Fawzy Zablah

Tel Aviv Blues

Image by Pixabay
Image by Pixabay

For Charles Willieford

The Cuckold Husband makes a very important decision:

He hired a Moroccan Jew to kill his wife’s lover. It had to be a Jew. He didn’t have to be Moroccan, but that wouldn’t hurt the enterprise either. No cutting corners on this matter. Why?  Because his wife’s lover was an Arab, and it was only fair, for it elevated the dupe and the outcome into a tale that was a little more Biblical, with just the right seasoning of an epic, without indulging the audience too much. It was just the type of symbolism he was going for.

If the murder led back to him, the Israeli justice system might take pity on him. He really had nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, the Moroccan failed at his task miserably and some would even say, spectacularly.

The name of the killer for hire was Berel, and the Cuck found him via yad2. Their first and only meeting was at a Turkish coffee house near the Old Tel Aviv Port area.

“How will you do it?”

“Does it matter, as long as it gets done? The less you know the better.”

“But what if I want him to suffer?”

“He will suffer. Para para. A professional adapts his methods depending on the situation. Run over by a car as he’s crossing the street; pushed off a balcony; shot dead in his own apartment; every single one of those ways to die is just as horrible as the last. Dead is dead. When one ceases to exist, does anything else matter?”

“I guess so. Sounds good. What about the payment?”

“100,000 shekels.”

“I was told less by your assistant,” the Cuck said, leaning in, trying to not raise his voice.

“That was before I knew all the facts. Now that I know, well it’s going to be 100,000. You can take it or leave it.”

The Cuck was clearly taken aback. He should have shopped around. It physically pained him to think he would have to pay that much to have it done, but it had to be done. The bastard had to die and receive the just punishment and not go unpunished.

“Fine, how much do you need now?”

“Half. I need half.”

“And what if you fail?”

“I have warranty on my business. You get your money back, but that has never occurred. I am a professional. Do you remember the movie, The Professional with Natalie Portman?”


“That’s me. I get the job done. I am both Jean Reno and Gary Oldman in one.”

The Cuck ignored that last comment, still worried about the money:

“How do I transfer the money?”

“My assistant will call you with the banking information.”

The Moroccan stood up now and put on his Versace sunglasses and stuck out his hand for the Cuck to shake.

The Cuck still sitting down, looked up and hesitated just a little bit before shaking his hand.

“Shalom aleichem,” said the Moroccan, walking away.

“Shalom,” said the Cuck from his chair.

The Two Cats.

The victim’s cats saved him from a most certain death.

Yes, his cats.

These two black cats once belonged to both he and his married lover.

Then after she decided to stay with her husband, they only belonged to him.

And if by the will of God, these cats transformed into much bigger cats that tag teamed the hitman.

And when these big cats were done, only a torso was left.

How did these cats get larger, and deadlier?

The answer is neither here, nor there.

This would be the Moroccan’s first real failure in the assassination business. His cousin would have to pay the Cuck back all the money.

The cats’ owner and intended target, Habib bin Habib Al Fulan, arrived to find an apartment full of police officers and two detectives and blood everywhere like abstract expressionism on the walls, on the purple rug, on a movie poster and a bed.

But moments before Habib arrived…

The Detectives: Mordechai and Ezra

The two detectives stood in the living room of the one bedroom Tel Aviv apartment. They were standing over a big, oval green rug. To their left was a balcony which brought it plenty of sunlight. Directly facing them was a hallway that led to the bathroom and to the crime scene which was in the bedroom.

Ezra had just walked in and was getting caught up by Mordechai, who arrived before because he was closer to the scene.

“So this guy had zoo animals in his apartment?” Ezra said, studying the surroundings closely.

“Yes, well, people heard screams and the growls of big cats. We did not find any tigers or lions or panthers, just two black cats hiding in the closet.”

“I did read that cats will feed off the carcass of their dead owner.”

“That’s very illuminating, but you will discover momentarily that this is not the case here.  Why don’t you go take a look at what’s left in the bedroom.”

“I believe I shall.”

Ezra  went into the bedroom and screeched. He quickly came out.

“Was that just a torso?”

“You’re a quick learner, a fast study, I like it.”

“Your sarcasm stings.”

“The sarcasm is the coping mechanism I will use until I retire next year.”

“I will make a note of that.”

“As you should,” Mordechai said, leading him back to the torso.

“Where are you taking me? I do not want to go back there. I think I saw enough.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, you’re a detective, and I’m a detective, let’s pretend.”

They were standing in front of the torso now.

“Don’t be squeamish. You’ll never make it in this industry if you’re squeamish.”

Ezra took out his handkerchief and covered his mouth while slightly coughing like he was going to throw up.

“What do you see Ezra, tell me.”

“I see a mound of flesh with no arms or legs. Like a left-over carcass at a butcher shop.”

“Look closer.”

“Is that a tattoo on the back? A star of David tattoo?”

“Please flip the torso on its stomach,” said Mordechai instructing the crime scene technician.

The technician, in his blue scrubs and wearing gloves, kneeled and carefully flipped the torso on its stomach to unveil a huge blue star of David tattoo that covered the back of the torso completely.

And it was striking at how unblemished it was, like if the big cats avoided that part altogether.

Ezra knelt with handkerchief still covering his mouth and looked at the huge tattoo on the exterior of the mangled torso.

“Nobody saw the tiger or panthers or whatever it was?”

“The little old lady next door heard the racket and she swears it sounded like a lion.”

Interview with Habib’s next-door neighbor: Ayla Abulafia

“What did I hear? What did I not hear? It sounded like a zoo. I know what I heard, and it sounded like big cats and loud, terrible growling, followed by the screams of a man suffering. He was getting devoured alive. No, I did not see it, but I heard him say it, ‘I am being devoured, someone help.’ I was scared. What can I do? I’m 72 and have to use a walker sometimes. There was nothing I could do except sit in my kitchen and listen to this poor man being eaten alive.

“He’s a good neighbor Habib. You hardly hear a peep from him and he’s always friendly and warm. He is a nice boy. He has two cats and I was worried, did these lions eat the cats? Do lions eat cats, or do they recognize them as their babies?

“Habib is single. I’ve seen him sometimes when a friend or two come over to watch soccer. He did have a girlfriend. At least, I thought she was a girlfriend. Very pretty girl, and well, it was obviously that forbidden kind of love, but that’s neither here nor there.

“She was definitely a Jew, but what can you do, sometimes a young gal needs that prohibited penis. Ha ha if you know what I mean. Of course you do. They were an interesting couple and you didn’t need a PHD to put two and two together, well she was married.

“She came over once with a huge pregnant belly just to break up with him. Let me tell you, these walls are thin. It was one of the few times I heard them arguing. Poor Habibi. He’s a good boy, he just needs a little luck with finding the one, and I know for a fact that girl wasn’t the one no matter how badly he wanted her, and you could tell he wanted her bad.

“But to answer your question detectives, no, I have no idea how he could have sneaked those tigers or lions or whatever animal it was into his apartment. And two of them? Please!”

Police interview with “The Arab” (intended victim): Habib bin Habib al Fulan

“Could you please, state your full name,” said Mordechai.

“Habib bin Habib al Fulan.”

“Do you recognize the victim in your living room?”

“Are you serious?”

“Well, we’re just asking because the torso does have a very obvious tattoo.”

“No, I don’t know him or why he broke into my apartment.”

“Very well,” said Mordechai. “We’ll move on to the next question. The victim had a weapon. Have you ever seen this weapon?”

Mordechai pointed at an Uzi with silencer.

“No, I have not.”

“Do you currently own, or have you ever owned exotic pets?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Did you look at that torso in your living room?”

“I have two cats.”

“Ha! Two cats he says.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And how did you obtain these cats?”

“I adopted the first one, saw an ad on yad2.”

“And the second cat?”

“The second cat, my co-worker, Arella, found him outside her house meowing. It was a kitten. She took him to work and asked if anyone wanted him and I got him.”

“Where do you and this Arella work?”

“We work at Digital Box.”

“And what is…a Digital Box?”

“It’s a marketing agency.”

“What do you there Mr. Habib?”

“I’m a copywriter mostly, but I also help out wherever I’m needed.”

“How long have you worked there?”

“Almost 14 years.”

“And if we get in contact with your colleague, Arella, she will corroborate  your story.”

The Arab was quiet, and seemed to be thinking about the question.

“Yes, of course.”

“Nobody saw the big cats, and I’ll give you that Mr. Habib, but all your neighbors heard the screams and they can almost guarantee the sounds of big cats.”

Habib’s cats were each in their pet carriers and the two detectives, Mordechai, and Ezra, could only scratch their heads as to how that Moroccan became a torso in this Arab’s living room.

The Unfaithful Wife Arella:

Her eyes were hazel. That was the first thing Habib noticed.

She also loved Malfouf as much as he did.

To everyone in the office, she adopted him like a stray dog and some of those same people might have been a little concerned. He was their pet first.

Sometimes, she brought a little extra lentil soup to share with him.

It was all in her eyes, everything he thought he ever wanted. Her friendship was a warm hug on a freezing night.

But Habib was a good boy, he was not an adulterer but he had no choice or maybe he did, but the universe brought them together and that was that.

The cats came later, and they were, of course, the true manifestation of their love.

The Torso of Berel:

Berel’s torso was under a white blanket as the team of detectives marked every drop of blood as evidence on the wall and the floor and the ceiling fan.

Berel’s torso wasn’t sure what happened. All the torso remembered was prying the door open to the apartment and sneaking in ready to hide for the victim to arrive.

Once inside, he heard a meow that came from an adorable black, chubby cat. The meow sounded like a child and the yellow gaze of the cat studied Berel up and down.

That’s what the torso of Berel remembers the clearest, and then things start to get fuzzy.

Then there was another meow, but more demanding, and it came from a black cat that was much smaller than the second one. There are two cats, Berel said to himself softly.

The two black cats now looked up at Berel, as they were in his way, and he in theirs.

For a moment, he thought about kicking them. He decided to go into the bedroom and hide there but realized walking inside that the cats could give him away, but when he turned back the cats were gone.

Kelba!” he said.

And as he turned his head, he was now facing the wet nose of a panther breathing down his face. He froze and yet still, with the fear growing, studied the big cat’s hairy face.

There was another big cat coming behind the panther but as Berel’s Torso recalls, it was already too late.

Those moments in life when you realize you made a big mistake and it was not going to turn out good.

All that was left was the torso of Berel until the police showed up who were called by Habib’s nosy neighbor.

Habib obtains the first cat because he believed it was test for his love by Arelle.

She was going away for the weekend with the Cuck husband and that Friday morning in bed, she mentioned to Habib that she saw a cute black cat available for adoption at the pet store, and she thought of him and how he should adopt it.

“It can be our cat,” she said, as she lay next to him in bed.

This was their Friday ritual, since they both didn’t have to come in to work until late afternoon, to make love in the morning and have breakfast together.

“Our cat?”

“Yes, and sometimes it can stay with you and sometimes it can stay with me.”

“What about your other cat?”

“Well, Bolivar will now have a sibling.”

Habib turned in bed towards her.

“I guess I could go see it. You said it was black?”

“Yes, black with yellow eyes, and so adorable.”

“I’ll go after work then.”

Habib forgot to go after work that night and Arelle went home to help her Cuck husband pack for their trip to visit his parents in Netanya.

So, Habib went the next day, on Saturday but when he got to the pet store, he soon realized he was too late, for someone else had adopted the cat. After that, Habib felt an intense anxiety like he had failed the test she had given him and because of this, she would end up choosing her husband in the end and it was all because he wasn’t able to adopt the cat she wanted in time.

He rushed around looking at the ads in Ha’ir with no luck, and then decided to look in yad2 for similar cats, and after 20 minutes he found a similar black kitten.

When he called the number, the woman on the other line said it was still available. Habib could hear it meowing in the background.

He met the woman in the parking lot of a Super Yuda grocery store at 2:00am in the morning.

Habib bought a pet carrier and toys and a wooden cat scratcher, and when she gave him the kitten, he felt like he was now deserving of Arella’s Jewish love. Yes, it was an illicit love affair and perhaps she was using him and they could never legally get married but he had to try.

The kitty meowed all the way back to Habib’s apartment and on Monday morning, he surprised Arella and her happiness gave him so much joy and now he was sure that he was indeed deserving of her love.

“Do you realize?” his friends would ask, “That this affair with this Jew could cost you your life?”

“And hers too?”

“And hers too?”

Habib never had an answer because he knew that he was already way over his head. What am I going to do now, he would say in his head, various times a day, to himself.

The cat grew and it became their cat, and for Habib a symbol of their love. Their secret love.

Detectives Mordechai, and Ezra identify the Torso:

Mordechai looked down at the police file Ezra dumped on his desk:

“So, the DNA came back, and guess what? Mr. Torso is a well known hired hitman who has verifiable links with the Moroccan mafia.”

“A hitman? Moroccan mafia?”

“Yep, a hitman by the last name of Peretz, first name, Berel,” said Ezra pointing at the file.

“So you are telling me a Moroccan hitman was trying to assassinate our Araboosh?”

“Yes, that’s what it looks like unless he had the wrong address but torso is a torso now so we can’t ask him.”

“Well if he’s a hired gun, there must be a money trail. We just gotta get a warrant to get a peek at the financials.”

“If he’s a good hitman, he won’t accept the money directly.”

“Good point, Sonny. I was testing you.”

“Ha ha – No.”

“I guess we need to pay another visit to our friend Habib.”

“Already ahead of you, I gave him a heads up that we will be stopping by in the afternoon.”

Berel Peretz

Berel Peretz was good at his job until he wasn’t. That was his last thought as the two big cats (tiger sized looking panthers was his best guess) pounced on him, each ripping different appendages until finally only his head and torso were left.

Why did the big cats leave the torso?

These now sibling cats, that didn’t start out as siblings, decided last minute that Berel’s torso was not worth it, it just carried too much pain from a lifetime of murders and assassinations.

The detectives secretly thought the cats didn’t touch the torso because of the big, blue star of David tattoo on his back. Maybe these cats had a respect for the word of God.

Berel didn’t think about the people whose lives he was hired to terminate as anything other than j-o-b-s that needed to get done in order have the money transferred into his account.

He had a child back in his true country, not Israel, because he never felt Israeli ever, but in Morocco, in Casablanca. A 12-year-old boy that lived with his mother.

A woman whose brother Berel had killed on assignment, in another living room, when he was much younger and a novice and his gun jammed, and he was forced to use his handy karambit knife and it was all a mess to say the least, it was a decapitation.

But watching his victim’s life drain from his body, he also made eye contact with the woman he would fall in love with, and it was all via a photo portrait.

“She is beautiful, is that your wife?”

The victim gargled on his own blood, passing into the next world in Berel’s arms and he, Berel was hardly upset about the mess, if it wasn’t for the photo of that beautiful being.

It was not the victim’s wife, but his little sister. With a heart pounding from falling in love, to heart pounding from hand-to-hand assassination that almost went wrong, he cleaned up as best he could.

Dumped all his clothes in an incinerator back at the contractor’s home and not forgiving himself for his decision, he waited a month and began to stalk the victim’s home in order to see the sister in person because he could not believe that there was someone so beautiful walking the streets of Casablanca.

It was not loud beauty that she had, but an innocent beauty that was ready to uncurl into sophistication. How will I make her mine? He thought constantly. And will she accept that I killed her brother? He would not divulge that for anything. Love is love is love.

He came up with a quick plan, he did not want to think about this too much or be desperate or continue to waste time. Berel would just pull up alongside her when she walks home from school and pretend to be lost and offer her a ride. That’s it. Just make sure to dress well, get a haircut and maybe…borrow a stupid looking car with a loud color that would not be menacing.

He borrowed his friend’s Yellow Toyota Vitz. It was perfect, a cute little car with a fun color. It was an innocent looking vehicle, not like a big Cadillac that mob guys drive.

When the day came, he waited outside her yeshiva. Now every time he saw her in person walking there was a melancholy feeling in his heart that went down to his stomach. Every single time he saw her since the first day he saw her photograph while he butchered her brother…his heart raced in a new kind of excitement, invigorating him.

He didn’t feel so lost anymore.

And now she was there walking down the street with another girl and he would let them walk until the friend got off at her house, and now she was all alone swinging her left arm as she’s prone to do. Her pretty hands he longed to hold. She was a kid, yes, but she could be wise beyond her years.

“Shalom!” he said, pulling up next to her at about 2 MPH.

She looked at him as she continued to walk.

“Shalom,” he said again. “Can I give you a ride? My name is Berel.”

She kept walking, continuing the same pace. Now, she gave him the side eye.

“I just wanted to see if you needed a ride. Do you like my car? Do you like the yellow?”

He thought that maybe he should make a self-deprecating joke.

She stopped. He hit the brakes.

She turned towards his car and he opened the passenger door.

For over a year Berel flew back and forth from Tel Aviv to Morocco. Every single time he returned he brought her a new gift: a fancy watch, a colorful sweater, shiny earrings, and finally, a ring with a medium sized diamond he got a discount for from his cousin the jeweler, after she got pregnant.

Her father did not allow it and Berel backed off because he wanted permission to be able to see his child.

The baby was born. It was a boy. Berel was so proud to be a father, even an absent one.

That’s what Berel’s torso remembers thinking before the big cats tore into him mercilessly.

Too many bad decisions and I will not ever see my boy again.

The Second Interview with Habib bin Habib AKA Araboosh:

In the lobby of a hotel, Detectives Mordechai and Ezra sat with Habib.

“They’re professionals,” said Mordechai, “The are prepared to clean anything and trust me sir, they will wipe out all that blood and even your carpet will be like new.”

“I think I might move,” said Habib.

“That’s also a good option.”

Then there came an uncomfortable moment of silence and the detectives looked at each other and then at Habib.

“We would like to go over some things with you, and we want to thank you for meeting with us. I know that you must be rattled about this whole situation.”

“I won’t deny it, I am scared.”

Mordechai made eye contact with Habib, and it was a severe stare. Ezra knew what it meant, it meant he was going “Bad Cop” and he himself will have to be “Good Cop.”

“Mr. Habib,” he said, “Does anybody come to mind?”

“Excuse me?”

“Does an enemy in your life come to mind. Did you ever have a strange feeling like someone was watching you, especially before this incident occurred. Were there any dreams or nightmares you might have had?”

Ezra sat quiet and ready to pounce.

“An enemy?”

“The mass of flesh in your apartment once upon a time was a complete man with arms and legs, and he was known to have a job where he would be hired to–“

“Hired to what?”

“He was a hired hitman,” said Ezra. “We believe he was hired to kill you. That’s why my partner is asking if you have any enemies or had a sense of dread about something, it could be anything.”

The two detectives looked at him now and it reminded Habib of how his cats locked eyes with him for lunch hour.

“You’re saying that guy was in my apartment to assassinate me?”

“Yes,” said Mordechai, “That is definitely what we believe.”

“I don’t have any enemies that I know of.”

“Let us quantify that,” said Mordechai.

“Yes,” said Ezra, “Why would anyone want to assassinate you?”

“Messing around with any married women, lately,” said Mordechai, and tapping his knee.

Habib looked down at the table and then back up at the detectives.

Mordechai knew at that moment they caught him in a lie.

“Do you think,” said Mordechai, choosing his words wisely, and leaning in. “That the Cuck husband hired somebody…you know…to pay you a visit?”

Habib said he wasn’t sure, but that it could be possible.

“Have you ever spoken to him?” said Ezra.

“Yes, he’s come to our work a couple of times to see her, and I helped her pick up a couch once.”

“A couch?” said both detectives almost simultaneously.

“Yes, she needed help picking up a used couch she bought from yad2.”

“What about her husband?”

“He was busy so she asked me to go with her and we rented a truck.”

“And,” said Mordechai, “You were already involved at this time.”

“That is correct.”

“So, the both of you picked up the couch and you took it back to her place?”


“And he was there?” said Ezra.

“Yes, he was home. He helped me carry it into their home.”

“So let me get this straight,” said Ezra.

Mordechai rolled his eyes. Ezra looked at Habib smiling.

“So, you’re saying you’re fucking the man’s wife, and then he helped you bring a couch into their home which you and his wife picked up from yad2?”

Habib could only nod his head up and down.

“Wow,” said Ezra.

“Wow, is right, what a woman.”

“A user,” said Ezra.

“And an abuser,” said Mordechai.

Both detectives broke out into laughter.

Habib smiled a little bit but his demeanor was gentle, like he was afraid of his own shadow.

The detectives stopped laughing, looked at each other and said, “He definitely hired that guy to pay you a visit.”

“You realize women like that only use men like you?” Mordechai said.

“Yes, I guess.”

“Of course,” Ezra said, “She’s using both of them.”

“That’s a keeper.”

“Definitely a keeper.”

“How was she in bed?”

“Yes, how was she? She must have been wild.”

Habib looked at them both. They did not feel like real Tel Aviv detectives. They were too jovial. He gave them an uneasy smile.

“You poor idiot, a gentleman till the end,” said Mordechai

“She will never love you,” blurted out Ezra, and howling.

“She doesn’t even love herself, she’s what the old school Jews call a shiksa, but you wouldn’t know about that.”

“Yeah, how would you? You’re a Palestinian. Do you have a word for shiksa?

Habib didn’t say anything.

“He’s getting an education today.”

“Yes, he is.”

“Ha!” said Mordechai, “And just as part of protocol, we have to ask you again, you have absolutely, positively never owned a tiger or two, is that correct?”

The Second Cat:

The second cat was discovered outside of Arelle’s home, as she was five months pregnant with second child (not Habib’s like the first) as it was crying outside her window at 4AM keeping the baby awake.

It was a tiny black kitten crying on the grass in the backyard. Arelle thought it was good luck.

She brought him in and gave it milk, making a little bed in the laundry room.

“We already have a cat and a dog. We don’t need another cat,” the Cuck complained.

“I’ll take it to work, I’m sure someone will take it.”

She already knew she would give it to Habib.

Once in the office, Arelle only really pretended to offer the kitten to other colleagues, and she hardly gave them a chance before the kitten now belonged to Habib.

He had two cats now, and the office manager made fun of him for it.

“You’re still single Habib, and now you, have two cats. You are the cat man now. You do realize these two cats are not going to help you get a woman? Catmandoo, that’s your new nickname Araboosh.”

Habib was sometimes the joke of the office, but the joke was on them, for his secret love affair with Arelle was so giving in so many ways.

He looked like the dumb, lovelorn Palestinian on the outside, but on the inside, he knew he was getting plenty of sex that he just had to keep a secret. He felt like a Superman sometimes, for everyone felt sorry for him, and yet would continue to be perplexed by his happiness.

The pep in his walk in the morning did not make any sense to Habib’s colleagues. But pep came from the morning sex with Arelle.

So yes, he didn’t mind about the two cats. Arelle could drown him with cats for all he cared. It was just as good as love.

The Star of David Tattoo

Berel Peretz got the Star of David tattoo on his back the week after finding out his father’s identity. He was one of those Jews that ran off to Israel to get lost in a secular neighborhood to try not to be a Jew in the only Jewish country in the world.

Berel saved his money from petty theft and pickpocketing tourists to be able to get the tattoo.

It was simple, but he didn’t realize it until he was older, for as his own father was running away from Judaism, Berel wanted to reclaim it.

Despite his brown skin, there would be no mistake, this man with the huge Star of David on his back was a proud Jew.

But he still wasn’t sure why he was a proud Jew who resented the state of Israel.

He found everything about it obscene. To have all the Jews in one place was like asking for a disaster. The short answer was because his father went to Israel first, before him.

Berel’s mother never got to go Israel even though that had been her goal long ago. The cheating husband did it first, the bastard father.

He didn’t want to believe in karma anymore, because he had seen it with his own eyes, the example of his God fearing mother — the good are only the victims of history, never it’s main characters.

Berel was done being good.

The investigation leads to the Zoo: Safari Ramat Gan

The two detectives stood outside the tiger enclosure. It smelled like shit. It was intense. They both had handkerchiefs over their mouths.

They were waiting for the tiger expert. The big cat scientist.

“So why is this a good idea?”

“Ezra, I already told you that we need to confirm that it was indeed two big cats that ate our Moroccan.”

“It definitely wasn’t human, but I still don’t get how this will help us catch the culprits or find these big cats.”

The big cat scientist arrived in a golf cart.

“Shalom detectives.”

After the somewhat awkward introductions, Mordechai showed the big cat scientist the crime scene photos and close ups of the torso of Berel.

The big cat scientist inspected them closely.

“What is that?” Said the Big Cat scientist.

“It’s a human torso; it’s all that was left. Does that look like the signs of tiger attack? A panther perhaps?”

“It was definitely not human, whatever did this.”

Mordechai got behind the scientist.

“But was it a big cat?”

“You want to know if a Big Cat did this?”

“Yes,” the two detectives said at the same time, flustered under the hot Israeli sun.

The Big Cat scientist handed Mordechai back the photographs. He wore a khaki shirt with front chest pockets from which he took out a green pack of Noblesse cigarettes and offered to the detectives before grabbing one with his mouth.

The two detectives each grabbed a cigarette and all three lit up and smoked in a kind of semi friend’s circle.

“That torso in those photos is a mess,” the Big Cat scientist said.

“We were there, that wasn’t the whole mess,” Ezra said.

“Big cats don’t attack humans unless they feel threatened.”

The cigarette smoke from all three was rising above them. The tigers growled and the two detectives jumped a bit, they did not think it would be that loud.

“And nobody saw the big cats go in or out of the apartment?”

“No,” Mordechai said. “But the neighbors heard the commotion.”

“How did the commotion sound like?”

“Well, you know,” said Ezra. “The growling and the blood splattering and hitting the walls like paint, the screams of the victim, the gasp and the pure horror-“

“The neighbors heard it and it was almost like seeing it,” said Mordechai.

The Big Cat scientist only had a quarter left of his Noblesse cigarette and he was sucking as much smoke as he could, letting the ash get longer and longer.

To Mordechai, the Big Cat scientist resembled an old general from one of the long-forgotten wars against the Arabs not long after 1947. Those soldiers had the same lines on their faces. They were grandparents, those boys that survived defending Israel against her enemies.

“If I hear anything about any Big Cats on the loose, I will let you know detectives. That’s the best I can do. Did a Big Cat do what you showed me in those photos? Well of course, but so can a human being given the rage.”

Back at their car, the detectives looked at each other.

“Well, that was a big waste of time,” Ezra said, wiping the sweat off his forehead with a handkerchief.

“It was worth a shot.”

“Maybe some things are meant to remain a mystery.”

“I guess.”

“I mean does it really matter, one less Moroccan criminal in our streets.”

“You make a very persuasive argument.”

“Let’s go eat.”

“Let’s go eat.”

Much later…at the restaurant by the curious name of OLD PALESTINE, with their plates to their side, and Turkish coffee smoking in front of them:

“We got nothing Mordechai, what’s the point?”

“Maybe we can interview the girl, what was her name again, Arielle?”

“Arelle,” said Ezra looking at his notes.

“What do you think?”

“I think it’s going to be a waste of time. We don’t even have any witnesses, just old neighbors that heard growling sounds and screams.”

“But you’re forgetting we have a body. We have a victim.”

“We got a torso, that we were lucky enough to ID because of that big ass Star of David tat, and his past arrest record. What we got is the torso of a dead hit man, and that’s it. Why was he there? Did he go to the wrong apartment? Who knows? Or was it the right one? Why was he there?”

Mordechai stayed silent as the young detective spewed the facts before them and he didn’t interrupt and let his partner make the whole point he was trying to make.

“…and what if it was the Cuck husband of this woman that sent him? The guy is going to lay low now. What husband doesn’t have a right to even consider something like this? I’m sure he’s regretting it now, because he failed, and he’s realizing he came close to losing it all over a woman, but the Cuck won’t learn his lesson. He will overcome all this and order her around and make her pay in another way, a more mature way, a more deceptive way…in a way that will make her regret the rest of her life.”

Ezra paused for dramatic effect, at least that’s what it felt like to Mordechai.

“And what way is that?”

“He will make her pay by treating her like a child. She has lost all autonomy. She fucks around, because she’s bored, and never really loved her husband only to use another man, to feel validated, a sad house wife is always seeking that, and then it circles back, the Cuck turns into her father and it’s all a nasty cycle — kind of like when a man marries a woman that’s just as controlling as his mother, same exact thing.”

Morderchai looked down at his cup of turkish coffee and took a long bitter sip, and said, “Maybe, you’re right kid, maybe you’re right.”

The Cuck gets a refund, the unfaithful wife gets her comeuppance

The Cuck, sitting at home, and relieved that the torso didn’t lead back to him was thinking of ways to take more control of his wife and family. The specter of the affair haunted their home.

Cuck could see his wife’s lover’s face everywhere in the home, and everything reminded him of her betrayal and now it was worse, because he couldn’t even take the guy out.

His mother had warned him not to marry a non-religious Jew but he didn’t listen. She only pretends to be religious.

He was alone in the house and he felt like doing something bad. Arella and the kids were at her sister’s.

Then there was a loud knock at the door which startled the Cuck, and he stood up fast and looked out the window to see who it was. There was an Arab with a buzz cut. He looked like a rapper.

The Cuck’s heart started jumping inside his chest: “Who is this?”

He opened the door slowly.

“May I help you?”

“You’re Aharoni right?”

“Yes, yes, I am Benjamin Aharoni.”

Yes. Benjamin Aharoni is the Cuck’s God given name.

The Arab handed him an envelope.

“Your refund in full.”

“My what?”

The man turned and walked back to a Mercedes Benz AMG and roared away as the Cuck walked out towards him.

Inside the envelope was the half of the money he had given Peretz.

“He kept his word.”

When Arella got home in the afternoon with the girls, he cornered her in their bedroom and demanded they move.

“Where? This is our home!”

“Anywhere. I don’t care. This is no longer our home after what you did. You destroyed our home; it doesn’t belong to us anymore. It belongs to him. That Arab mutt that you jumped in bed with.”

Arella sat in the bed facing the window and weeping.

Her tears disgusted him so much, he grabbed her by the ear, pinching her ear lobe until she was on the floor, on all fours like the pig he thought she was.

“You’re going to quit and we’re going to move to Be’er Sheva. My cousins will help us with the relocation. Start packing. I am your husband and what I say is the law.”

She was looking out of the bedroom window as the pain in her ear intensified. There was a cypress tree that swayed from the wind. She thought she could almost hear everything, even the sand in the desert whistle. She could hear everything except her husband. He was muffled, like if God was drowning out his voice so she could only focus on the pain.

Then from the pain came a mystical vision of a boundless desert with an army of Bedouin fighting a grotesque giant made of clay. The Bedouin carried only swords and went down, one by one in front of the behemoth which had the word, “truth” etched in Hebrew on its forehead. They were all brave, but the giant was uncontrollable.

“Arella, do you understand?”

“Yes, I understand,” she said.

About the Author
Fawzy Zablah was born in El Salvador but raised in Miami. Among his works is the short story collection CIAO! MIAMI and the novel RARITY OF THE CENTURY. His fiction has been published widely at Hobart, 3AM Magazine, Acentos Review and Expat Press. His new novel, This Modern Man is Beat: A Novel in Stories, was just published by SIMI Press:
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