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14mybaby.jpg
Art by Steve Cartwright 2012

One for My Baby

 

by Andrew Waters

 

 

Daddy always said a woman is like a fine wine. Something to be savored. Baby and I savored every inch of each other. She was hotblooded, like a Syrah. Our Johns called us chocolate and vanilla, sugar and spice. But when we were together, it was like two fine varietals merged seamlessly into one.

 

          Dear old Dad. Loose ends, he also said, lead to the chair. Maybe I let Baby too close. Maybe I wanted it this way—the Bitch and her blade. But people always said I was Daddy’s little girl.

 

Don’t worry, Baby, I say, staring down at her naked, lifeless body, the sweet taste of her mocha skin still on my tongue, her hands bound tight, resting at the small of her beautiful back, I’ll make that bastard pay, just like we planned.

 

Baby just stares back at me because she finally understands what Daddy’s done.

 

          All eyes turn to me as I enter the Commodore Hotel. Stiletto heels and a tight black dress cut high on alabaster thighs, the fabric stretched tight across my chest. Platinum hair, like Marilyn Monroe.

 

You know you want to look. Go ahead. But it costs to touch.

 

          She is sitting at the bar, right where Baby said she’d be. I see what Baby liked. Auburn hair and long legs, crossed so she can rest a crimson Louboutin heel on the black briefcase. She is older, like a fine Cabernet, smoky and ripe.

 

          The agency sent me, I say.

 

          I didn’t make an appointment. Where’s Baby?

 

          I tilt my head. Must have been a mistake, beautiful. But you don’t look too busy.

 

          She looks at me, then at the briefcase. Why not? she says, I’m in the mood to celebrate.

 

          She takes me to her place. Baby told me she likes it better there. Tosses the briefcase in a chair while we kiss in front of the city skyline. I start taking off her clothes and she is breathing as hard as an excited animal. Smooth skin and high heels, seeking tongues, the city lights our audience, waiting for their show.

 

          Our bodies blend, like the wizardry of wine, ecstatic transformation of mundane flesh into divine elixir. The euphoric taste of spice and bittersweet fruit. Ancient voices, two become one, calling to the gods of a sinful, silver moon. The finish, which is never enough, and so we drink again. And still she wants more.

 

Tie me up, she says.

 

          Sure, I purr. Then she is staring at the sharp end of my switchblade stiletto and telling me the combination to her safe like she is singing the aria of Faust. Everything is just the way Baby said it would be. Sweet Baby.

 

I take the video and the briefcase full of money and head back downtown, but not before doing a favor for dear old Dad.

 

          Senator Rufus B. Rutherfordton finishes announcing his candidacy for president and heads to the members-only club on the top floor of the Commodore Hotel for a single malt when I catch his eye.

 

          I just wanted to say congratulations, I say, and he invites me to join him for a drink. I order a Merlot, eccentric and complex. The Senator orders another Scotch, and by the time he is done, I am invited to his room.

 

          The Senator is not a man to waste time, gets right down to what he likes, which is to be trussed up good and tight. Make it hurt, Baby, and I say, Don’t call me Baby, as the stiletto blade slides open like the grim reaper’s scythe and he is acting like the secret service is getting ready to break down the door but I can see behind those cold, black eyes, he is praying for his wicked soul.

 

 My daddy was the Bourdeaux Bandit, you son of a bitch, killed seventeen women and drank a toast to every one. Would’ve killed a hundred more if you didn’t let that tainted evidence stand at his trial, back when you were a judge, then condemn him to fry.

 

And even then, he acts like he is going to get out of this hotel room alive until he sees the noose I am fashioning from the high-dollar sheets in his twelve hundred dollar-a-night hotel room and he is begging me to let him live, begging me, and I am laughing at the sound of it like the laugh of a little girl in her daddy’s lap.

 

Twenty-four hours later, I am sitting in the first class section of Flight 1029 to Barcelona, $2.5 million wiring its way to a numbered Swiss account and the stewardess, as blonde and buttery as a Chardonnay, is bringing me the Times.

 

“Presidential Candidate Found Dead in Hotel Room,” the headline reads, “Auto Erotic Asphyxiation Accident Suspected.”

 

And, under the main story, “Sex Tape of Senator Rufus B. Rutherfordton with Redhead Hits Internet.”

 

The story says the police are seeking a Marilyn Monroe-type, last seen at the Commodore Hotel, for questioning ,but my hair is black as night and cut short like the little boy Daddy always wanted.

 

The stewardess asks me if I want a drink. I order a Merlot and invite her for the same, once we touch down. She smiles like honey and slips me her cell phone number when she brings me the wine. Miss you Dad, I say, lifting my glass, but this one’s for my Baby.

 

 

 

Andrew Waters’ fiction has been published at Everyday Fiction and Flashjab Fiction. He is a nonprofit manager in Salisbury, North Carolina.

In Association with Fossil Publications