Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 515 - Cindy Rosmus

ALL GONE - CINDY ROSMUS

“All gone?” Julio said. “What’s ‘all gone?’” But, somehow he knew.

“The money?”

Stacy nodded. In his doorway, she stood, trembling. Like she was scared of him, instead of that loco husband...

Who’d cleaned them out.

¡Hijo de puta! Julio thought.

As Stacy fell against the wall, sobbing, she looked like an ugly brat. Last night’s makeup all smeared. When she reached for him, he cringed. “What happened?”

“I went...to the bank...” As she went on, Julio’s mind was all over the place. What do I do? he thought, pacing. I’m stuck here. With her. And no job...

“He took it all!” Stacy wailed.

Sheer hatred, Julio felt for her, now. An hour ago, she’d wildly sucked him off, right by the window. Anybody could’ve seen them.

Her husband, maybe?

No, Julio thought, wisely. This was Monday morning. Her husband must’ve closed the account last week.

Last week had been, well, paraíso, for Julio and Stacy. In bed the whole time, all day as well as all night long. Round-the-clock fucking and sucking, with time out only for fast meals, and catnaps. Showers that ended in wet fuckfests. Twice the bathroom got flooded. Good thing I’m the super, he’d thought smugly. He lived in the basement.

“All of it!” Stacy sobbed, now. “Every cent, he took.”

Yeah, Julio thought. Rub it in.

It was all her fault. Careless bitch. Always up his ass. Even a fool would’ve figured out something was up.

And Stacy’s husband, Julio knew, was no fool. This guy, according to her, was big-time. Big bucks. Big, period. Six-five, four hundred pounds, unless she was exaggerating, ditz that she was.

A big pig, Julio bet, smirking. Just thinking about that huge, sweaty fuck sticking it to Stacy had amused Julio. Fluffed up his feathers even more. Here he was, this lean, curly-haired stud, whose cock just wouldn’t quit. A porn star, he could be, at forty. In his bikini briefs, Julio’s cock looked like a coiled snake.

He jumped, as Stacy grabbed him. “What’ll we...do?”

We? He held her close, so she wouldn’t see his smile. Don’t know about you, baby... His mental wheels were spinning. San Juan, the cheapest flight. The next one out.

A long, hot kiss, he treated her to, with so much tongue, she went limp against him. He felt like hurling her against the wall.

When his phone rang, Julio stiffened. The land line vs. his cell. Nobody ever called the house phone. If Stacy hadn’t paid his bill, he would’ve cut it off long ago.

“No!” she said, as he went for it. “Don’t answer that!”

“Bitch!” Julio snapped. “Don’t tell what to do!”

“It’s...him.”

The big pig. Julio couldn’t help smiling. Who couldn’t fit through the door... He picked up the phone. “Buenas dias.”

“You’re dead, motherfucker.”

Julio froze.

A calm, male voice. “You piece of shit.”

Julio said nothing. In his hand, the receiver was sweaty.

Who is it? Stacy mouthed.

“Gigolo.” The voice was almost soothing. “Wife-stealing fuck.”

“You got the wrong number,” Julio said, but couldn’t hang up.

“Ya think?” The guy chuckled. He didn’t sound four hundred pounds. He sounded like he could slither under Julio’s door.

“You don’t scare me,” Julio lied. Stacy grabbed for him, but he shoved her away. “I don’t even know your wife, man.”

That chuckle gave Julio chills. “Then you don’t know me. Or my last name. Shit, you don’t even know hers.”

He was right. ¡Dame fuerza! Julio prayed.

“It’s coming, Julio,” the guy said softly. “But you won’t know when, or where. Or from whom.”

Julio swallowed hard. This time, he didn’t shove Stacy away.

“It’s ‘all gone,’” the guy said. “Or, as you spics say... ‘Se acabó!’” He hung up.

Still holding Stacy, Julio checked the Caller ID: ‘Unknown number.’ Figures, he thought, as he hung up. He knows where I live.

“What’d he say?” Stacy whispered.

Smiling, Julio pulled away from her. “Nothing. Not... really. Just that he knows, and he’s pissed off.”

She looked doubtful. “He’s not coming... here, is he?”

“No!” Julio said. Real bad, she was on his nerves.

She started to cry, again. He almost felt sorry for her. But he had to get away, and fast.

Alone.

“Sweetheart,” he said, in his gentlest voice. “I’ve gotta run out. Just for a minute.” When her eyes bulged, he took her face in his hands. “Trust me.”

She nodded.

In the doorway, he turned, reluctantly, and looked at her: the chin-length blonde hair that tickled when she licked his nuts, the lovesick blue eyes...

Last night’s smeared mascara...

Bye! Julio mouthed, and then he was free.

*

What the fuck, Julio thought, do I do? Out back, he was hiding, by the garbage. From a neighbor’s fence, a stray cat watched him, curiously. Where do I go?

He had no plan, really. Flying to PR was a bullshit idea. Like, how would he book it? He had no credit card. Not his own, anyway.

No real friends to help him out. In the past year, he’d fucked lots of women. Fucked over, he thought, shamelessly, kicking a bean can. The cat took off.

Karen, that fiftyish accountant, had been his best bet. A sure thing.

Till Stacy showed up...

Stupid bitch, Julio thought. Esa pelá. Thanks to her, they were both broke.

What would he do?

It’s coming, Julio, her husband had threatened. You won’t know when, or...

But was it her husband? He hadn’t said he was, not really. And even if he was her husband, he could’ve just been trying to scare Julio. Stacy...

Stacy herself could’ve planned it!

The garbage stunk. Julio couldn’t take it, anymore. As he ran out, he knocked over a trash can. Fuck it! he thought. No more hiding.

Up the street, he stood, boldly. Just out of sight, in case Stacy was watching from his basement window. Inside his apartment, the dark chocolate blinds convinced you it was night all the time. Smart move, he’d thought, back then. No one will catch us. Now, he cringed.

He looked up and down the block. This June Monday morning, decent people were at work. Kids still in school. His block was deserted.

Almost.

Julio froze.

On the corner, a workman slowly climbed a telephone pole.

He looked like a workman—in a hardhat and clunky tool belt—but was he, really?

Am I loco, Julio wondered, or is he eyeing me?

“Excuse me,” said a voice from behind him. Julio jumped.

It was a short, red-haired guy, about Julio’s age. Dressed like a lawyer, or banker, but with a smile so wide, he could’ve been a salesman. “Are you the super of this building?”

Julio almost shit his pants.

“I’m looking for rooms,” the guy said, when Julio didn’t answer. In the freckled hand was a slip of paper.

Julio swung back around. Above him, the phone guy had reached the top of the pole.

“You okay, dude?” the red-haired guy said.

A sweaty mess, Julio turned back to him. “Dressed like that,” Julio said, “you should be in court. Or in some big meeting, somewhere.”

“I will be, at noon.” When the guy looked at the sky, Julio’s heart lurched, and he swung back around.

The phone guy was watching them.

“I really do have a job, man,” the red-haired guy said. “I can pay the rent. And the security.”

As Julio watched the phone guy, the red-haired guy added, “So what do you say, dude?”

Julio jumped, as the guy gripped his shoulder.

“See her...” Julio said. “Downstairs!”

And tore down the block.

*

Farley’s Tavern was just a few blocks away, but by the time he reached it, Julio was out of breath. That’s fucked up, he thought, leaning against the building.

Till last month, Farley’s was his hangout. He’d always won at pool. The regulars bought him mucho drinks, and when his bar tab wasn’t sky-high, he bought the regulars back.

“You’re flagged!” Old Man Farley had told him, last time. Julio’s tab was the biggest in Farley’s history.

It was where he’d met Stacy, one drunken night. “My husband,” she’d told Julio, “Is so mean to me! He beats me almost every night!” Julio nodded, sympathetically. He hadn’t seen any bruises, but chances are, they were hidden. Not by much, he’d thought, smirking.

After closing, she’d sucked him off, right out back. “Oh, man!” Julio gasped, as she gobbled him. “¡Qué rico!” When she swallowed all of it, he saw stars.

And... something else, but at the time it didn’t click.

An SUV riding by so slowly...

Now, his heart still racing, Julio tried the door. But it was locked. The neon beer signs in the windows were out.

Almost noon, it was. Bars down on Main Street opened at dawn, for old drunks, and guys who worked night shifts. So why was Farley’s closed?

Closed, or... dead?

Wildly, he looked around.

This block was deserted. No phone guy, no wannabe tenants. No stray cats.

But, coming around the corner...

Was that an SUV?

Julio pounded on Farley’s door. “Lemme in!” he screamed. Old Man Farley had to be inside. Some nights he even slept there, on a cot in the back.

Julio began kicking the door.

When it opened, he fell on his ass.

“Ex-cuse me!” the girl said. “I just got here.”

Julio scrambled to his feet and rushed in past her.

“Ex-cuse me!” she said.

Inside, it was getting cool. Farley’s A/C was tops. As he sat at the bar, Julio relaxed, a little. Maybe it wasn’t the same SUV. Maybe this all was in his head.

As the girl went back behind the bar, Julio checked her out. Mid–late twenties, with short, wavy black hair. Creamy skin. And built nice. Lots of meat in the right places. He instantly got hard.

Soy un puerco, he thought, smugly.

“What do you want?” she asked.

You gotta ask? Julio eyed her tetas. They were busting out of that pink midriff. Those low-rise jeans told him her ass was his.

She read his mind. “To drink,” she said sarcastically. Cute, she was, too, with wide, dark eyes. He bet she had a great smile.

“Bud,” Julio said.

As she cracked the beer for him, he saw she had no tatts. Strange, for a hot, young bitch. Especially around here. “New, here?” he asked. “Working, I mean.” He’d counted out three singles, which she didn’t take.

“Like a month. Nobody wants first shift.” Finally a smile: full-lipped, nice. Just like he’d thought. “’S why you’ve never seen me.”

“I...” Julio shut up, fast. Owe the biggest tab going. “’S so dead here, man! This early, I mean.”

Again, that smile. “I’m in no rush.” Without asking, she poured him a shot. Blackhaus, his favorite. “What’s your name?”

He fingered the Budweiser label. “Buddy.”

She didn’t buy it. “Okay,” she said, anyway. She wanted him, bad. Julio could tell. “So,” she said, playfully. “You can call me...” She smiled up at the ceiling. “Ramona.”

Julio gulped his beer. “Spanish?”

She cracked him a second one. “Oh,” she said, leaning close to him. “I’m a lot of things.”

Her nipples were sharp, Julio bet. He wanted to trap one between his teeth. How long since he’d fucked Stacy? Since his cock was deep in her throat? Two, three hours? He was due. Soy un puerco, he thought, again.

“Like...” Those full lips were very close to his. “Underage.”

Julio couldn’t believe his luck. “Yeah?”

“You won’t tell Mr. Farley, will you?” She looked nervous. But it could’ve been an act.

Julio smiled. “Trust me,” he said, gripping her bare arm. Her skin was so soft and white. Easter lilies, he thought of, suddenly. “I got your back.” And pussy, he thought.

He stroked the inside of her elbow—that drove Stacy nuts—and Ramona moaned. Her lips sought his, and he almost came, right there, from one kiss. His pants were that tight.

An hour ago, he feared for his life. Now here he was, sucking face with her. And drinking for free! In a bar he was banned from!

He would show them all... Farley, Stacy, and most of all, Stacy’s husband, that Julio feared no man!

Right on the bar, he would fuck this bitch. Yank her legs up, plow her so deep, he’d break something!

But... his cock ached. First, he had to pee. Between beers and Blackhaus, and all that... bullshit with Stacy. Her, and that fat, phony husband.

“Where you going?” Ramona said, when he got up.

“In there.” He pointed to the men’s room. “Wanna meet me?”

She giggled. Just like a real kid. Maybe she really was that young. “In a few.”

Near the register was her purse: an oversized black one, almost a tote. Stacy had one like it. As Ramona leisurely opened hers, Julio turned and ducked into the men’s room.

And almost keeled over.

Wide-eyed, Old Man Farley was on the floor. A black hole in his head. He’d been shocked as shit when he got it.

In the mirror, Julio saw his own shocked face. Then a pale one behind him.

Pale as Easter lilies, with soulless dark eyes.

In the gloved hand was a .38.

“Se acabó!” Julio said for her.

And bowed his head.

BIO: Cindy is a New York textbook editor by day, a hardboiled Jersey female by night. Her fiction has appeared in Black Petals, The Beat, The Cynic, Red Fez, Zygote in My Coffee, Hardboiled, NVF, MediaVirus, The Monsters Next Door, Out of the Gutter, Devil Blossoms, 13th Warrior Review, Mysterical-E, and Beat to a Pulp. She has four collections of stories out: Angel of Manslaughter, Gutter Balls, Calpurnia’s Window, and No Place Like Home. She is the editor of the e-zine, Yellow Mama. She is also a thrill seeker, a Gemini, and a Christian.

2 comments:

Richard Godwin said...

Great story, low down and dirty and electric with sexual tension and murder. I prefer the original version, it has more of Cindy's unique style, sometimes an editor will sense that individuality and try to reduce it, for me this is the better of the two.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Well, spotted Mr Godwin for pointing me in this direction. beaut of a story.