“A Little Piece of Heaven” by Steve Flam
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
This week, Steve Flam takes a trip to Hallandale Beach, Florida, for a little piece of heaven. Next week, Robert James Russell takes us to Zilwaukee, Michigan, and teaches us the repercussions for breaking rules.
He blew into town on a Greyhound from Cleveland. His name was Christopher McKendrick—at least that’s what his license said. He couldn’t wait to get to the beach. If he was caught, he’d snatch a little piece of heaven first.
Hallandale Beach sat between a fire station and a motel. He stripped off his clothes in the restroom and replaced them with a surfer’s bathing suit. The first few hours he relaxed—wading in the calm aqua ocean, drinking beers from the snack bar, and strolling down the shore. He smiled his big beautiful smile at every woman he saw. Just thirty-eight, with a mouth full of first-class dentures; he’d gotten his teeth kicked out in one of his two prison stays.
By late afternoon, the Cleveland man had become a full-time resident at the tiki bar. His shoulders were a bright vermilion. A forty-five-year-old woman in a beach hat sat beside him. She was on vacation from New York and staying by herself in the motel. Between the chain-smoking, the chain-drinking, and the fresh sunburns, they had a lot in common.
He noticed the ring on her finger and asked if she was married. She became pensive. Yes, she’d been married for a quarter of a century, but lately they’d grown apart. She was on vacation in Florida to get away and sort things out. They hadn’t had sex in ten years.
He told her in a soothing Midwestern accent that it had happened to him too. He’d been hurt but had gotten past it. Divorce was the American way. Couples got bored with each other.
By ten p.m. they were closing up the bar, holding hands and stroking each other’s fingers. They could hardly stand. She invited him to check out her motel room. They took a shower together. Sand filled every crevice. They scrubbed and lathered; her large breasts hung like overripe pendulums, her stomach bulbous from liver damage.
He tried to make love to her, but his penis would not respond. Why should it be different this time? Afterward, when she turned her naked body away and closed her eyes to sleep, he knew she was annoyed.
With her first soft snores, he clasped both hands around her throat. The light was dim from the opened bathroom door. She awoke. He watched her eyes burst open in surprise. He squeezed with everything he had. Not a sound came from the kicking woman; he had cut off her airways. Her eyes shone with a delicious terror. He pushed his rigidness into her hip.
“Say hello to Jesus,” he whispered, kissing her ear. His semen spilled onto the bed sheets.
At seven in the morning, Chris McKendrick was clothed, showered, and ready to go. He breathed in the warm morning air as the ocean breeze caressed his sunburned face. He placed the Do Not Disturb sign on the doorknob and walked to the bus stop. In his pocket, he fondled the gnawed-off finger. His thumb slid over the sharp contours of the 2 carat diamond. In a few days he would toss the finger and sell the stone.
He needed to catch the 8:10 Greyhound to Orlando. If he could only get to Disney by two, he might snatch a little piece of heaven before he got caught.
After graduating from the New York Theatrical Academy, STEVEN JAY FLAM decided acting was not his bag. His destiny was to become a writer. Along his forty-year journey he worked as a waiter, NYC cabbie, truck driver, painter, scab, chauffeur, bartender, Santa Claus, door-to-door salesman, gold and silver importer, flea market dealer, day trader, water filter installer, and a vending machine operator. His last occupation was a twenty-year stint as a professional backgammon player. He was the Florida State Backgammon Champion. Now when he needs a good story, he opens up his book of life experiences and sorts one out. His first book, The Id and the Ecstasy for dreamers only, is a memoir of on the road adventures.
Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Nov 3, 2014
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