Yellow Mama Archives II

M. J. Holt

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Blackout Blonde

By M.J. Holt

She was the type of girl who made his pants tight. He could feel his blood heat and he knew what he wanted. Life was simple: office drone by day and hunter at night. He worked out every day in the gym. It took time, but it was worth it because he could dead lift a hundred and forty pounds easily. Most girls he liked never topped one-twenty-five. He thought about the girl from the night before. She was just a memory of the fun.

He stood tall, good-looking in a rugged way, he bought good manicures, haircuts, and body waxing. No stray pubic hair would bring him down.

He ordered a light beer because he needed something in his hand as he approached her. She had wheat-colored blonde hair that curled around her face with bangs covering her eyebrows. He liked well-groomed blondes. She was right-handed so he approached her right side so that arm would be close to him to help control her. She was standing at the side of the room watching a basketball game, obviously unattached to any of the other people there.

He bumped into her. His beer sloshed a little bit. “Sorry,” he said quickly and turned to watch the game. No one else noticed. A break between quarters inspired the men behind him to go to the bar and he took advantage to act jostled and bumped her again.

“Sorry. I keep saying that. Sorry.” He smiled in a practiced way that never looked predatory. “Not the best game for the home team, five baskets behind."

She smiled back. “Last quarter. They aren’t going to pull it out. The other team sticks to their men like they planned it all. Guess the home team needs to mix it up. They’re predictable.”

He made small talk. She said she had an early meeting. She isn’t going to make it, he promised himself.

She asked a few questions and his answers told her he was the guy. They moved to a bar table that freed their hands. She ordered a light beer mimicking him.

They watched the fourth quarter. With six minutes left on the clock, and now six baskets behind, the coach put in a new guard.

“See that new guard” the woman said. “The coach hates him, and he knows it. Watch him. He’ll stick tight to the guy he’s guarding, for a while.”

The players danced around the court. The other team played catch to move the ball down the court to their basket. The guard she had pointed out moved an arm’s length away from his man, who then looked open. The ball went his way but the guard grabbed it mid-air, bounced it once, and made a basket.

She said, “He was supposed to throw it to the forward, that’s how this team works. That’s why they’re losing. Predictable.”

He smiled his sweetest smile and said, “You know basketball.”

“Sort of. It’s fun to analyze groups.”

“Groups,” he repeated. “I don’t work that way. I have my goal, do it, and get another.”

She smiled at him and went back to watching the game. The new guard made two more baskets. The clock was running out. The man chuckled quietly about a girl thinking that she knew what could happen next. Maybe she knew basketball, but a new game was coming her way. While she watched the game, he added a few drops of his secret formula to her beer.

Game over, an empty glass sat on the table. She complained of a headache. “I live near here. I think I better get home.”

“I’ll walk you home. I need to catch a lift so I’ll call at your building.”

Her head lolled on his shoulder by the time they got to her place. He took the key from her hand, guided her up the stairs, and into the apartment she lurched at.

He helped her to the couch. He took off her jacket, then her shoes. She didn’t object when he took off her clothes. Her arm fell behind the couch cushions. He took off his clothes. He was getting into position when he felt a jab. First his hands and feet tingled. Then his head felt like it would float away. He didn’t care about the pain in his chest and he fell to the floor.

She looked down at him and said, “I didn’t drink the beer, asshole.”

She watched his last breaths as she dressed. She picked up his clothes and laid them on the bed. With the cuff of his shirt, she wiped the keys and tossed them on the bed. She checked the couch. She put the top on the needle, wiped it all with a tissue, and dropped it into the purse. She put her jacket on shiny side out, pulled on her gloves, and left. The next floor down, she pulled off the wig and stuffed it into the purse. She mussed her short black hair and applied white powder to her face then slid the compact back into her jacket. She turned up her collar to hide her jawline.

Walking down the street, she touched an app on her phone to report. “The Point Guard’s plan was perfect. The ball was there. The Power Forward made the winning score.”

She had walked blocks when the phone chimed. “Drop it,” read the message. She dropped the purse for the next woman and kept walking. In this organization, no one knew each other. God bless the dark web, she thought. She removed the dollar SIM card, broke it into four tiny pieces. She put her own SIM into the phone. We’re still hundreds of points behind, she thought.

The End

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