“My Uncle Sal”

My Uncle Sal
Was found
In the basement
Of the elementary school
Where he cleaned.

A heart attack
They said.
The police report
Put forth the diagnosis.
The coroner’s report
Claimed his heart
Failed.
There was no mention
In any of the documents
Of the 45 caliber
Bullet
Which pierced his skull
And stopped his heart.

A made man
Uncle Sal was proud
Of his place
In the Family.
He did his mob job
Thoroughly
Swiftly
The same way
He scrubbed
His son’s school.

My uncle
The janitor
The cleaner
The maintenance engineer
Was also
A hit man
A clean-up man
An executioner
Whose life ended
As a murderer’s should
Felled not by
A heart attack
But
By a bullet
In his ear.

I am sad.
My Uncle Sal
Was a good uncle
But
May he rest
In peace
He was
A bad man.

(dVersepoets, Open Link Night 73, December 4, 2012.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to “My Uncle Sal”

  1. Pat Hatt says:

    Wow that must have been quite the ordeal indeed.

    • vb holmes says:

      I enjoy writing in the first person which might mislead at times–Uncle Sal’s demise, while triggered by a short news item, is fiction (I must admit to wiping my brow and whispering “Thank goodness”.) Thanks for commenting.

  2. I am half Sicilian and half Roman. Our families were barbers, tailors, construction workers, shoe makers and dock workers. Some in the second generation even graduated from high school and most were WW II vets. Now the third generation – I was the first to go to college. I was a school teacher and mother and father sacrificed so much for that and are so proud. We are very ashamed of the “bad men”. They are a disgrace.

    • vb holmes says:

      Pride of family is a true gift and it sounds as though you have many reasons to be proud of the good people who are dear to you. I hope some are also near to you so you can enjoy them during the Christmas season.
      (We all have “bad men” who touch on our lives, sometimes peripherally, sometimes more directly–the seemingly unattainable ideal would be to avoid them altogether.)

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    Is this true? Or more fictitious-prose-poetry?

    • vb holmes says:

      More “fictitious-prose-poetry”, I’m afraid. The story grew out of a newspaper item I had read a while ago and my “knowledge” of the mob comes from my love of gangster movies. I was interested in the conflict offered by a hit man (the ultimate “bad man”) cleaning up for the Family (mob) at the same time he was cleaning up for his son’s (personal family) school.

  4. brian says:

    well now you took me on a journey there…i was sorry at first, but then you turned the story on us….and it sounds in the end he may have had that one coming…dance with the flame you will burn you know…

    • vb holmes says:

      Very true about dancing with the flame as “Uncle Sal” discovered–“What goes around, comes around” might even better describe a hit man getting hit–Many thanks for commenting!

  5. ManicDdaily says:

    Yikes! I knew a made man once. Crazy. Well done. The short crisp lines and words work very well here. k.

    • vb holmes says:

      Many thanks for commenting! Not being personally connected, I wasn’t sure whether a made man would be working as a janitor but I decided it was a good cover for a hit man and it was important that my janitor also be the latter so I went with it. (Was your made man crazy or was it crazy to know someone like that?)

      • ManicDdaily says:

        A bit of both. He’d gotten out of it all, but that had somehow involved a very extensive hospital stay. He was actually a very nice person, but had certainly had a very difficult life with exposure to things one wouldn’t want to know about. k.

  6. Wow! Not even the coroner or the police want anything to do with this one…all on the payroll.

    • vb holmes says:

      Were they ever–it’s pretty difficult to diagnose a hole in the head as heart failure without a few greased palms to back you up. Many thanks for visiting!

  7. jasmine calyx says:

    This is awesome. What a great ending.

  8. STEVE E says:

    My “Uncle Al” returned to my gray blob, as I read your Uncle Sal. Also a made man, he never got made until God was ready. Heart attack (real) in a place he built and lived: Pax Acres.

    Whoever had his contract never EVER believed him to be living in a place named “Peace Acres”–grin!

    Glad you stopped by–am enjoying myself here!

    • vb holmes says:

      A retirement community named Pax Acres–the perfect safe house for a made man on the run (the guy with his contract probably thought it was the name of a cemetery)..

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