500 Word Short Story
Sharkey's Near Death Experience
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

The black hearse led the procession of limo's to the graveside service of John Sharkey Malone. Gunned down in an abandoned warehouse by Detroit's finest. The men in blue didn't hold back lead where John Malone was cornered.

John Sharkey Malone, better known by his friends as “Sharky”, made whiskey during the time of prohibition. He also made a lot of money. He often said that when the town went dry, he designated himself as the official thirst quencher.

That wasn't exactly true. Others tried to break into the business of quenching the thirst of those who frequented the network of underground bars and speakeasies. They didn't last. Sharkey Malone and his goons made quick work of anyone who tried to gain a foothold into his domain. It was a bloody time. Malone lost a few good men. His would-be competitors lost their lives.

He controlled the warehouse district. One of them held the stills he used to make pure corn whiskey. The cops knew of it, but Sharkey made sure he greased the palms of the right people and they in turn left him alone.

All went well until a new chief of police came into office. He had his own agenda and it didn't include anything that had to do with alcohol. From day one he put the screws on Sharky's operation. Fortunately there were others on the force that saw things different. They kept him informed. When raids were going to take place, Sharkey made sure they were only breaking open barrels of water. It made for good publicity, but that was about it.

On the day Sharkey was gunned down, he was tipped off.

Things were beginning to heat up to an unbearable temperature. Something needed to be done. The sooner the better. Just before the warehouse was raided, Sharkey gunned down one of his own men. He hated to do it, but he needed the body. He left it where the officers who were raiding the joint would find it. It was all planned out.

The officers went in and shot the place up, then took the body and paraded it out to a few select reporters who took hazy photo's and claimed it was indeed the body of John Sharkey Malone. Everyone believed it. They said they destroyed his operation. They said a lot of things. None were true.

Sharkey was still alive and still in business.

Just after the “forced retirement” of Sharkey Malone, the Chief of Police took an unannounced vacation to an undisclosed location. Meanwhile the funeral of Sharkey Malone was a well attended affair. The casket was lowered into the ground and covered over. It did contain a body, but it wasn't the person who Sharkey had shot.


The new Chief of Police slowly woke from his stupor caused by the chloroform filled rag that covered his mouth. It was dark and very cramped. He suffocated to death, but not before he realized he was in Sharkey Malones coffin.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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