Lying in Wait
longer now, sweetcakes.
Laughing in the
four days,” she said.
“It’s been six.”
It rained all
day, two days
straight, he told her. You can’t shingle an A-frame church the size of a
coliseum in a downpour—
the weather, George.”
Chattanooga’s dry as driftwood—that’s
cats and dogs three days
straight. Dries out, ain’t gonna be no more’n two, three days tops.”
three days . . .
not be no girls in that
room with you.”
Uh-oh, old Georgie’s
silent treatment! More yuks around
them slouching against
the headboard, work boots on the bedspread, holding beers by the necks. Younger
men now, muscled, whip-slender, strong as bamboo; they’d skip like goats over
rooftops. He wouldn’t admit he was getting too old to go high, carrying a beer
gut, too. Too proud to cut plywood with a table saw. Said he’d quit first.
ain’t pouting on
me, is she?”
Playing to his
remembered him on the beach that first day, tanned from roofing but his ankles
pasty white from his socks. The rest of him nut-brown, glistening with sweat
and tanning oil.
miss me, maybe you
miss Betty Sue. She didn’t eat that last batch of mice from three days ago.”
but she’s following me
around the trailer all day. Probably lookin’ for you like you’re hiding in the
closet on her. Dumbass snake.”
The first time
she saw Betty
Sue, she took a stutter-step backwards. Lying in her rabbit pen, coiled up like
a giant custard. Betty Sue stared at her, flicked her tongue, tasted air. Tastin’
you, babe. That’s cuz you’re so goshdarn sweet . . .
seen a Burmese
python up close. Twenty-two feet back then, bigger now. George said she weighed
about four-hundred pounds. He couldn’t
lift her now. She talked to Betty Sue, complained about George to her when he went
on his out-of-state jobs with his crew.
you. She crawled up
in bed next to me last night. Damn air-conditioner’s on the fritz again.”
to me. Baby . . .”
I laid there sweatin’
until dawn. Just me and your big-ass python.”
Planting an image
nude and sweating. Maybe raise the trouser snake, git him on home faster.
you at right now?”
she purred. “Betty Sue’s
stretched out beside me like last night. Just the two of us girls all alone.”
get out of there.”
just us girls, all alone.
Marcie’s been beggin’ me to go to the Rooster Tail with her—”
get out of there! Right
“ . . .
to go line
hell you talkin’
Sue,” he replied.
His deep voice
a notch. It alarmed her.
Robb White has published crime/thriller novels
and horror stories in various magazines and anthologies. He’s been nominated for a Derringer.
Recent horror stories are “A Mischief of Rats” in Guilty Crime Story Magazine and “Miss
Arbitrage & the Gigolo” in Unspeakable:
Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. Two recent horror stories are “The
Tick Bite” and “You’ll See, She Said” in Black Petals. His latest
publication is a collection of
mixed crime and horror tales: Betray
Me Not: Stories of Revenge (Grand
Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various
venues in Manhattan, including the
Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s
Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she
can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received.