Monster Freshly Minted

Mary Magdalene crossed her legs as Uh-Joe braked his man-truck to a stop. Her thighs glowed in the eerie green of dashboard lights turned low. A chill crept beneath her short skirt, too short, she thought now. Madonna recommended she wear one for her first few times. “Don’t waste all that youth,” she had said. “Use it while you got it, Babe. You’ll have scars like me someday, and muscle and grit. For now you’re vulnerable, so you’ve got concentrate on making them vulnerable too.”

An electric whir broke her reverie, the driver’s side window going down. Uh-Joe pounded the steering wheel with half-closed fist.

“Move it, ya moron!”

Mary felt suddenly entombed; her fingers groped for the door handle. What if I can’t do this? Ahead, a man with more hair than sense stood in the headlights, eyes wide and glassy.

“Idiot,” Uh-Joe said. The window whirred up and clunked. “Dip-wad.”

His face creased, spoiling his good looks. That was why she picked him, his good looks, a handsome man with close-cropped black hair, just a hint of spike, engaging blue eyes, a symmetric mouth bordered by soft lips. A nice smile too. She remembered thinking he must whiten his teeth as he approached her in the Dairy aisle.

Out here, he was ugly. She focused on a vein pulsing on his temple. Thump, thump, thump.

“You startled him,” she said.

“I’ll do more than startle him, he don’t move.”

She remembered the moment of awkwardness when they asked each other’s names. “Uh, Joe,” he had stammered, glancing from skim milk to two-percent. “Mine’s Mary,” she had said. “Mary Magdalene.” Madonna had advised a catchy moniker, something that would look good in the credits if she later got into movies.

“Are you a cop?” she said.

“Me?” He shook his head. “How about you, Mary? You got a service revolver tucked in those pretty panties?” Mary glanced down, seeing the whites of her panties smeared green. Her thighs felt colder than ice. She crossed her legs.

Uh-Joe chortled. “I’m packin’ a regular rifle in mine.”

Mary remembered walking beside him to the checkout, him buying two packs of cigs, menthol for her, Camel Unfiltered for him. The wad of bills he flashed was nearly as oversized as his tires. “Make sure he gets a room,” Madonna’s voice chided.

“So, Joe, where are we going? I hear the Ramada’s nice.”

He laughed. “This must be your first time.”

“I want a room, Joe. Understand?”

Frowning abruptly, he slammed his fist down, triggering a horn-blare that finally got the startled guy moving. The ice in Mary’s veins undammed, releasing a surge of warmth.

“Don’t you worry, Mary. I know a place that’s real discreet.” Uh-Joe lifted his foot from the brake; the truck eased into motion. “We can be there in ten minutes.”

Thump, thump, thump.

“Drive faster, Joe. I can hardly wait.” Cheeks flushing, Mary licked her lips and let her fangs descend.


Editor’s Corner

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