June 6th, 1938
Look, when you got a double-barreled shotgun grinning two inches from your face, it’s usually a good idea to get a prayer or two in. Even if you don’t claim God, it doesn’t hurt to cover your ass. But I wasn’t praying. I was actually thinking about a speech...
<p><em>June 6th, 1938 </em></p>
<p>Look, when you got a double-barreled shotgun grinning two inches from your face, it’s usually a good idea to get a prayer or two in. Even if you don’t claim God, it doesn’t hurt to cover your ass. But I wasn’t praying. I was actually thinking about a speech Mom used to flip, the one about how all criminals are thieves. It really makes sense when you wrap your head around it: robbers steal possessions, rapists steal sex, pedophiles steal innocence, and murderers steal lives. They make all kinds of excuses for why they do it, but that doesn’t change what they are. Criminals are thieves, and thieves are trash.</p>
<p>For the record, I wasn’t a thief. I was an 11-year-old amateur detective with no friends and a really stupid Brooklyn accent. I had just been knocked out by chloroform and was now sitting in a chair – my wrists cuffed behind me – in the middle of a dark room filled with weirdoes in black robes and masks. The leader wore a Dracula mask, while everyone else was repping Frankenstein. “Your eyes give you away, little girl,” Dracula said. “I assure you there’s no way you can tell who or where we –”</p>
<p>“We’re by the Hudson Riva’.” I blurted. My Brooklyn accent sounded even worse in a drugged voice. “By the smell of the harba’, we’re a few blocks short of Broadway and 86th. And one of yer Frankensteins there was at the opera. I recognize him by the scuff on his left shoe and the dainty way he stands. I ain’t judgin’, just sayin’.”</p>
<p>All eyes hawked the guy I just dimed, the one who was yanking his scuffed shoe beneath his robe. He stood upright to try and look manlier, but that ship had already sailed, pal. Sorry.</p>
<p>Dracula wasn’t so forgiving. Homeboy used that shotgun to blow Frankenstein’s head off. And then he said to me: “You definitely earned your nickname, didn’t you?”</p>
<p>“And how do ya like that lisp of yers?” I countered. “’Cause I’m guessin’ ya had a little bridgework done.”</p>
<p>“Anotha’ one of yer Frankensteins is slingin’ Gaby’s skin crème,” I went on. “The company eighty-sixed that bad boy...