The Hit Woman’s Hand Book
Montreal, winter, satiated with snow, brutish winds, icescapes
of awe had come the day Mandel Beckwith’s new life had Vogued, thus changing
Sunday, the streets were moving, French was spoken in cafes, churches
were filled and Canada’s northern jewel was alive.
A Black limousine hit it out of the city, time moved, it always moved. The limo was now on a rural road; there was
white snow everywhere, brittle blue sky, countryside, sleet-tipped forests. It
was nature at its wildest. Off in the distance, red brick buildings loomed,
Gothic Cathedral, towers of St. Anne's Private School for privileged young
There was quiet in the stretch, there was always numbness in
these peoples lives. A Chauffeur was driving, handsome Carl, uniformed, knowing
something, eyes peeking into the rearview mirror, at her. She was white, young
like the snow, hair, skin, indigo eyes set along the crippling beauty of
something God had made perfect. He could not help himself, he knew nothing was
perfect, especially her, for she was magnificent, filled with demonic genius,
run amok. He knew the dark secrets of her young life, and that repulsed him as
well as terrifying him.
Behind her façade of beauty, wraiths dwelled, he knew that too.
Her Father, The General, medals, pressed uniform, ram rod back,
patent leather black shoes, reflecting his daughter’s white blond hair, sat
silent as he stared through the mirrors of his sun glasses.
Mandel sat, quiet, between her father, her mother wearing
pearls, pearl earrings, diamonds on wrists, fingers, heavy woolen dress,
cashmere white coat, white gloves on her matron mother’s hands. Mandel was a
secret pressed between mother and her father The General no one knew. Her
mother’s sweet perfume made Mandel want to vomit, as did their mere presence.
The limo slowed, began to drive up the winding brick driveway
towards the ancient school. The Chauffeur’s eyes flicked back through the
mirror at the girl’s titanium blue eyes. Her eyes locked, loaded on the mirror,
flicked, seem to smile, perhaps passing a message back to him. His message was
cryptic. "Be careful young lady, be very careful.”
The Limousine stopped, Nuns, old and wizened, black and white
robes, withered skin, friends of some obscure God (what did that ever get
anyone) moved along the red brick walkway of the school. Fundamentalists,
Pentecostal head cases, no friend of Jesus, the true God.
There were girl’s eyes, faces peeking from windows, upstairs,
down stairs, wondering who would be the latest victim at a brothel the rich off
loaded their children at so they could continue to live trouble free, self
Mother, General, daughter exited, as the chauffeur delivered
matched bags to the snow-covered ground. Words passed back and forth between
mother and Nuns, it was a banter Mandel had heard before.
"Please Mother Superior, help us, wean her away from this
writing, this reading, you are our last hope." Whatever.
The penguin replied. "Not to worry, we are who we are; we
are St. Anne's after all." Blah, blah, fucking blah, blah, blah as their
words hurt Mandal’s elfin ears and her twisted savant brain.
More sonnets passed between parents and Nuns. Mandel stared at
the red brick, fogged windows, and then at floor after floor of girls laughing,
Her mind held a crushing IQ, beyond genius, it flipped French,
Italian, and now Greek passages within the cortex of her brain. She was tall,
5-9; string thin, she will be taller, thinner in the coming years, even more
beautiful, if that was at all possible.
Her breath fogged, her face, sharp nose, full lips, watery eyes
wide on her face, Pisces eyes, cheek bones, white eyebrows, all of it would be
weapons in the future for her. There were no white trailing scars on her
elegant face, but one day there would be. She was just barely sixteen years
old, yet she held the pain and brilliance of a deviant seer, her brain, a
straight jacketed psychiatric patient gone insane, banging around a padded
cell. She now was so close to freedom from her jailers that she could
literally taste it.
Looks, more secret stares shared by her and the stoic chauffeur,
perhaps a conspiracy was in play. The conversation ended. Mandel in her white
cashmere coat, black leather gloves, red scarf, and red knee socks cheek- kissed
The General, her mother, nothing to be said now. Mother Superior, along with
her second, Sister Anne, smiled at the darling tall child. She smiled back,
they began to walk. Mother Superior held the fragile girl’s gloved hand as Carl
followed the trio towards the great oak doors. He trailed behind, carrying
luggage and also carrying a secret that he knew and would not miss. He would
not miss that odious secret, and was bitch-slap glad he would have no part of
it any longer.
Once inside, Mandel's eyes became illuminated. She gazed at the rectory and then the work
offices, the towering hallways, sky lights showing fluttering snow, floor to ceiling
windows which all showed the great courtyard leading to the girl’s rooms.
They reminded her of Paris, in books she had read of a hundred
years ago. The school was elegant, old, refined, and filled with whispering and
walking girls, dressed in white blouses and blue skirts. All were toting books,
back packs, secret porn, MTV brain crap in their brains. They all wore
white stockings and black polished shoes. They were soiled virgins, living
lies, and no one wanted to hear about it.
Through the double oak doors, Mother Superior leading, Mandel,
mind on fire, close at her side, the Chauffeur lagging behind, watching,
wondering, knowing and glad she would soon be gone.
The courtyard, Oaks, Willows, Elms bending from snow, red brick,
fountains, iced breaths; summer will come and there will be flowers everywhere,
not now though.
Through more double doors they passed. Slowly, they walked down
a wood paneled hall, black tiles inlaid into the floor, polished, sheen on
them, throwing up a reflection from the last remnants of the sun silhouetting
off of her white skin and hair.
Inside the room, it was private, vast, white sheeted bed, small
oak dresser, tall oak armoire, dressing mirror stuck into its doors.
There was an oak desk with a computer mounted on it. Mandel
smiled at The Mother Superior. They passed kind banter back and forth.
"Unpack my child, rest, wash if you must, come to registration when you
are through, we shall chat."
White teeth, a virgin’s smile, a purr of words, lies.
"Yes Mother, thank you, so kind, I will see you in a
moment, I am very happy, I am such a lucky girl.”
The bent back Nun moved to the door, hesitated. Her grey eyes
stared at the Chauffeur, at Carl, who had laid the bags to the oak floor. She
waited, her face cracked in wrinkles, as then the girl and man stared at one
another. Moments passed, Carl peeked at the door, then at Mandel, he sighed,
moved forward, hugged her slender body, stepped back, they locked eyes.
Something passed, no words needed here. He nodded, turned,
walked to the door. Taking one last look at the girl with such translucent
skin, he nodded, and with Mother Superior watching, he walked away.
Moving to the window, her face was expressionless, was like a
slab of ice as she stared out of it. Sartre was in her mind, his words,
his genius mixing with her gift, few could understand this; she did though.
Time moved, then the Chauffeur was there leaving footprints in the snow. At the
limousine he hesitated, exhaust fogging from the limo’s tailpipes. He looked to
Inside, Mandel smiled, pressed her palm against the window. Carl
nodded; both lovers knew that they would never see each other again.
Turning, she stripped her cashmere coat off and then let it
spill to the floor. Stepping before the wall mirror, she stared at her naked
body, except for her knee socks and patent leather school shoes. She was a
white tendril of skin, muscle, sinew and bone. Her breasts were non-evident,
her ribs accordion and stark, striking against her paper-thin skin. Her hips
were like a child’s, they would always be that way; genetics was cruel for
others that way.
To her, her body was a tool and a gift of wonder. The socks and
shoes made her giggle. Kicking off shoes, socks follow as they were taken off
of her tiny toes and small feet.
Barefoot, nude, she laughed, did a dance, twirled
and then threw
her arms up into the air; she was manic. She centered, stared at the miraculous
image of the white, shaved diamond, set between her legs. She knew on the open
market it was worth a fortune, and she was ready to peddle it to the highest
bidder. She was a very bright girl.
She had read enough of the great writers to know
a female always
paid for their freedom or imprisonment one way or the other. It was always a
trade off. Become a whore, get paid, respected, be a power provocateur and
never give it up for free and always better than some dinner some guy paid for
so he could fuck you after. Get married, peddled it for nada, white fence,
house, cars, hope the muck you married wasn’t a lying puke and would never get
tired of fucking you.
On the mercury slat of reflection now that was
staked into the
oak she saw herself and she was mesmerized as she jacked her finger between her
legs. She wanted to masturbate, knew that she was on the clock, time for that
Her mind was bending again, thoughts of suicide,
never far away,
raked her brain. For a genius, it was a constant thought for her, one that
would never leave her in a lifetime. She thought of a passage, from Rimbaud, it
calmed her, his madness, his words.
She was going, anywhere, for her mind never stopped
clips in Technicolor of what had happened to her.
The late-night visits from The General, the touching,
of Bourbon on his lips, the rapes, it began when she was eleven years old. All
of it and so young, yet, she is a Genius, she knew what was happening, yet what
could an ex-virgin do. Do, well she was doing it now, for there were other
reasons for her great escape.
She had heard them talking, and she had been terrified
words. Paxil, Neurotin, Zoloft. All of the ABC’s of drugs ice cold parents give
gifted children to control them, to break them, to change them. She had read
all of the books, Van Gogh, Rimbaud all dead in their thirties. Amadeus,
Beethoven, all these men and gifted artists, mad, insane, prolific, and what if
their parents would have drugged the beauty and creativity out of them?
She did not know what or who she was, for her gifted
troubled brain bled constant test patterns, mostly sparking in pain from her
past, and what her future would be if she stayed. Saving her own life, she felt
worthless, yet there was something out there she thought she would find, at any
Her eyes blinked, blinked again, mood swing, they
there, those horrendous manic personality changes. Her brain cleared, she was
now someone else again, a happy maniac, a girl with a mission as insane as allowing
her father to fuck her was.
Blinking, once, twice, she jerked her head, twisted
threw her tiny ass out, and slapped it. She giggled, liked the pain, there
would be more, it was apart of her makeup, it kept her sane, displacing mental
pain with the physical.
Turning, she moved to her bed, flopped on it, and
kicked her legs into the air, shaking them wildly.
She calmed, thought, so much rapture in her head.
hefted a leather valise, plopped it on the bed, unzipped it. She plucked a pack
of Marlboro's, took the filter from the pack with her full lips. From the bag,
a chrome-Zippo, she revolved it in the palm of her hand. She allowed it to
settle. Staring at it, she saw a military insignia, a red dragon welded to its
chrome plate. It would be a lifetime companion to her, almost bringing her one
day to a violent death. She did not know this, as she flicked it to flame, lit
her cigarette, then exhaled through her nose. The transformation was beginning,
she could hardly wait.
Bone-colored, like a filament of white smoke from
tip, she glanced into the mirror, watched the stranger, the new girl, the
better girl staring back at her.
It was now time. She bent to the valise, retrieved
a black, just
below her thighs mini skirt, and donned it, no panties, nothing to constrict
her from feeling alive. She whipped on a pair of blood red tights, then heavy black
motorcycle boots and, then a skin-tight black tank. She snapped it between her
wet legs, groaned, she was sexual, and that excited her too. From the valise
she took a heavy black leather bomber jacket, spun before the mirror, legs
apart, boots stuck to the floor, tough girl, new girl, adventure girl, she
Lifting her skirt, she dropped her tights, leered
sterling wedge between her legs, smiled, she was turned on. A brain genie, she
was in the know, got it, knew this sole living organism, her bling would be a
passport to her new life. Eager to use it, any way she could to get what she
wanted, when she fucking wanted it, she smiled. She was a self-absorbed maniac
on a roll.
No time to waste, she grabbed a small black leather
stuffed it full of clothes. She hesitated as she pulled a black iron .38 from
the pack, spun the chamber, giggled and then placed the snub barrel between her
lips. It was her father’s, he would not miss it until it was too late; it was
already too late. She could taste the acidic gun oil. She pulled the hammer
back with her thumb and pulled the trigger. She thought of incest.
She giggled, slapped open the chamber, saw one
cap, grinned, whacked it closed, fate was on her side. Grabbing a box of
cartridges, she threw both handgun and bullets into the pack, zipped it,
shouldered it, smoked more and, then crushed the butt dead on the floor with
her boot heel.
No time like the present, she figured. Walking
to the door, she
turned, saw the last baggage of her old life, giggled, she was bullet proof,
youth and its careless ways. The door snapped closed, she was gone.
Walking with attitude, she lit up another smoke,
left a cloud behind her.
She cruised to the end of the hallway, two by two down the
steps, a genius altruistic self-destructive lunatic, moving to her own tune.
Confidence and new cigarette smoke leaking from cantaloupe lips she moved, adrenaline
pumping, she busted a move through the door. In the courtyard now, girls
gasped, pointed, she was laughing, mind fucked, fueled, a Titian pencil sketch
roaring in her mind. Several excited, chattering, goofing schoolgirls tagged
along behind her. She was their paramour.
Doors slammed opened, crash, bang, shudder, she was modeling
down the hall, past the administrative buildings, Nuns, teachers gawking, more
girls juking behind her, party time, for everyone but the Sisters.
There they were, the doors to freedom, her new life, a way cool
and amazing life she was certain of. Not that far now, she was on the grift, a
predator drone with software pre-programmed in one direction, a life of
depravity, art, music, misery, what the fuck, as long as it was something beside
being bored to death.
Mother Superior gathered up an army of one. Sister Anne, Mum,
stood at the main entrance, shocked, frightened, something in black leather,
red stockings, white hair and a face like one of Lucifer's fallen few was moving
in on them. Party Girl approached, oh man was she flaming, resembled one of
those parables out of Rushdie's Satanic Verses, one of her favorite books.
More girls trailing, buzzes of gossip, it can't be, no way, rad,
finally someone was going to escape, gas the place, hop the wall, fucking
tunnel out, whatever. The girls were building IDs into a frenzy as their new
Pied Piper of cool trolled for their souls.
Chewing away on her Bubblicious, smoke stacking from her Bambi
nose, hip hopping, Mandel strolled up to the Sisters of Mercy, looked at them,
jived a bit, and then grew silent. Her blue eyes were melting their Catholic
eyes, their wrinkled fingers gripping and re-gripping their crucifixes, the
ones with Jesus stapled to them. If they messed with her, she would load her .38
and shoot them dead, way dead. She knew that no one gets out alive in the end.
Fuck, everyone knew that.
She mused, giggled, blew a bubble, popped it, and then plumed
smoke into the freaks’ eyes. She giggled, thought, let God deal with the
afterbirth, he was a stone-cold pro trash hauler of souls, and jest wait a sec,
another Philippine church would fall on some crowd of true believers’ heads.
She liked thinking slang and smut; that was who she was also.
Now, a standoff between the pimped-out geishas of the Papa in
Rome and a hurricane of god’s savagery, beauty and decadence had begun. They no
more got it, than if some priest had sodomized them, instead of some innocent
altar boy, the usual suspect.
About fifty teenage cum guzzler cheer leaders, who thought
fellatio with the football star was fine for a first date, buzzed behind her.
The sisters, scattered words, stuttered something like.
"Miss...Ahhh, Miss Beckwith, wha...wha is the meaning of this...Wha...what
is happening." Something like that.
Chewing away at pink bubble gum, she glanced back at her fan
club, then back at the traumatized oldsters. To their horror, she stoked a
smoke ring into their faces, violently racked her hands into their chests.
The gals flew back, hit the wall, fell on their butts and, then
leered at the demon hovering over them.
Mandal smiled, and purred. "God is dead, you bitches. Get a
life. I am so out of here."
They gasped. She flicked her cigarette butt at Mother Superiors
tunic. Sparks and ashes ignited, the Nun slapped at them, beat at them, she was
terrorized. Where was God when you really needed him? That selective miracle
bullshit, and the answering of your prayers that never seemed to work. That is,
unless you got lucky, and your prayers were answered and you sold your golf clubs
at a white elephant sale.
Mandel, winked, looked back at the crowd, slashed through the
door; her crowd of adoring adolescents followed her.
Across the snow and the promenade she cruised, a happy girl fast
becoming the slut she had always dreamed that she would be. She hit the side of
the road, one more vagrant lunatic on a mission, a thumb thrown out to the road.
At the door, the girls gathered, as did the Nuns, gawking, staring as they
clutched their hearts, quite literally just seconds from strokes.
A few minutes passed, and then an eighteen-wheeler roared up,
spewing steam and diesel fuel from its chrome stacks, saw a white sugar cube
hitchhiking along the curb, stalled out. A door flew open, she jumped in, and
as the door smacked shut, time was suspended for a lick, a time click, the
crowd hushed, why fucking not.
Brief moments vaporized as the Sisters prayed what they were
witnessing was an illusion, as then the semi's window rolled down as Mandal’s
MIDDLE FINGER raised to the sky, struck out at her fellow prisoners, her ex-jailers.
The Nuns clutched their hearts, several staff rushed to their
assistance. One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes four, the entire team of
girls erupted into an avalanche of roaring cheers.
Mother Superior fainted as the girls jumped up and down shaking
their booties, screaming as the truck ground into gear, and then cranked down
the road, over a hill and was gone.
Thus, was how Mandel had
hip-hopped into her new life.