28. Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang

“Why don’t we start with you,” I said to Brimsnod. “Maybe you got more perspective. You lived, you died. You’re doing whatever you’re doing here. Atoning?”

“You always judgmental?”

“Who isn’t guilty of something?”

“We could stop here. Get you into a seminary. You’d fit right in.”

“I’d have a celibacy problem.”

“Again. Fit right in.”

“Let’s get back to the question.”

“What I wanted from life?”


“Thrills, I suppose. Which I got.”

“Shot four times in the back, that must have been thrilling.”

Brimsnod got a dreamy look, as much as a woman with her features could. To call her hatchet-faced was not unfair. Her face was narrow, her nose was maybe more like a dagger. I doubt she was truly blonde but that was the color of her hair beneath the dust.

“Truth is, it was. You put the whole thing together.”

“Who was the guy?”

“Who says it was a guy?”


“Ha ha. Okay. It was. The boss.”

“Not the best idea.”

“Yes and no. You got a relationship with catastrophe, it makes perfect sense. Say everything goes wrong. Lose the man, lose the job, lose the house, maybe the car. Your whole life blows up. Frisson, Fatman, that’s what I’m talking about. Blindfold on the tightrope.”

“The sex was worth it?”

“You kidding? By itself? Don’t be ridiculous. Maybe he thought so. I’m a mature woman, not some twenty-year old cheerleader. The sex, taken by itself, okay. He had some tricks up his sleeve. I’m talking gestalt. The lies about a meeting we had to attend. That we went back to his house in the middle of the afternoon. That we had an hour and a half before the wife was supposed to be home. That she worked as an instructor at a shooting range. Licensed to carry.”

“You didn’t hear her come in?”

“But I did.”

“And you didn’t…”

“What? Hide in the closet? Maybe if she was Helen Keller. Deaf and blind. She probably heard us when she pulled in the driveway. Sexually, I put out some audio. I heard the door open and my thinking was, let’s see what comes next.”

“You just kept…”

“Turned it up a notch, in fact. If it’s worth doing….”

“She tried to sneak up on you?”

“An enraged gun instructor? No, she didn’t creep across the shag carpeting. More like a Marine assault. Lots of screaming. Nonetheless I heard her chamber the round, that snick-snick sound.”

“You didn’t turn around?”

“I grabbed him by the neck and held him down.”

“What did you think would…”

“I didn’t think. I was past all that.”

“The shooting…”

“The screaming, the explosion, the smells. Sex, fear, gunpowder. Then the boss, Mister Powerful, Mister Top of the Heap, Prince Cunning, that guy, he shit himself. A torrent.”

Her eyes filled. A tear ran down the gutter from her nose to the corner of her mouth.

“We all make…”

“Mistakes? This was what I lived for! Turned up to ten. Best moment of my life.”

Tomorrow: Her grin said, Let the trouble begin!

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