Hi all. Frickin’ snow. ‘Nuff said. SCBWI NYC Conference *squeee*…Holy Cow, my first!! So excited. So nervous, but that’s just how I roll. I figured out, approaching this conference, that I could use my flaws to help me. There is so much going on in my life and with people I care about that my nuttiness went into overdrive this week. Then yesterday, instead fighting it, I dove in, over the mountains of fear, past the sea of nervousness, through the vise grip of anxiety, above the clouds of perceived impending rejection to a place where I could breathe… and think…and write. I wrote this Adult Contemporary Fiction about a year ago but put it aside for the YA Paranormal Contemporary I’m just now querying. This is exactly what I needed…to laugh out loud! I hope it makes you LOL too… PEACE OUT!
BODY BAGS/ ADULT CONTEMPORARY/HUMOROUS
As the rain pelted my face, I wondered why I took this job. Oh, now I remember, because I wanna eat and have somewhere to live. No work equaled no food, no apartment, no cable, no phone, no gas, no nada. I sat with my back against the second floor as lightning cut across the sky and thunder shook my perch on the porch roof. It’s August in Cos Cob, a small town in Connecticut. It had been 98 degrees today, humid to the point of not being able to breathe in the shade, and my long auburn curly hair was showing every bit of it, in frizzy protest. Purple bloated clouds churned in the sky as a storm rolled in and darkness settled quickly around me. When I arrived, I had climbed a tree that overhung the back porch roof and waited in a tight squat position for about an hour for my mark, a cheating husband. My ass was throbbing and my left foot fell asleep about twenty minutes ago.
Dressed in an army green rain poncho I gathered up my bag loaded with my camera, recorder, pepper spray, and stun gun, tucking it underneath me to keep it dry. The camera had night vision capability and the recorder could pick up a dog fart a mile away. The other stuff I kept just in case. Just in case the person I was watching got a hold of me and decided he didn’t want to fess up to what I captured on tape or camera. I’m not a hero or a cop. I’m a private investigator with long legs that I use to run like the wind when necessary. The stun gun or spray would give me a chance to run like hell and call the cops, the real heroes. I had no idea that I would ever be a private investigator. Not to take anything away from the cops, hell I come from a long list of them, but my heroes growing up were Walt Disney, father Mac at our family parish, and whoever wrote the song “Tomorrow” from Little Orphan Annie. Walt Disney created Tinker Bell and I wanted to fly. That put Walt at the top of my list, plain and simple. Unfortunately when I tried to fly off a swing set at age five I broke my arm. I didn’t hold that against good old Walt, but it did put the ki-bosh on the whole flying thing. Father Mac, a Catholic priest, taught me that all Catholics have a get out of jail free card called ‘reconciliation’. Basically whatever you do wrong during the week can be swept away at confession on Saturday afternoon. Of course the catch is you have to be really sorry, and I always am, burdened with a conscience the size of Texas and a strong aversion to the fires of hell. Then there’s the guy who wrote the song ‘Tomorrow’, well that was pretty much my motto, what ever happens today, as crappy as it may be, the sun will come out tomorrow. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that doesn’t always happen, because, shit happens, but I’m always hopeful. Most days I’m just a private investigator trying to be like Walt Disney, spreading smiles everywhere, but usually ending up in confession prayin’ for another tomorrow.
A crack of lightening lit the sky and the rain came down harder. I pulled back trying to become one with the siding and get some cover from the gutter above. The wife on this particular case had contacted my boss, Josephine Carlucci, owner of Carlucci Investigations, last week to set this up. Being a PI was not my life’s ambition. After high school I took some classes at a community college and bounced around in a few dead end jobs not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Seriously, who the hell knows at eighteen what they wanna do? So, at twenty-six I sort of fell into private investigating. Jo was hiring, I needed money, and it seemed like a good fit. Jo’s in her forties, five-feet tall, two hundred pounds of robust woman, with a lot of black curly hair and a Minnie Mouse voice. She carries a .38 revolver in her purse that she’s not afraid to use. She’s a pretty good shot, too, unlike myself who carries a .22 handgun and is not so great a shot. If I’m shooting at you, I’ll be aiming for your leg, but more than likely it’s gonna end up in your ass. If you happen to be unlucky enough to be facing me instead of running away, well, you could probably kiss your balls goodbye. I’m working on my marksmanship. I carry a .22 because I don’t actually want to kill anyone, I don’t need your dead soul friggin’ up my karma – thank you very much- but wounding I’m okay with. I’m still not very good at this PI thing but what I don’t have in experience I make up for with common sense and my mother’s temper. The rest? I’m learning as I go and hopefully I won’t get killed in the process.
I checked my watch. One hour and forty-five minutes waiting for this douchbag like a jackass in the rain. PJ Benedillo, the husband in question, was possibly doin’ the neighbor, a college senior with a great body and, if she was doing anything with PJ, not too many smarts. He of course denied any thing was going on, he’d been down this road a bunch of times before. I went to school with most of the people in Cos Cob, including PJ and his wife Nelly who are two years older than me. Nelly’s a simple, no frills kind of gal. Back in the day she was prom-queen beautiful; now, not so much. Not that she was ugly, she looked beaten down, a little overweight, wore no make-up, and hid behind shoulder length blondish brown hair. Everyone knows her husband’s a cheat, but she needs proof. Glad that she finally asked, I jumped at the chance to show her what scum PJ is. Another burst of thunder exploded in the sky and shook my heart in my chest.
“Oh the hell with this.”
I inched up the screen to an open window behind me and climbed in. Nelly had told her husband she had to go away over night for work. She was actually with Jo at the office waiting to hear from me. I was soaked, a puddle instantly formed at my feet as I closed the screen. I pulled off my hood, hefted my bag on my shoulder and started to walk down the hallway looking for the stairs down to the first floor, my sneakers squishing as I went. Soft moaning came from someplace in front of me. Damn, how’d I miss them coming in? Cool. Not cool that PJ was the scumbag I thought him to be, but maybe tonight wasn’t a waste of time after all and the sooner Nelly knew the quicker she could kick his ass to the curb and get on with her life. Quietly, I located my camera and looped it over my head. Next I turned on the recorder inside my bag. The house was pitch black. Looking out the front windows I could see all the houses and streetlights were dark. Power outage. The night vision camera looked like binoculars and helped me find my way. I followed the noises that now sounded more like stifled whimpering. A new feeling of apprehension prickled and settled at the back of my neck. My instincts, my ‘oh no you fuckin don’t’ attitude, told me something was wrong. A man’s voice, I recognized as PJ’s, started to get louder. It was coming from my right, the door ajar about an inch.
“Look, I’m going to take the gag off, but no more yelling. Okay?”
I waited holding my breath. Next I heard a woman; a very pissed off woman on the verge of hysteria.
“You mother fucker! Untie me right fucking now!!”
PJ made a tsking sound and continued in a condescending voice.
“Now look here, you’re in no position to be making demands. You can’t tease me like that and then change your mind.”
“The hell I can’t! I never promised you anything! You said you were taking me to dinner. Dinner!” She spit the words out angrily but her voice shook with fear. The thunder crashed and rain hammered against the windows masking the sound of my opening the door a little more. A dim battery-operated lantern was set on the dresser. A young woman was tied to the four-poster bed in only her black bra and underwear. She had a bruise on her left cheek and her eyes were red, brimming with tears yet to fall. I backed up a bit and sent a text to Jo, 911-0. 911 Was for help; the zero meant come in quietly. I didn’t want to spook PJ with sirens blaring and have this situation get any worse. PJ had obviously lost his friggin’ mind. This wasn’t just cheating. I moved back into position at the door and clicked a few pictures.
“You knew this was going to happen between us-
“No I didn’t, you fucking pervert!”
“-you were sending me all the signs, wearing short shorts and low cut tops.”
“That’s not an invitation, you asshole!”
“Then when you stopped at my table last week…
“I was just trying to be friendly, nut bag!”
“-well then I knew you wanted it too,” PJ moaned.
Oh, yeah, PJ had definitely left the reservation and was currently residing in crazy-town. As he paced back and forth at the foot of the bed I realized he was standing in black tight underwear with the words ‘THE MAN’ written in white across his ass. I almost laughed. He was a little pudgy guy with way too much hair, especially by his crotch. The hair escaped in puffs out the leg holes and over the top of the waistband. Vomit came up the back of my throat. He took a few steps towards the bed and I hoped like hell Jo was on the way with the boys in blue. I opened the door a little more and took a few pictures for the cops and Nelly.
“Now look, this can be easy or it can be hard.” He took a moment to stroke himself at the word hard.
Eewah! A shiver of disgust rolled up from my toes and I swallow back the bile that rose in my throat again.
“The choice is yours. But this is gonna happen,” he moaned in a low rasp that was meant to be seductive but sounded just creepy as all hell. The next thing I knew I got a face full of ass as PJ bent at the waist and slid his underwear off to the floor. He straightened and stood with his feet braced apart and his hands on his hips. It was the weirdest thing. He had absolutely no hair on his back or butt. He definitely waxed back there. I took more pictures, afraid no one would believe me.
“I’ll call the cops you freakin sicko!”
“Ahem,” I cleared my throat from where I stood. “That won’t be necessary, they’re on the way,” I said and opened the door the rest of the way. “You probably should get dressed, PJ.”
He turned around to face me. “Oh, hi Jessica, how are you?” He said like he wasn’t standing there bare ass with a woman tied up behind him. Koo-koo! I tried so hard not to look but I couldn’t help it. In the middle of his wild afro-like pubic bush was a tiny uncircumcised penis that looked like a thumb. I squeezed my eyes tight trying to remove the image. Oh, God! It was seared into my brain; I’ll be scared for life.
“Now isn’t really a good time. My girl and I were in the middle of making love.”
“Oh make me gag! That is sooo not what’s going on, lady,” the neighbor said to me.
“Yeah, I know, just sit tight,” I said back to her around PJ’s shoulder.
“Jessica, I don’t know what you think you heard but I can assure you this was a consensual adult act.”
“Bullshit!! You hit me and tied me up!!”
“Come on now, it was just a little foreplay and you loved it.”
Woe. Could he be any crazier?
“PJ?” A small uncertain voice came from behind me.
“Sweet heart! This slut took total advantage of me,” he pointed an accusing finger.
I could not believe the balls on this guy, nor could I see them for that matter.
“Oh puleeze! Will someone untie me?”
“Oh yeah, sorry,” I said and walked over to the bed. I dropped my bag at the foot of the bed and started undoing knots tied with panty hose that held her captive.
“How could you?” Nelly said in a small defeated voice and sank to the floor at PJ’s feet.
“Baby, I promise it’s not what you think,” he said bending at the waist putting a hand on her shoulder. Ugh, again I got an eyeful of some crap I did not want to see. Ever.
“Yes it is, Mrs. Benedillo, he’s a total perv!!”
“Shut up, you whore!” PJ, still naked, took an authoritative stance and tried to explain.
Jo yelled from down stairs, “Cops are on the way, Hun.”
“Good to know, thanks, Jo,” I yelled back and continued untying.
“Now this is ridiculous,” PJ started to say, his hands back on his hips. “Involving the police is totally unnecessary. It’s just all a big misunder eeek!” PJ jerked around, screamed in a high pitch voice, his eyes rolled to the back of his head and down he went in a loud thump on the hardwood floor. I froze. With her hands free, the girl went to the task of freeing her ankles. Nelly stood with my stun gun still in her hands and looked down at the crumpled pile that was her piece of shit husband.
“I’m sorry, what did you say, dear, I couldn’t hear you past all the lies!!” Nelly screamed and she zapped him again right in the crop, which caught on fire revealing he had balls under there after all. His nuts instantly swelled to the size of grapefruits and the fire singed itself out. The room smelt of burnt hair and ball sack. Ugh.
“Oh yeah! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” The young woman leapt from the bed. “You piece of shit! I hope you like it up the ass in prison!” She yelled and kicked him on her way past, grabbing her clothes off the floor and running out the door. I took the stun gun from Nelly.
“I’ve been so stupid,” she said her eyes filling with shameful tears.
“Not stupid, maybe just a little blind.”
She took a deep breath. “Well no more. That ends today.” She brushed the front of her dress off and headed out the door to join the others down stairs.
I’m Jessica Marco, and that right there, is a typical Wednesday night in my life as of late.