I was just
remembering what it used to be like, making love to Vickie. I don’t know what
it was, but she would really get into it. She loved it when I used to eat her
pussy and then when we got into the actual fucking, she would get her ankles
clear up on my shoulders and reach back and grab the headboard so I could get
in deeper. She liked to yell when she came, too.
And now, here she
was, sitting across from me in the booth at the Doo-Dah Diner in downtown
Wichita. Even though she’d been dead for eleven years. And I’d have to say, she
looked really good. Hadn’t aged a bit.
To say I was a
little disconcerted would be an understatement, and when she just suddenly
appeared and sashayed her fine ass over to the booth and plopped down, it was a
It wasn’t like I’d
heard rumors of her death or anything. Actually, I’d killed her, and her body
was still hidden out in a field in Kingman County.
“So, Chuck, how the
fuck are ya?” Her eyes were aglitter with a combination of malice and glee that
seemed somehow—well, unholy was the only term that really filled the
bill. But I wasn’t about to back off from her. I wouldn’t give her the
satisfaction. . . .
“I’m great, Vickie.
Looks like you’re doing well. . . .”
“You mean for being,
like, dead?” Her smile widened and she batted her long eyelashes at me.
“Yeah, well, now
that you bring it up, yeah, you look great for a deceased person.”
Don’t you mean fucking murdered, Chuck?”
“Tell me, Vickie,
how is this possible? I mean, I never believed in life after death, and all
that bullshit. I didn’t think you did, either.”
Chuck. Spirits do it all the time. You mortals just don’t realize you’re seeing
dead people, because we look just like we did when we were alive. Before some cocksucker
“So, you’re saying
after you cross over, you can just come back whenever you like?”
“No, Chuck, after
you’re murdered, you have to build up energy and you have to learn how it’s
done. Some people never get the hang of it. Some, like me, get it real early
and can spend hours on this side. I’m getting stronger all the time.”
She demonstrated by picking up my steak knife and cutting the back of my hand
with a quick swipe before I could move it away. She gave a cute little giggle
that ended in a snort. Something else she used to do when we were playing in
bed. . . .
Vickie, that hurt. . . .”
“What? Don’t you
think it hurt when you smacked me in the head with a claw hammer, you fuck?”
Obviously, she was
still upset about the fact that I’d killed her. Then she spoke again.
“You know what I
really miss, though, Chuck? I miss sex. I used to really like getting my brains
humped out, even when we were mad at each other, the sex was always good.”
“Yeah, it was.”
was playing to her now, as I stanched my bleeding with a couple napkins. “I
miss that, too, Vick.” I had always called her Vick, especially in the
throes of passion. At the same time, I was beginning to wonder if everyone else
in the restaurant could see her. Because nobody seemed bothered and if they had
seen me having a conversation with empty air, they surely would have been.
“When you . . . manifest?”
everybody see you?”
“Sure, if I want
“And if you don’t
want them to?”
“I can be all the
way from visible and solid to a mere shadow, to completely invisible. Like I
said, I’m getting really good at it. I gotta hit the can. . . .”
She got up from the
table and hiked her cute little ass back to the restrooms and I finished my
coffee. I had lost my appetite for the rest of my breakfast. I waited a while
and then it began to dawn on me that she wasn’t coming back. Well, yeah,
dumbass. Why would a fucking ghost have to go pee?
I got up from my
table and walked back to the restrooms and, as a lady came out, I asked, “Is
there anyone else in there?”
She looked at me
suspiciously and then said, “No, why? You the janitor?”
I walked away. Went
and paid my tab and left. Headed back to my house, roaring down Kellogg in my
pickup with the rest of the traffic. Made it about three miles, when I felt the
steering wheel start to pull to the right. As I wrestled for control, a pair of
disembodied hands appeared on the wheel, hands with lacquered nails, bright
red. Vickie’s hands. We fought for control for about fifteen seconds, then she
let go and I heard that giggle again. The one with the snort at the end. Under
my breath I muttered, “Crazy bitch. . . .”
And she said, “Sure
am . . . fucker. . . .”
I didn’t see or hear
from Vickie for almost a month. And I got to wondering about things. When I
killed her, I’d set it up carefully. No killing in the house. I didn’t want
evidence there. No killing in the car, either. Same reason. Plus, I really
didn’t want to have to transport a body any distance. Too many ways to screw it
up. But Vickie had always been kinky and one evening, I’d suggested, just for a
change of pace, that we go out in the country and find a place to park and do
the nasty. At first, she just laughed it off. Then, two hours later, she
suddenly wanted to go out and “do it” somewhere. We put a couple blankets in
the truck and took off.
There was a pipeline
being built nineteen miles west of town. It would eventually carry crude oil
from area wells all the way to Texas. I meandered around out in the country,
finding and rejecting one place after another until we came to the place where
the pipeline was going through. There were tractors and backhoes all over the
place and, at night, nobody around. Union hours and rules, apparently. I pulled
the truck out into the field and parked it where it was hidden from the road,
and we got out with the blankets.
We had a final
lovemaking session there in the dark, right beside the pipeline trench and when
we’d finished, I stepped to the truck to get cigarettes and the hammer. As she
smoked, sitting naked in the dark on an old Army blanket, I caught her a good
one, square on top of the head with the claw end of the hammer.
never made a sound. Her breathing stopped
and I rolled her and her clothes and purse up in the blanket and dumped her
into the trench right beside the pipeline. The pipe itself had been welded
another hundred yards past where we were, and the trench was being filled in
when quitting time came. The workmen just shut everything off and left for the
I knew how to run a
backhoe and it was a matter of ten minute’s work to fill in another ten feet of
trench. Just enough to cover my girlfriend. The girlfriend who had become
bossy, and nasty, and demanding, and no longer fun, except when we were
screwing. Ten minutes after I shut off the backhoe, I was back to the nearest
highway and headed home.
Now I wondered just
what the dump site might look like. Was there any chance someone was going to
find her? What if she manifested to some cop and told her story? I was pretty
sure I was fucked, but I wasn’t going down without a fight. And I damn sure
couldn’t kill Vickie again. . . .
That afternoon, I
drove back out to where Vickie was buried. I sighed with relief when I saw it
was now 160 acres of wheat, ripening and waving in the sunshine and the light
Kansas breeze. Well, so much for that. I figured I could stop worrying, at
least about someone digging her up.
Three days later,
when I went out to get the morning paper, there was a story blasted all over
the front page. Below the fold were pictures. Pictures of equipment out there
digging up the field. Fuck. I figured Vickie must have spilled to the cops
after all. Then I read the story all the way through and on page nine, after
the jump, there was a picture taken by a pilot on climb-out from Eisenhower
National Airport. It showed an aerial view of the wheatfield. The wheat had
been mashed down into big letters that read: DEAD BODY HERE! It was as clear as
those crop circles they’re always finding in England and the tip of the arrow
was right on the slight indentation, still visible, where the pipeline was
I knew with modern
DNA techniques, it would be only a matter of days before the cops would be
knocking on my door. I jumped up and went to find my passport and pack my shit.
I stuffed clothes
into bags and loaded the pickup. Found my passport and headed down to the
branch bank to get cash. I had to use the drive-up because of the god-damned
Covid and when I hit the button, the voice sounded very familiar. And there, in
the little video screen, the teller was Vickie. I was stunned. But then I
played it cool and said, “I . . . I need a withdrawal slip, please. . . .”
“Sure. Gonna take
off, are we? Ya know it won’t do any good, right?”
“Yeah, okay Vick,
whatever you say. . . .”
I sent in the
withdrawal slip, just about emptying out my savings account. Playing the role,
she asked, “How would you like that, large bills?”
“Yes, please. . . .”
Fuck. I was so screwed, and I knew it, but I had to try.
Ten minutes later, I
was headed south toward the Mexican border. The closest place I could cross
would be Brownsville, Texas. Halfway across Oklahoma, Vickie started
manifesting right there in the truck. She would show up, just popping into
existence there in the right-hand seat, telling me I was wasting my time.
Every time she
manifested, she was wearing less clothing. First, it was a very brief sundress
she used to wear that just about drove me nuts. It had no back at all, and
barely covered her ass, the skirt being short and frilly, and she always wore
it with thick, cork-soled shoes that showed off her legs to great advantage.
By the time I’d made
the Texas border, she was manifesting in panties and her bra, and I have to
admit, she looked damn good. Only trouble was, she smelled like a grave . . . it
was turning me on and at the same time, giving me the creeps. . . .
“Ya might as well
slow down and look for a place to park, Chuck. You know we’re gonna knock one
out here, pretty soon, right?”
That’s what she used
to call it, whenever we went for a quickie somewhere, “knocking one out.”
“I don’t think so,
Vick. I’m sorry, but I’m not fucking a ghost and besides, you smell like grave
dirt. . . .”
She turned a bit to
her left and casually draped a long, pretty leg over mine and the grave-smell
went away. Now she smelled like some perfume she used to use. It was called
‘Poison.’ She pointed off to the right, where a big oil pump was cranking away,
and said, “How about right over there?”
I slowed the truck
and pulled in and drove back on the narrow gravel road, parking behind the oil
tanks. I shoved my seat all the way back and her panties and bra magically
disappeared. Neat trick. She didn’t even have to take them off. She undid my
pants, and in seconds she was straddling me, and we were definitely knocking
And here’s the weird
part. It was better than ever. It seemed like she had learned a few things and
she kept me right on the edge for a good twenty minutes before she let me come.
And when it was over, she disappeared and I had a big come-stain on my jeans,
like she’d never been there at all. She didn’t manifest again until I got to
the border station at Brownsville. Then it all came apart. . . .
I rolled up to the
gate, half expecting trouble, and sure enough, I got it. Vickie was right
there, in the uniform of the Mexican Federales. Backed up by about five
or six more, all males and all with an attitude.
“Step outta da truck
It was not a
request. The tone of voice made it an order. This was from the second-biggest
dickhead of the bunch. I immediately named him Fat Bastard in my head. Vickie
looked on, amused. Every one of them was armed, some with American-made AR 15s,
some with H&K MP5s. They all looked like they could hardly wait to shoot
“Pliz pootcher hands
on da fender, Sir . . .”
They patted me down,
then took me into an office that smelled of piss, and vomit, and Lysol.
After I’d been in
there a few minutes, Vickie came in. Didn’t bother to open the door, just
walked through the wall and there she was. “Told ya it was a waste of time.
Gasoline, too. You need to understand, you can’t go anywhere and get away from
me. Not until I’m through with you. And I’ll never be through with you, Chuck.”
They confiscated my
money, my pickup, and they also found the only gun I had in the truck. That
right there was enough to get me thrown in a Mexican jail and held for Los
The trip back to
Kansas came four days later and I saw nothing of Vickie. I was stuck on a
rattling, creaky old bus operated by the U.S Marshall’s Service and they do not
fuck around. I was shackled and guarded with a shotgun all the way.
I was held in the
Sedgwick County jail in Wichita, in lieu of one million dollars bond. I was
considered a flight risk, you see. It took five months before my trial date
came up and by that time, I figured I might as well just plead guilty and get
started on my sentence. During those five months, Vickie never once came to see
me. I think she was building up power. When I was taken to court, guess who was
Yup. She was right
there in the courtroom in a Sheriff’s uniform, being a court guard. The whole
deal took about twenty minutes. The judge, because of my cooperation and my
plea, gave me thirty-five to life, with parole eligibility at fourteen years.
Such a deal . . . and all the while, Vickie was smirking at me from over by the
holding cell door. I might as well have married her. No divorce now, though.
Sorry, that ship has sailed.
I’m not that far
from home. I’m in Super-Max at El Dorado, Kansas. I see Vickie just about every
day. She manifests as a prison guard now just to torment me, and once in a
while, when she shows up on night shift, she’ll walk through the bars and into
my cell and give me a little . . . if I’m especially good . . . I can feel
myself aging every day, my life slowly slipping away, but Vickie still looks
just the same, young and pretty as ever. . . .
Kenneth James Crist is Editor Emeritus of Black Petals Magazine and is
on staff at Yellow Mama ezine. He has been a published writer since 1998,
having had almost two hundred short stories and poems in venues ranging from
Skin and Bones and The Edge-Tales of Suspense to Kudzu Monthly. He is
particularly fond of supernatural biker stories. He reads everything he can get
his hands on, not just in horror or sci-fi, but in mystery, hardboiled,
biographies, westerns and adventure tales. He retired from the Wichita, Kansas
police department in 1992 and from the security department at Wesley Medical
Center in Wichita in 2016. Now 76, he is an avid motorcyclist and handgun
shooter. He is active in the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard,
helping to honor and look after our military. He is also a volunteer driver for
the American Red Cross, Midway Kansas Chapter. He is the owner of Fossil
Publications, a desktop publishing venture that seems incapable of making any
money at all. On June the ninth, 2018, he did his first (and last) parachute
jump and crossed that shit off his bucket list.
Kevin D. Duncan
was born 1958 in Alton, Illinois where he still resides.
He has degrees in Political Science, Classics, and Art & Design. He has been freelancing
illustration and cartoons for over 25 years. He has done editorial cartoons and editorial
illustration for local and regional newspapers, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His award-winning work has appeared in
numerous small press zines, e-zines, and he has illustrated a few books.