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Who murdered Mickey Albany?

- the city is a tinderbox

By F.R. GautvikPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - January 2024
Who murdered Mickey Albany?
Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash

I turned the sandglass on the small coffee table, its grains sliding through time like whispers of fate. Leaning against the worn-out balcony railing of my apartment, the city's sprawling skyline stretched before me—a canvas of chaos where shadows danced in the neon glow.

My phone buzzed with a text, jolting me from my late-night reverie. The message from Gina Rodriguez, my partner in the dance with crime, had an urgency that cut through the contemplative silence.

"Homicide. 57th Street. Max, get your ass over here. Now."

I stashed the Molson bottle in the refrigerator, holstered my gun, adjusted the fedora, and headed to the scene.

57th Street pulsated with police lights and yellow tape. Gina approached me, her eyes ablaze with intensity. "Max, we got a real piece of work here."

The victim, Mickey Albany, sprawled on the pavement like a morbid masterpiece, a gunshot wound marring his frontal cortex. Mickey Albany, with the stupid nickname “The Shark”, was a low-level mobster with a rap sheet longer than a CVS receipt, had met a fate written in blood.

“Any witnesses?” I asked, surveying the gathering crowd.

Gina shook her head. "Nobody saw a damn thing, Max. It's like they all vanished into thin air."

Kneeling beside Mickey's lifeless body, I studied the wound. “This ain't a random hit,” I said and looked at the wound again. “The Shark had too many enemies. And the shooter was in close range. Maybe a friend. Or somebody he knew."

"Or somebody just walked up to him," Gina sighed, her gaze scanning the surroundings. "This city's a tinderbox, Max. It only takes one spark to set it off."

“No, I think that …” I said as a dame with fiery red hair and a cigarette dangling from her lips trying to breach the yellow tape. "You the detective in charge?" she yelled with a foreign accent, exhaling smoke at the young police officer.

I nodded and ushered her through. “Max Hansson. Did you see anything, ma'am?”


“Let her through!” I said, but the officer hesitated before complying.

I grabbed her arm. "What did you see?"

“A guy, somebody—" she said as she tried to put on some red lip gloss as we walked.

“Describe him.”

She hesitated before revealing. "Man, a tall figure, face obscured by shadows but looked like some kind of transgender … with makeup … and he was moving with purpose."

I noted it down as she spoke. “Thanks, sweetheart. You did a good thing tonight.”

The city held its secrets, and I was about to peel back another layer.

As the investigation took us through the city's underbelly, whispers of betrayal and power struggles echoed in dimly lit alleys. The Shark had played a dangerous game, and I was determined to untangle the threads that led to his killer.

Around midnight we parked the car outside a seedy Harlem club were lowlifes and high rollers mingled in a dance of vice and corruption. I walked in with the confidence of a man who knew the city's heartbeat.

Allan Moretti, the club's owner, eyed me. "Detective Hansson, to what do I owe the pleasure?” he said, without a smile.

“Mickey The Shark’s dead,” I said. “You know anything about it? We heard he owed you some money.”

Moretti feigned innocence. "The Shark? I heard about it, yes. He had a lot of enemies.”

“We’re not interested in street talk, Mr. Moretti. We’re interested in what you know—"

“Fine, Mickey owed me some serious cash. But I wouldn't kill the guy. Bad for business.”

Leaving with more questions, the city's criminal underbelly remained a labyrinth, and The Shark's death was a symptom of a deeper disease. I needed a lead, something to connect the dots.

“I have an idea,” Gina said, with a smile that could melt ice on the North Pole.

Twenty-five minutes later, we knocked on the house of Lars Santoro, a rival mobster. He was not home, but his young Asian wife pointed us to an upscale restaurant, Cullix Basto, a known front for other less-than-legal enterprises.

Lars Santoro greeted us with a smirk. “Detectives, what brings you to my humble establishment?”

“Mickey owed you money, didn’t he?” I asked.

Lars chuckled, smoke curling from his cigar. “Mickey had a lot of enemies.”

We left with more ambiguity. Lars Santoro had no new information, and the killer still lurked in the shadows, but Mickey's murder was a move in a game I was determined to win.

As day turned into night, tension rose with each step. Gina looked at me. “I am tired,” she said, but the only thing I could focus on was the scent of her smoky vanilla-fresh perfume, penetrating me like a sharp spear.

“You want to join me?”

“You’re kidding?” I said, feeling a flutter in the belly.

There was nothing I'd rather do than be with Gina Rodriguez.

“Okay,” Gina said, “but I first have to do this —"

She pulled her gun, and it exploded in my face.

The heavy knocking on the door woke me up. I could see the sun rising on the horizon.

“Max! Are you there?!”

I recognized Gina's voice. The Molson Dry bottle was still on the coffee table on the balcony. For a second, I wondered how it got there. I could not remember anything from the night. I turned the hourglass on the table upside down again.

Gina's eyes narrowed when I opened. “You thought killing the Shark would silence the voices?” she yelled. “Bring your wife back?!”

Behind her, two officers pointed their Glocks at me. I slid my own Glock out and dropped the sandglass on the wooden floor.

The glass splintered as the officers fired.

“I love you,” I said, feeling numb and dizzy.

I closed my eyes as I tried to grab Gina Rodriguez. Just one kiss, I thought before I was out in the no-man’s-land, a desert with bright light.


About the Creator

F.R. Gautvik

Author & screenwriter. I love outdoor sports and sitting in front of a fireplace on a cold day - writing.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (6)

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  • John K. Wilhelmsen about a month ago

    Great story, well written and surprising ending. Well done. Thank you!

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    Well played and very well written. I enjoyed it the entire way.

  • Bobby Brown2 months ago

    also check this out juicy one

  • k eleanor2 months ago

    gripping narrative.. I absolutely love it! Congratulations on the top story!

  • Cheryl E Preston2 months ago

    What a tragic story. Congrats on the top story honor

  • Margaret Brennan2 months ago


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