Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

News & Features » July 2015 » “Maribelle’s Petard” by Carol Mitchell

“Maribelle’s Petard” by Carol Mitchell

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, life in the West Indies doesn’t go as planned for Carol Mitchell’s Maribelle.

Carol MitchellMaribelle’s Petard
by Carol Mitchell
Potato Bay, St. Kitts, West Indies

“Anna.”

Maribelle froze. Maybe she had imagined the word. Maybe it had come in on the ocean breeze that drifted through the curtains covering their open balcony doors.

He continued to move inside her.

She waited for him to realize that she wasn’t responding to his thrusts.

“What?” he muttered, eyes glazed.

“Who the hell is Anna?” she asked.

“Anna?” He paused, alert now. “Anna? . . . I . . . I call you that in my head sometimes.”

She sucked in her breath. “You must think I look stupid.”

“You calling me a liar?” His eyes narrowed. She knew that look well. His temper was legendary.

She detangled herself from the sheets. As she walked toward the bathroom she heard a steups, then a sizzle, as the TV went on. She stopped and pivoted slowly even as her thoughts raced. As angry as she was, confrontation wouldn’t get her anywhere.

“Tony. Baby,” she began. “We need to talk.”

“Nothing to talk about.”

“I’m sure she . . .”

He wasn’t listening.

She looked at him sprawled on the bed, remote in hand, still handsome despite the weight he’d gained over the years. She wondered what lyrics he’d used to sweet-talk himself into another woman’s bed. He was oblivious to the fact that she had stopped speaking. This shouldn’t have pissed her off so much. The last time he had really listened to her had been ten years ago, when she’d announced she was coming off the pill. That got his attention. Children weren’t a part of their bargain. But a woman on the side? Apparently that was par for the course.

She made it to the bathroom this time and sank onto the toilet seat, head in hands, fingers intertwined in the tight curls of her afro, thinking.

Twenty-five years and nothing to show. No kids, no ring, no man.

Her head throbbed. As she rummaged through the medicine cabinet for a painkiller, she came across a bottle of Viagra Tony had ordered online. “Just for kicks,” he’d said. But he was ninety pounds overweight and on heart medication, so the doctors had nixed the idea.

She studied the bottle in her hand. When the doctor had warned about a heart attack, she had panicked. Losing Tony had seemed impossible to bear. Now, she could see herself just walking away . . . until she envisioned him in the house they’d built together breathing Anna into some tramp’s ear. She couldn’t live with that.

She poured two blue pills into her palm.

Just giving him what he wants, she thought.

She climbed onto the bed and lay behind him. She reached between his legs. She got his attention.

“You couldn’t resist, eh?”

“No baby, I couldn’t.”

She curved her body into his back and kissed his neck. She alternated between kisses, licks, and nips, moving lower and lower. His eyes opened wide as she took him into her mouth. Perhaps it was the surprise, but in no time he was gasping for breath.

She continued caressing him.

“My turn,” she whispered.

“You have to let me recover.”

“Try this.” She placed her hand over his mouth and slipped the pills inside.

“What’s that?” he spluttered.

“Trust me,” she said. She felt guilty uttering those words until she considered how long she had trusted him.

She licked the blue powder stuck to her hand and continued to run her hands over his body. As she watched his response, she regretted how rote their lovemaking had become, an assembly line of practiced moves leading to the same end product.

It wasn’t long before her caresses had the desired result. He pulled her on top of him and they satisfied each other. She rolled off and ran her hands over his still erect penis.

“Good boy,” she said. “Round three?”

“I don’t know what’s got into you, woman, but I like it,” he gasped. “Just let me get something to drink.”

He stretched over her to reach for a glass on the bedside table. He paused, face contorted, then collapsed belly-first onto her face, pinning her slight frame under his massive weight.

She tried to push him off, but she couldn’t. Starved for oxygen, she struggled to turn her head, to free her mouth or her nostrils, but her face was trapped in the folds of his stomach. She couldn’t escape. She felt her lungs contracting, straining, and screaming as the last wisp of air eased into her bloodstream and her life slipped away.

***

CAROL MITCHELL is the founder of CaribbeanReads Publishing and the author of the Caribbean Adventures Series. Her short stories have appeared in several online publications.

***

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: Jul 27, 2015

Category: Mondays Are Murder | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,



Featured: Music/Popular Culture/Art