar while the body count keeps climbing in a city that’s turning into a powder keg.
ABE LOOKED AROUND the premises nervously. He didn’t like spending so much time with a customer. Earlier on, he had nearly bolted out of there when a patrol car, siren hooting and warbling, slowly moved up the street. He watched quietly as the strobed reflection of the car’s flashing lights alternately colored the facades of the surrounding buildings a vivid shade of red. Then white. Then red again. The colors bounced off the
windows of the nearby skyscrapers in blinding explosions of refracted light, spilling like spent fluid along the naked girders around him, disappearing then reappearing further away as they receded.
Abe nodded in the direction of the lights. “Don’t worry man,” he said. “That’s the last time they’re gonna come around tonight.”
The customer nodded in understanding. The police considered Abe and his fellow hustlers little more than pesky annoyances, lowlife perpetrators of victimless crimes who rarely even had the nerve to pick an occasional pocket. The well-heeled residents of this part of Midtown Manhattan, however, were not quite so forgiving. They convinced the local merchants to join them in demanding an increase in police surveillance in the area.
Not long after that, cops from the nearby precinct were assigned to make at least three nightly trips up Lexington Avenue from Fifty-First to Sixty-Eighth Streets, rousting and occasionally even arresting the young male prostitutes who worked the stripand catered to the desires of the mostly suburban, married businessmen who comprised the bulk of their clientele; some of whom hailed from as far away as Connecticut.
Abe worked his hand feverishly, focusing on his customer’s now flaccid penis with disdain. Man, this is ridiculous, he thought as he gave the penis a shake, scattering droplets of semen and saliva into the night. If this guy’s dick doesn’t get hard again
in another few seconds, I’m just gonna tell ‘im to forget it. I mean, damn—I already sucked him off once! Abe again studied the expensive looking material that framed the limp penis in his hand before returning it to his mouth, This guy is gonna have to pay me something extra just for wasting my time, he thought. What made him think he could go twice anyway?
He let the still soft penis slip out of his mouth. A viscous strand of saliva, glistening like spider’s silk covered in morning dew, still connected Abe to his customer’s stubborn member.
Abe plucked the string of saliva and it collapsed into a fine mist.
He sighed agitatedly and made as if to get up. His customer stopped him by placing a strong but gentle hand on his shoulder.
“No, don’t get up,” he said.
Abe’s new denim pants creaked as he settled back down on his knees. The voice didn’t sound threatening or even particularly demanding. His customer had a deep, rich baritone voice, the kind that made you think of overstuffed leather chairs, mahogany bookcases, and giant oak desks. Clearly it was the voice of a wealthy and powerful man. Abe wished he had been blessed with a voice like that. If he had been, Abe could have
easily been an actor or a singer. Instead, he was just another homeboy giving blow jobs to rich guys from “The Island” at thirty bucks a pop. That was his reality.
“Keep doing what you’re doing,” that voice said. “It feels really good.”
Abe dismissed the thoughts he was having moments before and shrugged. “I don’t care how good it feels to you man,” he said. He winced at how high and whiney his own voice sounded.
“It’s taking you too fuckin’ long. I’m either gonna catch a cramp or the fuckin’ cops are gonna bust us.”
Abe flinched in surprise when his customer raised an immaculately manicured left hand. The gold ring on the third finger flashed cold fire as his hand settled on Abe’s head. Long, thick fingers lost themselves in the thick mat of tousled black curls, then gently extricated themselves. The man stroked Abe’s hair. It drove Abe crazy. He hated when they did that.
Finally, Abe felt the penis in his hand stiffen. “About fuckin’ time,” he muttered to himself.
“Ah yeah,” the customer groaned with a contented sigh. “I knew you could get it up for me again, you little cocksucker, and I do mean that literally.”
Abe didn’t like anyone calling him names.
“You little spic bitch,” the man with the rich voice continued softly. “You love sucking white cock, don’t you?”
That was the last straw for Abe. He sprung to his feet. “Man, fuck this shit,” he whispered harshly, his anger tempered by the prospect of being detected by the police. He’d had enough and couldn’t stomach this asshole any longer.
The man with the great voice just stood there, a bemused expression on his face, and watched Abe’s reaction and growing anger. His now fully erect penis pointed at Abe’s chin like an obscene divining rod. He crossed his arms and thrust his hips forward in an exaggerated motion. His penis bounced up and down, and swung in circles as if held up by an invisible wire.
“Come on Pancho,” he said, making that great voice ugly now. “Or do you think I should save some for your mamasita, huh? I bet she’s the one who taught you how to suck cock! Or maybe it was your papasita? Is that it Pancho?
Abe charged at the man with a roar burning in his throat.
His rage could no longer be contained, police or no police.
Then a sudden move that Abe did not see coming. It was a blur and before he had a chance to react, it was too late. Abe saw his customer pull a gun from under his jacket. So many thoughts ran through his mind at once. It’s huge. Black. A revolver. The barrel is impossibly long, it can’t be real…
Reality was a sledgehammer jolt of shock and pain as the gun’s barrel was shoved into Abe’s mouth—gouging lips and splintering teeth. Abe tried to pull his head back, but the other man gripped the back of his neck and kept feeding him the gun.
He tried to scream but nearly gagged on his own blood. The only sound he managed to make was a gurgling cough.
“Ah, you like that, don’t you?” It was the rich man’s voice again. “Tell you what,” he continued. “You’re going to give my friend here,” indicating the gun he was holding, “the best goddamn blow job of your miserable life.” The man moved his face closer to Abe’s, almost whispering in his ear. “Only this time,” he said. “You—better—hope—it—doesn’t—cum!”
Abe squeezed his watering eyes shut, tears searing twin rivulets of molten fear down his quivering face. He could feel the gun’s barrel slide back and forth in his mouth, mimicking the act of fellatio. Ice-cold shards of pain shot through his body as the gun barrel rubbed against the newly exposed nerves of his shattered teeth.
“That’s it now. Oh-h, you’re doing a wonderful job. Good. Good.”
More tears welled up in Abe’s eyes and coursed down his cheeks. His mind was a hodgepodge of frantic thought.
This fuckin’ guy’s crazy! How can I get outta this? Who is this guy? Maybe I can snatch the gun away! Why me? What will mom and pop think when the cops tell them how I died?
Oh shit! Oh shit! OH SHIT! Oh my God, I’m gonna fuckin’ die! Abe pressed his eyes shut and felt more hot tears run down his face where they mixed with the clear mucus that was now running freely from his nose.
Then, the in and out motion of the gun barrel stopped. It was the most frightening moment of Abe’s young life. He literally wet his pants.
Abe waited. A heartbeat. Two. Three. He opened his eyes.
The crazy man with the beautiful voice was staring at him. His eyes were terrible to look at. Empty.
The man with the rich voice pulled the trigger on the big, old revolver. The tension of the pull. The sudden release of the hammer. The smell of burnt gunpowder. It was all familiar to him now, but he still jumped at the gun’s loud report.
The slug pierced the boy’s soft palette, drove neatly through his brain, and then flattened somewhat on impact with the inside of Abe’s skull. It exited the back of Abe’s head, compressed almost to the diameter of a nickel, and created a wound on its way out big enough for a man to put his fist through.
The boy fell back, his knees still bent, a spray of blood and brain tissue that had erupted from his now shattered head soiled the fence behind him.
The killer slowly lowered his still smoking gun. He turned and started to walk away, then stopped.
The trembling started in his knees and worked its way up to his shoulders and arms. Soon he shivered so violently his teeth chattered. Every hair on his body stood painfully on end. His eyes watered uncontrollably and distorted his vision. Then, just as suddenly as it started, the episode ended. A monstrous headache remained in its wake.
The killer whipped around, eyes wild, face shiny with sweat. Shakily, he aimed his gun in the direction of the youth he’d just murdered.
“You sonofabitch!” He yelled. “You gave me this shit! But if I have to die, you’re going to die—all of you bastards are going to die! You hear me? Hear me?”
He thumbed back the hammer of the gun. The long, black barrel telegraphed the trembling in his hand. He stood that way for several seconds as light drizzle fell to earth and the rage melted from his eyes. He sniffed and lowered the gun, simultaneously easing the hammer back into place.
A brief coughing jag shook him then. It was a wet, roiling noise that bubbled up from the depths of his sickened lungs. He cleared his throat, hawked, and spat out a thick wad of greenish phlegm. Then, shoes crunching on broken glass and gravel, he left the construction site and the scene of the murder.
Eyes darting to and fro, he took pains not to be seen. He stayed in the shadows and mentally cursed the bright lights that almost seemed to increase in incandescence at his approach. He tucked the gun into his waistband and headed for the darkened subway entrance at 53rd Street.
This entrance to the subway used to be closed at night, and so was a popular meeting place for the young male prostitutes who plied their trade here. Now that the entrance was open around the clock, business had to be conducted a bit more discreetly,
such as construction sites, under stairwells, the freight or delivery bays of some of the older buildings and department stores, and, of course, inside hastily parked cars.
The subway entrance remained the primary meeting place, however, where deals were made, prices quoted, and acts performed.
He walked down the subway steps and entered the station, the bright fluorescent lights hurt his eyes after the relative darkness of the night outside. He hunched down into his jacket, hands in pockets, and looked around furtively.
He walked quickly past the token booth and stole a glance in its direction, avoiding the bored glances of the workers inside, and continued walking toward the opposite stairway. He mounted the steps two at a time until he was back outside. By exiting through this stairway, he was now about a block away from where his victim’s corpse lay growing cold and stiff on the ground.
A moment later there was the soft sound of a car door being closed, an engine turning over, and a car being driven away into the night. The sidewalk was deserted.
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