NOODLES - KEITH GINGELL
Noodles has been with me for about ten years now. I can remember the day we met like it was yesterday. I was having dinner with my wife at Uncle Marco’s place. An interesting feller is Uncle Marco. He’s a businessman, but nobody in our family knows what kind of business he’s in. It changes a lot. One year it’s insurance, another he’s running a café. Then he’s a football trainer or he’s selling furniture ... whatever, but he seems to do alright.
Aunty Sophia plonked a couple of bottles of Barolo on the table while she prepared the food. Marco took something out his pocket and squeezed it. A four inch blade appeared like magic and he sliced off the cork covers. He must have seen my eyes nearly pop out. I’d never been that close to something so illegal.
‘You like it?’ he said, rotating the lethal weapon between thumb and forefinger.
‘I’ve never seen a flick-knife before,’ I said.
He folded the blade and it slipped into place with a solid double-click. He stretched across the table and dropped the loaded handle next to my other cutlery.
‘I can’t take this.’
‘Sure you can,’ he said, ‘I don’t need it anymore.’
He reached behind him and pulled a bronze coloured Colt automatic out of his belt and held it up for me to see.
‘I got this.’
We both leaned back in our chairs and laughed at the joke.
‘Is that real?’ I asked.
‘I’m building up my business. Sometimes I need to protect myself ... You want the knife?
‘I don’t know what I’ll do with it, but yes. I‘d like to keep it.’
Uncle Marco looked at me real serious. ‘It’s good for opening letters and bottles of wine, but don’t go pointing it at anybody, unless you’re prepared to use it.’
That’s how I got it. I named it after I saw “Noodles” use one just like it to kill Bugsy in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge. To be honest, my Noodles wasn’t much use for anything other than a letter opener. It was as dull as the plastic scissors my kids used for cutting paper.
My grandfather was a barber, he showed me how to strop razors when I was a kid. Lately I’ve been working on Noodles. It’s so sharp now, I could shave a Peach ... Without soap.
Tomorrow night I’m going looking for the guy who did those things to my daughter. I’ll introduce him to Noodles, and for the first time in ten years I’ll use it for more than opening envelopes.
BIO: Keith has stories in Radepacket 3, 4 and 5. Two on Pulp Metal Magazine and four or five on Thrillers, Killers ’N’ Chillers. He is English, but lives near Antwerp in Belgium. He has been writing fiction since 2006 and has been concentrating on noir/crime for the past three years.
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