The Punch Drunk Pugilist - A Vic Musket Mystery pt 1
Being a man of low moral character, Vic Musket enjoyed betting on the occasional prizefight, and the more lopsided the victory, the better. But he rarely had the kind of scratch that would get him into betting on the casino bouts, leaving the weekend drifter matches as his venue. There you could fix a match by buying the loser a few drinks beforehand, unless of course he was irish. Booze was like spinach was to popeye for the micks, and that hard lesson cost him seventy bucks one time. But dry out a hard drunk and he couldn't drive a car, let alone win a fight. So when the papers reported about the in ring death of boxing legend "Green" Jack Feeney as related to a seizure from alcohol withdrawal, everything seemed to add up. Until the mob came knocking at Vic's car door.
The rapping at the window interrupted a pleasant dream about sodomizing a young filipino prostitute, and left Vic wondering if his wet clothes were due to sleeping in a car at noon during a heatwave or the combination of pissing himself and a wet dream. He gathered his senses and noticed a greaseball guido in a suit trying none too hard to disguise his mob connections standing outside. He gathered himself and followed the man into a nearby alleyway that served as Vic's office to either discuss business or get stabbed. Truth be told, Vic would accept either.
"We need you to look into Feeney's death last Saturday, Vic" the man said with a disgusted look on his face, possibly from the stench of the makeshift alleyway latrine. "One of my guys had a deal with him to throw the fight, and we think somebody fucked with our play and took him out."
"But if he was supposed to throw the fight anyways, what was the fix? He lost, didn't he?" Vic asked with a confused look.
"Whatchoo talkin about, Vic? If a guy fuckin dies in the ring it's a no contest. And we lost out on over 50 grand here! Somebody was messing around. We know Feeney wasn't fighting dry. He was shitfaced two nights before the fight at one of our clubs!"
Apparently the rules in sanctioned matches are a bit different than in the drifter bouts. In those fights a win by death paid out double. The guido didn't like being questioned, and was poking his finger in Vic's chest hard. He might be the first guy to get away with that, too.
"Alright, but what's in it for me? There are whores around here that rely on my business."
The man shook his head in disbelief at Vic's statement. "You tryin to be cute, Musket? You owe us over ten grand in bar bills at our clubs! You think we're paying for this job? Consider it a favor that we let you work it off instead of dropping you in a river somewhere!" The guy had a point.
"Alright, alright. I will get to the bottom of this, you know I will. Just clear the debt and open my tab back up in the club and we're square." Vic said as he pushed the man's finger away from his sternum. "Just tell me this, what did the autopsy say?"
"That's whats so fucking fishy. There was no autopsy. Feeney's broad said he was off the booze for a full week, and when they tested his blood he was clean, so the bitch had him cremated."
Well, at least there was somewhere to start. Vic pulled a half-full flask of whiskey from a sopping wet pocket and took a drink. The boxer's wife must have known he was still drinking, so her lies made her a prime suspect. Getting on the wagon certainly could kill a drunk like Feeney, Vic knew that from the way he felt after a long nap, let alone the week of sobriety his wife was claiming. But a hasty cremation was suspicious. Vic knew many dead irishmen, and right now his body should be sitting in a box on a bar somewhere having songs sung over it, not in a fucking jar.
Vic parted ways with the greaseball and headed off to one of his contacts to learn more about this shifty broad.