Originally published in Crime Spree (2001); Original artwork for this edition by Jakob Grim.

Nicky Ryan

I’d trade my soul for a date with Nicky Ryan.

I go to Joe’s every night, sit at the bar and watch Nicky work. He smiles at me as he pours whiskey, wipes down the bar and flirts with the big tippers—executive ladies who stop by for a drink, gallery owners from the East Side and bored housewives, with too much time and money on their hands.

I usually nurse a draft beer, making it last for an hour—sometimes two.

I live upstairs in my mother’s house. She doesn’t charge me rent.

Ma keeps telling me that she’s going to throw me out, but she forgets everything after she’s had her wine.

I feel bad stealing money from Ma’s purse to buy drinks.

I never could hold down a job.

Never could get the hang of waking up early and working an eight-hour day.

It’s always been easier to hustle and steal.


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Sandy DeLuca
Sandy DeLuca
Sandy DeLuca is a critically acclaimed American novelist and poet—and a prolific painter. She is a two-time Bram Stoker Award nominee, born in Providence, RI, and has lived in New England all her life. She left the corporate world in 2011, and she now divides her time between writing and painting. For more information about her work visit her at: sandy-deluca.com.