Takes Another Shot
you don’t think about it, then it didn’t happen.” Sasha reached for the full
shot glass on the coffee table in front of her. “That’s what Sister Katherine
told me to do.”
picked up her own shot glass but stopped short of her lips. “Sister Katherine?
You went to see that old witch? Please tell me you didn’t.”
threw her head back, downing the tequila in one gulp. “It’s not bad advice.
Listen, I slept better last night, and woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
just denial! It’s childish and self-destructive. How much did her ‘advice’ cost
you?” Katie reached for the bottle and refilled their glasses.
bucks.” Sasha giggled.
I could have given you that ‘advice,’ for half the price.” Katie couldn’t help
but join her friend in the giggles, before catching herself and regaining her
composure. One of them had to be serious here. “Did Sister Katherine even give
you a talisman to rub between your fingers when you’re stressed? Did that
wizened old crone make you a wearable little medicine bag, stuffed with herbs
and crystal shards, to protect you? Did she at least hand-write, in cursive, a
short incantation of anonymity on old parchment, for you to swallow?”
raised her glass, to her friend’s consternation, and took a ladylike sip of her
tequila. “No, no, and no.” She swallowed her drink and put the empty glass on
the coffee table. Then she pointed to it.
again filled their glasses, shaking her head. “Pretending it didn’t happen is not
going to change the reality of your situation, which is dire.” Katie pushed
Sasha’s shot glass across the coffee table towards her, sloshing a bit of
tequila on the glass top as she did. “Not one little bit.”
mean,” Katie continued after she chugged her own shot, “The police are
looking for you.”
know,” Sasha mumbled as she rummaged through her hobo purse. She pulled a
bloodied handkerchief from its depths and spread it out on the coffee table
before her. She meticulously smoothed out the wrinkles.
went on. “They found the body.” She reached for the half-empty bottle.
they did,” Sasha agreed. She dug out several metal somethings that clinked
together in her loose fist. She held her hand over the open handkerchief, and dropped
onto the center of the bloodied cloth, three spent shells from her Glock, one
at a time. Sasha then nodded towards her empty glass.
your bedroom,” Katie pointed out, as she refilled their glasses.
huh,” Sasha concurred, still searching through her oversized bag. “Ah, there
you are!” she stage-whispered to her find. She then gingerly placed a man’s
simple gold wedding band on top of the heaped shells.
your bed,” Katie said, with a catch in her voice and tears in her eyes.
Damn tequila; it was making her sappy.
tied her project up in a tidy little bundle, lifted it up before her friend,
and gently dropped it into her hobo bag. She sucked down her tequila, then with
the empty glass between her fingers, spun it like a top on the coffee table,
flinging drops out in a messy, circular-splatter pattern.
reached over and stopped the spin; it was making her a wee bit nauseous. “What
are you going to do?”
Sasha shrugged. “I'm going to go see Madame Devereaux.”
witch?” Katie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Why? What can she do for
for one thing, she can—” Sasha began, but Katie interrupted.
she reverse the flow of time, to prevent this horror show from happening?”
Katie stood up, pacing now. She was on a roll. “Can she send you back to stop
yourself from murdering your married lover?” She threw her hands up in
despair. “And if she could, would you even listen to yourself?”
be absurd,” Sasha said as she grabbed her last tequila shot. She raised it
toward her friend and winked. “I know Madame Devereaux can’t manipulate time.”
Sasha downed her final shot, coughed once, and wiped her mouth. She stood up,
slung her hobo bag over her shoulder, and headed for the door.
what can she do for you?” Katie queried before finishing her own last
shot. She slammed the empty glass down on the table.
looked her old friend in the eye. “What she can do for me,” she said
with an impish grin, “is raise the dead.”
an MA in English
Literature from SMU, Hillary Lyon founded and for 20 years
acted as senior editor for the independent poetry publisher,
Subsynchronous Press. Her speculative, horror, and sci-fi stories have
appeared in numerous print and online publications such as Night to
Dawn, Tales from the Moonlit Path, Sirens Call, and Theme of
Absence, as well as in multiple anthologies. She is also an illustrator for
horror/sci-fi, and pulp fiction sites.