Cosmic Justice Comes to Slumsville, by Mark Antony Rossi

The shining eyes of a cat in a darkened alley are orange omens meant to ward off familiar spirits. So I am told by the corner mystic sniffling heavy between crystal ball examinations. From the likes of him I’d say the ball is the only thing of value he owns. His clothes are rags the Salvation Army would reject. His smell, well, cats don’t hang around because of transcendental wisdom.

I keep my distance and respect. His death predictions are uncanny. As if the Devil himself were relaying the information. The street wanderers are spooked, and I mean, really spooked. Drug dealers think he’s a narc and curse his arcane ramblings as police propaganda created to scare business away. And business is down—down big time. Ever since his smelly combat boots stepped on their turf. Holy revenge was the only option to save face. Their Mac-10’s ready to erase any fool standing against the flow of dead presidents. But after two dealers were found sliced in pieces in an abandoned railroad car, the businessmen have easily concluded the mystic must be an undercover agent. They keep their distance and respect. His death predictions are uncanny.

Cities are too modern in philosophy for any thinking person to believe in magic of whatever shade or shape. Yet since his arrival people believe, people believe in Big Juju, serious Hoodoo, yes even, straight up painted Voodoo. Mystic man shuns those asking for tomorrow’s lottery number. Says the spirit world would punish his abuse of second sight. I don’t get it. He predicts death, that’s all right. Predicting a couple of numbers to help some miserable idiot live on more than choke sandwiches and bug juice—no, that’ll upset the spirit world! If you ask me this spirit world doesn’t sound any more charitable than the concrete world. The Devil’s probably laughing raw red butt off right now. It figures. Someone’s always having a party at our expense.

Jakey stopped by this evening. Jakey’s the local filthy junkie with needle marks in his groin area. The arm and leg veins have all collapsed and surrendered. I figured he was trying bum money off me as usual. But tonight it was something else. Some information. He didn’t even want money for it. Jakey heard that “Dr. Crystal,” that’s what everyone calls the mystic, predicted my death late tonight.

I wasn’t impressed, but Jakey was whiter than the garbage he mainlines into his sweaty testicles. He was covered in sweat and jittery like a fish flopping on a pier deck. I was about to hand him a few bucks for old time’s sake when he just bolted down the hall babbling about magic and madness. Poor puke-brain punk, Jakey is due to hit by a speeding truck. And I’ll almost miss him.

It’s high time to pay this devil dork a visit. Got my own business to keep. No time to spare on whacked out gonejobs on a mission from Hell or wherever their mother once spread her legs. I’ll just bounce this bum’s head with few swings of lead pipe—and bam! —he’ll have a different outlook on my future.

Who could blame me? I’ve been fairly decent to these night crawling semi-conscious communists out here. I never hurt an innocent one. If I can use the term “innocent.” Certainly never robbed one. I just complete my contracts and go about my life in peace of mind. My services are much appreciated. Go ask the police. Bullet here, bullet there, dangerous boneheads dead everywhere. All they have to do is clean up and go back to the station to file a report. At the end of the day they can rely on their fat pensions and fatter wives. I’m a public servant no different than that of a mayor. Except I’m honest about my agenda.

A few droplets of blood running out of nose don’t frighten me. This has happened before. When the weather changes I bleed a bit. An old war injury I’d rather not talk about. I know what you’re thinking—the Hex is on. Nothing couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m nearing his corner and decided to do a drive by and get it done with permanently. Police will blame some lame gang bangers and that will be that.

So I’m a little dizzy. Ever since I changed cigarette brands this happens once in a while. Really nothing to be concerned about. I piss on predictions and wipe my ass with horoscopes. I just pop an aspirin and headache all gone. See, nothing to it. These stomach cramps are obvious reminders that I must stop slamming down Chili Dogs faster Haitian hookers. A few anti-acid tabs always do the trick. And my leg tremors are part of that old war injury I’d rather not talk about.

I wish I could breathe a bit better this evening. I should of never switched cigarette brands. These new fangled filters are not helping at all. There he is! The mystic jerk with a prediction. I’m gonna make one right now. A dirty worthless bum got his head pumped full of lead, news at eleven. Let’s see him predict that! Phony sack of bird crap!

Ah, Hell, there’s always another night. My vision is still a bit blurry. I’ll drive on home and spit out this blood. You’d think after all the cash I gave the dentist he’d get my teeth right. Really tired, but I’m strong, strong enough to keep open these eyes until I hit the sack. I’ll take out the garbage later. I just need to sleep before I swerve this wheel into that large building over there…right there….right over there…….


Mark Antony Rossi’s poetry, criticism and fiction have been published by The Antigonish Review, Bareback Magazine,  Black Heart Review, Collages & Bricolages, Cerebrus, Death Throes, Ethical Specacle, Deep South Journal, Flash Fiction,The Magill Review, Japanophile, Purple Patch, Slugfish,The Journal of Poetry Therapy. He currently writes a weekly science humor column for The Magill Review.  His website can be found at

Posted on January 20, 2014, in Issue 12: The Shadows Only Hide the Monsters: Poe & Lovecraft Tribute and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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