this doggie’s name?” Reba June was
sitting cross-legged on the carpet of the living room. From my vantage point in
the kitchen, looking through the pass-through, I could see the smooth, white
flesh of her upper thighs and a bit of her black panties. She was wearing a
short green skirt, the same shade as her eyes, and a halter top. Her kinky,
curly hair was just as red as I remembered.
I said, and watched her
dissolve into helpless laughter. The Corgi puppy backed up a step and cocked
its head at her and just made her laugh harder.
you name it that?” She was still
giggling and I added another slam.
‘Booger-snot’ or ‘Cock-knocker’ just
didn’t have quite the pizzazz I was looking for.” Now, she was flat on her
back, gasping and guffawing great gales of laughter. The three glasses of wine
were making her a bit giddy, too, I suspected.
I had run across
her at Quinn’s, a pub down in
Old Town that I hadn’t been to in several years. It had been that long since
I’d seen her, too. She had aged a bit, but chosen not to mature.
I finished fixing
her screwdriver and carried
it in, setting it on the coffee table.
I dropped down
and sat on the floor and waited
while she got herself under control, then sat up. She reached out to me and we
kissed, her cool fingers playing in the hair on the nape of my neck. “Where you
been all this time?” Her eyes sparkled as she asked it. “We always had so much
fun together. . . .”
you went and got married,” I said.
got a dog and named him Motherfucker.”
. . .”
real name is Gizmo.”
She started laughing
again and the dog was
pawing at her lap. She pulled him up and reached for her drink.
That’s almost as funny.”
name him. He was at the shelter and
the people who had to leave him had already named him.”
they leave this sweet boy?” She was
hugging the dog, getting dog hair all over her top and her tits, which were not
held in check very well by the skimpy cloth.
I got up and
sat with my drink on the sofa,
hoping she’d get over the dog and join me. She played with him for another
couple of minutes, throwing one of his toys and laughing as he streaked after
it on his stubby legs. Finally, she got up and came to the sofa. Instead of
sitting beside me, she straddled me and sat on my lap, her skirt riding up
almost to her waist.
We had been together
many times in the two
years we’d dated and each of us knew what the other liked. My hands stroked her
thighs and we enjoyed a lot of orange-flavored kisses as the vodka kicked in.
In a couple minutes,
I untied her top and freed
her breasts, and brushed some dog hair off. There was a bit more sag there, but
she was still very well put together. She stripped off my shirt and leaned into
me, letting my chest hair tickle her nipples.
In another minute,
I said, “Trade places with
When she was
seated, I pushed the coffee table
out of the way and went to my knees before her. I pushed her skirt up, then her
legs and began kissing her squarely on the center panel of her panties. She
knew what was coming and she was just as eager to get there as I was. In
moments, she was skinning her panties off and then I was invading her with my
lips and tongue.
. . . I’ve missed this,” she
murmured, a scant few seconds before she had the first orgasm of the evening. I
held her tightly while she came, then she got the giggles again. “My damn
husband won’t do that,” she said, “he thinks that’s just too dirty.”
As I started
on her again, I whispered, “What a
dumbass. . . .”
Later, in my
bed, I asked, “Can you get away
with staying the night, or do you hafta scurry home?”
closer and said, “I probably
should go home, but I don’t really want to . . . In a little while. . . .” Then
we fell asleep.
It was barely
turning daylight when I felt her
scramble out of bed and she raced to the bathroom. I sat up and looked around.
There was a broken trail of clothing from the living room into the bedroom. I
got up and started gathering up her things and brought them to the foot of the
Soon, she came
out, having brushed her teeth
and done something with her hair. I was worried just a bit.
trouble are you in?”
She was slipping
into her top as she said, “I
texted one of my girlfriends. She’ll cover for me. Should be okay.”
Then the doorbell
rang. We looked at each other
and I heard her breathe, “Oh, shit. . . .”
I walked through
the living room and out to the
front parlor and looked out through the sheers in the bay window. In a moment,
she was right beside me.
shit. How the fuck did he find me?”
car’s right out front.”
. . . oh, well. Guess there’s no help
for it, now.” She quickly turned and kissed me and then yanked open the door
and bolted past her husband, who turned and watched her as she flew to her
Then he turned
and looked at me. There was no
animosity in his stare. No more than there would be in the eyes of a scientist
examining an interesting specimen on a microscope slide.
He turned and
stepped off the porch and walked
back to his pickup and left. As soon as he was at a safe distance, Gizmo barked
him the rest of the way.
exactly haunt Quinn’s, but I started
hanging out there more than I had been. I found her there the following week.
She had the fading remains of a pretty good shiner and her split lip was
healing nicely. As I slid into the booth beside her, I said, “Sorry I got you
She smiled carefully
and said, “Not the first
time I’ve been there, My Man. Besides, it was totally worth it. And you should
see the other guy. . . .”
You mean yer husband? What did you do?”
you’ve never been in my kitchen. It has
an island in the middle, with a pan rack overhead. We were in the kitchen when
he punched me. I wasn’t expecting it, and he got me pretty good. Then he turned
around to stalk outta the kitchen and I reached up and got a cast-iron
. . .”
said, ‘Hey, motherfucker,’ and he spun
around and I fuckin’ clocked his ass with the skillet. Knocked him colder than
came to, one of his eyes didn’t look
just right, so I drove him to the emergency room. I’d given him a concussion.”
ya get in trouble?”
were both fucked up and I just told
‘em we’d been in a car wreck. They kept him overnight. Next day, when I was
drivin’ him home, I told him if he ever punched me again, I’d kill him. Pretty
sure he believed me, too.”
Just then, a
slightly younger, prettier blonde
walked up to our table and Reba stood up and they had a quick girl-hug. “Who’s
this nice lady” I asked, standing up from the booth.
The nice lady
extended her hand and said, “I’m
her cover, when she doesn’t get caught with her panties down. I’m Pamela.”
I turned back
to Reba and said, “Well, I’m glad
you’re okay and I really hate it that you got in trouble.”
this is only the second time in, what,
four years? And I was a bad girl both times. After I got his ass home, we had
pretty good sex. Nothing like you and me, though. But he’s learned there are
some things I just won’t stand for. Being beat on is one of them.”
I glanced at
Pamela and she hurriedly looked
away. I knew I had been discussed at length by these two and that Pamela had my
measure. I wondered if she’d make a move and, if so, how soon it would be.
As it turned
out, it wasn’t that long. Pamela
apparently had never had what Reba described to her about our times together,
and it wasn’t long before I had my own personal stalker.
At first, it
didn’t really register. I had
stopped at my usual convenience store for gas and suddenly, there she was on
the other side of the same gas pump island, seemingly having a problem.
I stepped around
the pump and said, “Ma’am? Are
you having trouble?”
She turned, and
I saw it was Pamela and she
said, “Oh! Hi, Jerry. I can’t get this damn thing to take my card. Would you
mind trying it for me?”
As I put her
credit card in the machine, she
seemed to stumble a little and I felt one of her boobs bump against my arm.
“Oops, sorry,” she said, giggling a little, “I had a couple glasses of wine. .
. .” She steadied herself by gripping my arm.
The pump kicked
on and I put the nozzle into
the tank and started it. About that time, my own pump clicked off and I went
and hung it up. When I looked back up, Pamela was standing on my side of the
pump, watching me. “Nice to see you again,” she said.
you too, Pamela.”
Weird, I thought
at the time. It would get
Two days later,
on my regular day off, I was
doing some grocery shopping, when I found Pamela again, browsing the aisles at
the grocery store.
Hey, is that a new coat? Wow, that
color looks good on you.”
Pamela. How you doin’ today?”
could be better . . . hey, are you busy
tonight? I’ve got a couple friends of mine that want me to go to a play, and I
could use an escort. . . .”
I’m really flattered that you’d
ask, but yeah, I’m kinda tied up tonight . . . (Screwing my favorite redhead,
whom you know very well. . . .)
well, thanks anyway. Don’t let me keep
ya. Nice seeing you, Jerry.”
I started watching
by back trail and I soon
realized Pamela was following me a lot of the time—too much of the time to be
say anything to Reba about it, and
looking back at the way things turned out, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have
made a bit of difference, if I had.
On a Saturday
night, when Reba’s husband was in
town and I was having a stay-at-home weekend, my doorbell rang at ten-thirty at
night. I had already gone to bed and I was almost asleep. I had to get up and
clear the alarm system, then go to the door. I took along my Glock, as I always
do. Gizmo was right behind me. I’m sure in his little doggy brain, he figured
he had my back.
Pamela was at
the door, and she was far from
sober. She was slurring her words and she was unsteady on her feet. There was a
shit-eating grin on her face. It was raining like a bastard and her hair was
wet and plastered down.
I jus’ waz passin’ by an’ I
thought, ‘I bet ol’ Jerry would like a lil’ company’ . . . how ‘bout it, Jerry,
you up fer some fun . . . ?”
with the help of some booze, she’d
gotten her nerve up.
I don’t think so, Pamela. I’d like to
hang out with ya, but right now you’re sloppy drunk and I don’t care for that.
You go home and get some sleep. Maybe call me later, okay?”
As I gently closed
and locked the door, I could
hear her yelling out there, “Hey, you . . . you fucker! Am I not good enough
for you? What the fuck! You got some cunt in there? You asshole. . . .”
It went on for
a few minutes and then I watched
from behind the sheers as she tottered back to her car and eventually drove
Just as I turned
away from the bay window, I
saw Gizmo stretching upward and putting his paws on the sill. He was staring
intently into the dark, which was relieved only slightly by the streetlamps.
Then, I caught a flash of a dark car going by, in the same direction that
Pamela had gone. Desperate Pamela. Needy Pamela. The car was running with no
lights. It didn’t mean anything at the time and again, even if it had, it most
likely wouldn’t have made any difference. I tell myself that often.
On Monday morning,
as I opened my garage door
to back out and go to work, there were two police cars blocking my driveway,
one uniform car and one plain vanilla slick-top. I walked out into the driveway
and a plainclothes copper got out and spoke.
that’s me. What’s up?”
need ya to come with us.” The uniform
was out of his car now, a big, strapping youngster in an immaculate uniform.
I was just on my way to work. . . .”
Tell them you’ll be in later.”
this all about, guys?”
talk about that downtown.”
drive my pickup and just follow ya
down. . . .”
can ride with me. We’ll bring ya back
when we’re done.”
“Am I under
Not yet. We’re just detaining you for
questioning. . . . hop in, let’s go.”
No Miranda, no
cuffs. I got to ride in the front,
like a citizen. Down to the building I’d worked at, for twenty years. Up to the
sixth floor and into an interview room. Then they let me stew for an hour,
while they watched me. Watched my body language. Seeing how nervous I might be.
Seeing if I was worried. Seeing if I would get pissed.
came in. The first detective and
another one, both in shirt sleeves and ties and empty holsters, carrying yellow
legal pads and coffee in Styrofoam cups. None for me, though. We went through
the preliminaries. Name, address, DOB, etc. I pulled out my wallet and took out
my driver’s license and my concealed carry permit, then my retired police ID.
a cop?” This came from the younger
Right here. I’ve interviewed perps right
here in this room.”
you retire, Sir?” Now I was “Sir.”
Things were improving, somewhat.
the time you were born, I would imagine.
My ID number was 738, what’s yours?”
quit dickin’ around and you guys
tell me what the fuck’s goin’ on.”
I had just taken
over their interview and they
would realize it in a minute or so.
a lady named Pamela Richards?”
a lady named Pamela. Didn’t know her
last name. Blonde, pretty, about thirty, maybe?”
yeah. How do you know her?”
I ran through
the whole meeting, stalking,
drunk-at-the-door story for them as they took copious notes, which I knew was
all for show. The camera was rolling right on the other side of the glass,
When I was finished,
the older cop stepped out.
In a minute he was back. This time I got coffee and a couple donuts. Now I was
their hero. I was helping solve whatever they were working on. Halfway through
the second donut, the younger guy said, “She’s dead.”
I set the rest
of the donut down on the napkin
it had come with and looked them both over.
the head. In her car. Saturday night
at eleven thirty, or thereabouts.”
Fuck. Where were you?”
in bed. And all alone, damn it.”
look, you’re among friends here. Any
ideas who might have wanted to do this?”
I thought back
to the dark car I’d seen running
without lights and said, “Yeah, I’m afraid I do. . . .”
Reba was picked
up the next day. The gun was
still in her car. A firearms identification test proved the bullet that killed
Pamela had come from that gun. Cops had already speculated the shooter was
someone Pamela knew. The window was down on the car and it happened right in
front of Pamela’s house. A search warrant on Reba’s house turned up clothing
with microscopic blood spatter—blowback from the shot that killed Pamela. Reba
eventually confessed and was convicted.
I took vacation
time to attend the trial, but I
never had to testify. In the hallway between sessions, and with court guards
watching us closely, Reba said, “You know why this happened, right?”
really,” I said.
the other things I can’t stand. Anybody
trying to cut in on one of my guys.” She paused a moment and then asked, “You
never fucked her, did you?”
never went anywhere near that far. . .
That’s good, Jerry. I’d hate to think
there was any . . . unfinished business.”
And less than
an hour later, she was convicted,
and they gave her a life sentence.
I need to get
rolling now. It’s three hours up to
Lansing, where the prison is located, and Reba looks forward to my visits. Her
husband divorced her about a month after her conviction. Nobody else comes to
see her and she won’t be getting out for at least twenty-five years. I probably
shouldn’t feel responsible, but if I’d let Pamela in and sobered her up, maybe
. . . well, shit, who knows?
Kenneth James Crist is a tired, broken-down old motorcycle cop
from Wichita, Kansas. He began writing a novel in 1994 as keyboard practice and
has since written four more novels, several novellas and a butt-load of short
stories. His publications have been seen in Bewildering Stories,
Tales of the Talisman, A Twist of Noir, A Shot of Ink,
Eaten Alive, The New Flesh, The Sink, The Edge, Skin and Bones,
and Kudzu Monthly,
a few. Recently, he appeared in two of John Thompson’s
anthologies at Hardboiled. They are Hardboiled, and The Undead War, both available at
Dead Guns Press on Amazon.com
He also has
four books up in Kindle format, for sale on Amazon.com:
Dreaming of Mirages, The Gazing
Ball, Joshua, and Groaning for Burial, his latest zombie
He turned 74 in
June, and he still rides his big Harley
every day that weather permits and is now officially “retired”.
He also operates
Fossil Publications, publisher of Black Petals and Yellow Mama. In June, he made his first parachute jump and crossed
that off his "bucket list."