“Unexpected Delights” by Thor Garcia
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, Thor Garcia’s anxiety begins to creep up on him in Bay City, California.
Darryl was already gone when I opened my eyes in the bright bitterness of morning.
I didn’t like that—slipping out without me hearing him. But I could hear Carole getting ready. I watched her in the doorway, slipping on her shoes. She swept her looping brown hair out of her eyes and looked over at me. Or maybe she was just staring off. Well, it didn’t matter. I faked like my eyes were closed. I don’t think she saw I was awake. But I saw her.
Her earrings hung big and low and were shaped like Sri Lanka.
As soon as I got up and went into the kitchen, that “bird” buzzed by again—otherwise known as a “fly.” I seized one of the long kitchen pitchfork‐style utensils and stabbed him as he zipped by on another sortie. Either I was super quick or he was unusually slow. I tossed him on the counter and, using one of the small kitchen knives, picked the dirty little turd‐lover apart—wing by wing, leg by leg, antennae by antennae, haltere by haltere, compound eye by compound eye, mandible, thorax, asshole . . .
The creepy turd‐licker tore to bits like the worst cheap toy, spilling like dirt onto the counter, vanishing before my eyes.
Yes, this was how they designed them: to crumble into dust.
This I knew: things had clearly shifted—or were now shifting.
I doubt I was wrong—I mean, it was just reeking of special‐op. The silence, the silence—and then the cars, the cars, followed by the silence.
No doubt my image—or succession of images—had been captured by the intersection and commerce cubes. But it would probably be a little while yet before the facial bone‐structure analysis kicked out a match and they were able to properly sync the graph. Or actually, not much time at all—the computers and satellites would do it bingo. But then the he‐cop or she‐cop down at cop central would have to look at it and decide to do something. And to do that, first they’d have to put down the hot mutton‐and‐cheese. And those can be some good sandwiches.
Darryl came in first.
I swung down on him from the attic opening. I whacked the biggest of the kitchen butcher machetes into his left arm. Right above the elbow or so.
He staggered and collapsed to a knee. The arm fell to the ground with a thud and a roll.
To my astonishment, there was no blood—only a few driblets of a white substance.
Darryl didn’t scream or howl or anything. Instead he tried to scuttle away in the direction of the living room.
I stuck out a leg. He stumbled, tripped along the rug, and came to a rest with his back to the base of the couch. He was moving awkwardly—trying to get away, I guess.
I threw the kitchen ax. It caught him at an angle slightly above the nose, the blade going about an inch into his forehead.
Darryl stopped moving.
There was still no blood—only the dribbling white substance. It ran down Darryl’s face, pooling around his collar and tie. I came over and put a finger in it. Sort of warm and waxy.
I didn’t like it. I tried not to let my mind gallop.
I succeeded. I took deep, steadying breaths.
I decided to wait it out a little more. No rash action. You can never really tell how clever they can sometimes suddenly become. You have to expect the unexpected, and then look back at what seemed obvious in the first place.
And expect both things to happen simultaneously.
Carole came in not long after that. I took off her clothes and cut her into a bunch of little pieces. She more or less felt like flesh, but she too had only the white stuff inside her.
I waited to see what would happen. A few hours went by. No one else showed up. I kept waiting. I started to tire. I needed some grub, some rest.
My heart was really going. I could hear it: booming and banging, flipping and flopping, flouncing around in the damn silence of that place.
I walked out around midnight, not really caring if five or six platoons of foaming-at-the-mouth cops were waiting outside.
No. They weren’t.
I lit a smoke and walked.
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: Mar 16, 2015
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