Yellow Mama Archives

Angel Zapata
Home
Adhikari, Sudeep
Ahern, Edward
Aldrich, Janet M.
Allan, T. N.
Allen, M. G.
Ammonds, Phillip J.
Anderson, Peter
Andreopoulos, Elliott
Arab, Bint
Augustyn, P. K.
Aymar, E. A.
Babbs, James
Baber, Bill
Bagwell, Dennis
Baird, Meg
Bakala, Brendan
Baker, Nathan
Balaz, Joe
BAM
Barber, Shannon
Bates, Jack
Baugh, Darlene
Bauman, Michael
Baumgartner, Jessica Marie
Beale, Jonathan
Beck, George
Beckman, Paul
Benet, Esme
Bennett, Brett
Bennett, Charlie
Berg, Carly
Berman, Daniel
Bernardara, Will Jr.
Berriozabal, Luis
Beveridge, Robert
Bickerstaff, Russ
Bigney, Tyler
Blake, Steven
Bohem, Charlie Keys and Les
Booth, Brenton
Bougger, Jason
Boyd, A. V.
Boyd, Morgan
Bracey, DG
Brewka-Clark, Nancy
Britt, Alan
Brooke, j
Brown, R. Thomas
Brown, Sam
Burton, Michael
Bushtalov, Denis
Butkowski, Jason
Butler, Simon Hardy
Cameron, W. B.
Campbell, J. J.
Campbell, Jack Jr.
Cano, Valentina
Carlton, Bob
Cartwright, Steve
Carver, Marc
Castle, Chris
Catlin, Alan
Chesler, Adam
Clausen, Daniel
Clevenger, Victor
Clifton, Gary
Coffey, James
Colasuonno, Alfonso
Conley, Jen
Connor, Tod
Cooper, Malcolm Graham
Coral, Jay
Cosby, S. A.
Crandall, Rob
Criscuolo, Carla
Crist, Kenneth
Crouch & Woods
D., Jack
Dallett, Cassandra
Danoski, Joseph V.
Daly, Sean
Davis, Christopher
Day, Holly
de Bruler, Connor
Degani, Gay
De France, Steve
De La Garza, Lela Marie
Deming, Ruth Z.
Demmer, Calvin
Dennehy, John W.
DeVeau, Spencer
Di Chellis, Peter
Dick, Earl
Dick, Paul "Deadeye"
DiLorenzo, Ciro
Dionne, Ron
Domenichini, John
Dominelli, Rob
Doran, Phil
Doreski, William
Dorman, Roy
Doherty, Rachel
Dosser, Jeff
Doyle, John
Draime, Doug
Drake, Lena Judith
Dromey, John H.
Dubal, Paul Michael
Duke, Jason
Duncan, Gary
Dunham, T. Fox
Duschesneau, Pauline
Dunn, Robin Wyatt
Duxbury, Karen
Duy, Michelle
Elliott, Garnett
Ellman, Neil
England, Kristina
Erianne, John
Espinosa, Maria
Esterholm, Jeff
Fallow, Jeff
Farren, Jim
Fenster, Timothy
Ferraro, Diana
Filas, Cameron
Flanagan, Daniel N.
Flanagan, Ryan Quinn
Francisco, Edward
Funk, Matthew C.
Gann, Alan
Gardner, Cheryl Ann
Garvey, Kevin Z.
Genz, Brian
Gladeview, Lawrence
Glass, Donald
Goddard, L. B.
Godwin, Richard
Goff, Christopher
Goss, Christopher
Gradowski, Janel
Graham, Sam
Grant, Christopher
Grant, Stewart
Greenberg, Paul
Grey, John
Gunn, Johnny
Gurney, Kenneth P.
Haglund, Tobias
Halleck, Robert
Hamlin, Mason
Hanson, Christopher Kenneth
Hanson, Kip
Harris, Bruce
Hart, GJ
Hartman, Michelle
Haskins, Chad
Hawley, Doug
Haycock, Brian
Hayes, A. J.
Hayes, John
Hayes, Peter W. J.
Heatley, Paul
Heimler, Heidi
Helmsley, Fiona
Hendry, Mark
Heslop, Karen
Heyns, Heather
Hilary, Sarah
Hill, Richard
Hivner, Christopher
Hockey, Matthew J.
Hogan, Andrew J.
Holderfield, Culley
Holton, Dave
Howells, Ann
Huchu, Tendai
Hudson, Rick
Huffman, A. J.
Huguenin, Timothy G.
Huskey, Jason L.
Irascible, Dr. I. M.
Jaggers, J. David
James, Christopher
Johnson, Beau
Johnson, Moctezuma
Johnson, Zakariah
Jones, D. S.
Jones, Erin J.
Jones, Mark
Kabel, Dana
Kaplan, Barry Jay
Kay, S.
Kempka, Hal
Kerins, Mike
Keshigian, Michael
Kevlock, Mark Joseph
King, Michelle Ann
Kirk, D.
Knott, Anthony
Koenig, Michael
Korpon, Nik
Kovacs, Norbert
Kovacs, Sandor
Kowalcyzk, Alec
Krafft, E. K.
Lacks, Lee Todd
Lang, Preston
Larkham, Jack
La Rosa, F. Michael
Leasure, Colt
Leatherwood, Roger
Lees, Arlette
Lees, Lonni
Leins, Tom
Lemming, Jennifer
Lerner, Steven M
Lewis, Cynthia Ruth
Lewis, LuAnn
Lifshin, Lyn
Liskey, Tom Darin
Lodge, Oliver
Lopez, Aurelio Rico III
Lorca, Aurelia
Lovisi, Gary
Lucas, Gregory E.
Lukas, Anthony
Lynch, Nulty
Lyon, Hillary
Lyons, Matthew
Mac, David
MacArthur, Jodi
Malone, Joe
Mann, Aiki
Manzolillo, Nicholas
Marcius, Cal
Marrotti, Michael
Mason, Wayne
Mattila, Matt
McAdams, Liz
McCartney, Chris
McDaris, Catfish
McFarlane, Adam Beau
McGinley, Chris
McGinley, Jerry
McElhiney, Sean
McKim, Marci
McMannus, Jack
McQuiston, Rick
Mellon, Mark
Memi, Samantha
Miles, Marietta
Miller, Max
Monson, Mike
Mooney, Christopher P.
Morgan, Bill W.
Moss, David Harry
Mullins, Ian
Mulvihill, Michael
Muslim, Kristine Ong
Nardolilli, Ben
Nelson, Trevor
Nessly, Ray
Nester, Steven
Neuda, M. C.
Newell, Ben
Newman, Paul
Nielsen, Ayaz
Ogurek, Douglas J.
Ortiz, Sergio
Pagel, Briane
Park, Jon
Parr, Rodger
Parrish, Rhonda
Partin-Nielsen, Judith
Perez, Juan M.
Perez, Robert Aguon
Peterson, Ross
Petroziello, Brian
Pettie, Jack
Petyo, Robert
Phillips, Matt
Picher, Gabrielle
Pierce, Rob
Pietrzykowski, Marc
Plath, Rob
Pointer, David
Power, Jed
Powers, M. P.
Praseth, Ram
Prusky, Steve
Pruitt, Eryk
Purfield, M. E.
Purkis, Gordon
Quinlan, Joseph R.
Quinn, Frank
Ram, Sri
Rapth, Sam
Ravindra, Rudy
Renney, Mark
reutter, g emil
Rhatigan, Chris
Richardson, Travis
Richey, John Lunar
Ridgeway, Kevin
Ritchie, Salvadore
Robinson, John D.
Robinson, Kent
Rodgers, K. M.
Roger, Frank
Rose, Mandi
Rosenberger, Brian
Rosenblum, Mark
Rosmus, Cindy
Ruhlman, Walter
Rutherford, Scotch
Savage, Jack
Sayles, Betty J.
Schauber, Karen
Schneeweiss, Jonathan
Schraeder, E. F.
Schumejda, Rebecca
See, Tom
Sethi, Sanjeev
Sexton, Rex
Seymour, J. E.
Shaikh, Aftab Yusuf
Shepherd, Robert
Sim, Anton
Simmler, T. Maxim
Simpson, Henry
Sinisi, J. J.
Sixsmith, JD
Slagle, Cutter
Slaviero, Susan
Sloan, Frank
Smith, Brian J.
Smith, Ben
Smith, C.R.J.
Smith, Copper
Smith, Paul
Smith, Stephanie
Smith, Willie
Smuts, Carolyn
Snethen, Daniel G.
Snoody, Elmore
Sojka, Carol
Solender, Michael J.
Sparling, George
Spicer, David
Squirrell, William
Stewart, Michael S.
Stickel, Anne
Stolec, Trina
Stryker, Joseph H.
Stucchio, Chris
Succre, Ray
Sullivan, Thomas
Swanson, Peter
Swartz, Justin A.
Sweet, John
Tarbard, Grant
Taylor, J. M.
Thompson, John L.
Thompson, Phillip
Tillman, Stephen
Titus, Lori
Tivey, Lauren
Tobin, Tim
Tu, Andy
Ullerich, Eric
Valent, Raymond A.
Valvis, James
Vilhotti, Jerry
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Walsh, Patricia
Walters, Luke
Ward, Emma
Weber, R.O.
Weil, Lester L.
White, Judy Friedman
White, Robb
White, Terry
Wilsky, Jim
Wilson, Robley
Wilson, Tabitha
Woodland, Francis
Young, Mark
Yuan, Changming
Zackel, Fred
Zafiro, Frank
Zapata, Angel
Zee, Carly
Zimmerman, Thomas

maramara.jpg

Mara, Mara on the Wall

by Angel Zapata

 

Sandra Sawyer hired me to find her father. These types of jobs were usually routine. She sat across from me at my desk; a curvy blond with sunset autumn eyes. The lacey handkerchief in her hand was soaked in tears.

“I can pay you whatever it takes,” she said.

The gold letters etched on the wide window behind me read Skip Mara, P.I.

“When did you last see him?” I rummaged through the top drawer, pulled out a notepad. I never wrote anything down, but figured it might make her feel better if I at least pretended.

“This evening,” Sandra said. “In fact, I have my eyes on him right now.”

I stopped moving my pen. “Come again?”

“I’d like to show you something.” She unzipped her purse and handed me a woman’s compact. “You’ll find what my father looks like inside of it.”

I flipped back the lid and stared at myself in the small, round mirror. “Is this a joke?” I snapped it closed, set it on the desk. “Do me a favor and hit the road.”

“Please, Dad—” she caught herself. “Please, Mr. Mara. All I ask is for you to gaze into the mirror. I’ll give you all the money I have on me— three thousand dollars— if you just tell me who you see.”

At the time, there were four collection agencies nipping at my heels.

“Show me.”

She tossed me a fat envelope. I’m not ashamed to admit Ben Franklin is an attractive man.

“Okay.” I put some extra teeth into my grin. “Why not?”

I left the compact flat on the desk and thumbed it open. The face I saw in the mirror was weathered, ashen, alien. The bags under my eyes appeared to have been packed for the long haul. “This is the easiest money I’ve ever—”

The gun she held was nickel-plated and cute in her bony hand. “Hold up the mirror and call to the man inside of it.” Her voice was stronger and she wasn’t crying anymore.

“I don’t allow guns in this office— hell, I don’t even carry one. And I don’t take kind to threats.” I rose from my chair. “Especially from—”

A bullet hit the ceiling.

I sat back down.

“You know how long it’s taken me to find a man of your features, height, and weight?” Her smile was humorless. “Too long.”

“Okay, I’ll play nice.” My mouth went dry. “But your threat won’t work. You need me. You’re not going to shoot me.”

“Every shot doesn’t have to be a killing wound.” She aimed at my shoulder. “What’s it going to be?”

I threw my hands in the air. “You’re a crazy bitch, but I’ll do what you’re asking. Do I still get to keep the cash?”

She pointed at the compact.

I slowly repositioned it. The outer surface was etched in some sort of bizarre symbols. “I don’t have to say any magic words or anything, do I? You know like any mirror, mirror on the wall jazz.”

“My father’s Christian name is Faircott,” she said patiently. “Stare at the glass and summon him. Do it.”

When I was kid, there was a woman who lived five houses up the street from me. She was from a country in Europe that doesn’t exist anymore. She’d moved to my neighborhood after the war. Everyone said she was a witch. One day after school, my so-called buddies dared me to ring her doorbell and run. I got as far as the third porch step when her front door opened. I nearly pissed myself. In a panic, I fell backwards and hit my head. But instead of snatching me up and eating me, she doctored my cut and fed me homemade cookies. I remember she had really sad eyes. I figured folks had been wrong about her. Four months later, the cops were digging up bodies in her backyard.

It hit me that this Sandra girl was a dead ringer for the witch of my childhood.

“Do it,” she repeated. “Now.”

I cleared my throat. “Faircott,” I said to myself, and then I smirked. “You’re quite a handsome devil.”

“Your praise is unnecessary,” I said, but it wasn’t me.

“Daddy!” She was around the desk in two seconds flat, bent over my chair’s backrest. The gun muzzle was glued to my head. “Oh, Daddy.”

“Sandra.” The reflected voice was deeper, softer than my own. “I’ve missed you, princess.”

She sniffled and laughed. The pressure of the gun eased.

“I found a home for you, Daddy.” She glanced at me. “He’s not nearly the man you are, but I think you’ll approve.”

Faircott’s eyes burned into mine. A dark light shifted behind him. All the shadows in his mirror world had claws and horns. I’ve never been more scared in my life.

“Recite the spell, Daddy,” Sandra said. “Hurry.”

The old man spat out the language of the damned. I felt my heartbeat slow, lungs fight for oxygen.

“Sorry to break up the party.” I clenched my jaw. “But to hell with you both.” I pushed down with my knees and shot my chair backwards. The caster wheels beneath me squealed.

Sandra wasn’t expecting it. She was knocked back and through the third floor window behind us. Her scream was short and sharp.

The gun had dropped near my wingtips.

It felt great in my hand.

“There’s only enough room for one of me in this town,” I told Faircott. “Tell your daughter I said ‘hi’.”

The bullet shattered his face.

I wiped the sweat from my forehead and leaned over the windowsill. The street sweepers had some work to do. Sandra looked like busted porcelain.

I’ve got to confess, it wouldn’t be the last time I’d break something beautiful.

 

THE END

In Association with Fossil Publications