The duffle bag on the table sits between us like the elephant in the room it really is.
He’s wearing a cheap suit. Hair’s slicked back, skin’s clean shaven. Mirror-shades–indoors. What kind of jerk wears sunglasses inside a dark motel room?
“You just gonna stare at it,” I say. “Go ahead, check it out.” I nod towards the bag and lean back in my chair.
His upper lip twitches for a second, but then he pulls the bag closer, sliding it over the old plastic table. I shift awkwardly, trying to keep it cool, but I’m sure my being nervous shows, still. Especially with the two armed thugs guarding the motel door.
How is it I keep ending up in a place like that?
The dealer zips the bag open, carefully pulling each side of it apart to reveal the two pouches of cocaine inside. Then he takes out a small pocketknife, hits a tiny switch and makes the blade pop out.
He cuts into one bag. I went through a lot of trouble making sure the bags won’t rip open, and here that assholes just cuts right into them.
“Not bad,” he nods with his pinky still between his lips after sampling the product. “Not as pure as you said, though.”
“The hell it is!” Mitch and Nathan said it’s pure-cut A-product. And what do I know? The mob went through great lengths to get it back, so I figured it must be good shit.
Guess I was wrong.
He pushes the bag back into the middle. “Three-hundred,” is all he says.
“Five.” I stare right through his mirrored glasses. Behind me, the thugs begin to shuffle. Mitch said it’s half a million. That’s what I want. I didn’t do what I did to get short-changed.
“Whoever you stole this powder from,” he says calmly, “misinformed you of the quality, I’m afraid.” He puts his elbows on the table and folds his hands before his face, leaning forward ever so little.
“I didn’t—“ Before my eyes, I see Mitch’s face again. His pleading eyes. His reaching hand—reaching out for me to save him. All I had was a gun pointing at him. I don’t remember feeling anything. At all.
“A girl like you,” the drug dealer says, “how else would you get so much cocaine, if you didn’t steal it? What did you do—seduce the guy, tie him to the bed all sexy-like, and run off with his stuff without so much as a blowjob?” He chuckles, as do his men behind me.
I purse my lips, trying to contain the anger starting to rise. This little man knows nothing of what really happened. He has no idea just how far I was—and am—willing to go to see this through. About time people stopped thinking of me as the little girl that can only clean up after their messy affairs.
Like Nathan. Like that little bastard of a rat. Family my ass. He aimed his little revolver at me after he fell to the ground trying not to get hit by the biker showing up gun’s blazing. Acting like some kind of hero wanting to stop me from shooting Mitch, only seconds after he cowered in fear for his own life. If it wasn’t for me, we’d all be dead now. Before I knew it, that little runt collapsed like a sack of old laundry. Dead, even before the gun in my hand stopped smoking. Not even Mitch wanted to believe I just did that.
Just like this drug-pusher on the other side of the table. Or his real-man thugs laughing their little balls off behind me.
I mumble under my breath for them to fuck off.
“What was that?” asks the man across from me.
I look up. Again, burning holes into his shades with my stare alone. I say, “You wanna know what I did?” The words just come out of my mouth, sounding darker and more daring than I was going for. I push myself off the chair, fluent, not taking my eyes of off his face. Surprised, he leans back. I walk around the table, one hand on the cold plastic top, sliding my fingers across towards him. Again, with a voice hiding a dark and dirty secret, I say, “Let me tell you where the drugs come from. What it is I can do for you…” I let the thought hang there.
He takes off his shades, squinting his too-little eyes in my direction. I now stand right by him, leaning over to let him look down my shirt. A glance over to the guards, who shuffle uncomfortably. Not knowing whether to leaves us alone or stop me from what I’m doing.
I move my lips close to his ear. He shivers. Trembles. Chances are, he’s already doped up. I take a too-loud breath and notice he’s stopped breathing for a moment.
I whisper, “I killed two men.” I hear his heartbeat accelerate. In my mind, I see myself watching Mitch in the rearview mirror crawling on all four, wanting me to turn around for him. Instead, I just kept driving. “And I won’t stop there.”
He moves. I’m faster.
Before I know it, Mitch’s pistol slides from under the back of my pants into my hand, and the barrel presses against that asshole’s head. I circle quickly behind him, looking at the two men raising their own guns. Confused.
“Five hundred,” I say. My hostage dares not to move. “For each bag,” I add.
“Each?” he protests, but is quickly reminded of just who is in charge here, when I push the pistol harder against his head, bending his neck to the side.
Then I see it. A small, black wire, hanging loosely just under this collar.
What is that for?
The door busts open, and in one swift move, two men in armoured uniform come crashing through, disarming and disabling the thugs like they’re nothing but gun-wielding mannequins. Unable to even react.
Behind the two armoured police officers comes a young man in worn suit without a tie, holding up a detective’s batch in one hand and a handgun in the other.
“Sarah Robertson”—never even had time to legally change my name—“You’re under arrest for multiple homicides, and possession and distribution of illegal drugs.”
Fingers’s twitching around the gun-trigger. Heart’s racing in my chest.
Oh hell no—
This concludes the short story (almost). It has been a very interesting journey. Up until the very end, I had no idea what each scene will be like. Using the Writer Emergency Deck really did a number on my creative process.
On Friday, I’ll talk a little about what will happen now that the story is done, and what you can expect next week to wrap up the project for good.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Look out for an eBook version of the story–fully edited and spellchecked–in the near future!
Any thoughts on this scene, post it on the comments. Let me know what you think.