Cain and Abel (REDUX) by Dr. Mel Waldman

Genesis 4:8 – King James Bible

“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”

*

Cain Jones, owner of Cain’s Bar and Grill, was in big money trouble with Jimmy the Knife, a tall skinny psycho hood.

“Pay up, Cain, by Friday night, or you’re D.O.A.”

In desperation, the crooked entrepreneur, and an honor student in his glory days, called his brother Abel, 5 minutes his senior and a civil servant who lived far away in another state.

“I need your help.”

“How long has it’s been, baby brother, since I heard your sweet talkin’ voice?”

“Ten years, Abel.”

“You got chutzpah, Cain.”

“Yeah, I got balls, but you’re a government big shot, bro, and I need your help.”

“What do you want?”

“Come to Cain’s Bar and Grill Friday night. Do you remember the address?”

“Yeah.”

“Meet me there at midnight. I’m closing the place early. I’ll leave the back door open. I want you to talk to this creepy thug named Jimmy.”

“How much you owe him?”

“Too much. I need a couple weeks to pay him off.”

“You don’t want my cash?”

“No, only your smarts. Tell him you’re a government man. He’ll back off.”

“Maybe he won’t listen to me.”

“Just try, big brother or I’m a dead man.

Abel didn’t even like his younger brother and still bore the grudge of all the times Cain mouthed off against him to Dad, in revenge for the praise heaped upon him. Their Father’s love for him made Cain sick in the head. Pissy pretty boy. One disgusting human piece of shit.

“Sure, kid. You’re a bastard and a fuck-up. But you’re still my flesh and blood. Don’t want you dead, not even despicable you. Yeah. I’ll help you, Cain. What are brothers for?”

*

On Friday the 13th, Abel arrived at midnight through the back door. The dimly lit place was deserted.

“Cain, where are you?” Abel cried out.

Cain wasn’t there.

Something was wrong. The whole deal smelled rotten. He knew that from the start. Why didn’t Cain want his dough? That sneaky bastard was up to something. But he was here to save his fucked up life. Yeah. He clutched his .45 and waited.

At 12:30 A.M., someone knocked on the door.

“Open up, Cain, it’s your old buddy Jimmy.” Abel opened the front door.

“You got my money, pal?”

Abel glared at the lanky hood. Jimmy noticed the bulge beneath Abel’s 3-piece suit. “You carrying tonight, Cain?”

“I’m Abel, Jimmy-Cain’s brother.”

“Cain ain’t got no bro, pal.”

“I’m real and I’m Abel – a government man from out-of-town. We gotta talk, Jimmy.”

“Sure, Cain, whatever you say. Don’t know what you’re smokin’. Don’t care. Where’s my dough?”

“Not tonight. A couple more weeks…”

Suddenly, Jimmy the Knife leaped through the air with lightning speed, sailing toward Abel like a cheetah, a glittering knife in his left hand. And he thrust the sharp sleek Italian switchblade stiletto with its bayonet-style blade deep into the torso of Cain’s brother, piercing his heart.

Abel gasped, dropped to the floor, and lost consciousness.

Ferociously and maniacally, Jimmy stabbed him again and again. And the beast shrieked incessantly, while he plunged the killer knife deeper and deeper into bloody flesh and mutilated heart and lungs. Wearing a gnarled twisted face, a bestial mask of rage, Jimmy sliced Abel dozens of times until he collapsed and lay on top of the corpse in a pool of blood.

Later, Jimmy rose, stood over the dead body and growled, “Now who’s the smart ass, Cain?”

*

Behind the bar, Cain clambered out of his underground hideaway. He sauntered to Abel and grinned sardonically as he removed Abel’s I.D. and replaced it with his own.

“What’s this?” he mumbled, when he discovered the .45 Magnum. “My, my, you were very bad, Abel. Yeah, but not too smart, my beloved twin. The perfect fall guy.”

From that moment on, he rushed off into his brother’s highly respectable life. He moved into his sibling’s place. Yeah, he had easily mastered Abel’s civil service job and even his secret life as a spy.

*

Then they arrived late one very hot August night.

Cain lay naked and sweaty in his king-size bed with the beautiful doll he had met a month earlier. Even with the freaky boil on his forehead, that had suddenly appeared the night he moved into his new home, the dame found him irresistible. The heat was a killer. Cain had popped some pills and was groggy. She had passed out after drinking half-a-bottle of Scotch. Maybe he’d fall asleep soon and escape the merciless heat wave. Yeah. The temperature was over 100 degrees outside. In his condo, the air conditioner was dead due to a blackout in the area. His loaded .38 lay on the night table a foot away. But right now, he just wanted a couple hours sleep.

When Cain fell into a deep sleep, the intoxicated dame stopped faking a blackout, slithered out of bed, picked up a flashlight, and staggered out of the bedroom. Naked, she opened the front door.

Grinning wickedly while clutching flashlights and guns, they glanced at the naked woman and entered Cain’s apartment. Quietly, the two thugs opened the bedroom door.

He lay on his stomach, his face buried in a pillow.

They stood over the sleeping man, pointed their guns and flashlights at his head and opened fire. Now Cain’s comeuppance took the shape of 6 bullets through the back of his skull

*

Outside, their boss, a.k.a. the Ghost, waited for them. This was their first job for him. And tonight, the night of the execution, they’d meet him for the first time. The strange man was infamous and known for his use of violence, yet few had ever met him. No one really knew what he looked like.

One by one, he had contacted the dame and the two killers by phone. He gave them detailed instructions and wired half the money for the job. Since they didn’t know each other, he told them where and when to meet and what to say to identify one another.

“Saturday night, after the job is completed, you’ll find me in the alleyway behind the building. You’ll see an old man with a black beard dressed in black and walking with a cane. I’ll ask you about Mr. Abel and you’ll tell me he is asleep. And you’ll get the rest of the money.”

He knew what they looked like. He had handpicked them for this job. Earlier, before the blackout occurred, he had sat in a black limousine across the street and watched the dame enter the apartment building. A couple hours passed. He turned on the radio. Some high-strung jerk warned there could be a blackout. He waited.

Later, when it happened, he took out a flashlight. He pointed it at his hired killers who stumbled in the dark with flashlights. They entered Abel’s building unaware of his presence.

Later, he saw three shadowy figures in the dark with three flashlights. He followed the lights into the alleyway.

He clutched a .45 Magnum with a silencer in his right hand and a flashlight in his left.

“How is Mr. Abel?”

“Mr. Abel is asleep,” they said.

Looking through the darkness at the three circles of light, he fired three silent shots. Then slowly, he approached his temporary help. Up close, he pointed his flashlight at them.

“D.O.A.,” he mumbled.

Yeah, no one really knew what he looked like. No one lived long enough to tell. And the Ghost sauntered off, listening to the voices in his head that had warned and protected him over the years.

“Thanks,” he muttered to his faceless guardian angels.

After he drove home, he removed his mask and other disguises, took a cold shower, and waited for the blackout to end.

Lying in the seething darkness, sweating profusely; a flashback flooded his brain. The boy was asleep in his tiny bed in his tomblike room until the noise woke him up. It was the middle of the night. He heard the door creak, open wide, then footsteps, and soon, smelled a foul odor – the scent of evil, perhaps, some bad seed watching him in the pitch-black darkness. The other stood there, waiting for the devil’s call. But the voices warned and saved him.

When the beast lunged for him, he barely escaped, rolling off the bed as it tried to grab his throat. That night, his wicked brother tried to kill him, he believed, but couldn’t.

“I didn’t mean nothing,” Cain had sworn. “Just playing around. Wanted to scare you. That’s all. It was a silly game.”

That night, the voices spoke for the first time.

“Do you remember how many times we saved you?” the voices asked.

“Dozens, at least. I owe you.”

“Of course, you do.”

“How can I repay you?”

“The Lord has made you His instrument of revenge. We shall tell you when to strike again.”

Soon it was dawn and the sun rose in the east and the blackout ended. He turned on the air conditioner and fell into a deep sleep. He slept like a baby.

Later, someone rang the bell and woke him up. Clutching his .45 Magnum, he slithered to the door.

“Who the fuck is this?” he muttered. “I ain’t expecting no one.”

He may not have read scripture, but he was a cold-blooded killer with an army of voices in his fucked up head. So, he hid behind the front door, pointed his .45 at the invisible enemy outside his home, and yelled, “WHO’S THERE MOTHERFUCKER?!”

*

Genesis 4:15 – King James Bible

“And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”

*

Dr. Mel Waldman is a psychologist, poet, and writer whose stories have appeared in numerous magazines including HARDBOILED DETECTIVE, HARDBOILED, DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE, ESPIONAGE, THE SAINT, DOWN IN THE DIRT, CC&D, PULP METAL MAGAZINE, INNER SINS, YELLOW MAMA, and AUDIENCE. A past winner of the literary GRADIVA AWARD in Psychoanalysis, he was nominated for a PUSHCART PRIZE in literature and is the author of 11 books.   Four of his mystery, fantasy, and horror stories were published by POSTSCRIPTS, a British magazine and international anthology, in October/November 2014. He recently completed an experimental mystery novel inspired by one of Freud’s case studies and is looking for an agent. He has been inspired for decades by his patients and their heroic stories of trauma and survival.

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