Wearing the very same blue, green, and gold dashiki she had married in six years before, Sarah charged from room 107 of the Dixie Courts Motel, feet bare, heart racing, whole body layered with the married odors of Virginia Slims and Seagram’s gin.
The parking lot was rain soaked. She heard splashing in puddles beneath her and tried to quiet the noise by running on the balls of her feet. That was a mistake. In the night darkness, she didn’t see a gravelly part of the lot, but felt the sharp piercing immediately.
It was an open wound. The night air and pools of rainwater quickly cooled the seeping blood and caused the cut to sting. Just desserts Sarah decided. God always had a way of paying her back for the bad things she had done, and stealing money from Big Jim had to be among the worst. She thought of turning around, going back to the motel room and tossing the wallet at him. He was surely still passed out or too dazed and drunk to really understand what she had done. If he did wake up, she’d tell him she needed a smoke, didn’t have enough cash and just took a few bucks to get a package of Winstons. He‘d believe her. He didn’t know her brand. If you can lie about the little things, Sarah, learned, the big lies come easier.
And even if he didn’t believe her, he wouldn’t care because he knew that he was going to get some that night, that is, if his limp whiskey wienie could ever come to life. At the bar, earlier that night, he assured Sarah it would.
“Me and you, we’re going to fuck tonight blondie,” he’d said. He smiled, lowered his pointing forefinger towards Sarah’s crotch and made gunshot sounds. She had just arrived at the bar with his cousin Mariah-Lynn, who introduced the two and excused herself to cash in some drink coupons. That was the only reason Sarah went along anyway, the promise of watered down half-priced strawberry daiquiris. She didn’t know eight hours later she’d be committing a felony and running in the darkness of night on a two-lane highway, her blood mixing with dirty puddle water. Beneath a street light, Sarah stopped, opened her clenched fist and looked at the scrunched cash she held in her hand. She smoothed out the bills and counted. Two fifties, a twenty, a ten and a two. Big Jim’s lucky two dollar bill. The very one he showed off at the bar. He kept it for years he said. Whenever he had that two dollars, no woman could resist his sex appeal, all 300 plus pounds of it. It was a charming little line. Sarah smiled at his foolishness, his thinking that his fat ass was actually going to have her that night. Getting robbed served him right for such arrogance. God wasn’t punishing her for robbing Big Jim; he was telling her next time your rip off some stupid bastard and run away, don’t forget to put your shoes on first.
>> Full story to be published in “Strivers and Other Stories” fall 2016.