Word Count: 665
The scent of honeysuckle was like an airborne brick on the cool breeze of the late Sunday morning. The coffee had been drunk and the paper picked apart, its carcass littering the living room floor. Talking heads and political pundits had screamed themselves hoarse in 22-minute intervals on the television, sparking stunted but lively debate on the couch lasting only as long as the commercial breaks. They kissed after each exchange, happy to be speaking, happy to simply live in the moment, not daring to wish it would last longer.
Breakfast was sage sausage, eggs over medium, and hominy grits, a fine facsimile of a Southern morning meal in the Great Mitten of the 26th state. Cooking was becoming a lost art in this household, but it felt good to boil something other than bones or inedible meat. Sundays were designed to be lazy days, and except for the body cooling in the laundry room, there were no other responsibilities to tend to.
At some point before it got too warm and the humidity made the air too heavy, the body would have to be chopped into manageable pieces and given a bleach-alcohol bath. The organs and soft tissue would have to be removed, pulsed into the food processor, and put into containers to be taken to the River Rouge Watershed after dark. The larger bones would have to be crushed down by hand (they had learned the hard way that the food processor didn’t like bones and once had shot back a sharp shard that had to be removed with tweezers) and then mixed with more bleach and be poured into the foundation of the housing development going up down the street. It was a lot of hard, bloody work, and it was a thankless job that had to be done, but it could wait a little longer. Now, they were relaxing.
They shared the last of the coffee, passing the mug thoughtfully back and forth. Still flushed from the post-coital afterglow hours before, and except for the murmur of the body releasing gasses and fluids, moving seemed like a thing other people did. The body in the mudroom farted, long and gassy, and she giggled. He looked at her and smiled, touching her cheek gently. It was like they were dating again, furtive glances, small touches, that awkward “there’s a body in the room but let’s just ignore it for now and concentrate on us”-feeling.
He thought about one more go-round with her when the body farted again and he sighed. The time between murder and disposing was so sweet and when it was over and there was nothing left to anticipate, no grinding or pulsing, they would go back to being two empty shells waiting for a sign: a nod or a wave from someone saying, I’m ready to die now, please revel in my last moments?. No more than two a month, never closer than the freeway, and never ever in the decoy area. You only have to pick up an undercover cop once to understand that.
He folded his paper and took one more sip of the coffee. He leaned over and kissed her, already his eyes beginning to harden to the task. She felt a little sad, already missing him, and kissed him back, wistful for the moments with her scissors and his clamps and the little cries from the dryer.
Stab, pinch, choke. Stab, stab, choke. Pinch, choke, stab. Stab, stab, stab.
She let out a sigh of her own.
“Time to go to work, baby,” he said softly.
“I know. She was fun.”
“There will be others?”
The honeysuckle drifted through the kitchen window and was lemony sweet on the air, but already the sun was beginning give it a cooked smell. Pretty things never lasted and that was good. Appreciating the moment, that’s what she was doing. Happy to live in the moment.
She took a deep breath and fetched the large pot from the cabinet.
Black Ink Horror #4, Sideshow Press, 2009, Print
© 2009 MontiLee Stormer
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