This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The Posterior Chain

Ricardo Garcia had a problem. He had agreed to kill someone. Garcia accepted the money. He promised to do the job and took the money – an advance payment, from Jimmy Luciano of all people, “Chainsaw” Jimmy Luciano. Now, he had cold feet. Although it was much more than cold feet.

A sense of dread filled him. An amount of anxiety and terror that is reserved only for the most mind-numbing, difficult decisions. The pressure in Garcia’s head was immense and constant. It felt as though two enormous hands were locked on either side of his skull, trying to tear his brain in half, like a strongman ripping at a phonebook. Most recently, only two things granted him any relief from the pressure: booze and training. Garcia leaned heavily on his training during times of extreme stress. The act alone helped him maintain his sanity.

Ricardo never participated in a hit on a female before, but that was precisely the crux of this assignment. Her name was Bonnie Baker, and ex-night club dancer that Luciano saw on the side – his Goomara (mistress).

Bonnie wasn’t a typical club dancer. She was an educated woman with a quick wit, and unlike most of the other dancers of her era, she was not thick, but rather, thin as a rail.

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Bonnie fell in love with Luciano, and from his perspective, that was a problem. He had recently deemed her a threat – a nuisance.

Now handling Bonnie was Garcia’s problem and if he continued to fail, navigating a probable showdown with Chainsaw Luciano, would require all the sanity and focus he could muster.

Garcia pulled his gray Cadillac into the assigned parking space his complex provided and momentarily leaned his forehead against its glistening wood-finished steering wheel. He felt like crying, and Garcia hadn’t cried since he was a child.

He lumbered up the outside stairs to his second-floor abode. The key shook in his hand before it found a home inside the rusted lock.

Booze or training? Okay, let’s train, he thought. It would help if you got a hold of yourself.

Garcia’s apartment was a sight to behold. Scant of any traditional décor, it was little more than a storage facility for the few possessions he had. Yet, the one thing he did own was quality gym equipment, which he had scattered throughout the small apartment.

A 45-degree Back Raise, a Glute-Ham Raise, and an old Reverse Hyper™ (that looked as though it belonged in a museum) lined the long wall of his living room. Garcia was a big believer in maintaining a strong posterior chain. When you made a portion of your living in the hurting business, it was wise to keep your core reliable.

He threw his keys, gun, and wallet on the folding table that functioned as both his kitchen table and a desk. Garcia stepped into the apartment’s only bedroom and slipped into a loose-fitting T-shirt and shorts.

He momentarily diverted to his balcony for a smoke. Garcia enjoyed Winston cigarettes and appreciated the ironic juxtaposition presented by the contrast between the two habits, smoking and training. He took three deep drags and exhaled as he scanned the scantily furnished pool area and the corresponding courtyard. The pool had a green hue and looked as though it was long overdue for chlorine and cleaning. The poolside furniture was cheap and rusting, like the cheap railing outlining the periphery of the balcony. Garcia took care never to trust it completely.

Garcia took a final drag. He brewed a cup coffee and started to stretch in the living room. He hit the glute-ham raise first for a planned five or six sets, lowering himself under control an using his glutes and hamstrings to snap himself back up as quickly as possible. He added banded resistance during the last three sets, finishing each set with a tight squeeze at the top.

Upon completing his last set, he made his way over to the kitchen counter to grab a towel to wipe the sweat from his brow. He took a deep breath and thought he heard a noise at the apartment door. The sound startled him momentarily, but he deftly grabbed the gun from the table and flew to the front door to peer out of the peephole. No one was there.

Get a hold of yourself.

Garcia tossed the gun back on the table and moved to the 45-degree back raise. He polished-off sets of twenty repetitions, taking generous slugs of coffee in between. During his last two sets, he held a twenty-five-pound plate tightly across his chest and again squeezed his glutes at the top of each repletion until he thought they would scream.

Next, Garcia moved to the Reverse Hyper™ (the last of his program and Garcia’s least favorite exercise) to put the finishing touches on an excellent posterior chain training session. He moved the weighted pendulum deliberately to work his hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. When he hit the twentieth repetition of his third set, the muscles in his lower back were screaming, and he could barely stand upright.

He moved toward the balcony to get a deep breath of fresh air, before commencing with his fourth and final set. This time he heard a noise for certain – a soft knock on his apartment door.

Chainsaw Luciano

Garcia moved to the door and propped his eye against the peephole. He neglected to bring his gun on this trip. Jimmy Luciano was standing there. He was wearing a full suit and shifting impatiently from foot to foot. He moved to knock again, and Garcia, still struggling to maintain an upright posture, opened the door.

“Mr. Luciano?” Garcia managed.

Luciano firmly placed his hand on Garcia’s chest and pushed him back into his apartment away from the door.

“Hello, Ricardo. You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Luciano said, stepping inside and shutting the apartment door behind him. He waved his hands in an exaggerated manner. “You’re sweating too – sweating like a whore in church, or, perhaps more applicable to this situation – you’re sweating like you stole something – like you stole something from me!”

“Mr. Luciano, I can explain,” Garcia stammered.

“Explain?” Luciano repeated. “I don’t have time for explanations, Ricardo. I need results, and when I don’t get the results I need, this is what happens.” Luciano violently slapped Garcia across the face to punctuate his statement. The smack was open-handed, but it felt like a fist.

Garcia staggered backward and went for his gun. Luciano was faster than a fatigued Garcia, and he slapped the gun away. It bounced on the industrial quality carpeting and careened into the open bedroom.

Luciano shoved Garcia again, and he stumbled backward onto the balcony, but somehow managed to maintain his balance and keep his feet. The gangster hurried after him. His anger made him careless.

Garcia grabbed Luciano around the waist and prepared to throw him from the balcony with an old-fashioned wrestler’s suplex. He braced his back and prepared to explode into the lift, but his left hamstring popped at the onset, and he fell in a pile to his knees in front of Luciano.

Bonnie Baker

Luciano punched Garcia in the mouth with tremendous force. Two of Garcia’s teeth flew from his mouth, freefalling to the concrete surrounding the pool below.

Jimmy “Chainsaw” Luciano reached into the inside pocket of his jacket to retrieve a switchblade. He switched it open. The blade glistened in the sun.

“Time to say goodbye,” Luciano said to a seemingly defeated Garcia.

“Jimmy – stop!” A voice from inside the apartment called.


It was Bonnie Baker. She had followed Luciano to Garcia’s apartment and clandestinely followed them inside.

“Stop,” She screamed and threw a two-and-a-half-pound plate that grazed Luciano’s forehead. It wasn’t a tremendous blow, but it provided Garcia the distraction he needed.

Using the strength of his right leg and posterior chain, Garcia again grabbed Luciano around the waist. This time he was able to explode into the movement and take Luciano off his feet. He sent Luciano tumbling over the balcony railing. He fell to the concrete below, taking most of the rusted railing with him.

Bonnie peered over the edge to see blood pooling from Luciano’s head.

Oh, my poor Jimmy.

“Bonnie,” Garcia gasped. “But. How? How did you know?”

“Oh, Ricardo. Word get’s out in the clubs. Dancers can’t keep secrets. I knew you wouldn’t do it. I knew you couldn’t do it.”

Garcia smiled. He was exhausted, but he was alive.

“I also knew what Jimmy would do when he found out you didn’t honor the contract, so I followed him here.”

“Good thing for me,” Garcia managed.

“Let’s get you inside your gym-apartment and get your face cleaned up,” Bonnie said. Her trademark smile appeared.

Bonnie helped Ricardo to his feet, and they walked together to the kitchen.

Then End

Header image credit:  Piyamas Dulmunsumphun ©

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