William Fitzgerald Is In At The Kill

William Fitzgerald was there when they killed Lee, not that he did anything to stop it. That wasn’t his job. He remembered their faces though, the mouths especially: strangely peaceful, which he didn’t see very often in his killers. Grim sometimes, happy often, but seldom peaceful. They might have been buying asparagus.

He was passing by the Fox when Lee came out, just one more ugly face in an ugly crowd. Someone shouted something — it might have been hey, might have been wait — and then Lee went down. There were five of them, maybe. He wasn’t under any delusions that his memory for these things was any better than anyone else’s, but he thought five. Two of them were standing on the corner in front of him, strangely peaceful, beatific as they gunned Lee down.

The young one caught his eye as they left and smiled. For a second William Fitzgerald felt the curtain pulled back, saw himself waiting in the wings, and knew himself complicit. Then they were gone.

But he remembered their faces, the mouths especially.