Oh, The Places You'll Go

Mick: Who Terrorised the Neighborhood and was Brought Down by The Mountie

Notes: Written for the ds_flashfiction Genre Challenge. With a massive debt of thanks to Hilaire Belloc and Heinrich Hoffman for their cautionary tales of woe, as well as to lamentables for beta duties.

Mick grew up a lonely child,
By all the neighborhood kids reviled.
He was sure to be the last one picked,
(which left him feeling rather ticked).
So Mick woke up one fateful day
And swore that he would make them pay.

He started off with something small,
Set Jimmy Jones up for a fall.
Stolen papers in Jim's desk were found,
(Mick, of course, had gone to ground).
By looking out for number one,
Mick's reign of terror had begun.

From there, things went from bad to worse,
The neighbourhood cringed under Mick's curse.
No one dared to cross the blighter,
Not even Mad Tom, Chicago's best fighter.
Mick took from the poor and gave to himself,
Day by day increasing his wealth.

He frightened old ladies, he worried old men,
He put up his rents again and again.
He showed no mercy, he showed no fear,
Could not be moved by word nor tear.
His name was Chaos, his name was Mud,
No doubt about it, Mick was No Good.

And that's how things were set to stay,
When one Chicago sunny day,
A man in red strode down a street,
And quite by chance he happened to meet,
Mrs O'Grady who stood and sobbed,
And told how she had just been robbed

Of her last penny by Mick who said
If she couldn't pay she'd be better off dead.
The Mountie, for indeed it was he,
Took a deep breath and counted to three.
"I'll fix this, ma'am, this shall not stand.
We'll soon have the miscreant on remand."

The Mountie called up his friend Ray
And politely requested he join the fray.
There was muffled cursing, no doubt about that,
(The Mountie, embarrassed, adjusted his hat).
But in a few minutes a car squealed to a stop
And out of it jumped a Chicago cop.

"What's the deal, Frase?" said Ray, looking pained,
His expression got worse as The Mountie explained.
"Take on Mick? You must be demented.
"He's locked in tight," the detective vented.
But The Mountie just turned and began to stride.
Ray shook his head then locked step at his side.

They began to concoct a careful plan
To take down this maleficent man.
Meanwhile, in his lair Mick heard the tale,
Of The Mountie who was going to put him in jail.
He chuckled and chortled and laughed with glee
"I'm another day older and I'm still free."

"No one can touch me," Mick declared,
"Everyone is running scared.
"I know where they live, where their kids go to school,
"All their dirty secrets. I'm nobody's fool.
"Let The Mountie come, let him do his best.
"I am immune. Can't he see that I'm blessed?"

Mick was cocky, Mick was light,
Mick was spoiling for a fight.
Mick was careless, Mick was dim,
Mick didn't see what was coming for him.

One by one the payments eased,
Mick looked at his books and was not pleased.
From the guy in the deli to the local priest,
Requests for 'protection' completely ceased.
Mick sent his biggest and best goons around,
They returned ashamed, their eyes cast down,

Bearing notes from The Mountie and the cop,
Saying "Thank you kindly, but this really must stop."
"The people here have made up their mind,
To have nothing to do with you or your kind.
We suggest you leave town, better yet find a job,
Give back to the people you used to rob."

Mick snarled and he sneered and he reached for his gun,
This Mountie was dead, this Mountie was done.
Take down his Empire with goodness and light?
That wasn't fair, that wasn't right.
"Who's coming with me? This isnít a joke."
Nobody moved and nobody spoke.

"Fine," said Mick, "Who needs you guys?"
And he shot Goon 1 between the eyes.
"Clean that up," he growled as he left,
Leaving the goons forlorn and bereft.
(They cleaned up their act as well as the dead
And opened a flower shop up instead.)

Mick snuck through the night, hunting his prey,
Itching to blow The Mountie away.
He waved his gun at an old bag lady,
Who gasped out "He's staying with Mrs O'Grady."
Mick scampered off as if running a race,
And missed the smile on the bag lady's face.

A bag lady with experimental hair,
A holster, a gun and handcuffs, one pair.
A shiny police badge and a smart radio,
Into which he whispered, "Plan's working. We're go."
He followed the sound of Mick's pounding feet,
As he made his way down the darkened street.

Round the corner a light from a window shone,
The drapes were drawn but Mick knew this was the one.
Behind the drapes a shadow sat,
On his head a Stetson hat.
Mick wondered if he should go inside,
Do this mano e mano, show some pride.

But Mick was a coward, a man of fear,
And from outside his shot was clear.
So he drew his gun and aimed it at
A point just below the Stetson hat.
The window shattered, the drapes came down,
Mick should have been happy but his face wore a frown.

Because in the room The Mountie stood,
Not dead on the floor, not covered in blood.
Behind him a mannequin on the table slumped,
Mick's heart sped up, it bumped and thumped.
The bastards had tricked him; there was no time for thought,
The bag lady cuffed him: Mick had been caught.

Now Mick is in jail for a very long spell,
Looks good in orange, he's getting on well.
He's wife to Big Bernie, it's mostly okay
(though he'd never previously thought he was gay).
If they're ever let out, they're going to move in.
Who cares that Father Dermot says it's a sin?

Some days Mick's sad, he misses his riches,
His five cars, his mansion, his kennel of bitches.
He wonders if he'd've turned out this way after all,
If only he'd been better at playing baseball.
The moral of this tale? If you want extra bounty,
Get a proper job: Don't mess with The Mountie.

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