Five Minutes

Five Minutes

A Story by Scotty White

The Story of Sammy the Brace.


                              Five Minutes


The smoke in the room was finally dying down, but the moans of the dying still resonated against the walls.  In the back of the room Salvatore Santoro clutched the wound in his stomach. There was blood everywhere. He knew if he didn’t get medical attention he was going to die, but he also knew he wasn’t going to die soon enough.  His attacker made sure of that.

The man came in like a hurricane, breaking down the door and opening fire with automatic machine guns.  He threw down empty guns as he ran out of bullets and pulled out fresh weapons to unleash another round of hell.  When he was finished he pulled out his pistol and shot Santoro in the gut then left to clear out the rest of the house.

Salvatore wanted to draw his own pistol from his shoulder holster, but he couldn’t move his hands away from his stomach.   His attacker found him on the floor, leaning against the wall, and with a quick motion disarmed the mobster. He wouldn’t have to debate moving his hands away anymore.   He then removed his mask, stepped into the light, and it all became clear: Sammy the Brace.


            Sammy was born to sharecroppers who barely had a pot to piss in and way too many mouths to feed by the time Sammy came into the picture.  He was born deformed. His left leg didn’t move right, and when his father looked at him he commented, “Looked like that boy was crucified on the ugly tree.”

            He was sickly and struggled most of his life. The leg brace he was fitted with didn’t allow him to farm, so he just sat reading books in his room.  His family treated him like a dirty secret and only let him out for school until the other children started to picke on him and beat him up.  That was Sammy’s life, and when he turned eighteen his father asked him to leave.  So he hopped a train headed to the city and never looked back.  It was better that way.

            The city wasn’t much kinder him.  Sammy struggled to find work. His ugly mug and the metal brace that creaked when he moved kept him from finding employment. He finally settled on working at a car wash taking care of the cars that no one wanted to wash.  The ones filled with sick from a night of heavy partying, limos with one to many sexy nights inside, and of course the suicides.

            He developed a skill at it, though.  He made sure the cars he got looked like nothing had ever happened.   That’s when the Santoro family took interest in him.  One evening a car pulled up near the end of his shift. They told him to clean up whatever he found and he would be rewarded. They left the keys with him and informed him they would return in the morning.

            Sammy opened the car. Aside from a few cigarette ashes in the tray it was clean. However, when he opened the trunk he found the body of man bound, gagged, and stabbed multiple times.  Sammy did what he knew. He disposed of the body and made sure it couldn’t be identified.  The car was waiting for the mobsters in the morning, and it was clean as a whistle.  That’s how Sammy became a cleaner.


            Salvatore begged to know why but Sammy didn’t reply.  He walked out of the room then returned moments later pushing a wheeled cart stacked with gas cans.  The Brace calmly uncorked the cans and poured the contents on the floor. Salvatore could only hear the moans and pleas of dying body guards and family members.   His pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears, and his threats of death were ignored.  Sammy the Brace had his reasons.


            The Brace. Sammy hated that name, but he learned that everyone who was associated with the families had a name. There was Tony the Squid, Tricky Al Gravano, and Slick Foot Louise, among others. It was a constant reminder of his bum leg. Like the creaking metal that held it together didn’t remind him enough.   He focused on his tasks and took their money; he could live with their stupid nick names.

            He moved from cars and began cleaning whole crime scenes.  When a mobster would get too crazy with a hooker all it would take was a phone call to Sammy.  When a glove was dropped at a crime scene, call Sammy, he’ll take care of it.  Sammy was the best at what he did, and he was paid very well for it.  

            When a job was done he picked up his pay at the Salvatore’s strip club.  He knew his face would frighten the decent customers so he’d normally keep his head low. One night as he was leaving he turned his head and his heart was stolen. There she was. Destiny. A cute girl with brunette hair who danced the floor every night at eleven pm except when she was off on Sundays.   Sammy made a note to start picking up his payments at eleven.


The Brace vanished from Salvatore’s sight again.  The old mobster was beginning to grow delirious from the pain.   He felt his body grow cold, and he decided to hang his head and close his eyes for just a moment.   Sammy came back, slapped him, and spat water in his face. There would be no rest for the wicked.


            Sammy always sat in a corner booth and kept  his face hidden in shadow, nursing a stale-piss warm beer, but he would be there every day watching Destiny dance.  He knew he could never have a woman like that. It didn’t keep him from dreaming.  He had enough money to rescue her from a life of dancing and buy her a nice house in the suburbs. He could retire and be happy.   It was good to dream. Reality was cold and harsh.



            This was reality, and this was how Salvatore Santoro was going to spend his last few minutes within it.  Writhing in pain, watching his loyal followers choke on their own blood one by one.  He watched The Brace slowly drag in a bound and masked body through the front door and slam it in front of him.  He removed the mask to reveal Salavtore’s son Giovanni beaten and gagged by duct tape.  When Salvatore gazed upon his broken son it all made sense.


            Sammy got the call early in the morning.  It was a routine cleaning. Salvatore’s son had gotten frisky with a hooker and she had an accident.  The Brace had cleaned up this kind of mess before, but when he opened the door to the hotel room he saw Destiny lying on the bed.   Her throat was slit, and she was brutally ravaged.  Sammy was devastated, but he focused on his work.  He cleaned that hotel room and left no trace of anything that had happened there.  Instead of disposing of the body, he buried her on a plot of land he had bought some months back.  He wanted to build her a house there, maybe propose, but it ended up her resting place.

            He then focused his attention on the Santoro family.  He used his unique position to watch them and find out their habits.  He went after the son first, caught him during a visit to his mistress.  He murdered her while he watched after showing the video of him brutally murdering his wife and kids.   After that, The Brace turned his attention to Salvatore, who had ordered the cleaning to protect his son.  


            The Brace never said a word that night.   He spat water into the son’s face to wake him so he would understand the hell that was about to be unleashed upon him.  Sammy reached into his pocket and placed a small explosive between the two wounded mobsters.  The counter was flashing and blinking as it was counting down, each precious second fading into oblivion.


            Sammy turned, walked to the door, and closed it behind him.  He lit a cigarette, and limped his way to his car.  The squeaking of his brace annoyed him, but after a few drinks of tequila he wouldn’t care.  Perhaps he would lie above Destiny and tell her what he done.  Perhaps she already knew.


            Salvatore watched his son cry and plea as the red light flashed.




                         Scotty O. White




© 2011 Scotty White

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


I find it hard to keep my attention on one single thing when I have the entire internet at my fingertips, but congratulations, I didn't stray from this page once! I think this is a really good look into characterization, something many stories, short or long, completely lack. I really liked the way you switched from Salvatore's pain to Sammy's back story (which you kept short, telling us just what we needed to know), because the writing style reminded me of a suffering man's hallucinations between reality and whatever comes next. Great job, and keep it up!

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This was a very good write that kept me in the whole time, and writes lioke these aren't very much my type, but you were good. Keep it up, i loved it.

Posted 8 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe

Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5


2 Reviews
Added on May 23, 2011
Last Updated on May 23, 2011


Scotty White
Scotty White

Dunbar, WV

I am a storyteller originally from Alabama who has been spending a few years in West Virginia before he makes his way to California. I have stories to tell and I hope you will enjoy them! more..