While in a West Texas prison for murder Harry Parnes had an opportunity to think. For 14 years. He hadn’t been that successful as a criminal. He resolved to live a better and more successful life. What better way than to rob a bank on impulse the day you get out?
Excerpt from “Call Me Harry”
Fili Joe stared at her. “You know we been doin’ this kinda work a long time and we know when people don’t tell us the truth.”
“What do you think a guy who just robbed me at the bank would give me his name?”
“Maybe he didn’t or maybe he didn’t right then or maybe you know who he is.”
In a second Fili Joe had her broken down into a recliner chair, sitting up straight, hands flat on the arm rests. He put his fleshy face close to hers looking straight into her eyes.
“Tell me his name!”
“Your breath smells like sour milk and bad teeth.”
He punched her once in the stomach while she was sitting down, not too hard but harder than she’d ever been hit. Now she was getting mad. And stubborn.
“We all know somehow you know who this guy is before or maybe you seen him. Bank robberies don’t go this smooth ‘less one hand helps the other, dig? Did he get all the cash or maybe you got some too?” Fili was losing patience now, getting into full business mode.
“Do I look like a bank robber to you?”
“Maybe a ass-cessory” Fili struggled with the word.
“Pelon come ‘er, put your hand up here, flat over hers on this arm rest here. Yeah that’s it press in down nice and hard. Now Maizey, I got a job to do. My job is to get a name from you right now and you might think this is a little mean and crude, but you are going to tell me within the next minute the name of the man who took all that money out of your bank on Friday. You gave it to him we know but we don’ know if he was beatin’ on you or threatnin’ to or maybe sayin’ he’d kill you or maybe you liked him a little or maybe even you was workin’ with him. So tell us what was it?”
“Eat a bag of shit!”
Fili Joe reached down, put his hand under her pleated skirt and squeezed her hard between the legs. She jumped straight up, sat back down and spat straight in his face.
He wiped it off, seemingly unsurprised and unoffended.
“Now this is the last time I’m gonna ask before I take this little finger on your right hand that this guy’s holdin’ and bend it back just as far as I can, see if I can get it all the way back till its settin’ on the back of your hand. Do you unnerstan’ what that feel like? Unless you double jointed like a shrimp that gonna break that little finger almost clean off and it gonna hurt.”
Fili Joe stood up and took a short walk around the living room to let her think then circled back and put his face back in her face.
“I know, I been there, guy did it to me once, I hadda have a cast practically up to my elbow. It gonna for sure hurt. The guy broke it tol’ me he got this move a long time ago from a James Bond book. I never read the book, just saw the James Bond movies and this part wasn’t in any of ‘em. Prolly too much for da audience to stand, right? Now I gonna ask you just one more time…”
“I’m not telling you a damn thing, now get out of my house!” There were tears gathering in the corners of her eyes but not in her voice.
The snapping sound came immediately, like the snap of a brand new Eagle pencil being cracked in half by a frustrated student as Fili Joe took her pinky finger in both his huge hands and folded it quickly back until it lay flat, backwards over the back of her right hand.
She didn’t scream. She coughed and moaned and hyperventilated and slumped over in the chair where Pelon was holding her. Tears streamed off of her cheeks and into her lap and she convulsed. A little trickle of urine dropped onto the hard wood floor between her legs.
Pelon was sweating. “Jesus Christ Fili Joe. An old lady!”
Fili Joe grabbed her by the back of her hair and pulled her head back up out of her lap and into his face.
“So, there something you wanna tell me?”
“No!” Her voice was weak but definite.
Just then there was a bang and a clatter and a series of clicking sounds from out in her kitchen. A flapping sound. In clicked a little furry dog smaller than a bread box and immediately started barking an excited high pitched yappy squeaky bark. It had come in through a dog door and slid across the kitchen into the living room, its doggy toenails unable to find purchase on the waxed floors.
“Pooky. Here to rescue me” said Maizey, her eyes half closed and dreamy with pain, her voice now a whisper.
Fili Joe looked over at the dog and back at Maizey.
“Oh man, this is the kinda shit make my job so much easier!”