Lucita’s Salacious Secret by Jesse “Heels” Rawlins

lucita jesse

Mescal peered at the fifteen women assembled on the mesa—

They sure got that boy aroused. Not because they sprawled half-dressed ….

But because they lay there dead.

Me? I grabbed the Canon looped around my neck—and rabidly fired pictures. I knew from prior visits we had no phone reception here.

The sun sat high in a July sky. And sweat raced down my cleavage. But tempering my adrenalin, I cranked the camera’s ISO and exposure down as well. We didn’t get much crime out here in Pinjon County. But once this shit-storm hit the press, life wouldn’t be so balmy. As the elected sheriff in these parts, best I got things right.

This un-named mesa squats serenely over Crooked Canyon—just outside the northern tip of New Mexico’s Brokeoff Mountains. While thirty miles due east, the celebrated Carlsbad Caverns smugly hug the local landscape.

The Crooked also intersects with the grueling Chihuahuan Dessert.

Pronounced by some as chay-hojaun, our continent’s second largest desert rakes southeast Arizona, scourges neighboring West Texas—then languishes further south, exhausts in Mexico.

People call this place a wasteland. But twenty years I’ve called it Home.

I motioned to Mescal. The cat had certainly snatched that poor boy’s bewildered tongue. Though I respected his somber silence.

We trudged resolutely to my dust-caked Silverado—

Spiraled down into Lucita … not far from Devil’s Den.

***

I called the FBI field office over in Los Cruces. And asked for Billy Evans. The man was ten times tougher than a two-dollar steak. And a hundred times more prickly than any of the Chihuahuan’s two-hundred cactus species. Not just short on empathy, he also lacked imagination.

Shit. I had to settle for VM.

Evans has a penchant for wanting to shoot the messenger—

I kept my message short not sweet.

***

Instead of calling me back, Evans turned-up on my doorstep: harvest moon clearly visible, sky ablaze with stars.

“I wanna talk to your wit—the one who found the bodies.”

“Sure,” was all I said.

“Let’s go then. Time’s a wastin’—where does Mescal live?”

“Lives right here with me.”

Evans glared: “Well? You gonna fetch ’em?”

I waved him in the house; he let my aging screen door slam.

“No need to fetch Mescal—boy’s sleeping on that sofa.”

“You gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me. Mescal’s a Golden Retriever?”

***

I poured a coffee black for Evans, slid a folder off the counter. The agent didn’t speak. Just squinted at the pics …. Laid ’em neatly in a grid across my kitchen table.

At the risk of sounding pompous? Those photos came out sweet.

I downed a welcome shot of Patrón tequila, embraced its loyal warmth. “We need a copter,” I said to Evans.

“Why we need a copter?”

“I’ll show you once we’re up there.”

Evans locked his jaw—like he was set to argue. But okay was all he said.

I didn’t say a word to Evans ….

But the one who’d killed these women—lived right here in little ’ol Lucita.

And I knew how to deal with her.

“Couch is yours if you want. Sheets in that there cupboard.”

Bony fingers drummed the table. “Beats another night at a musty Motel 6. I got a suitcase in the Blazer.

“You sharing that Patrón?”

***

The copter banked a U-turn over the yawning canyon—then hovered like a bee above the honeyed amber mesa. Though embarrassing to admit, I found this aerial view so stunning I erotically creamed myself.

The pilot deciphered the scene before agent Evans did. “Well I’ll be a fly on an armadillo’s ass—

“Those bodies form a pentagram.”

I photographed the mesa with a hunger I’d never known. That pentagram-shape meant diddley.

***

Evans ended his call.

“Thanks for dragging me into your crazy circle jerk.

“The anthropologist has confirmed what we already knew: ain’t no way in hell this is a tribal burial plot—

“But she does think some of these vics were interred a decade earlier.”

“If they been here all this time,” said the pilot, “then why’d the killer dig ’em up—and display ’em now?”

“Cuz someone’s finally showing off,” I said, trying to banish the image of a circle jerk on the mesa. Plumbing issues aside? Not my kinda gravy train.

Different strokes for different folks.

Though my fingers yearned for action.

***

Back on terra firma life seemed so mundane ….

Evans marched besides me toward my baking truck. Sweatin’ like a bottle of ice-cold Dr. Pepper, he swiped his dirt-streaked brow. Crevices rimmed his face just like they laced the canyon. But not a single laugh line. “You still retiring in a month?”

Hands tucked in my back pockets I brushed his stony shoulder twice. Let him feel a bit of tit. South of the equator, his Levis aptly stirred. “Indeed, I am, Billy. Movin’ north to Utah. Gonna explore the canyons there.”

“Lucky you, Lucita.”

Lucky me, for sure. Unfettered from this job?

Bet I can seduce at least two women a year.

I’ll certainly miss my trophies … but I’ve got scores of gorgeous pics.

*****

The original version of “Lucita’s Salacious Secret” first kindly appeared at Story and Grit.

 

Addicted to tawdry tales that sometimes make her blush, Jesse Rawlins typically writes crime, mysteries, and humor. You’ll usually find her stories on the wrong side of the tracks, including flash-zine Shotgun Honey, Horror Sleaze Trash, and The Rye Whiskey Review.

She dazedly accepted the publishing and editing torch for 11-year-old online crime mag The Flash Fiction Offensive in February 2019—and her murderous band of writing cohorts keep Jesse on her “Heels.” Wanna say, “Hello?” You can vist Jess on Facebook, or swing by her website where some of her stories are free to read: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.rawlins.583

https://jesseheelsrawlins.wordpress.com/

Jesse Rawlins

Flash Fiction Offensive’s 11th year anniversary.

FFO

‘Greetings all you Gutterites. Ezine years are even longer than dog years. And we’ve reserved November to celebrate Flash Fiction Offensive‘s 11th year anniversary. Readers. Writers. Editors. That’s a lotta love and energy. The chocolate frosting we offer on today’s cake is surely bittersweet. Yet we’re pleased to present the tale “Loaded Guns” — penned by Sandra Seamans — and first published at FFO back in December of 2008. We hope y’all will take a few minutes to partake.’

 

 

The Bayou Boobie Blues By Jesse “Heels” Rawlins


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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

Jesse Rawlins

 

Inside Pandora’s Box by Jesse Rawlins

Pandora didn’t say a word; but of course she didn’t have to. Her fathomless eyes spoke volumes, and calmed his burdened-mind. The cancer that ravished her body had changed so many things. Yet the taloned-beast had failed to mutilate their love. Chemo had claimed her hair; but he found her wig exotic, black waves tonight pinned-back with Oriental Jade.

A tad bit cumbersome though, Pandora’s riddled glands no longer functioned properly. But beneath their rainbow-quilt, he knew what he would find: the loveliest heart-shaped box. And with a tenderness born of intimacy, he massaged the medical lubricant (without which sex was painful).

Until at last entwined in Love—Jake’s many worries melted.

Languidly wishing he could linger, Mother Nature called. And if he didn’t answer, his screaming bladder would explode.

Jake crawled out the coffin. And gently closed the lid. There was no place he felt better—

Than inside Pandora’s Box.

***

Manhunt Ends in Chilling Climax     

Skulled by Peter Blunt: Beat Writer for OhMG!

MONTREAL—In a real-life rendition of Tales from the Crypt, bristling federal agents manacled Jake “The Snake” Coleman—as the former mortician slithered from a deceased woman’s coffin—shortly after midnight.

As eerie-night waxed into morn, droves of forensic specialists, masked and clad in latex, scoured the industrial warehouse, where this alarming crime took place. But what’s left of the debauched corpse has yet to be identified.

Various ranking authorities (from the United States and Canada) say their efforts will continue. But there’s simply not much substance for detectives to collect—in what they’re aptly calling an “open-and-shut case.”

“As we breached the basement I watched Coleman suddenly open—then close that coffin lid. Soon as I spotted the pants goo, it was obvious what took place,” said U.S. Marshall Patty Cakes. “Besides state and federal lines—this guy crossed some lines few people dream of crossing. His cold-frosting on our three-year-hunt was absolutely chilling.”

Coleman, 34 (from Alabama-USA), launched his cryptic coffin circuit three years ago in May: leaving frigid puzzle-pieces—of cancerous female corpses—in his putrid wake. Fleeing too-hot Alabama, the ex-mortician humped his way thru Arizona’s Grandest Canyon: thumped Ruby Ridge in Idaho; then pounded poor Sioux Falls back down in South Dakota.

But two years into the manhunt, Coleman’s arctic trail turned colder—than his freeze-dried taste in women. And until his coffin-chronicles in wintry-Montreal, stifled authorities held no clue as to what Jake’s Bad Snake’s been doing. Nor they ruefully say do they have a sniff of whom.

OhMG! has learned that Dr. Eudora Dahl (the famous psycho-therapist of our many sultry dreams) has been hired to charm “The Snake” in hopes of getting answers. But we at OhMG! certainly hold our doubts: the dynamic Dr. D is not a bony-old cadaver. Despite her expertise that crunching critter Coleman will likely prove a Nut that the Hot-Doc just can’t crack.

***

Jacob (as she called him) didn’t mind their talks.

Though he much preferred dead women.

Because they couldn’t talk.

To Jacob’s way of thinking, not talking made them Virtuous. And worthy of Adoration. Like his beloved sweet Pandora—who he literally sorely missed after three punishing celibate months in this lunatic asylum, where half the raving lunatics literally crawled the walls. (All of them sadly male; and all of them sadly living.)

In Jacob’s humble opinion, Dr. Eudora C. Dahl was in fact two separate women—trapped inside one body.

The “C” he’d learned on the Internet, aptly stood for Cathy. And with her Medusa snake-like hair, Dr. Chatty-Cathy Dahl was anything but Virtuous. While her quiet-intriguing superior was elegantly named Eudora.

The Chatty-Cathy doctor also displayed a sloppy penchant for making false assumptions. But discretion he always felt was the better part of Valor. And how better to woo Eudora than with the Knightly Code of Chivalry? So not once did Jacob bother to correct the erroneous Doc.

“During our last session, we talked about your mother. And I bet you’d feel amazing, if we spent the day releasing these conflicting bottled feelings.”

As this proposition climaxed, outside her second-floor window (which overlooked the yard) a guy called Harvey Danger—clawed past their plate-glass view.

A fairly common site; so the three of them ignored him.

A month into his arrival, Jake had taken time to reflect—this crazy Canadian hospice wasn’t all that different than the Lone-Star state of Texas (or a bunch of other states).

Just as Jacob knew old Harvey was headed for the roof, he knew where the Doc was headed. He also knew exactly what an Oedipal Complex was. So he absolutely knew—that the crude delinquent Oedipus didn’t haunt his troubled Psyche: because only stinking perverts craved sex with their mothers.

“No need to plow old ground, Doc.”

“But plowing through old turf often yields such fresh desserts.”

Jake adeptly caught embarrassed Eudora’s darting eyes.

They both had caught Doc Cat’s crassly-catty drift.

***

Eudora Dahl’s frustrations mounted—in some deeply troubling ways. The technique that she’d perfected was technically very simple: stroke their egos, crank their fantasies—and away these whack-jobs went. They quickly spewed their guts. And typically sprayed some hair gel: an unfortunate clinical side-effect that couldn’t be prevented. Not without pre-approved castration (a snip she always offered; and all the nuts rejected).

Throughout this messy protocol, the much-loved Dr. Dahl never lifted a sultry-finger.

But after these purging psychic cleansings—which included countless bottles of anti-bacterial soap (let alone replacing a ton of squishy office chairs)—her work began in earnest, as her sultry-fingers chronicled every squalid detail in her Best-Selling Tell-ALL books. After each new hot release, she gave exclusive interviews to the highest bidders (which meant she’d posed for Penthouse, defunct-Playgirl and Playboy). Besides shopping and the gym, she devoted her remaining time to hot-gratuitous-sex, which she always performed blind-folded (while zoning on designer drugs).

Not merely insanely-recalcitrant each time the two of them talked, this new strange and maddening nut-job seemed impervious to her charms—no matter how she dressed. Or how many wigs she wore.

Her initial meeting with Mr. Coleman, she’d played the cancer card: by fashioning a corset, which artfully made her look as if one of her breasts was missing; and naturally she had pinned—a pink breast cancer ribbon—where her aching phantom boob would normally come to rest.

But this cold and limbless fish had not produced a drop of perverse perspiration; and not once did she catch a gleam in his squidded unblinking-eyes.

She then hired Hollywood artists from the sets of Horror movies. And they’d made her look as dead as a still-breathing-girl could seem. But all to no affect.

To further compound her troubles, she found the guy attractive in a primal kind of way. His uncanny ethereal tendency to linger in her eyes spurred these feelings further. And ultimately fueled her anger—as he prattled about Pandora—day-after-day-after-day.

To alleviate her frustrations, she’d booked a beach resort vacation: at a place she called Head-Med—where she’d get her carpet hoovered morning, noon, and night. (Much like the heralded rose, cunnilingus by any name—was always thankfully cunnilingus.)

***

Seven days a week, the asylum hosted seminars and an array of lifestyle workshops. So rather than waste his days throwing personal Pity Parties (or watching the bloody crazies crawl the blood-stained walls), Jake scrutinized their catalogue, and judiciously enrolled in two specific courses: Assertiveness Training 201 and Anger Management for Murderers (also known as AMM).

Jake had never killed a soul. And until this incarceration, had never once felt tempted. But each morning with his oatmeal, he always read the News (in several local papers; and also on the Web). And naturally he felt mystified by his portrayal in the Media.

The outlet that wrote the cruelest things called itself OhMG! And righteous-Jake soon lasered all his newfound-rage at the rag’s iconic writer: the phalus-sophical Peter Blunt.

To state his feelings bluntly: Jake ached to beat the writer—with the salty Peter’s peter—till all that remained of Blunt was six-inches of his life.

Toting his supplies as he schlepped from AMM, Jake spotted Dr. Dahl by her shiny silver Jaguar—hopping round in circles—like a bunny cranked on meth.

Unlike crazies climbing walls, this was something new. Energized himself, he strode alongside the Jag and leaned against the trunk, where he overheard the doctor snorting sharp instructions to a dim-wit tow-truck driver.

Stabbing her iPhone in mid-hop—she froze on seeing Jake: and the supernova smile on his enraptured face.

“Penny for your thoughts,” she snapped.

Stroking a new goatee, Jake cocked his head—and smirked: “I bet you’d feel amazing if we did something with your hair.”

“Maybe we will,” she countered, “if you tell me what turns you on.”

“Hair is superficial, Doc. You need to flip the question.”

Surprised by his sudden candor she adjoined him at the Jag; both their shoulders touching, as she frantically scrolled her phonebook: looking for a livery to carry her to the airport. If she missed this flight to the Rug Docs she just might lose her mind. But if she left her Jag here with the whack-jobs, they’d not only climb the roof: she’d come back to squishy seats.

“Okay then, Mister Coleman: besides my current hairstyle—what are the things that turn you off?”

“Keep working’ the puzzle doc: I’m sure you’ll sort it out.”

Again with his recalcitrance. Fearful of losing headway, she stoically plowed ahead: “I think I’ve worked a few things out—”

Amused he arched his eyebrows.

ALL those WOMEN that you slept with during the past three stressful years—against unseemly odds—it’s merely a strange coincidence that all of them had cancer.”

She finally caught a gleam in eyes that glowed with warmth.

“And despite what everyone’s saying, you do NOT have a coffin fetish. While you were being hunted, you often needed a place to rest. And since you’d worked as a mortician, coffins sprung to mind—almost anywhere you traveled, these boxes were available. Why stay at cheap motels—or crash in abandoned buildings—when you could steal a box instead. All the Cadillac models are comfortably upholstered. And impervious to the elements.

Nevertheless on a psychic level, these coffins where you rested eventually turned symbolic: they became your secret place, where you felt warm and safe; hidden from the world—as you hoped for a better future. That’s what Pandora represented.

She also never judged you—nor would she ever leave you.

“And ever since your capture, you’re struggling with her loss.”

***

Impressed by Doc’s conclusions, Jake smoothly crawled inside; and gently closed the lid.

There was no place he’d feel better: than inside Eudora’s trunk.

Eudora didn’t say a word; but of course she didn’t have to. Her fathomless eyes spoke volumes, and calmed his troubled-mind. While behind that duct-taped mouth—the suddenly-Virtuous Dr. Dahl screamed in silent horror: as the cuddled threesome lurched behind the rumbling-rolling tow truck.

Using the therapist’s iPhone, Coleman snapped her picture: which he fired to Peter Blunt and the jerks at OhMG!

Along with a torrid text—

“Thinkin’ of you—you wankers. This is who I’m doin’. But you’ll never catch a whiff! (’Cept in your twisted dreams.) As to where I’m doin’ Eudora? The GPS is off: Use your perverted imaginations. (What I do when I’m with women is none of your stinkin’ business.) With snarky regards, Jake Coleman XXOO!”

This assertive deed now done (and feeling a lot-less-murderous), Jake deleted both pic and message; then tugged the battery from the phone. Now the time had come to delete Ms. Chatty-Cathy from his eternal memory. Strangling Dr. Dahl would be a mercy killing (that just might save his sanity)—and save the trapped Eudora: whose wig would look exotic—

After he dispatched the dispatched driver, and shaved that Medusa hair. (If only all Life’s problems were so simply superficial. And so easily resolved.)

Before the demented client snapped her fragile hyoid—and, how had she crassly put it? Ah, yes: plowed her aged turf in his kinky-quest for fresh desserts, a cryptic piece of Coleman’s puzzle finally tumbled into place.

“OMG!” she thought. My mother always told me: You talk too bloody much.

Ah, well. While thirty-eight was young, her carpet had certainly borne some heavy Industrial use. Knowing Coleman would adore it (long after she was gone) left her coyly flattered—

She tenderly kissed his lips thru a half-inch-mound of duct-tape (which sneaky Jake had hidden beneath the books inside his bag). Though she hadn’t figured out how he’d sabotaged the Jag.

Drawing her last breath, the relaxed doctor smiled: Famous Jake “The Snake” Coleman—was in her well-upholstered trunk. The jealous boys at OhMG! would have a load of things to say.

To Coleman’s way of thinking Curiosity killed Doc Cat. He liked her a whole lot better now that she was Virtuous. And he would answer all her questions when the three of them had dinner.

Bio: Addicted to tawdry tales that sometimes make her blush, Jesse typically writes crime, mysteries, and humor. You’ll usually find her stories on the darker side of the tracks including Flash Fiction Offensive, 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. At the time of this writing, she hasn’t killed anyone yet.

“Inside Pandora’s Box” kindly first appeared in Canada’s eclectic and electric Red Fez magazine.

Wanna say “Hello” you can vist her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.rawlins.583

Jesse Rawlins