Friday, January 6, 2012

Interlude Stories: Cindy Rosmus


“Ex-cuse me!” the loud blonde asked the guy at the first table. “Did your mother love the color turquoise?”

“Well...” he said. “She had a sequined gown that color.”

The camera zoomed in on them. Shit, I thought. Good thing we were in the back. And Rudy facing the other way.

“Mother was buried in that gown, wasn’t she?” asked the loud blonde. When the guy nodded, she said, “Well, she’s sitting right next to you.”

Some people gasped. Others went on with their meals.

“Who’s that nut?” Rudy muttered.

“Nobody,” I said. But already I was drenched with sweat.

“That nut” faced the camera and announced, “Hi, folks. I’m Goldie Ferraro, and this is ... My Favorite Psychic!”

“Oh, jeez,” Rudy said, as everybody else applauded. “A fuckin’ reality show.”

My Favorite Psychic was hotter than Jersey Shore. Supposedly, Goldie hooked you up with dead loved ones. You never knew where she’d show up next.

Tonight it was Casa Vittore. If she came to our table, we were fucked.

She was getting closer. “Your husband?” she yelled at somebody else. “His name starts with a ‘J,’ right?”

Rudy still had no clue what was up: stoned, wearing shades at night. Better than his usual paranoid self. Idly, he picked up his fork, turned it over.

God, I love you, I thought. But sometimes he made me sick.

Five years, we’d been together. First, on the sneak, ‘cos he was married. To Lolly, a beast with bleached, spiky hair and three chins. He’d let Lolly walk all over him. She smacked him around, so he had a black eye, occasionally. He got used to wearing shades at night, back then.

Lolly bullied him, mercilessly. Shit, she even told him what to eat...

I can’t eat mushrooms.” Rudy pushed away my Chicken Marsala. “Lolly says, ‘When nuclear bombs go off, they’re shaped just like mushrooms. They are giant, all-knowing, poisonous...”

But now he ate mushrooms like they were going out of style: in omelets, soups, and Casa Vittore’s succulent Chicken Marsala. It killed me, but theirs put mine to shame.

“Jenny, right?” Goldie asked the lady behind Rudy. “Your mom told me to tell you she forgives you.”

Rudy dropped his fork.

“For what?” The lady sounded annoyed.

Goldie was silent. Then she said, quietly, “We’ll make an appointment to discuss it, in private.”

“I knew it!” The lady sneered.

Around them, people snickered. But not Rudy and me.

“You wanna leave?” I whispered, but it was too late.

“Hi!” Up close, Goldie had ice-blue eyes and clown lips. “You know why I’m here, don’t you?”

“Sure. You’re filming a TV show.” I tried to be funny.

“Loll—” She sat next to Rudy, who backed away. “I’m getting lolly...Lolli-pop? You like lollipops?”

She was for real.

“What, hon?” Goldie looked over Rudy’s head. “What’cha say?”

My name’sLolly,’ bitch!” his wife probably said. “And he don’t like lollipops. I won’t let him like them.”

Trembling, Rudy hid his face.

Suddenly, we were back in that room. Pink bed pillows we used, to smother Lolly. On her king-sized “princess” bed.

She fought back so savagely, it took both of us to restrain her. Both of us struggling to stay on top of her. On her chest, Rudy was like an alley cat, sucking life out of a huge baby. “Die!” he said, with this maniacal grin. “Die!” For the first time, I was scared of him.

Still, I helped him kill her.

We kept at it till her arms flopped. Till she stopped kicking those monstrous legs. Till she was finally, undeniably dead.

“Now,” he said, smiling. “I can eat what I want.”

At Casa Vittore, the camera caught Rudy sobbing on Goldie’s shoulder. Looking bored, the waitress stood by with our dinner.

“Oh, no!” Goldie said, as the plate came down. “He can’t eat mushrooms!”

Rudy took off his shades, threw them on the table.

“They will kill you.” Goldie played to the camera. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is breaking news. In the afterlife, it is common knowledge that nuclear bombs...and mushrooms...”

Rudy looked away from me.

“Oh, really, Lolly?” Goldie went pale, got up, slowly. “They did what?”she asked the air over Rudy’s head.

Horrified, she looked down at us.

And the camera zoomed in for good.

BIO: Cindy is a Jersey girl who works in New York City & who talks like Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out 5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do whatever the hell she wants. She loves peanut butter, blood-rare meat, Jack Daniels, and Starbucks coffee (though not usually in the same meal). She’s been published in the usual places, such as Hardboiled, A Twist of Noir, Beat to a Pulp, Out of the Gutter, Mysterical-E, Media Virus, and The New Flesh. She is the editor of the ezine, Yellow Mama. And she’s still a Gemini and a Christian.


Thomas Pluck said...

Ha, good story Cindy. Dark and full of laughs.

Elaine Ash said...

Hey good stuff, Cindy. This might just be my favorite.

Chris Rhatigan said...

Brilliant! I love the bit about the mushrooms.

Anonymous said...

From the brilliant opening line right though the razor dialogue you know you're in a Cindy Rosmus story. Gritty, real, like burning ice, they always pack a punch, sounds like you have champagne for breakfast.

Cindy Rosmus said...

Thanks, guys! I had a blast writing this one. And thank my late father for the mushroom/nuclear bomb theory. He really believed that! He was a little weird, & also a writer. Guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. Sharp and simply brilliant.x

Christopher Black said...

Excellent story, with a twist of bizarre. Good stuff.

skees said...

Ohhh, I like that one Cindy. Clever and sharp. As always.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful - unexpectedly dark, even for this site!

William Doonan

Anonymous said...

Had the privilege of pre-publication rteading of this one. I thought then and think now that it's one of Cindy's best and Cindy's best is as good as it gets. Poisoned radioactive mushrooms and lollipops and ghosts that get their due . . . oh my! Cool!