Random piece of warm-up fiction I did a few days ago. She was smart, but she had no education.
I remember thinking that the first time I met her. And who the hell am I to judge, right? I barely graduated high school, and the thought of college made my old man laugh more than the thought of me joining the army. They wouldn't even take me to peel potatoes, on account of my bum leg. The missing ear was a later thing, from the boxing days. Lightning Jenkins boxed the damn thing clean off.
But I'm getting off track.
What I'm saying is when that broad found herself in front of me for the first time, I knew somewhere deep down that she was up to something and it most likely wasn't something good. And I told her as much, but she just smiled and smoked another cigarette. You know the drill, everyone of the guys on the big screen from Bogie to Robby Montgomery had already done this schtick, but I figured, hell, it's only the most obvious ploy in the world, and generally, those guys got their whistles wet, and frankly, this lady was the kind of milkshake you'd want to dip your donut in, if you pardon the metaphor.
So, I smile and I says to her, "Look lady, I get it. I'll bite. You want me to find out who your old man's sleeping with. And now, here's the hangnail, once I find out, she's gonna wind up dead. Either him or her, anyways, and somehow, I'm gonna be implicated. You'll've hired me (you'd have a receipt) but you'd make it look like the REAL Mrs. So and So was involved, and somehow, you and your big fella would skip town with the loot, and I'll be sent up to the pokey for aidin' and abettin'." I took the cigarette out of her fingers, and put it between my lips.
"That about wrap it up sweetheart?"
She smiled, and pulled out another one of her cigarettes. They were the long lady-sized ones. Thinner than my wallet after race day, and about as bitter as my mom after twenty years of marriage to my pop. I smoked it just the same, though, grin across my face and all.
The things a guy does for dramatic effect.
Copyright 2007 Joshua Hale Fialkov