HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER - JIM HARRINGTON
She stepped into the hotel lounge and spotted him. Three men and four women wearing name tags chatted at a table near the door. She didn’t care that the men ogled her, or the women whispered about her short dress and low bodice. She was there to show the conventioneer sitting at the bar a night he wouldn't remember.
“Hi, Tom,” she said, sliding onto a stool and holding out a manicured hand. “Allison. We met last week at the Townsend’s.”
“Yes, I remember.” He imprisoned her hand in both of his. Crooked teeth peaked between puffy lips. “You know my wife.”
“I met Ellen at a yoga class.”
The bartender took her order.
“Tonic water?” Tom said ordering another scotch. “Is that as strong as it gets?”
She sipped her drink and watched his eyes. Long, athletic legs and stocking tops peeking out from the little black dress captured his attention, as they had the others.
He talked about his boring work, his boring life, and how things should have been better for him. After his third round, he leaned forward and kissed her cheek. His hand meandered up her leg. She stopped him when it reached bare skin.
“Let’s get a room.” His thick speech told her it was time.
“Okay,” Allison said, caressing his thigh. “But we need to be careful. We wouldn’t want Ellen to find out.”
“No, we wouldn’t want that.”
As soon as they were in the suite, Allison excused herself to go to the bathroom. She took off her dress, hung it on the hook behind the door, and removed her thigh highs. She looked at her profile in the mirror and cupped her naked breasts. Blonds did have more fun, she mused, even if their hair color was from a bottle and their boobs man-made. Maybe Josh would have... She forced him from her mind.
She refreshed her lipstick, admired her profile once more, retrieved the weapon from her purse, and opened the door.
Tom stood naked in front of her. “Wow, Allison, you’re—“
The knuckle thrust crushed his vocal chords. He grabbed his throat and fell to his knees.
Allison moved behind him and lowered him to a sitting position. Using her legs to pin his arms to his sides, she put the knife to his throat and clasped his chin in her palm.
“I forgot to tell you something about Ellen and me.” She pressed the blade into his skin, just enough to draw blood. “She hired me to find out who you were sleeping with and was despondent when I showed her pictures of you with three different women.”
Tom tried to get up, but she was the stronger of the two, and he failed.
Allison lifted his chin, inched the blade across the soft skin of his neck, and watched the blood trickle onto his chest.
“Don’t worry, Tommy, I’ve had lots of practice. That cut won’t kill you.” She leaned away and tilted his head back so she could see his eyes. The fear in them excited her.
“Your wife has quite an imagination. She wanted me to do all sorts of nasty things to you, but I assured her you would suffer in proportion to your level of infidelity. She can’t wait to hear the details.”
Unable to plead for mercy, he tried once again to get free.
Allison lowered the knife to his chest and opened a second gash from nipple to nipple. “Somehow, I doubt this is what you had in mind while you were pawing me in the bar. Am I right, Tom?”
Tom’s breathing slowed. His body went limp.
She repositioned the knife at his neck and sliced a third gash, this one deeper. A gurgling sound caressed her ears as blood entered his throat. She held him to her breasts, waiting for the end, and chanted the same mantra she had with the others. “Why, Josh? Why did you cheat on me?”
BIO: Jim discovered flash fiction in 2007, and he’s read, written, studied, and agonized over the form since. His Six Questions For... blog provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” In his spare time, he serves as the flash fiction editor for Apollo’s Lyre.