I wish you wouldn’t go with him tonight. If you get caught…” Judith’s voice bounced off the yellowed porcelain tiles as she leaned closer to her sister at the counter in the ladies’ room. Judith stared at her own thin, chapped lips as Leda bared her teeth at her reflection in the chipped mirror and painted her lips a bright scarlet.
Albert was a bookie, bootlegger, card shark, ladies’ man; sharp as a tack in pinstripes, vest, stingy brim, and spats. He led the sportin life. He was Frankie’s main man.
Katerina Valencia Contrerez is an angry old bruja who lives outside the village of Dos Cruces. She hates her nephew, Cecilio. She beats him with her fists and chases him away. So Cecilio made her a beautiful walking stick to get in her good graces. Now Katerina beats him with her stick. The villagers say the lesson is, don’t arm your enemies. They say Cecilio is a great teacher.
I take it it will be you Pig Bastards who are reading this? It’s been a long time since I’ve had reason to type. Thank fuck for spell check or you would think I am a total retard, I’m not, I’m a fucking enigma!
When I heard the front door close I dashed to the window. From behind the lace curtain I watched Lilly-Anne skip down the steps onto the street. Palpitations fluttered in my chest, my arrhythmia raced like a motor-cross Kawasaki skidding sideways across sand. She walked along the street in black low-heeled shoes, light blue stockings and her coat flapped with each step exposing her knees, her handbag hung over a shoulder. Those lips glistened with gloss; no colour, such a pale face. She looked ill. I groaned, perhaps her boss will give her the day off; I wished. She made her way along the road out of my view.
I sat down and began my breathing mantra; in for five seconds and out for five until I calmed myself sufficiently to let the pulsating surge in my groin subside. My hands no longer shook and I could pick up my coffee.
May liked to set out bits of meat for the big birds. It was one of her few pleasures. She would dice up some cheap round steak and set it out in cubes along the porch rail. The part she loved, the thing about the ravens she adored was, they left her presents. She left them food and they left her a fake pearl, a thimble, little shiny things.
I’m on my third slow loop through a nearly-empty parking lot, passing by darkened stores as the last workers depart on a Sunday night. The land on which the mall sits was once part of the Everglades – I helped survey it as a summer job years ago. I’d wade into the forest with a machete and mark the trees developers would be saving – the slash pines were going, but the live oaks would stay to be stranded in asphalt.
Three days ago, Tristan, my cousin’s boyfriend, was waiting at a stop sign on his motorcycle when an inattentive driver plowed into him. If I delay my arrival any longer, I’d miss his viewing completely, so I finally drive across the street to the funeral home.