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A Silver .38

by Peter W. J. Hayes

About the Author: Peter W. J. Hayes is a former marketing executive, ad copywriter, journalist, bartender, and truck driver. His mysteries and crime writing have appeared in print in Malice Domestic (Issue #12, Mystery Most Historical) and The Literary Hatchet (Issue #14), and online in Shotgun Honey, Yellow Mama, and Out of the Gutter. His work has also won the Pennwriters’ short story and novel beginnings contests and been shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Debut Dagger award.


Eyes blinking against the bitter January wind, Tank checked the street outside Freddy Noster’s cash drop then led Dom Bandini to the Audi. As he started the engine Dom raised his cell where Tank could see it and held the off button. Tank followed suit.

“Head over to Southside Park.”

Tank liked that. He had only body-guarded Dom for three months, but he appreciated the discipline in the Bandini organization and how it started with Dom’s father. New burner phones every week, important conversations outside. Nothing electronic, except a laptop that never moved more than six inches away from Freddy Noster’s elbow. Freddy was the organization’s accountant, and Tank figured he slept with that laptop.

Twenty minutes later Tank parked and shifted his Glock from his shoulder holster to his jacket pocket. He and Dom stepped into the blunt January wind and crossed to the edge of the Monongahela River. The surface was choppy, the orange vapor lights of the highway and warehouses on the far shore fractured on the river surface. Snowflakes whipped downriver toward Pittsburgh’s skyline.

“OK,” said Dom. “You know that restaurant we own in Bloomfield, the Italian place?” 

“Yeah.” Tank’s eyes were drawn to the lights on the far shore.

 “We been coming up short. Took a while for Freddy to notice. Then Connor, the guy who runs the place? He just got himself a BMW.”


“Oh yeah.”

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