Since I’ll be fucking off for the next few days, here’s a little flash to tide you over. Flash fiction, that is.
(Quick FYI – because I’m a woman, many readers don’t get that the unnamed first person narrator of this piece is a man. Now you know.)
Jinelle was all kinds of ugly, but somehow she made it work. Her face caught you staring and wouldn’t let you go. Hard, mannish angles and concrete skin. Crooked alligator teeth inside her brutal slash of a mouth. Her narrow green eyes might have been her best feature if they weren’t always laughing at you. Those eyes let you know she had your number.
I found out she was dead on my first cigarette break of the day.
“Heard old Butterface got into the wrong car last night,” Jimmy Stenzlo told me as he offered me his lighter. “They found her in a dumpster with her fishnet stocking around her neck.”
Jimmy was two years older than me and liked to think of himself as a man of the world. He was very serious about hookers. Kept detailed stats on every commercially available female in a ten mile radius. He called Jinelle “Butterface” because: “She’s got a hot body. But, her face…”
At first it wouldn’t sink in. Jinelle couldn’t be dead. I had seen her on the corner of Delmont Avenue when I got off my shift the night before. She showed me that she didn’t have any panties under her miniskirt and then winked and asked me if I had five dollars. I didn’t. Now she was dead.
Thinking about it gave me this weird feeling in my stomach. I wished I’d given her the five dollars. I wished I’d given her five hundred dollars to spend the night with me instead of the guy who killed her. I only got the one hand job from her that summer and I still think about it sometimes.
“The killer put a paper bag over her head when he dumped her,” Jimmy said, lighting up himself and laughing through clenched teeth. “Sounds like a civic beautification project to me.”
I didn’t mean to cut his throat. I just wanted to… I don’t know. Just hit him or something. For Jinelle. I forgot all about the boxcutter in my hand.
I’ve been on death row for nine years now, but they never did catch the guy who killed Butterface. I still think about her and the hand job she gave me that one time. I can still see those mean, laughing eyes looking right at me while she did it. She was the only woman I’ve ever been with.