I'm going to freeze your face

Peter Rozovsky Selection

Black Friday anthology
Black Pudding appears in this anthology

Black Pudding
(Manhunt, December 1953)

He walked out of the room and down the hall and down the stairs. As he went out of the house he could still hear the screaming. On Spruce, walking toward Eleventh, he glanced back and saw a crowd gathering outside the house and then he heard the sound of approaching sirens. He waited there and saw the police-cars stopping in front of the house, the policemen rushing in with drawn guns. Some moments later he heard the shots and he knew that the screaming man was trying to make a getaway. There was more shooting and suddenly there was no sound at all. He knew they’d be carrying two corpses out of the house..

He turned away from what was happening back there, walked along the curb toward the sewer-hole on the corner, took Riker’s gun from his pocket and threw it into the sewer. In the instant that he did it, there was a warm sweet taste in his mouth. He smiled, knowing what it was. Again he could hear Tillie saying, “Revenge is black pudding.”

Tillie, he thought. And the smile stayed on his face as he walked north on Eleventh. He was remembering the feeling he’d had when he’d kissed her. It was the feeling of wanting to take her out of that dark cellar, away from the loneliness and the opium. To carry her upward toward the world where they had such things as clinics, with plastic specialists who repaired scarred faces.

The feeling hit him again and he was anxious to be with Tillie and he walked faster.