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