CONTROL - ALUN WILLIAMS
Robyn hadn’t killed the guy behind the counter, but she was just as guilty. They’d entered the store together, her and Henry. CCTV showed them touching and laughing like it was one big joke. When he’d pulled the gun, she’d gasped, then when he’d put a hole in the guy’s head, she nearly had an orgasm. Death was better than sex. Oh, the sex they had was good. Dirty. Brutal even, but not as good as murder. No, sir. Life with Henry was living on the edge.
She unwrapped a packet of French cigarettes and lit one with the lighter that the black cop had left on the table. She leant back and blew smoke rings towards the ceiling. Looking at the two cops who sat directly in front of her, she moved her tongue provocatively across blood red lips. They want to fuck me, don’t they, she thought. Since she was twelve years old, men had always wanted to fuck her. Fuck, fuck, fuck. She put her cigarette out and crossed her legs. The cops shifted uncomfortably in their chairs. She was the one under interrogation, but she had control.
Detective Cal Milton had seen the uniforms bring her in. She’d glanced his way, just once but it’d been enough. He rang home and told Betty he’d be late. It was only eleven in the morning, but he knew that after the interrogation, he’d need a drink. He needed a drink more often these days. He thought of Betty. A fleeting thought. Fleeting, just like the conversations they now had and the sex. Fleeting. Forgettable and infrequent.
The perp wore a crisp white blouse and short suede skirt. Betty never dressed this good. He wanted her, damn, he really wanted her. She was feral. Wild. He wanted sex more and more these days, but not with Betty. Never with Betty. The woman blew smoke towards him. He didn’t smoke these days but he knew he was going to start again. Today, later. Now, he had to have one now!
“Hey, Milton. Thought you’d given those up?” the Chief said as he got out of his car.
“Hard morning. Shooting up on Vine.”
“That’s the trouble with you college grads, no control. Chew some gum.” The Chief disappeared inside.
Control, he thought. Yeah, sure. Control was one thing he didn’t have.
Betty Milton put the phone down. He was going to be late again. Maybe he does have someone else, she thought. She lit a cigarette.
She called Rosa, but there was no reply. It was Tuesday. She forgot. Tuesdays was Rosa’s day for sex. All day sex, like she and Cal used to have when they first married. It wasn’t with her husband. It wasn’t with anyone in particular, but Rosa made sure she got it. She’d told Betty about it over coffee one morning. “I book a guy, a room at a motel. What’s the big deal? He’s paid, I’m laid.” She even said that sex with her husband was better because of it. Betty sighed. Maybe that’s what she’d do. She turned on the tv. The news broadcast was about a shooting in a down town store. Usual one minute piece. Murder was so commonplace here. Was Cal involved? She cared once, but now, not so much. She’d even thought of Cal being shot and what she’d wear to the funeral? She’d be the centre of attention again. Damn it Cal, why don’t you get yourself killed? She turned the TV off and on again. She wished she could do that with her life. Turn it on. Just once.
Maria Rodriguez cried no more tears for her father. Now he was gone, she’d never cry again. She pretended to be upset, distraught that the man who had abused her since her mother left was now dead, but it had been an act. She was a good actress; after all, she’d been acting out the good Mexican daughter for the past fifteen years.
You make your own luck in life. She’d let slip on the street that her father’s business was a money making machine. It was just a matter of time before some punk came in to find out if that was the case. She knew her father would put up a fight, stubborn old bastard that he was.
She looked at the insurance policy. She didn’t understand it all, but even she made out that because of that punk’s bullet she’d inherit twenty thousand dollars. She’d sell the crappy business, too. She smiled as she thought back to the shooting. She’d watched it over and over, before the cops had taken it away for evidence. That woman who came in with the shooter, she was pretty, Maria thought. The shooter, too, was so handsome. Now perhaps she could get a man like that for herself. Her life was her own. She opened another pack of Camels. She’d smoked one pack that afternoon, but now she didn’t have to worry about her father. She was in control.
Henry Pearl sat in his cell with his hands cuffed. It wasn’t normal procedure but he’d hit a cop when they put him in the cell for the first time. He tasted blood in his mouth where a cop had slapped him, but his nose itched and it that which was driving him insane. He stood and rubbed his nose against the cold wall, then sat down again.
He read some of the graffiti that other guests of the Houston police had written and laughed at the one that read. “I’m a schizo. My other self did it.”
He guessed he’d do life, but it didn’t bother him too much. The thought of not sleeping with a woman again pissed him off. Especially Robyn. She sure was the best. He closed his eyes and thought of her body and the way they had made love. His thoughts were so intense, he could taste her, smell her, even almost touch her. She blew smoke rings, French cigarettes. Yeah, he had her there, in his cell. Robyn, crazy whore.
He began laughing like a maniac. She would always be with him. He had control.
BIO: Alun Williams, 55. Born and still residing in Wales. Member of Crittersbar (writing under maxieslim), Zoetrope and Scrawl (writing as Maxwell Allen) and has had several shorts published in Write Side Up, Bonfire, Twisted Tongue, Skive, The Legendary and various others. Loves noir and Charles Bukowski.