He signaled the bartender, who asked “Another?” This man didn’t know Ray was dead any more than the misses in the corner.
“Relax. I’m taking a cab.” And that was true, he suddenly realized. Someone was clonking up the stairs in his house now. And it would be a black and yellow calling when that person entered the bathroom. “Make it quick.”
Ray hoped the money he was piling up wouldn’t evaporate with him but had an idea it might.
He wondered who was about to find him. His ex wife? Impossible. She moved to Vegas more than a year ago. The incessantly chatty next door neighbor, then? Or someone else? Something else.
A memory pierced him. When he couldn’t still his hand on the knife, he hadn’t been alone in that bathroom. A woman had joined him, an insubstantial someone wrapping her arms around his shoulders placing her hands over his on the hilt. He had looked up when they made the cut together, caught her eye for the briefest instant in the mirror, and felt, rather than saw her extraordinary beauty.
It was her then creaking down his hall, hungry for him now like he had been for her in their brief moment of contact.
Ray stood too fast, tipping the stool in his hurry as he slammed another twenty on the bar. There was a cab outside waiting, right now, but he had to hurry or he’d miss it. “Night ladies.” He tipped a finger towards the booth. “Barkeep,” he called over his shoulder, “never mind about that drink.”
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.