Honey Pot: Hard-Boiled Short Fiction By Gerald Elias
Gerald Elias, author of Honey Pot, has previously published short fiction in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and various anthologies.
I kicked him out of bed. Literally.
“Get the fuck away from me,” I added, in the unlikely event he hadn’t gotten the message. “And don’t come back. Ever.”
He laughed and threw money at me. Money, the root of all shit.
“See you tomorrow,” he said, as he pulled his pants up over his fat, hairy ass. “And you’ll like it. Won’t you?”
“I’ve got a gun. You come back again, I’ll blow your brains out. Better yet, I’ll blow your cock off.”
He laughed again. Some sense of humor. As he went out the door, I spat in the general direction of his back that sported a spread-eagled nude with a prominent twat, cradling a pair of ginormous tits in her hands.
I got in the shower to wash his stink off me. The schmuck left welts on my ass that burned in the hot water, so I turned the tap to cold, which didn’t improve things a whole hell of a lot except make me shiver. The swelling on my cheek wasn’t much better.
Okay, go ahead and tell me it comes with the territory, that I shouldn’t be surprised, that I’ve made my bed and now I should lie in it, which has a certain irony. But believe it or not, I’ve been treated worse. And it’s not like I’m morally opposed to role-playing rough stuff once in a while. But being battered by a three-hundred-pound gorilla is a different animal. And his goddamn attitude, like I’m just a worthless piece of meat. That’s what ticked me off most with this loser, other than his fists. You understand what I’m saying?
Wouldn’t you know it, dumbfuck came back the next night. I guess my warning hadn’t penetrated his thick skull. He kicked the door open, and the look in his eyes scared the shit out of me. It was like he had death inside him. I backed up toward my night table, where I kept my .22.
“I’m back,” he said. “Get ready.”
As he started pulling his shirt off, exposing the words HONEY POT tattooed on his fat gut, I did what I warned him I’d do, because if you think I was going to give this sadist the benefit of the doubt, you’re even dumber than he is. Or was.
I drew my gun. “Get dead,” I said.
I aimed for the space between the Y and the P and came close enough. The shot staggered him but he kept moving forward. Blood started flowing pretty good out of a hole in his chest, but he looked more pissed off than anything. I pumped more shots into his crotch until I was out of bullets, which finally put the fucker out of my misery. Good riddance.
No way I was going to get away with him splattered all over the room, so I called the cops and turned myself in, ready to throw myself on the mercy of the court.
It didn’t even go to trial. After my court-appointed public defender showed the judge the photos of my bruises and welts–He seemed to take a particularly keen interest in the ones on my ass–I copped a plea to a lesser charge and was sentenced to eighteen months, including time served. Plus a reprimand for my immoral lifestyle: I got what was coming to me, I needed to mend my ways, there was help for people like me, if I could only straighten my life out, yadda, yadda, yadda. Sorry, your Honor.
By the time I made early parole for good behavior, I’d made lifelong friends with girls who’d had it a lot worse than me…
To be honest, prison life wasn’t all bad. Free room and board, right? My cellmate and soulmate was Lola Demetrianus. She’d lived in my town for a while, and her lifelike tattoo of an undulating tarantula around her navel was a source of general admiration. She’d gotten it done at a local parlor for women called Tat for Tit that was next to the hair salon where she used to work part-time and hoped to return someday.
By the time I made early parole for good behavior, I’d made lifelong friends with girls who’d had it a lot worse than me; bartered a weekly laundry-room shag with Nick, the dumb but unattractive prison guard, for a fair exchange of amphetamines; and learned to make pancakes for fifty. All of which qualified as rehabilitation, at least as far as I was concerned.
I set up shop again and went back to work, but business was slow. If you thought my old apartment was shabby, it was the Taj Mahal compared to what I could afford now. For some reason, I’d gotten a reputation as a tough, dangerous broad. Go figure. I’m just trying to make a living, and you have to protect yourself, right? So what, I killed a Stone Age scumbag in self-defense. Does that make me an ax murderer?
I definitely needed something new and exciting to get the boys drooling and spreading the word, some kind of fantasy gimmick to get things rolling, or else I’d have to go back out on the street, and I’d rather jump off the roof than do that. Really.
Remembering Lola’s pulsating tarantula, I spent five hours one afternoon at Tat for Tit, paying for their services with an in-kind favor. Getting poked hurt like shit, but it was worth it. HONEY on my left buttock, POT on my right, did the trick. Or, I should say, did the tricks. You can’t beat free advertising. (Is it plagiarism to steal an idea from the jerkoff whose life you ended? Too bad if it is. I didn’t lose any sleep.) Business picked up again faster than you could say, “Want a blow job?”
One night I got a visit from this shy, skinny kid who said he’d never done it before. He might have been telling the truth because he was so young he still had oozing zits on his forehead, he was real nervous, and he could hardly get a word out of his mouth without saying, “Uh, uh, uh, uh.” I guess I was feeling sorry for him, so I offered him the day rate. I don’t know what got into me.
“Uh, what’s the day rate?” he asked.
“Depends on what you want, Romeo. Hand job, oral, doggie, vaginal, anal, dress-up, bondage–”
“Uh, uh, uh, can we just do regular, y’know, it?”
“ ‘Regular it’?”
“Yeah. Y’know. Uh, uh, regular.”
I shrugged. “Whatever you say. It’s your money.”
I handed him a condom from the supply I kept in the night table, right next to my gun. Double protection.
“What’s this for?” he asked.
Maybe it really was his first time.
“It’s so that you don’t become a daddy and I don’t become a mommy, and so I don’t catch your cooties. No wearie, no fuckie.”
I started taking my clothes off, and that somehow freaked him out. He turned his eyes away and looked like he might pass out.
“You got a problem?” I asked.
“Uh, could you turn out the lights? Please?”
Whatever. I flipped the wall switch, but kept the nightlight on. That always stays on.
And a good thing, too, because when lover boy, who was sitting on the side of the bed, started to undress, I couldn’t help but notice the same exact kinky nude tattoo on his back as Mister Dearly Departed. So I start thinking: Maybe Romeo here is the schmuck’s son and he’s nervous, not because he’s a virgin but because he’s out for revenge. That did not give me a good feeling. On the other hand, once he had all his clothes off and folded them nice and neat next to the bed, I saw that this pasty weakling wasn’t hiding anything he could kill me with–no gun, no knife, no garrote–and if it came to a tussle, there wasn’t nothing a swift knee to the jesticles wouldn’t put a quick sayonara to.
I lay on my back and spread ’em. “Okay, sweetheart. Open for business. Ready or not.”
Romeo lunged on top of me and after about ten seconds shoots his load like a police water cannon. To top off the festivities, while he was still lying on me, all of a sudden he started bawling like a baby.
“Was it that bad?” I said, trying to lighten things up.
“I love you,” he said, his snot dripping all over my neck.
“Yeah, right. And that’s why you’re crying? ’Cause you love me?”
“Look, lover boy, I’m not really interested in why–”
“When I came here I was meanin’ to kill you. For what you did to my daddy.”
Shit, that got my attention. So, I was right. Here we go again. I got my knee ready. And if I couldn’t reach the gun in the night table drawer, I could always gouge his eyes out.
He kept talking, seemingly unaware that I was getting a little tense. “But when I saw you, all naked ’n such… Oh, man. I’ve never seen boobies before. I mean, real live boobies, not just pictures. You’re so… I just couldn’t strangle you.”
“I’m glad you see it that way,” I said. “Mind if I smoke?”
“Was Daddy real mean to you?”
“Let’s drop it, okay?”
“He was real mean to me and Ma, so maybe what you did to him was–”
“I said to drop it. And wipe your nose, if you don’t mind. Pretty please.”
“I love you.”
“Well, yeah. You’ve already told me that. And you owe me a-hundred-fifty.”
“A-hundred-fifty? But it happened so fast.”
“That’s something you’ll just have to work on on your own, lover boy.”
He must’ve taken my advice to heart, because he showed up the next week with a goofy grin on his face.
“I brought you something,” he said and handed me a paper bag.
I took a look inside. “Twizzlers.”
“They’re better than Red Vines, in my humble opinion,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said. “Me, too. I eat them for breakfast.”
“Uh, you do?”
“Honey, would I lie to you? Hey, it’s getting late. Are we gonna do it, or what?”
This time, lover boy managed to hold on for two full minutes before reaching Nirvana. He hadn’t even stopped panting when he popped the question: “Will you marry me?”
I burst out laughing. “Hey, Romeo, I don’t even know your name and I don’t wanna know your name. Let’s just keep this a business transaction, okay?”
I never did find out where he got his money from and, frankly, I really didn’t care, because he kept coming–in any sense of the word you want–and paying. Things kinda got into a routine. He started getting more at ease, gradually lost his stutter, and I’d show him a new thing or two now and then. We even developed a little private joke when he’d show up. With his dumbass smile, he’d ask, “What can I do for you today, ma’am?” and I’d answer, “Fill it up, regular.”
Things kinda got into a routine. He started getting more at ease, gradually lost his stutter…
“Check under the hood?”
“Thank you, sir, I might need to have my battery charged.” Real Shakespeare.
But things got more than a little worrisome the first time I kept the light on and he was doing me from behind.
“Hey, that’s the same tattoo my daddy had,” he said. “HONEY POT.” He started kneading my ass with a vengeance, and I could feel him start to shrivel up inside me.
“Quite a coincidence,” I said. I held my breath. You never know what’s going to happen when old memories get dredged up. It could become a serious shit storm real fast.
What felt like a thousand years later, he said, “Yeah. Coincidence. Yeah,” and plugged me harder than ever. I guess that was his way of saying let bygones be bygones, and I wasn’t about to argue.
After a couple months of fun and games, one night junior got serious. “Ma doesn’t want me to marry you.”
“That makes two of us.”
“She says you’re not good enough for me.”
“Really? What does Ma do?”
“She cleans the trailer park. We live there.”
“That’s real nice.”
The stigma that my regular married customers might have felt of paying a convicted murderer for a cheap fuck apparently wore off. As overall business gradually returned to pre-incarceration levels, things were looking up. On the other hand, Romeo’s special place in my heart for having blown his daddy away to kingdom come began to fade, though he didn’t seem to notice that I wasn’t putting as much effort as before into pretending he was turning me on.
One night he showed up more agitated than I’d ever seen him. He bypassed our customary thirty seconds of foreplay and kind of tore me apart, to be honest. He did just about everything you can imagine, and I ended up bruised and sore, inside and out. Maybe he’d just been informed of something traumatic, like his application to lawnmowing school had been rejected. As I was wiping myself off, he dropped a bombshell.
“I killed her.”
“I killed her.”
“My ma. That’s who. Just before I came here. I hit her over the head with her iron. Then I put it in her hand to make it look like an accident.”
“Some accident. How many people have you known who’ve accidentally died by hitting themselves on the head with their iron?”
“I don’t know. It could happen, couldn’t it? Maybe like she slipped. Shit happens, right?”
“Why’d you do it, anyway?”
“I said I was going to marry you, and she said, ‘Over my dead body.’ ”
“So you killed her.”
“She asked for it, right? Anyway, now we can get married.”
“No, we can’t.”
“Because I don’t give a fuck about you, for one.”
I could see that my disappointing message was starting to sink in, because Romeo, who was still naked, started pacing, his limp dick flopping up and down. Maybe it was finally dawning on him that he’d just murdered the one parent who loved him. For nothing.
“So, when can we get married?” he asked, as if he hadn’t heard me.
Some guys just can’t take no for an answer because it’s too much for their man egos to bear, but this was different. Romeo’s eyes turned real strange. Kind of like they glazed over and went dead. I knew right then where I’d seen that look before: Dear old dad, the night I shot him. I didn’t want to have to shoot Romeo–He hadn’t seemed like a bad kid–because chances were I wouldn’t get off with another slap on the wrist from the judge if I killed the son after killing the father. But, then again, if push came to shove…
“I tell you what,” I said. “Give me an hour to get myself dolled up. Then I’ll come over to your trailer. We’ll dump mama’s body somewhere where they won’t find her and head to Vegas for one of those quickie weddings.”
“Sure, and we can stick around for our honeymoon, see some comedy shows, and do the prime rib buffet.”
“Damned straight. And because this is a special occasion, let’s call tonight’s fuck on the house. And once we’re married, you can shtup me whenever you get horny. All you can eat. For free, until death do us part.”
Romeo’s face lit up so fast, it scared me almost as much as the dead stare. He was in such a hurry, he’d hardly gotten his pants on as he went out the door. I said, “Hey, Romeo, aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Am I? Jeez, I don’t know. What?”
“Duh! Like maybe telling me where you live, so I know where to meet you?”
He laughed. “Right. Boy, am I dumb or what? Terrace Vista Trailer Park. Unit sixteen.”
Terrace Vista was a good half-hour drive. I waited twenty-five minutes before dialing nine-one-one.
I put on the same good-girl voice that I’d learned in the courtroom. “Oh, dear. I think I just heard a woman being murdered. There was an argument, and then…” Dramatic pause. “And then I heard a young man shouting, ‘Mother, I’m going to kill you, I’m going to kill you!’ And she cried, ‘Sonny, please, put down that iron!’ It sounded like she was begging him. Then I heard a scream, and then… Then it went all quiet. Oh, I’m so scared that something terrible happened to that poor woman.”
The dispatcher did her best to calm me down. No, I didn’t know their names or who they were. I just happened to be walking by. All I had was the address. The dispatcher assured me that the police would be on the scene in a matter of minutes.
“Can I ask you your name, please,” she asked.
“Uh, Juliet. Just Juliet.”
“Thank you for stepping forward, Juliet. We sure do appreciate good Samaritans such as yourself. Have a good evening.”
I didn’t want to be around when Romeo spilled to the cops that he’d killed his mother out of love for me, and that I’d done time for blowing his father away. Bad optics, I think is how they say it, no matter how innocent I was. Nope, I wanted the cops to think I was just a figment of lover boy’s horny imagination. I pocketed the cash I kept stashed in a plastic bag taped inside the toilet tank, packed my bag, threw everything I couldn’t carry into the Dumpster, and headed out of Dodge for boom-and-bust points north. I’d gotten reliable reports from my sisters in the pen that what the pipeline workers up there had on their after-hours minds was freely flowing alcohol, not crude oil, and that they had the right mix of loose morals and loose change for a working girl to make a decent living.
Men. Can’t live with ’em. Can’t live without ’em. Then again, maybe you can live without ’em. Maybe I’d give that a try.
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