Saturday, June 1, 2024

My Crime Fiction: 'The Hit'

The below story is chapter 23 of Olongapo, my crime thriller that I hope to publish this year.  

The story originally appeared in American Crime Magazine. 

The Hit

 By Paul Davis

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Mark Mackie was not a popular chief in the USS Kitty Hawk’s Deck Department. The veteran sailor from Nevada served 22 years in the U.S. Navy and worked on a variety of ships in his career. Prior to reporting to the USS Kitty Hawk in 1970, Mackie served on a 50-foot swift boat in Da Nang Harbor in South Vietnam. 

Six feet tall and built like a football lineman, Mackie was a tough, no nonsense senior enlisted leader who inspired respect, if not popularity. He was a stern taskmaster, and he rode his subordinates hard.  

He was especially hard on a 3rd Class Boatswain’s Mate named Harold Smith, a thin and weak-chinned 25-year-old sailor from New Jersey. Mackie felt that petty officers should work harder than seamen, a notion that BM3 Smith did not agree with at all. Smith thought that once he became a petty officer, he would just tell seamen what to do. Mackie thought Smith was a piss-poor excuse for a petty officer and sailor, and the chief called him a “fuck-up” and a “non-hacker.” 

Also on Chief Mackie’s personal “shit list” was a seaman from Nebraska named Harry Stillman. Chief Mackie called Stillman a disgrace to the United States Navy and a disgrace to the human race. A slovenly, overweight, and somewhat dim 23-year-old, Stillman was a chronic marijuana user. In the days before mandatory drug tests, many young sailors smoked marijuana recreationally, but Stillman took it to an extreme. 

“Do you know why Harry is named Stillman?” a Navy wit asked the sailors in the Deck Department’s berthing compartment. “It’s because he is so fucking wasted on pot he can’t move.” 

Stillman was always buzzed from smoking pot, and the pot gave him the “munchies,” so he snacked continually on large amounts of Coke, Ritz crackers and small cans of Vienna Sausage. He purchased the soda and food from the “Gedunk,” which is what sailors call the ship’s store. 

Stillman was also always first in line at the galley for his three hearty meals a day, and he was a regular nightly visitor to the galley for Midnight Rations, called “MIDRATS.” MIDRATS offered hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and French fries to the sailors going on late watch, as well as to other sailors who liked a late-night fast-food meal.         

Having taken enough abuse from Chief Mackie, Smith suggested to Stillman that they pool their money and hire a Filipino hitman to murder Chief Mackie on the following day when the Kitty Hawk once again visited Subic Bay. Stillman was all for the conspiracy, as long as Smith did all of the planning and work. 

Smith was one of Lorino’s customers, and the meth dealer was asked to join the murder conspiracy and chip in to pay the killer. Lorino passed. Although Lorino was not much of a worker, he got along with Chief Mackie. And what did murdering a tough chief have to do with business? 

Upon the recommendation of Winston, Smith and Stillman went to the Americano in Olongapo and spoke to Walker. Walker introduced the petty officer and the seaman to Banoy Abad. Sitting across from Abad, Smith and Stillman were frightened, but Smith managed to propose that Abad “hit’ Mackie.  

“For one hundred dollar American, I kill the man, sure” Abad told Smith and Stillman. 

Smith, who had $800 dollars on him, was surprised that the scary Filipino criminal would murder Chief Mackie for so little. It was said that life was cheap in Olongapo. Apparently so was death. 

Banoy Abad was a needle-thin and pinched-faced psychopath even before he began to use shabu, but once he became a regular user of crystal meth, he was off the chart crazy and extremely violent. 

Abad, who never knew his father and whose mother was a street prostitute, grew up wild and crazy on the streets of Olongapo. He began his criminal career as a shoeshine boy. While giving a sailor a shoeshine, he would whip out a straight razor and hold it against the unsuspecting sailor’s Achilles Heel. 

The sailors were at first surprised that a little Filipino kid had a razor against their heel. But most sailors knew a laceration of the Achilles tendon was painful and would cripple them, so they pulled out their wallet and gave their cash over to the small street urchin.   

Abad grew up to be a frighting armed robber who preyed on drunk sailors, street vendors and bar girls. He and his partner in crime, Rizalino Cruz, another uber-thin and half-crazed meth-head, were notorious street bandits and murderers.    

Smith told Abad what bar the chief frequented while in Olongapo and he showed the Filipino hitman a photo of the chief. The photo of Chief Mackie had been posted on a bulletin board after he was named “Sailor of the Month.” Smith had ripped the photo off of the bulletin board.


Later that evening, as Mackie and a bar girl left the bar, the two Filipino hitmen attacked Mackie with Butterfly knives. Although Mackie was drunk on San Miguel beer, he saw the Filipinos rushing towards him out the corner of his eye. He pushed the girl aside and threw up a sharp elbow which Abad ran straight into, causing the assassin to fall backwards. Cruz stabbed Mackie in the chest, and the chief grabbed the shorter man’s head in a vice and threw him up against a jeepney in the street. 

Abad recovered quickly from Mackie’s blow and was up and charging the chief again. Mackie hit Abad in the throat with his open palm. The blow instantly killed Abad and he dropped to the street. Cruz started to run, but Mackie caught him by his wrist and elbow and broke the hitman’s arm. Cruz dropped his knife and screamed out in pain. Holding on to Cruz’s broken arm, Mackie used his right leg to sweep the Filipino’s legs out from under him, and Cruz landed on his behind. Still holding onto Cruz’s injured arm, Mackie kicked him several times in the side.

Officers from the Olongapo City Police Office, followed almost immediately by the U.S. Navy Shore Patrol, arrived on the scene of the attempted murder. The Philippine police officers took Cruz into custody. Lieutenant Colonel Cesar Rosa examined Abad as he lay in the street. Rosa looked up and announced to the other officers that the notorious criminal was dead. 

Rosa smiled. 

The Shore patrol took Mackie to the Subic Bay hospital and the Olongapo police took Cruz to a local hospital. Abad was taken to the morgue. Cruz was interrogated harshly by Rosa as a doctor treated him, and he gave up Smith and Stillman without hesitation. He did not mention Walker’s involvement, as he feared the Old Huk. 

Rosa passed the information from Cruz to the American NIS, and the special agents sought out and arrested Smith and Stillman. 

After he was arrested, Smith thought briefly about giving up Walker and Lorino the meth dealer as a means of getting a lighter sentence, but he thought better of it.   As Smith was not a particularly brave man, he feared making these two violent criminals his enemies. 

An Olongapo police officer on the Old Huk’s payroll called Camama and reported the attempted assassination to the gang leader. The officer gave all of the details to Camama. The Old Huk, who already knew that Walker had introduced the American sailors to Abad, was displeased at Walker’s reckless, and profitless, actions. 

The Old Huk ordered Jackie Sicat to reproach Walker for mixing up with that crazy man Abad and the even more crazy Americans. Sicat entered the Americano and beckoned Walker to come to him. Walker edged over to Sicat and stood silently as Sicat proceeded to call him an idiot and fool for mixing up with Abad and stupid Americans. 

“I just introduced them as a favor to a regular customer,” Walker explained. “I didn’t know what was going down.” 

“Old Huk say if police come here and involve us, you be face up dead in Shit River,” Sicat said. 

Lorino, who was standing nearby, was glad he passed on getting involved in the attempted murder. 

© 2024 By Paul Davis 

Note: You can also read the other posted chapters via below:   

Paul Davis On Crime: Chapter One: Butterfly

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'Salvatore Lorino'

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: The Old Huk

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: Join The Navy And See Olongapo

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'Boots On The Ground'

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'The 30-Day Detail'

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'Cat Street'

Paul Davis On Crime: Chapter 12: On Yankee Station


  1. Good story, Paul. I was with Kitty Hawk on Westpac ‘75. Your descriptions of Olongapo are spot on. Looking forward to your new book.

  2. Thank you for your comment and thank you for your service. Paul

  3. Nice to connect with you again shipmate.
    I salute you salute 🫡!