You’ll See, She
weren’t for the lump of hot bile working its way up his esophagus, he’d have
slept longer. He leaned over to vomit while sitting on the dirty concrete, his back
against a brick pillar.
skipped across his neocortex like spliced film jumping in sprockets. He remembered
cursing her for the long flight of stairs to get here. Then the film went blank.
a mattress for you this time,” she said, pirouetting, laughing, pleased. He’d
groomed her well.
this shithole you picked out?”
But all he
could see was a dozen stories straight down. He’d tracked her from Cal Anderson
Park by the reflecting pool to Capitol Hill, one of the worst crime areas of
Seattle. She avoided the drug-crazed scum hanging out en masse in front
of shops, losers lighting up in public, urinating, cadging quarters from anyone
stupid enough to walk past, nodding off and defecating in public. Fentanyl
City, the Times called it, population—who knew? Each one a doper and card-carrying
member of humanity’s dregs.
them, a few choice morsels like her. When he first contacted her from Craig’s
List, she looked like a sorority pledge on the prowl for a sugar daddy. Her
plunge from a classy “escort” advertising in the personals to full-blown crack
whore took mere months. He had free reign over her until he was exhausted, the
demon inside sated. Last time he left her, she was badly in need of wound care.
KOMO News had
kept him from trawling for her while they ran another expose of Seattle’s
blighted zone. Chary of his reputation, he knew to keep a low profile. He’d
gone through three like her, two bodies still unrecovered. If it weren’t for a
keen-eyed backhoe operator in the city dump, who noticed a human foot slipping through
a hole in a garbage bag torn by the jagged bone sticking out, his record would still
be intact. Ego-bruised by being outwitted by a slut, he anticipated her demise
under his whip hand. He’d know when her time was up.
checked his Presidential, found it gone—no doubt yanked off his wrist as soon
as he passed out from whatever she slipped into his flask—also missing.
through his “routine,” he’d stopped to refresh himself with a sip of
Glenfiddich. She must have done it then while his back was turned. Bitter, yet impressed
by her show of courage, he was patient and could wait.
abandoned buildings, though. He never should have allowed her enough strength
to get off that bloody mattress where he’d flogged her to semi-consciousness. He’d
keep her going until he was satisfied like the three before her.
yawned. Seven, maybe eight in the morning. Unconscious for almost twelve
hours. He smiled, thinking: Bitch, you have no idea what you’re in for .
his wallet: cash missing too. He carried plenty to bribe citizens or street
trash should an emergency arise. He shrugged, he’d add it to her bill. Taking
the exit door to the floor below, he found more exterior walls knocked out,
everything removed, nothing but support pillars.
pillars . . .
back up the stairs. The folded newspaper she brought lay on the mattress. She
said she picked it up on Pine Street, another garbage dump of humanity. He opened
it, saw the advertisement circled in black:
eco-friendly demolition company . . . “You Build It, We Implode It.”
Her words: You’ll
see . . .
He knew what
was happening because he heard the first thudding sequence of timed explosions in
the lower floors. The concrete beneath his feet was already shaking from the tremors
rippling upward in massive shock waves from more sequenced explosions. Gravity would
finish the job. His knees buckled and his bowels evacuated. The floor seemed to
liquify like ground in a nine-point earthquake. Only seconds from being pulverized
by falling I-beams and chunks of flying concrete that would smash him into
oblivion, he wept for himself because he allowed a pretty hooker to peek into
his mind to see her future.
White has published several crime, horror, and
mainstream stories in various magazines and anthologies. A forthcoming
private-eye novel featuring Raimo Jarvi will be published this summer. “The
Girl from the Sweater Factory,” a horror tale, was a finalist in The
Dark Sire Magazine’s 2020 awards. Two more recent horror stories are
"The Backyard Digger" in The Yard and "The
Tick Bite" in Black Petals.