An hour after sunrise. And I didn’t smell my finest. I tugged the jangling door to Cajun Queen Cafe—and a blast of sharp AC jammed the stink thru my nose—square into my brain. But hey, not my fault. I’d spent the dim wee hours tossing Ezekiel Daniel Boone (in hearty twelve-inch-chunks) to a brood of orphan gators down at Funkman’s swamp.
I strolled past the empty tables. Plunked my weary ass on a red-padded stool, eagerly propped my elbows on the solitary counter. Alerted by the tinkling bell … or maybe my rank smell, BJ popped her head from the walk-in freezer. Deftly slammed the door.
“Well, well. If it ain’t Mr. Taylor. Finally back from Funkman’s to grace us with his stench. Only a gal born on the bayou wouldn’t hurl her cookies at the likes a you. My mama warned me back in middle school you were a rotten boy.”
“And more rotten by the year, dear. How ’bout an oyster Po-Boy? And some alligator nuggets.”
Lithe as a bobcat, BJ sprang on the counter—
Sauntered on all fours. “Still only servin’ breakfast, mister hungry man. How ’bout you try my Eye Opener instead? Authentic Cajun spice along with everything nice.”
She offered her pink wet tongue. How could this po-boy resist?
I’d fled this bayou outta high school … a dozen years back. But a recent letter from Aunt Sadie sayin’ she was dyin’ sent me scurryin’ south to this coastal haunt. Bobby Jo had welcomed me. With open arms—and open legs. Only thirteen when I left. A cute bombastic Tomboy: rather like two raisins on a shiny new wash board.
Everyone called her BJ then. Now they’d rightly crowned her Queen of Blue Bayou. And I couldn’t get my fill of this blazin’ Cajun muffin. Cravin’ her sweet icing, I slipped an agile paw beneath her loose black skirt—
But halted when I spotted Ezekiel’s barefoot niece … wearing nothing but some strings (that multiplied by fifty didn’t equal a bikini) … yet wrestling to wedge a bulging hot-pink gym bag past the kitchen’s back screen door.
Like struggling Jesus with his cross, she stumbled to the dining room, and soundly clunked her burden on the red-n-white tiled counter. Corralling her butt on a stool two seats down from me—long, pale legs splayed like a victory sign—she absently scratched her crotch.
“Hot damn, Corey. Boy, you smell more yummy than my dear ol’ grammy’s kitchen.”
BJ rolled her eyes—practically out her head. Slid her hot muffin bottom sleekly off the tiles, landed on the kitchen side.
“I took that trip to Alabama, just like you tol’ me, Corey. Did me some shopping, too. And knowin’ you’d kill my uncle Zeke—makin’ me rich, rich, rich—I bought me some new boobies.”
“So I see, Jolene. Did they let you keep the old ones?”
“Shit, Corey. Now that you mention it … I didn’t ask the doctor for ’em. You think he’s still got ’em?”
“Wont know unless you ask, Jolene,” Bobbie Jo chimed in.
“Guess you’re right about that ….
“But damn I sure hope so. I’d hand ’em down to my daughter when she gets old enough. Give her a good head start on all them other girls—”
“You got the rest of Corey’s money?” BJ interrupted.
“Sure, do! Right inside that gym bag, sittin’ on my sundress.”
“Should be fifty-K, Bobby Jo, if you’ll kindly count.”
“While BJ’s busy countin’ wanna feel my new boobs, Corey?”
BJ’s baby browns blinked bigger than a Saw-whet owl’s.
“That’s a mighty gracious offer, Jolene. But—”
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
Smirking BJ brandished a cast iron skillet … like Serena Williams wields her Wilson tennis racket.
I knelt on the floor, checked Jolene for a pulse. “That wasn’t the plan, Bobby Jo. Though you’re sure as hell efficient. Her lights were pretty dim. But sure as shit, girl, they ain’t coming on again.”
“I wandered off the reservation when I looked inside that gym bag—
“And found a million bucks give-or-take, tucked beneath a Batman towel. All crisp Benjamins, banded in stacks of twenty-five. Speakin’ of which—
She tossed my $50K. Set the skillet in the sink, cranked the cold water faucet. Snagged a box of Saran, and pertly vacuum-wrapped Jolene’s misshapen head. “That’ll keep this new-boobed-ninny from bleedin’ on my floor. Drag her toward you, Corey, away from this here puddle.
“Good. Now your turn,” she instructed, waving the Saran: “Start at her ankles and stop at the knees. Then we’ll stand her up—and I’ll slip that sundress on. I’m gonna stash this lovely gym bag in granddaddy’s root cellar.”
I wound and bound Jolene; returning BJ mopped the floor … using a fresh dish towel and a bottle of Clorox bleach. “I didn’t see Jolene’s car, Corey … she must’ve caught a ride. One less task to deal with. Damn these boobs are hard,” she gasped, tugging on the orange dress.
“Ta-da. Sling her over your shoulder like a fireman’s carry, baby. We’ll truss her in the freezer. Wanna keep her nice-n-straight before rigor settles in.”
BJ dried her skillet. We scoured our hands and arms. Sighed in giddy relief while BJ poured us lemonade.
“All that money’s makin’ me horny, Corey.”
“Me, too, Bobby Jo.”
We both hopped on the counter, BJ rabidly unbuttoning her lacy ivory blouse. I stripped off her bra. She whipped off my belt—
The bell out front jangled. Fuck off, I mumbled, BJ’s nipple in my mouth.
And Sheriff Towne waddled in.
“Hey, why don’t you two buy a room? Or is the Cajun Queen now servin’ legs-n-eggs? If yeah, I want me some.”
“Just grabbin’ ourselves a bite of afternoon delight, sheriff. Why don’t you wash your hands, while I fetch your usual,” BJ practically sang.
Still gawking at BJ’s boobs, Towne managed a sneak-peek at his Apple Watch. No easy task by any means. Especially with his right eye buried under a mound of gauze and black electric tape. “A bit early ain’t it? Only seven in the mornin’ if this stupid thing ain’t broke. This smart watch ain’t too bright. I shoulda bought another Timex.
“Anyway, I didn’t drop by for breakfast. Y’all seen Jolene around? She come by my house last night. Drunker than a skunk and a hunert times more horny than a mare in heat … wantin’ to show me her new boobies.”
Almost as if on cue, BJ buttoned her shirt; slid once more off the counter. Towne’s lone eye dulled with disappointment. “I swear her redneck doctor musta used concrete. Them things is hard as rocks. Nearly poked my damn eye out—
“While I was givin’ myself first aid, Jolene took ta jabberin … sompthin’ ’bout a hit man killin’ her uncle Zeke. I barely slept all night, between the pain an’ her yammerin.’ But when I woke this mornin’? Her Kia’s sittin’ in my driveway, but that crazy gal was gone. So was my cruiser. Had to drive my Ford. Anyhow, I called them folks at OnStar. They say the cruiser’s round here somewhere … but it ain’t on this here lot.”
“Damn,” I finally added. “That’s some flaky stuff, sheriff. You need some help looking? I’m happy to lend a hand. But I outta take a look at that eye of yours first.”
“That’s mighty kinda you, Mr. Taylor—”
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
“I warned ya, Corey-baby: that hussy had loose lips along with those loose hips.”
“And a bunch of loose screws, too. But Christ, Bobby Jo. You just whacked the sheriff.”
“Don’t whine, Corey Taylor. Whining ain’t sexy.” She tossed me the Saran wrap: “Here, you know the drill. Least we don’t hafta dress him. Toss me his keys, will ya? I gotta quickly haul his Explorer round the back and toss a tarp on top. The breakfast crowd’s about to start. And I’ll stay slammed straight through lunch.”
“How the hell you learn to swing an iron pan like that? And don’t tell me slingin’ hash.”
“Had me eleven cousins. And once I started fillin’ out? All a them turned horny goats. Tried grabbin’ a piece a me everywhere I went … kept sneakin’ in my room.
“I took ta keepin’ this skillet with me. And learned to stay alert. Every single one earned his self a big stay-cation at the county hospital’s dazzling trauma center. But some were slow to learn. Two are now in comas. Uriah—you knew him. He’s buried at St. Laurent’s. With a ceramic pig for a headstone.
“But I bat nearly a thousand now.”
We’d barely trussed the pork chop Towne securely in the freezer when again the front door jangled. And wouldn’t you bloody know: in strolled none other than Deputy Moreaux. “Y’all seen Sheriff Towne?” he barked without preamble.
Bobby Jo nodded. “Sheriff’s parked out back talkin’ ta Jolene Boone. The two of ’em had a spat last night. She nearly tore his right eye out. They was screamin’ like cats-n-dawgs. But they settled down since. Here. You can cut through the kitchen. But ya better be careful, deputy—
“Them lovebirds is likely doin’ the nasty in the sheriff’s SUV.” Bobby Jo winked. “Ain’t nothin’ near as hot as make-up sex, deputy.”
“Jolene and the sheriff? Who the hell woulda thought?” He paused in the doorway, right hand twitching atop his holstered gun … and peeked around the corner.
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
“Aw, fuck, Bobbie Jo. This bayou’s fulla boobs. But for the love of God, girl, you can’t keep killing all of them.”
“Don’t be a rube, Corey Taylor. You been gone fifteen years. Off to see the world. Looks like you done forgot how folks in the Bayou act.
“Since you boned her back in high school, Jolene spent her wasted life jonesin’ after you. Never left this Bayou even for a single minute, hopin’ you’d come back—afraid she’d miss you if she did. Why you think that gal bought herself new boobs? Why you think she stumbled in here, wavin’ tits and pussy? Her dress was in that bag. She coulda worn the stupid thing. Why the hell you think she asked ya ta kill her uncle Zeke?
“That ol’ coot had terminal cancer, one foot in the grave. Jolene wanted to bond with you. Wanted you to trust her. Thought if she had Zeke’s money, if she had bigger boobs, maybe then you’d want her—and maybe grow to love her.”
BJ’s words whacked me like that goddam skillet.
“And where do you suppose, Mr. World-Wise, Jolene got that cash? Under uncle’s mattress? I doubt you reckon that. Don’t know where he got that money … but she grabbed the cash from Towne. Dreamin’ the two a you would ride off into this evening’s sun. She trusted you’d killed Zeke, and made her rich, rich, rich. She didn’t need to steal Towne’s cash. Didn’t have to show here. But she risked all for you. I admire that she tried.
“Towne played at bein’ dumb. He wasn’t a rotten fella. But he had to feel desperate loosin’ a million bucks—specially if that cash wasn’t solely his. I sure as hell don’t reckon that much money was. And desperate folks got a way a doin’ truly desperate things. Whatever Towne was up to? Moreaux was sure as shit involved—why else turn up here? No bones about it, Corey: that bastard had a mean streak.
“Now go and grab them gas cans outta yer truck, darlin’—I need ta fire-up them pits out by the sheriff’s SUV. Been a while since I cooked a rollickin’ Cajun barbecue. Folks’ll come from miles around once the word get’s out. Squirrel, possum, coon; gator, goat or boar. Down here in the bayou meat is meat, my dear. You forget why old-time Cajuns love to spice things up?
“Folks here love their gossip, too. Bet your sweet ass, Corey, I’ll add fuel to their hungry fires. That greedy slut Jolene wanted Zeke dead. Was screwin’ the sheriff and Moreaux. Urgin’ both to kill her uncle. A messy love triangle. One of ’em killed her uncle—then the jealous lawmen tried to kill each other. Everyone will hear that Jolene’s car was found at Towne’s place, givin’ credence to the rumors. I’ll sprinkle all three a them’s blood in the sheriff’s driveway for the CSIs to find. Who’s alive and runnin’—or wound up six feet under will be anybody’s guess.”
BJ dropped the window blinds, hung the Closed sign on the door. “When you’re done with the cans, luv, take Moreaux’s cruiser and park that silver baby longside the sheriff’s wheels. For the time bein’ that green tarp should cover ’em both.”
I strolled out to the Ranger. Hauled ass west for Mexico—
Suddenly I’d lost my appetite for Cajun.
Addicted to tawdry tales that sometimes make her blush, Jesse typically writes crime, mysteries, and humor. You’ll usually find her stories on the wrong side of the tracks, including flash-zine Shotgun Honey and The Rye Whiskey Review. Jesse also pens Bad Ass Book Reviews, and author interviews—fondly known as Ink-Quisitions—for Southern Crime mag Story and Grit. She dazedly accepted The Gutter’s online publishing torch for the Flash Fiction Offensive in February 2019 … and her murderous band of writing cohorts keep Jesse on her “heels.”
At the time of this writing, she hasn’t killed anybody yet. Wanna say “Hello” you can vist her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.rawlins.583