“Shhh,” Jessie said. “Someone might
hear you, baby.”
For spite, Hector rattled the keys
louder. “I live here, don’t I?”
Not for much longer, Jessie thought,
smiling. Soon he’d be all hers. No more bruja wife, in their way. A pit
stop here, to get all his shit, and they’d be off.
His key didn’t work. “What the . . .” he said.
Jessie got closer. “You don’t think .
“She changed the locks? Bitch knows
Jessie shivered, deliciously. What a temper!
Hector was a bad boy who never grew up. Lean, and mean, with a dick that just
never quit! Like, on their way over here…
Shocked, Hector stared at the locked
Suddenly he attacked it, fists
pounding, like he’d break it down.
“Hector!” Jessie said. But, as early
as it was, no neighbors came out.
The door opened by itself.
He shook off her arm, pulled out his
Inside the apartment, the phone rang once, twice.
Six times, before voice
mail picked up. Liliana, the bruja wife.
Jessie cringed. Hearing that voice—even
on a machine—made her so jealous.
is a witch,” Hector had told
Jessie. “With a witch’s cat. Bruja, its name is.” He shuddered. “My
wife’s into weird shit. Claims she put a love spell on me.”
“Fuck, no!” He seemed amused. “Hot
as she is?”
Jessie really hated her, now.
“But she makes shit happen.” Hector
actually looked scared. “Says she can
send her . . . soul . . . all over.”
Jessie felt a chill.
“And that cat . . .” Hector shook
his head. “Sometimes . . . she says they
Right now, Jessie wasn’t thinking about
cats, or spells. She wanted him inside,
packing his stuff. His, and anything of that witchy wife’s worth hocking.
Instead, he was calling her. Sweat beaded on his
face as he waited for an
answer. “She should be at work.”
Jessie shoved the door open, and went inside.
Hector lagged behind.
What a sty. Like someone had already ransacked
it and walked off with the
good stuff. But . . . “It always looks
this way,” he said.
On the wall was a framed photo . . . of them.
Jessie stiffened. Hector’s smirk said he
wished he were with Jessie. But Liliana
looked like she had Hector wrapped. A bottled blonde, she was, but beautiful, green-eyed.
Sensual enough to keep the man she loved. Her smug half-smile said she had it
spell, my ass, Jessie thought.
On the living room windowsill, the cat lounged.
“Stay away from her,” Hector warned,
on his way into the bedroom.
“She might scratch?” Jessie said,
but he didn’t hear her.
The cat was a gray and white, long-haired, with
green eyes that held
Jessie’s. Its mouth looked crooked, unlike your typical cat’s. Even from across
the room, Bruja’s expression intrigued her.
Jessie had never been a cat-person. She didn’t
even like kittens. But there was something special about this one
that made her creep closer. Despite Hector’s warning, Jessie was dying to pet
Timidly, she reached out.
They were face-to-face when she realized why Bruja
was special. Bruja
had Liliana’s smug half-smile.
Cindy is a Jersey
looks like a Mob Wife and talks like Anybodys from West Side Story. Her
noir/horror/bizarro stories have been published in the coolest places, such as Shotgun
Honey; Megazine; Dark Dossier; Horror, Sleaze, Trash;
and Rock and a Hard Place. She is the editor/art director of Yellow
Mama and the art director of Black Petals. Her seventh collection of
short stories, Backwards: Growing Up Catholic, and Weird, in the 60s (Hekate
Publishing), is out, now! Cindy is a Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights