William Cole

Waiting for Rusty

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On the run from the law, a gangster’s girl and two hoods stop to wait for the boss

In a forgotten café somewhere in the middle of the country, a blonde in a raincoat bursts through the door. She’s got a pistol in her hand and two killers at her back, and she wants a bottle of rye. Dotty and her friends aren’t going anywhere. They’ll be here until Rusty shows up. Rusty the killer. Rusty the thief. Rusty the love of Dotty’s young life. They’ll be here until Rusty steps through the door, but Rusty might not be on his way.

In this tight, explosive short story, a gun moll transforms into the heroine of a hard-boiled Greek tragedy. One of the most popular pieces of short fiction ever to appear in the pages of Black Mask magazine, “Waiting for Rusty” remains a remarkable work, as powerful and surprising as a sucker punch to the back of the skull.
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32 printed pages
Original publication



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