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The Pig Is Committed

by Josh Pachter

About the Author: Josh Pachter is an author, editor, and translator of crime fiction. His stories appear regularly in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and many other periodicals and anthologies. He is the editor of THE MISADVENTURES OF NERO WOLFE (Mysterious Press, 2020) and THE MAN WHO READ MYSTERIES (Crippen & Landru, 2018) and the co-editor of THE MISADVENTURES OF ELLERY QUEEN (Wildside Press, 2018) and AMSTERDAM NOIR (Akashic Books, 2019). He has two anthologies coming out — THE BEAT OF BLACK WINGS: CRIME FICTION INSPIRED BY THE SONGS OF JONI MITCHELL and THE MISADVENTURES OF NERO WOLFE.


We don’t call him “Pete the Pig” ’cause of his fleshy pink cheeks and shiny bald head. Thirty years ago, when he made his bones in the Bianchi family in Brooklyn’s Five Points neighborhood by putting two .45s in the gut and one straight through the forehead of a dry cleaner with a bad gambling jones and a worse streak of luck who was a week late with the vig, he was eighty pounds lighter and had a full head of wavy auburn hair, but he’d already been saddled with the nickname.

He was born Peter Theodore Pignatelli, so what the hell else are we supposed to call him?

Pete the Pig sits now, huddled inside a shabby overcoat that must have him sweating like a—well, never mind—in the heat of the precinct’s claustrophobic Interrogation Room 1, hands clasped in front of him on the scarred surface of the deal table, and shakes his fat bald head stubbornly.

“You can’t remember,” my partner, Detective First Jerry Alvarez, says for the third time, “where you was last Friday night at eleven?”

Pete doesn’t move a muscle.

“He remembers,” says Sean Jameson, the Bianchis’ pet mouthpiece, “but he ain’t”—he coughs delicately into a fist—“he isn’t answering any questions at this point in time.”

Jerry rubs the back of his neck in frustration.

Story Comments

Apr 27 - Roy Dorman

Josh Pachter does a nice job of keeping the story moving with his use of convincing dialog. Good story!

Apr 27 - Regina Davis-Sowers

I liked the story. I knew the Pig was going down, because he wasn't going to squeal (pun intended). This look at the callousness of the police, though, is what made the story for me. I always like Pachter's stories in Ellery Queen.

Apr 27 - Susan R

Fine work! A great little read!

Apr 27 - Kathleen Rockwood

Thanks Josh! I was just thinking I could use a short story just about now, when in a more ordinary world I would be heading out of the house.

Apr 27 - Ed Huminick

My first time on the site. I enjoyed the story. Not many people keep their commitments today.

Apr 28 - Warren

Thanks for fun story!

Apr 29 - George Garnet

Authentic voice, nice noir pice

Apr 29 - Frances Dunn

I loved the touch of humor in this short story. It was a great read, loved the ending. well done.

Apr 29 - Tina Jude

I like the story. Committed to the end, uncommon these days. I enjoyed the humor.

May 1 - Josh Pachter

Thank you, readers, for your comments! I'm delighted that you enjoyed "The Pig is Committed." I've had that title in the back of my mind for years, and it finally percolated into a story I felt ready to tell....

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