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He saw her standing there, a vision wrapped in cigarette smoke, illuminated by the horizontal bars of sunlight that clung to the S-shaped curve of her back. He followed that curve southwise with his eyes and when they rested on the glorious step that was the red apple she carried with her always, his attention was drawn up north again by the clearing of an elegant throat.

He looked up to see her Tuscan eyes looking back at him, her fingers still between two slats in the blinds, holding them open slightly, making the world outside her office visible to her now-distracted sight.

They both said nothing. Then she turned around again and looked out the window. “Enjoying the view?” he asked, and then his two eyes again slowly dropped down the back of her head, passed her shoulders and the curve of her back, down to that gorgeous red apple, scrumptious enough to sink his teeth into.

“Not really,” she said, still looking through the blinds. “Same ole’ same. Are you enjoying yours?”

There was another moment of silence between them.

“Yes, it’s beautiful,” he said. “Can I put my cigarette out on it?”

Your mom turned around, ready to counterpunch But when she did, she turned to see his eyes instead aimed over at her desk. She looked over to see her Eritrean-carved ashtray sitting on its edge, as latticed with warm sunlight, and bearhugged by the thick aura of smoke, as the two of them were.

“Well, I guess it depends,” she said. “Where were you looking when you asked that question?”

He grinned at her, then nodded at the desk. “At the ashtray. Of course. Why? Do they put out their cigarettes in more interesting places in Spain?”

“Spain? How would I know?”



“Oh, you’re one of those. So… your guinea husband ever ash out anywhere that would make a protestant blush?” He pressed his cigarette to Eritrean wood as he gawked over at her waste without subtlety or pause. He could make out its shape from the front.

“My husband is no longer with us.”

“He ever leave any beauty marks to remember him by in any interesting spots?” He looked up at her through arrogant eyes. What was left of his smoke sat mangled in black ash in the tray.

“I take it back, you can’t put out your cigarette.”

“Then next time I won’t ask. I won’t ask if I can put it out. And I won’t ask where. I’ll just do it. Fair?”

“Speaking of beauty marks,” she said, as she reached for the folder on her desk. “You sure you ain’t seen none on your wife in any strange places?”

The grin dropped from his face and he became very grave. He came in with the face and posture of Groucho Marx. And now here he was, the spitting image of Boris Karloff. Your mom never tired of how easy it was.

“You forget why you came here? I hope it wasn’t for me. I know I sure as hell didn’t give you a warm welcome last time either.” She threw down the open folder, smiling in the right corner of her mouth. The photos within slid a bit of a way across the table, like a xylophone expanding. Black and white images of a waspy white woman getting out of a Cadillac with a tall black man sat naked there, as if conscious of being seen. The man and the woman were in the car together in one image. Standing outside, looking around to see if the coast is clear as they shut their car doors in the next. Walking into a motel door in another. And then just the image of her looking out a crack in the door, as if suspicious of being watched. The final image was of the motel door, 104, closed. It spoke for itself.

He was silent for a few moments. “Did they?” he asked, unable to lift his eyes.

“How should I know?” your mom said, still grinning in the corner of her mouth.

“I paid you to tell me?” he said through teeth that were half-gritted.

“Well,” she said. “Either they did or they were jumping rope. Either way, they both came out sweating.”

The man’s white hand formed into a fist. He mumbled something under his breath.

Your mom pulled a cigarette from her case and tapped it upon the case’s silver face. “What was that?”

“Fuckin’ nigger.”

“Yes,” she said. “And in this case, fuckin’ isn’t just an adjective, it’s a verb too.”

“And to think,” he said, defeated. “I almost felt like a bad husband for wanting to bend your guinea ass across this table.”

“I wish I could help you with that,” she said.

“You can,” he said, and looked up at her.

“I won’t,” she said.

“You Italian broads are tough,” he said. “But even one of ‘em slant-eyed cooks in Chinatown’d have the strength to hold you down if the will were there.”

“Well,” your mom said, unphased. “You’d have to do it with one hand. The other one’d be for my mouth. Otherwise Vinny out there’d hear me calling for ‘em. Then you’ll be leaving here with a broken heart and a broken jaw or something. A jaw if you’re lucky, that is. A broken something if you’re not.”

He looked down at the table as if trying to process the thought. He took a deep breath. “On second thought,” he said. “I think I’ll just go back home. I’ll need my strength to wail on that little hussy with both hands.”

Your mom leaned back on her window sill. “Maybe if you spend that energy you use smacking her around on making love to her instead, she wouldn’t be looking for it with colored fellas.”

“I’ll have enough energy for both tonight. Some of that is thanks to you,” he said, and he followed the shape of her body down to her waist.

“I’m flattered,” she said with dry sarcasm. Then she put her cigarette out on the wood of the window sill just inches from her bottom.

His eyes were stuck on her waist. “Say?” he said. “you ever think of branching out in terms of the work you do?”

“How do you mean?” she asked. “Getting into medicine?”

“I’m thinking if I pawn my old ladies things, the jewelry her mother left her and such, I’d have enough to make the oldest profession on earth worth your while. You can always go back to your day job when we’re done. And I may be no ‘groid, but the piece I have between my legs is nothing to sniffle at.”

“Piece between your legs?” your mom said, as she looked down at her nails. “Nice euphemism. Speaking of piece. Vinny’s got one in his holster that’s nothing to sniffle at either. Except his is made of a blue steel and gunpowder and it can perform quite the little trick. It can whistle. Maybe he can show you.”

“Okay, okay,” he said. He pulled a brown envelope out of his coat and threw it on the desk. It landed with a dull thud. “There’s the rest of what I owe you. Call me back you ever hit skids or this private eye stuff don’t make ends meet no more. If my wife is going to get it on with an animal on the side, I figure why not me too.”

“You’re barking up the wrong tree at the wrong cat. If you were the last man on earth, I’d have Vinny shoot me instead.”

He just stood there staring at her. “It’s amazing the tongue a broad gets on her when she’s standing behind the back of a hired gun.”

Your mom smirked. “You probably shouldn’t be one to bring up what some women do with their tongues behind a man’s back.”

“Touche,” he said, and headed to the office door. He held onto the doorknob and turned around. “One of these days, you’re gonna get yourself spanked. But until then, enjoy your long leash. Toodles.” He opened the door and stepped out of the office.

“Toodles,” she said, and got up off the sill. Your mom went over to the desk and thumbed through the cash in the envelope. It was all there. She opened her drawer and threw it in next to her bottle of whisky. She pulled another cigarette from her silver case, tapped it, lit it, and blew smoke into the air. She sat down on put her feet up on her desk.

The day was coming to an end, her worries sinking with the orange sunlight. The silver rays of the moon would take up watch, spilling through the slits in the blinds, replacing their golden cousin. But there was still the sun of tomorrow. The date on the calendar was always changing. But the job never did.


The first thing he saw was your mom’s bare feet up on her desk. The rest of her was hidden by the Chicago Times Paper held before her. For a moment, he almost turned around and left her office, just out of a feeling that he was seeing her in a state of indecency. But outside of her office was that 6 foot 4 thug sitting there reading the funnies, a thought that kept him between the main room of the establishment and her office. To top it all off, he didn’t even want to be there, but he thought getting there would snuff out some of his unease. It hadn’t.

“What’s up, kid?” he heard from the husky voice behind him.

Your mom looked up over the rim of her morning paper to see him standing there, looking out into the lobby.

“Nothing,” the kid said, and stepped forward into the office.

Your mom let the paper drop to her lap. “You look young enough to be my son,” she said. He turned around and met her unique gaze. “Want me to find out if your sweetheart is holding hands with another boy?”

He smiled and played with his hat in his hands.

Your mom stared up at him. “You gonna sit down?”

“Oh sure,” he said, and scrambled for the chair.

“You sure are jittery,” she said. “You’re not on anything that’d get you pinched, are you?”

“E-excuse me?” he said.

“You really are young.”

He sat, staring into her skeptical eyes. The soles of her feet, one crossed over the other, faced him with equally as blank a stare, right next to an exotic piece of wood he couldn’t make out the intended shape or purpose of. Her big toes had a curve to them that existed with wonderful proportion to the rest of their respective foot. Her whole aura, in shape and person, was exotic to him. To even know a woman P.I. existed, never mind to actually meet and consult one, was doing a number on his brain. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the soles of her feet, and the noble carelessness with which she propped them up. He wouldn’t be at ease seeing that from any woman. But to see it with her feet, which were unique in these parts, gave this morning an extra layer of expanding novelty. He smiled internally at the thought he just had: just because they’re called flatfoots, it don’t mean their foot is actually flat.

“Where’s my manners,” she said. He thought she was about to take her feet off the desk. Instead she opened up her drawer. “You want a cigarette?”

“N-no,” he said. “I don’t smoke.“

“Good kid,” she said. “Your ma must be proud.”

“Speaking of that,” he said.

“Of what?”

“My mom.”

“Oh right. Your mom,” she said as she pulled a cigarette from her case and tapped it. “Let me guess. You’re planning a surprise party for her and you want to know her exact route home.”

He looked at her for a moment, then said. “I wish it was that.” He stopped to think for a second. “I don’t know when her birthday is…”

“So you want me to find out?” she asked with a smirk.

He didn’t know what to say.

Suddenly, a crack formed in the façade of her cool demeanor. She took her feet off her desk and let them touch the cool floor below. Then she leaned forward to put out her cigarette in the strange wood-carved trinket sitting next to her tumbler. Oh, he thought. It’s an ashtray.

“Listen,” she said, earnestly. “I’m just having fun. If I didn’t, I’d go stir crazy here or out there.” He could hear her slipping on her shoes under the desk.

“No, problem,” he said. “No, problem at all.”

“So, in all seriousness. What do you need from me?”

“Well,” he said, unsure of how to cough it out. “It’s about my mom.”

“That’s already been established.”

He started to blush. “Yeah… Um…”

“Are you sure you don’t want one of these?” she said, and tapped on the face of her silver cigarette case. “You seem wound up. You know what I mean? Like there’s one more note in Pop Goes the Weasel ‘til your Jack in the Box makes an appearance.”

“No, no,” he said.

“How about some scotch?”

“I’m not 21 yet.”

“I see. Looks like prohibition hasn’t ended for you, has it?”

He took a deep breath. “Okay,” he said. “It’s about my mom.”

“Third times a charm, I guess.”

“She’s been going out a lot.”

“Oh,” she said, sounding disappointed. “When I saw how young you were coming in here, I hoped this one’d be different.”

“She stays out late at night, and doesn’t come home ‘til the morning sometimes.”

“And your dad was too ashamed to bring it up, so he sent you?”

“My dad is no longer with us.”

“Oh,” she said, sounding softer now. “I’m sorry to hear about that.” After a moment of silence, she furrowed her brow. “You from a religious family?”

“Not particularly. I mean I pray, but nothing more than that. Why?”

“I’m just wondering why it’d bother you seeing your mom out and about if she’s not spoken for. She have a boyfriend?”


“A new husband?”


“Maybe I’m the one who needs the drink.”

“Listen,” he said. “It’s hard to explain. I just want you to follow her and find out if there’s a guy. And if there is…”

“You want pictures of em?”


“You crack open your piggy bank for this one?”

“I have money.”

“You’re spying on her with the allowance money she gives you?”

“I’d rather not say where I got the money. But here it is though.” He reached into his coat. “Just so you know I have it.”

“I’ll take your word for it. Listen, I’ve never turned down money for a job.” She stopped to think about it. “I never turned down money for a P.I. job. I just want to let you know that I don’t get you or what makes you tick.”

“I don’t get it either,” he said.

“You’re not prejudiced, are you?”


“Yeah. You worried your mom’s with a colored fella?”

“No, no. It’s not like that. I’m pretty sure he’s not colored anyways. I don’t think she’d go for that.”

“I get that a lot. I’ve seen again and again that thinking doesn’t make it so.”

“Well, even if he is colored. Like I said, it’s not like that.”

“Do you have a photo of mother dearest?” your mom asked.

“A photo?”

“Yes, a photo.”

“No, nothing like that.”

“Then describe her to me.”

“Well…” he said, staring into your mom’s Tuscan eyes. “Well, she has black hair. Brown eyes. She’s kind of dark skinned. Not like she’s colored. Just olive-like.”

“So you didn’t get your blonde hair from her then?”

“No, I got it from my dad.”

“Interesting. My husband had blonde hair, but my son took after me.” Your mom stood up. She went to the blinds to look out the window. “What is her ethnicity?”

He stared at her backside, taken aback by its size and shape. He wasn’t expecting it. “Umm,” he said. “She’s Italian.”

“A fellow guinea,” she said. “I thought I knew every wop in the city, for better or worse. Ciao.”


Your mom looked back at him. “She never taught you Italian? Was she born there or here?”

“I.. I think here.”

“You think?” she asked, pointedly. He looked down at his hat. Your mom turned back around and looked out the window. “I guess you’re an American first now, greaseball second. That’s assimilation. What’s her body like?”

He looked back up at your mom’s ass.

Your mom continued: “Is she fat, skinny? Somewhere in between.”

“I-I g-guess,” he said, stumbling over his words, “she’s in between. But much closer to skinny. Sh-she’s in shape if that’s what you mean.” He stared into the focal point that was her bottom, as tightly wrapped in her skirt as it was in the occasionally horizontal ray of sunlight or majestic arcs of smoke. “I-I guess you could say she’s very c-curvy.”

Your mom turned around suddenly. His eyes lifted to meet hers. “You know,” she said. “I won’t be taking pictures of them through their motel window? Even if I could stomach it, it’s beyond the legal limits of what it is I do here. So if that’s your thrill, you’ll have to get your fix somewhere else.”

“What!?” he said, blushing. “N-no. It’s nothing like that.”

“Just making sure,” she said, and turned back around. “You never know what kind of perverts are out there. I’ve seen all kinds.”

“So,” he said after a few moments of waiting. “Can you do it?”

Your mom took another puff of her cigarette and pulled her fingers out from between the blinds. “Okay, so what other info can you give me?”

“What else do you want to know?”

“How tall is she?”

“Umm, she’s about your height… I think.”

“So, being that she’s single, I’m guessing she ain’t a stay-at-home mom.”


“So where does she work?”

“She’s an investigative reporter.”

“That’s nice. But I’m gonna ask again. Where does she work?”

“Umm… at the Chicago Times.”

“She ever talk about her work?”

“Not really.”

“You ever ask?”

“Umm, well…”

“This isn’t a math quiz.”

“No. I mean, not really.”

“So how are you so sure she isn’t just out working on a story?”

“She is.”

“Okay,” your mom said. “Case closed. Are you paying cash or cheque?”

“I think she’s in trouble,” he said with desperate eyes.

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” your mom said, each mischievous nerve in her face dulled down to a Mediterranean Stoicism. “Who’s she investigating?”

“Well…” He was playing with the rim of his hat.

“Is it the mob?”


“Is it John D. Rockefeller?”


“Is it that Hitler fella in Germany?”


“Then who?”

“Well…” he said. “It’s a former source. One that she’s made angry.”

“Reporters’ll do that,” she said, about to start into her own sour episodes until she caught herself. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to be callous.”

“For the record, private investigators have the same effect on people.”

“True,” your mom said, smiling at the irony of it.

“She’s made him mad,” he said. “And she knows it. But she still has to investigate him for a story.”

“Is he dangerous?”

“In a way, yes.”

“In a way?”

“He’s not going to… he’s not going to kill her if that’s what you mean.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know. I know that that isn’t what he wants to do to her.”

Your mom’s eyes narrowed. Apprehensively she asked “what does he want to do to her?”

He sat there for an extended moment, not sure of when or how he’d drop this dime. Suddenly, the dime dropped. “He wants to slip her a mickey.”

Your mom felt a revulsion come over her. She had heard of things like this happening. The thought of it, much unlike the thought of anything else she had ever heard of or dealt with, was almost too much to bare. The thought of going limp in a world that kept moving. The thought of control, or a .38, or her quick tongue being of a no help to her in such a desperate and black moment. And the thought of what it all culminated to. The hard ‘piece’ of a stranger slowly...

And then it occurred to her. In this case, it wasn’t a stranger. It was an outright antagonist to the woman in question. The thought of it turned her downside up more than death.

She held her two fingers over the bridge of her nose with her eyes closed. “How do you even know this?”

“Because…” he said, and then stopped, his face going white.

Your mom stared at him, waiting with apprehension for what it was that frightened him so.

“I’m sorry,” he said, and looked down. “I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me this.”

She expected him to refuse the answer, a decision that would have been fine by her. She was a P.I., not a cop. And she knew that because he was here, and not at the desk in the local PD station, or not waiting in the living room next to the lamp to catch his mom the second she came in; that whatever it was he was hiding, his reasons for it must have been damned good. She waited for him to plead the fifth, half hoping he would.

But much to her surprise, he spoke. “I know he’s going to do this because I’m the one who planned it with him.”

Your mom’s cool demeanor slipped, and like Humpty Dumpty, sat in pieces on the floor. “You what?” she said, just barely able to squeak it out.

Some part of him couldn’t help keeping his eyes off of your mom’s waist as he explained himself. “I… I…” he was about to cry. “I just thought it would be fun. I.. I’ve never gone steady with anyone. I’ve never even danced or held hands or gotten a Valentines card. And my mom’s body… it’s just that… oh god… it’s just that it’s so perfect and… and I just want to have something over a thing that beautiful. And something so private and close to me.” The tears began to pool up as he started to choke it back. “Oh, god. I’m such a crumb.”

Your mom wanted to hate him. Her mind was dead set on it. But through all her common sense, and her as cool-as-ice shell, she couldn’t get over one solitary note that sat sideways as all the others leaned straight. He reminded her of her son. Not in his look, or demeanor, or really anything else. Anything else except for his soft way of going about things, including the way he just sat there. Though she had never seen her boy this desperate or vulnerable.

And because of this her heart just couldn’t follow in her mind’s shadow. “You’re not a crumb,” she said. “You’re just confused.”

“What’s the difference?” he asked, rhetorically.

She just stood there staring at him.

He sobbed for what must have been minutes, and then he broke his silence. “Even now, I regret coming. I know it’s the right thing to do, but I imagine his white body with hers, and I see her face down with her bottom in the air, and him making short work of it. And I say to myself ‘why did I ruin it? Why did I come? It could have happened. It still could if you leave and say nothing more.’ And I can, but I won’t. I want you to stop it. I want you to get in the way of the greatest thing that would ever happen to me. Please do it. I have no other hope. There’s no one else I can go to, not even her. Please.”

She had never seen anyone cry with such passion before. It was like something out of the pictures. But she had never seen a picture with a story like this.

“How’s he going to do it?” your mom asked.

“He’s going to slip it in her drink.”

“How’s he going to do it without her knowing, I guess is what I mean?”

“He wants her to keep following him, trying to the jump on what he’s doing and with who. He wants her to get so wrapped up in the mystery of it all, and all the bells and whistles, to the point that she isn’t even paying attention to what she’s sipping on. And then that’s when he hits her. It was my idea.”

“What’s she investigating him for?”

“She got an anonymous tip that he was involved with shady stuff.”

“What kind of shady stuff?”

“The caller didn’t say.”

“Your mom told you this?”


They both sat there for a moment, neither saying a word.

Your mom could put two and two together. “You were the caller.”

He just sobbed in his hands. “No, I hired someone to do it for me. At the time, the only thing I was afraid for was that she’d recognize my voice. That was my only concern in the world. It wasn’t until a few days after he made the call that I had felt fear over what I’d done. Then I felt fear about coming here. And now, I can’t believe I’m saying this, I can’t tell whether the relief feels stronger than the regret. I have half a mind to lead you wrong so that you’ll fail, even now.”

She reached over her desk and grabbed his hand. “But you won’t do that,” she said, assuringly.

He looked up at her, his eyes red. His cheeks puffy. Her regained his composure and snorted as he inhaled. “You’re right,” he said. “I won’t.”

She smiled at him. Then another thought occurred to her. “But why me?”

“Because you’re a woman.”

She tried to wrap her mind around what he meant by that.

“I knew you’d go easy on me. You wouldn’t believe how lucky I felt when I saw a woman’s name in your ad. It felt like I had a guardian angel and she was going to help me save mom.”

Your mom smiled. She then looked down at her desk and asked him: “You catholic?” She opened up her drawer.

“Yes, why?”

She grabbed the rosary from in her drawer and handed it to him. “You don’t have to worry. Your relief is warranted. But just hold this and pray whenever you start to feel funny. You’re the first person to tell me that you’re here because of the ad. Everybody else say it’s word of mouth that they came here. I think that someone up there’s looking out for you.”

He grabbed the rosary in his hand and squeezed onto it tightly. And without looking up he said: “Thank you.”

She could feel the pieces of her cool demeanor reassembling themselves into her usual form. “Don’t thank me yet. I haven’t failed before. But who knows, I might just get tired of success the moment when it matters most. First things first. Where can I find her?”


One of her shoes was tipped to the side, sitting empty next to its sibling. The bronze feet that usually filled them sat nude, one over the other, atop the decorative rock before her. She looked over the edge of her Chicago Times.

There he is, she thought. But where’s the prom queen?

Her target, the man in question, was overdressed for the weather. His coat heavy. His hat on tight. He had a bushy blonde beard to match his bushy blonde hair, all under a hat that was slightly too large for his head. His sunglasses masked his eyes. His cigarette looked small in his mouth.

He took it out and ashed it on the head of a stone angel to his right and started walking. Your mom waited a few seconds, and then without looking, slid her feet into her shoes, stood up, and began to follow at a distance. Around her was W.A.S.P. City. Not a single dago in sight except the woman in her pocket mirror. Not only was this bad because it meant her other target wasn’t there, but it also meant she would draw eyes. Even more than usual.

Ahead, the target wrapped tightly in his coat, passed through rays of sun which slid through the treeline. His hands pressed firmly into his coat pockets. He was a creep alright. Even from this distance, his aura sang that tune. A tune her ears were accustomed to hearing, but not receptive. A nationalistic surge erupted in her at the thought of this breed of man pulling a Mickey Mantle on a lady who shared her particular cultural heritage. It’s this country, she thought. They hate seeing us in a suit unless it’s the one we were born in.

As if the universe was responding to the bassline she was strumming, she felt a rough hand grip her wrist. She turned to face the sleazeball and saw him standing there, hat held to his chest, a smile under his shades. “Belladonna!”

“Excuse me?” your mom asked.

“Where have you been all my life, beautiful?”

“Nowhere in particular.”

“Wherever it is, I’d love to be there with you.”

“But that would kill all its charm.”

“Oh ohhh, you Italian girls have so much color to you. Like Dante. Sing to me, angel.”

“You wouldn’t like it, I can’t carry a tune,” your mom said as she tried to pull her arm away.

“I could carry it for you, beautiful. From one end of the world to the other.”

“Speaking of carry, I have a piano I could use some help moving.” She looked off to the side to see her mark gaining distance.


“It’s on the second floor though.”

“That’s fine, I’ll take it down the stairs.”

“I was thinking of taking it out through the window. You stand on the sidewalk, and I push.”

“Oh sweetheart, you’re breaking my heart here.”

“Well, if you don’t let go, I’ll be breaking a lot more than that.”

“Oh please,” he said and reached around to clutch the small of her back. Suddenly he grunted in pain and hunched over forward.

Your mom pulled her kneecap from in between his thighs. “… and thank you,” she said, finishing his thought. As she walked off briskly, he crumpled to his knees behind her. Some witnesses stopped to watch, confused. Unsure of his affliction, or whether or not to call an ambulance for him.

Her man just rounded his corner. She sped up, and when she rounded that same corner, she was startled to see him standing there looking in her direction, just a few feet from her. She thought she had been found out. But instead, he looked down at his watch and began walking again.

As your mom’s heart settled, adjusting to its cool jazz tempo, she turned around to see if there were any women who fit the description she had been given. Black hair, olive skin, dark eyes, 5 foot 6. Not one in sight. She must be around here somewhere, she thought. She watched as he stopped under the shade of a movie theater marquis. He bought a ticket. He dipped out of the sun and into the cool theater labelled A. She rushed up to the box office and asked what was playing.

The young girl there, as bored as she was pretty, said “It Happened One Night in Theater A and The Maltese Falcon in B.”

She chewed on her nail for a second. “It Happened One Night? My friend at the office said that one was awfully dramatic.

“It’s a comedy,” the girl said.

“Yes, that’s what she said. Dramatically funny.”

The girl perked up a little bit. “Oh, it’s the cat’s pajamas!”

“I bet. One for It Happened One Night.” She took her ticket and walked inside.

On the screen to greet her entrance was Clark Gable holding up his thumb by a roadside. Cars passed him in quick succession, one after the other, as he pantomimed his desperation with each furrowed gesture.

Your mom saw her target in one of the rows in the middle. She turned into a row 3 seats back and sat almost directly behind him.

Claudette Colbert, playing Ellie Andrews, pushed Clark Gable, who played a character named Peter Warne, aside. “Do you mind if I tried?”

“You?” Clark Gable asks, and giggles to himself with a masculine dismissal. “Don’t make me laugh”

“Oh, you’re such a smart allack. Nobody knows anything but you. I’ll stop a car and I won’t use my thumb,” she said with wry flavor.

Gable watches her as she approaches the roadside. “What are you going to do?”

She looks back at him, then back at the road. And she stops. “It’s a system all my own.”

Just as a car approaches, she grabs the hem of her dress and hikes it up to her knee, showing the oncoming driver her bare calf. Gable stands up in utter shock. The unseen driver of the car slams on the brakes with both feet, and with a rugged, hairy hand, grabs on the hand brake and pulls. The audience must’ve liked that one, if their belly laughs were anything to go by.

Your mom watched him sit there in the silverlit darkness for the next hour. His hat stayed on, as did his glasses. It was as if he was trying to not be seen. But why? Wasn’t his plan to be followed to begin with?

Your mom’s feet sat bare, one on top of the other, on the backrest of the seat before her. Teenagers in a row behind her, on the other side of the aisle, stared at her bare calves and heels with wonder.

Two blond-haired college jocks sitting in another pair of seats behind your mom watched the film with minds filled with debauch and possibility. These inclinations were fanned in one of their heads by your mom’s body, and her exotic gesture of defiance, standing on the rubble of polite action and being. Her calves and heels were unlike anything he was used to, sweet as wine but succulent as lamb. He nudged his physical and intellectual doppleganger, who was delighted by the fresh piece of fruit his friend brought to his attention, and they both got up and moved to the row in front of your mother. Your mom watched as one of them filed past her line of sight, obscuring the giant face of Claudette Colbert momentarily as he did. The other one, stopped one seat short of it and sat down. Each one was then sitting on either side of the seat in front of her. It was as if they were only vague acquaintances, both sitting on either side of their mutual long-term friend: your mom’s soles.

Your mom sensed their intentions, but she was unconcerned. Her shoes sat empty beneath her on the soda-sticky floor, untouched by the light of the screen. Cowards, she thought. I’d kick them in the head if I didn’t think they’d enjoy it. She figured they were too young and inexperienced to make their move and she figured right.

When the movie ended, her target got up and began to move. She filled up her empty shoes and followed him through the smoke and shadow of the theater. Her fanbase turned around and watched her walk out. She was like a jaguar to them. Elegant in her movement, and with a definitive feeling like she didn’t belong there in that part of the world. Like her build wasn’t meant for the smog of Chicago, her heels and calves deprived of their natural element, the wine-sweet air between fences colored with grapevine. Her bottom was shapely in a way that seemed too good to be true. In a way they never even knew they needed until they were its unwitting victim. It would be forever branded on the surface felt of their hunger, a cigarette burn on the reel of their unfulfilled desires.

Your mom saw him smoking on the other side of the street. The moon and sun occupied opposite ends above them, and the sky sat a dark blue. She turned around to blow smoke at an image of Humphrey Bogart as he came back again toward the box office. He bought another ticket and your mom followed behind. “What pictures you showing?” she asked the young man.

He stared into her dark eyes for an extended second, with just enough sense to keep drool from escaping the rim of his bottom lip, before regathering his bearings and replying “It Happened One Night in Theater A and The Maltese Falcon in Theater B.”

“The Maltese Falcon? Isn’t that with that Bogart feller?”

“I-it is,” he said.

She handed him her money. “Anyone ever tell ya you kind look like him?” she said as he handed her her ticket.

“Umm,” he said.

She winked at him and stepped into the theater.

He turned to follow her sweetness with his eyes as she did. He followed her until her shapely apple was swallowed by the theater’s curtain. He looked at his watch. The movie was just over an hour and forty minutes long. In one hundred minutes he’d be able to get another glimpse at her. He counted down every second.

As your mom got inside, she stood in the aisle looking for him, but she couldn’t see him at first glance. She then turned her head and saw him sitting in the back corner. She thought of doubling back to the top row, and sitting in the corner opposite him, where he could be observed periodically with the subtle turn of her chin, but when he turned and looked at her through his shades, she knew doubling back could look suspicious. Instead she chose a few rows up and across the aisle from him.

This guy sure loves movies, she thought. Not surprising, he could probably play the lead in Dracula. Or maybe the Invisible Man.

As she pinched passed a family of three to get to her seat, some popped corn caught her heel, causing her to slide backward. Her knees buckled and her bottom fell and pressed into the mom’s face.

“Sorry,” your mom whispered.

“I-i-it’s no problem,” the woman insisted. Her husband looked on wide-eyed at the moment, that exotic and round peach pressed firmly into his dear wife’s face right before him.

Your mom turned her head to look back as she scooched on. “Don’t feel too betrayed,” she said to the husband. “It was just a kiss on the cheek.”

She sat down at the seat closest to the wall. She kneeled down to grab the heels of her shoes, freeing her soles from their prison. She put her feet up, one on top of the other, on the seat before her. The teenage son of the woman who was just violated by your mom’s space and attention stealing bottom looked over at your mom’s feet so free and without cover up in the air, and then he looked down at his mom’s feet, which were equally as delicate, but not quite as full and sweet. He thought of having his mom’s pale feet, intermingling and frolicking with your mom’s bronzed wonders, and what it would be like to massage and kiss them all at once. Eventually, this thought, more overpowering than anything in the movie, drove him to the solace of the washroom, where he could enjoy that thought to its conclusion in a stall all his own.

Your mom looked up over at the man of the hour. He was looking straight ahead, through dimmed lenses, under a hat blocking him from a sun that had no say here. His mouth motionless. She looked around for another wop, but none could be seen. She was alone in enemy territory, a honeybee trapped within this W.A.S.P.’s nest. Clearly the man’s plan couldn’t have been for today. He’s been doing everything he could to remain a shadow. Your mom, after scanning the theater for faces, looked back up and when she saw that face aimed in her direction, she quickly turned and kept her eyes on the film.

Rookie mistake, your mom thought. Brings me back to my first week on the job. What a honeymoon that was.

You always have a very smooth explanation ready,” said the bug-eyed man on the screen, his skepticism as apparent as his slippery nature.

“What do you want me to do,” said Bogart. “learn to stutter?”

Your mom grinned. He’s as cold as ice, she thought. And then she giggled to herself, audibly, turning a few heads as she did. She couldn’t help it. She was pondering over the guaranteed thought of a geeky screenwriter grinning over his overworked typewriter after cooking up that line for a fictional private eye. A job they would never know or understand, but wrote for as if they lived it.

The next moment she looked up at her man, it was just in time to see him getting up and heading out. As he did, she put on her shoes, and then she got up and shuffled towards the aisle.

As she passed by the family again, she said “care for seconds?” Both the son and father glared at it as it passed, green with envy that they hadn’t even got their firsts. Though the son would get a second helping of time with himself in the bathroom in a few minutes. And again later that night when he sat on the opposite side of his parents’ door, listening to his dad have fun with his mom with an intensity quite unlike every other midnight romp.

Your mom caught her target just as he entered the washroom. Good thing too. Otherwise she’d be running up and down the street hoping to find him as he stopped moving for a smoke break. She went into the woman’s washroom. There was a negro attendant there. “Evening miss,” she said.

“Evening,” said your mom. She entered a stall, hiked up her dress and sat down. When she finished, she came out of the stall and began washing her hands. The attendant glared at her backside, surprised to see a white woman who was shaped like that.

Your mom left the bathroom and saw the teenager heading toward the men’s washroom. As he saw her, he began to blush, almost as if she knew what blasphemies he was heading there to commit on himself. His embarrassment became mortification when she proved that she did. “Have fun in there,” she said as she passed.

She stood by the entrance to Theater B, unsure if her mark had already re-entered. Suddenly, she felt that old familiar chill. The one she always felt when she knew she was being watched.

She turned around quickly. When she did, she saw the boy at the box office looking at her.

She then heard the door to the men’s washroom open. She turned over to see her man wiping off his hands on the side of his coat as he pushed the door aside with his brawny shoulder. She then turned back to the box office boy, shot him a wink, to which he blushed, and then she turned back again and re-entered the theater. When she passed by the family, she was prepared to say something cheeky, but just before she could, she slipped on the same piece of popcorn from earlier, and she fell backward into the son’s vacant seat.

She looked over at his parents with her dark eyes. “Don’t tell him about this. It would break his blessed heart that he missed it.” Then she got up and continued, her palms pulling her from one seat rest to another.

Before she even sat down, she turned around to see her target getting settled. She turned back around before he could notice her checking for him. The movie had picked up in intensity. The entire cast of characters now all sat and stood in the same room, bickering amongst each other. Your mom’s face, aglow in the duel light of the emotions the picture conjured up, as well as by the glow of the picture itself, watched enthralled. The guns, the wisecracks, the hats and coats, the smirks, the scowls, the lamps and couches, the innuendos and the hidden intentions. It excited something in her that made her ask herself in this moment why she hadn’t gone to the movies more often.

There were only two things she really cared about. Her job and her son. Maybe it was time to pick up a third.

And as the film swayed and circled the drain of its own logic, your mom watched, jaw agape, as the love interest, in defiance of what those souls sitting in this theater would want or expect, stabbed the protagonist, Bogie, in his back with that old familiar knife labelled Lover’s Betrayal. The thought of it, the indignity and inhumanity. The dream unfulfilled. The last naivety of a soul otherwise clean of it. The blistering and raw touch. And all of it, mirrored in the revelatory worthlessness of the desired object, that Maltese Falcon of the title’s sake, revealed to be just a block of lead in sweating palms animated by the world’s most dangerous muse: Greed.

And when all was said, and the backstabbing beauty leaves in police custody, as our hero, or rather anti-hero, looks on; he is asked what the statuesque bird he holds in his hand is. Without even straining to tell a lie, he responds with the most perfect irony: “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of,” before descending down the elevator into a hell of his own making.

The music swells.

The screen goes black.

The End.

As your mom gathered her heart, which had fallen into the darkness and landed with a thud next to her tipped over left shoe, she turned around to see if her target was leaving. Maybe even to see if he showed any signs of being as rubbed raw by the picture as she was.

Instead she saw an empty seat.

She ran into the lobby and out onto the sidewalk, looking in both directions at barren nighttime streets and sidewalks.

She rushed back in and asked a man coming out of the men’s room if there was another man inside fitting her mark’s description. No such luck. She rushed out from the lobby and into the street, drawing many eyes whose sights were glued tightly to her waistline.

“He told me it was supposed to happen today,” she said out loud. Then in thought: but where was the Queen of Hearts?

Either way, she knew people, she had to in her line of work, and as strange as this one was, she could still feel in him what she had felt so often in others. A cool and calm assurance that exactly what he wanted was coming to him this very night. Often times this was the brick that, together with others, made a rocky path. Its end destination being self-immolation. But his giving her the slip, though without cognizance of doing so, or even cognizance of needing to do so, left a bitter taste in her mouth that made her wonder, possibly with a pinch of superstition, if the planets had aligned themselves just as he wanted them to.

Plus the son’s plan, though candid he was, was still too vague for her to understand how exactly it was supposed to play out as far as time, venue, or action was concerned. It all just shared the shape of rhetoric, revolutionary in flavor, spilling out the mouth of a campus radical, completely devoid of the nuts and bolts that fit into this alleged bridge to utopia, as if throwing dice in the direction of its fulfillment, meant its fulfillment with a Delphian certainty.

The moon, crescent as a Turkish scimitar, cut the peace sitting in the eternal hammock of night into shreds and left it as tatters among clouds. The light in the windows were like battering rams to the same cause. Your mom was without direction and she knew it. The same feet that rested so carefully without cause for shelter, would now have to carry her, either towards home or back up towards the correct path.

Back to square one, she thought. She looked on east. The street was empty of everything but shadow and little circular paint dabs of artificial light pressed to the filthy pavement. Then she looked on west where the street was littered with fellow theater goers climbing into taxis, or walking along. One of the theater goers just stood in the middle of the street, looking in her direction from afar. His face was clouded by darkness but she could tell by his build and stature that he wasn’t her mark. As a cab pulled up behind him, illuminating him only by his edges, it took for the cab to honk its horn for him to move, and even as he did, he did so slow and deliberately, as if the cab was barely there at all.

Back to square one, she thought. She looked on east. The street was empty of everything but shadow and little circular paint dabs of artificial light pressed to the filthy pavement. Then she looked on west where the street was littered with fellow theater goers climbing into taxis, or walking along. One of the theater goers just stood in the middle of the street, looking in her direction from afar. His face was clouded by darkness but she could tell by his build and stature that he wasn’t her mark. As a cab pulled up behind him, illuminating him only by his edges, it took for the cab to honk its horn for him to move, and even as he did, he did so slow and deliberately, as if the cab was barely there at all.

I guess I won’t be going that way, she thought. Creep.

She walked east, playing connect the dots from one street lamp to another, drawing a throughline with her delicate steps. When she turned around, she saw the dark figure, walking her way. His face still obscured. His left hand in his pocket. Silent. At his right side, he carried some sort of bag with metal objects clanking within. Was he a theater goer? she asked herself. There was no way he brought that bag in there with him. She would have heard it clanking earlier. They were far enough away from the racket in front of the theater that she could now hear his footsteps as he walked at her pace in the same direction she did.

She picked up her pace and rounded the corner. A few homeless men stood circling a trashcan fire. A halo of eyes surrounding a flame, all pointed in her direction, drawn by the sound of her heels. There eyes turning from despondent and cold, to alight and young again as she made her very colorful way into the orange light of their very black world. She stumbled slightly and walked off the curb, passing them. They kept their eyes on her as she did. Each twitch and gesticulation of her figure, even when made in apprehension and downright fear, a sight to behold. She turned around to see the figure and his sack again. His face would have almost been illuminated by the trashcan fire of the intransigents were it not for his hat, which was pulled so low that his brim obscured his features.

Your mom rushed on, this time jogging. The night, barren of light but for the stars and a few rectangles, apartment windows, offered no refuge. She must have lost him by now, she was sure of it, at least as far as the logistics of it all went. But she still couldn’t shake the feeling that he was on her heels, inches away from reaching around her with both arms and taking her with him into those shadows, and the mercy of whatever it was within that bag that clanked so, and, possibly, whatever hidden piece of him, physical or mental, that was motivating it all.

Suddenly, like an oasis in the desert, she rounded a corner to see an open establishment, its lights projecting a semi-circle standing firm underneath the one-thousand tons of shadow that weighed down on it at all angles. As she got closer, she saw that it was a bar. She ran inside without even turning to look over her shoulder.

As the light of the place embraced her, as did the smell of liquor in the air and the feeling of it sticky on her heels, she felt safe again.

“Now I know what it’s like to be a wino,” she said aloud.

Some of the patrons, all of them drunk, turned to see the person crazy enough to be talking to themselves. All of them were surprised to see it was a beautiful woman. They didn’t often come to a dump like this. Especially not at this hour. Your mom called to the bartender: “You have a phone I could use?”

“Yeah,” he said, as he cleaned a shot glass with a rag. “Long as you got change. Over there.”

The men on their stools followed her with their eyes, not one exception, rubbernecking in unison, her behind a birdie to be watched and distracted by. Roosevelt could have walked in through the front door, they would have been blind to it.

She pushed against the wooden handle to the phone booth to get it open, and she squeezed herself inside. After closing the door behind her, one of the guys at the bar said “I’m surprised she could fit it in there.”

Another one called a few bodies across to his left: “how’d you like to fit it under the sheets, Jack?”

“Henry, my boy,” said the target of this hypothetical. “How’d you like it when I do?”

Your mom dialed the number her client gave her. The first question she bounced around in her mind was “is your mom home with you now?” An affirmative to that, and that alone, would put her mind at ease. Nothing short of it, not even by a single finger of gin, would do it.

The phone rang without an answer. She looked out the glass of the phone booth at the clock on the wall over the whiskey bottles. It was one-thirty in the morning. She hung up. She then picked up the receiver again and dialed the operator.

“Hello, operator?” she said. “Get me the police department. Yes, I’ll hold… Hello, I’m just calling to talk to an officer Mulroney. Can you get him on the phone please. It’s about a private matter…. Yes… yes… I understand. Just tell him that it’s that dirty dago again. She’s up to no good, like usual.”

She looked over at a bill on the bulletin board for a play. It was End of Summer. There were photographs of the actors all along the edges, an image she would have just scanned over without focus. But one of those photographs happened to catch her eye.

She looked over at a bill on the bulleting board for a play. It was End of Summer. There were photographs of the actors all along the edges, an image she would have just scanned over without focus. But one of those photographs happened to catch her eye. What are the chances, she thought, with the phone receiver pressed to her ear. Meeting you again here of all places.

It was her client, the young man, standing for a glamor shot, smiling in black and white. I promise to not tell the bartender you aren’t 21 yet, she thought to herself, finding it hard to keep from smiling. As long as the first drink’s on you.

She smiled extra at the thought that she was working for an actor and she hadn’t even realized it. It made sense. He was handsome in a sort of mousy way, and he had a very expressive face, she could remember. Sort of like her son did.

Her thoughts were interrupted by that ole’ familiar voice, which, like every time previously, was a little more dry than the time prior.

“Mulroney?” your mom asked, as if she didn’t know within the first syllable of his “what do you want?” who it was.

She played on the glass with her nails as she spoke: “Hey, how are you, you miserable mick? I’m doing good. It’s late, I know. I know. I know, I get… Will you… will… wait…I know…. Wait… will… let me… Wait! Wait! Will you let me get a word in edgewise? Please? This is important. I don’t have time. I’m not calling from home. I’m calling from a bar. I bet that got your attention, you degenerate, you. Now listen, I need you to tell me an address for this number I got. It’s important. No, it can’t wait. When I say it’s important, it’s important. Yes, okay. Thank you. It’s 555-14….3….2. Yes. Just don’t take all day, it’s all I ask of you, you miserable drunk. No, no. You’re right. You never let me down. Just don’t start now. It would destroy what little respect for you I have left.”

As she waited for his reply, she looked out again from her glass display case. The men were still there with their eyes hungry and their prospects few. Like wolves waiting to rip into her. Cowards, she thought. I’d feed em the back of my fist if I didn’t think they’d enjoy it so much.

“Hello,” she said suddenly. “Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I have a pen,” she said, lying. “Yeah. Yes. Just hurry up, will ya. I’m not a policeman, I actually have a job to do.” He told her the address, which she repeated to him slowly as if she were writing it down. “Okay, Mulroony. You pulled through this time. But all kiddin’ aside, I am thankful. You really did save my skin here.” Your mom smiled to him, something he could hear even if just through her voice. “So I’ll let you get back to drinking coffee. Say hi to the wife for me and tell her I still think she can do better.”

She hung up the phone. She turned toward her audience. They were still there staring. A phalanx of eyes. She grabbed the door and slid it open. She exited her zoo enclosure. She had burst out of her containment and was now walking among the knuckle dragging-apes that had come to visit her zoo.

“Can I get a scotch, straight?” she said to the bartender.

“Sure you can,” he said, as he took his palm off the bar to grab a bottle from the shelf behind him.

As he poured it, she pulled out a wad of cash.

“First drink’s paid for,” he said and nodded toward a man two bodies down. She looked that way to see a fifty-something year old man sitting there. And then a thirty-something year old leaned out from behind him. He made a friendly gesture with his hand.

As the bartender slid the drink in front of your mom, the man got up and approached her.

“Howdy,” he said, with a southern accent.

“Howdy?” she asked?

“Yeah, howdy.”

“Charming,” she said as she lifted the drink to her mouth to sip.

“Thank ye.”

“Not from around these parts, are ya cowboy?”

“No, I’m a trucker. Kentucky is where I’m from.”

“Ah, Kentucky.”

He stood there for a second, looking down at her, taking in all that was wrapped into her little package with savory delight. “They drink whisky in Spain?”

“How would I know?”

“It ain’t the home country?”


“Then what is?”


He laughed hardily. “You’re funny. Where’s your ma and pa from?”

“I guess Italy.”

“You guess?”

“Well, if I take their word for it, then Italy.”

“Why wouldn’t you take their word for it?”

“Because they’re Italian.”

“I like the tongue on this one.”

“The better to taste scotch with my dear,” she said and lifted the drink to her mouth.

Just before she did, she looked into it. It swished in the glass there, innocuously at first glance. Its surface looking unbroken and clean, unviolated. Even still, she put the drink back down.

“What’s wrong,” the man said, sensing something was amiss. “Not thirsty?”

“No,” she said. “Besides, I have to go.”

“Well can I get your number?”

She stood up and pushed the drink aside. “You can have it?”

“Your number? What is it?”

“No, I meant the drink,” she said.

“But what I really want is your number.”

“And what I really want is wings. Sometimes life gives you lemons.” She turned around and started walking off.

“Looks like it gave you sweet peaches,” he said as he watched.

She grabbed the door with her left hand and turned around and said “and it looks like it gave you none,” before stepping out into the night and letting the door swing shut.

“Shiiit,” he said to himself, before grabbing the drink he had paid for and downing it in one swig.

“You’ll get ‘em next time, champ,” called a man in a raggety coat.

“Man,” said the thirty-something year old. “The man who gets to lay down with a girl such as that is the luckiest man on planet earth, I tell ya.”

Your mom again walked from lamppost to lamppost, this time with purpose and direction. I sure could’ve used that whiskey, she thought. Her feet were sore, with a dull hum reverberating up to her calves. Her thighs were exhausted and her eyelids drooped. It was as if she was dipping in and out of a dreamstate, cycling through a few moments in the real world, and a few in a hazy glow, every few steps. Through all the crickets, and far-off traffic, and the occasional yell or siren, she could hear a trumpet somewhere out there. She couldn’t place it. Likely some colored feller on his fire-escape belting out a tune in ambivalence to his own suffering. And in a way, defiant to it. Even when the city was dead it had a life of its own.

Before she knew it, she was there. She looked up at the apartment block before her. Being an investigative reporter must not pay what it used to, she thought. This place is a dump.

She now knew the building, but she still hadn’t the foggiest about what apartment he lived in, making it impossible for her to get inside, never mind to find the right apartment number once she did. She looked around and found a payphone across the street. She waited for a cab to pass, its passenger, drunk and sad-eyed, glaring out at her as it did, before crossing the street. The passenger turned around to watch her red apple disappear from the circle of light on one side of the street, and explode into visibility again on the other. It didn’t just dare him to look. It demanded it. She shut herself into the booth and dialed the number.

“Second time’s a charm,” she said. And after a few rings, she saw one of the lights on the fourth floor turn on, and the silhouette of a familiar frame filled the window. “Bingo,” she said. The silhouette’s hand reached down and then pulled up two objects, one towards its ear and another towards its mouth.

The ringing stopped.

“Hello?” asked the groggy voice on the other end.

“It’s me,” she said.


“Your knight in shining armor.”

“Oh,” he said. She could see him touching his face and she could barely make out that he was putting his palm to his eyes to rub out the sleep in them. “My knight in shining armor…”

“Sorry to snatch you out of your dream, but this is important. Has your mom come home tonight?”

“No,” he said, bluntly.

“You sure?” your mom asked. “It sounds like you just woke up. Maybe she came home after you hit the hay?”

There was a silence on the line for a bit. “You’re right,” he said. “Just give me a minute to check.”

His silhouette disappeared for a few moments and then it reappeared. “No, she’s not home,” he said, his voice sounding more upset now, whereas before any scent of concern was drowned out by his exhaustion. “You don’t know where she is?”

“I don’t think she showed,” your mom said. “I saw nobody who fit your mom’s description except when I happened to see myself in the reflection of a window or a puddle. It looked like Berlin out there.”

“What do you mean she wasn’t out there? Then where was she?”

“I wanted to know the same thing from you? Was she at home at all today?”


“Are you sure?”

“I was home all day, she wasn’t home. I’ve been sitting, watching for her out the window. So you didn’t see anybody?”

Your mom scratched the back of her left calf with the toe of her right shoe. “I saw the ghoul that she was tailing. He was exactly as you said he’d be. I figured you’d know your mom better, so I could trust that description even more.”

He was silent for a few uncomfortable seconds. “She wasn’t there?”

“Not unless she was there in spirit, no. Are you sure she’s not up there? Maybe she’s sleeping in a different room.”

“I’ve checked every room. Besides the driveway is empty. I’m looking out the window at it now, she hasn’t come home.”

When she heard it, the trumpet in the distance stopped. “Driveway?” she mumbled under her breath. His silhouette tottered on its heal.

“Oh god,” he said. “Where is he?

Your mom glared up at the silhouette in silence for a moment. Without taking her eyes off him, she slowly lifted the mouth piece to her lips to say generically: “He gave me the slip.”

“Gave you the slip? Did he see you?”

“Never mind that,” your mom said. Her eyes hadn’t moved one inch since she heard that incongruous word assault her ear. She just looked up at that shadow framed in light. The only interruption: the millisecond it took her to blink. She began to tap on her earpiece. “What does your mom drive?” she asked, voice dry.

“Never mind that? Oh god, she’s not home. That means he must’ve… he… oh god!”

“Answer me. What car does your mom drive?”

“I don’t know… a… a 1934 Plymouth…Beige… Why does it matter?” he asked exasperated. “Did you see her car somewhere?”

“What’s her name again?” your mom asked, breathing slowly.

“Sirena Canzone. I already told you.”

“And his?”

“Peter Warne.”

“Warne…” she said, audibly. She gripped on the mouthpiece before her. His silhouette alone evoking the concern of a worried son. She felt as if she would see it that way even without hearing it was his voice or knowing it was his body behind that screen. “Okay, I’m going to need you to check something for me. Don’t ask too many questions. I have reason to believe your mom might have something of his that is of great value. This is important to your mom’s safety, if not yours as well so I’ll need you to work quickly. It was a red notebook.”

“A red notebook?”

“Yes. Have you seen anything like that lying around the house?”

“No, I’ve seen nothing like that. Why is that relevant?”

“Don’t ask any questions. We don’t have time for questions.”

“But… he… he never mentioned anything to me about a notebook. I don’t’ think…”

“Okay, now listen. Have you checked everywhere in the house?”


“Your mom’s room, the living room, the closet, the bathroom, the dining room?”


“How about the basement?”

There was a silence, as if he had stopped to think. “No… I haven’t checked there, I guess.”

Your mom gripped onto the receiver tightly. She glared up at the silhouette in the apartment window, a bitter taste dragged itself along the flattest part of her tongue. She could remember him, more colorful, but less clear, as he stood in her office, hat in hand, doe-eyed and desperate, begging her for resolution. “What about the attic?” she asked.

“No, I haven’t been up there for months,” he said, his voice cracking as he forced it out.

“Can you check?”

“I suppose I can. In the attic?”

“The basement first. I’m sure it’s there. And then we can check the attic later if the basement’s a dud.”

“Okay,” he said. Just give me a few minutes. We have a big basement.” She saw him place the receiver down on the shelf. And then, instead of moving to whatever “basement” he could possibly be referring to, he just stood there. And all of that worry which had been the product of his stance and mannerisms evaporated almost immediately. He was as cool as a snow cone and as loose as straw. He began to pull out a cigarette and light it. He put it to his mouth. And then he blew smoke, which had its own faded silhouette. And he did it again. Not moving, just standing there. Bored. Even looking at his watch.

Your mom leaned on the glass of the booth with her shoulder, exhausted. Her eyes wide at what she was seeing. The soles of her feet sore, and the cheeks of her face cold.

After a minute, he ashed his cigarette and began hopping up and down in one place, and as he did, the pantomime of shock and concern came back to him, and then he stopped dead and picked up the receiver. His voice exploded again, cracking, upon the line. “No, no! It’s not down there. Tell me that this isn’t as important as you say. Tell me what’s going on. Please.”

“The attic next,” your mom said, with a voice as dry as gin. “Check the attic.”

“Okay! Don’t’ hang up. I’ll be back soon,” he said, and then he put the receiver down, his shoulders and limbs sunk, and he pulled out another cigarette and began to light it.

Your mom’s mouth was dry. She hung up the phone and slowly pushed her way out of the booth. The night air just barely cooled her burning face. She watched him smoke up there as she walked down the street, her heels clicking the only sound for miles. She walked down the sidewalk slowly, his shade rotating on its axis and thinning as she did, until his shadow was obscured by another building. That’s when she turned the corner. The sky was starting to brighten up. The streets were barren of all life. Your mom knew this city well, stalking up and down its corridors and alleys, but even she was lost in its labyrinth now. Even if she knew where to walk, she no longer had the will or strength to walk there. Her feet were sore, her calves aching, and her mouth parched. And to top it all off, it was only Thursday.

As if a chariot from god, a solitary cab, vacant, drove by. She threw up her arm and it stopped dutifully beside her. The cabbie himself shrouded in darkness. She got in.

She told him the address to her office. He looked back at her through his rearview.

For a moment there was silence.

“Did you not hear me?” she asked, rhetorically.

He just stared at her for a few moments more and then put the car into drive with his big hairy hand.

After a few blocks through the vacant city streets, he asked “rough night?”

“Yes,” she said, as she stared out of the window, seeing the burning sun rise at the end of each perpendicular street. “It was a bucking bronco, alright.” She kicked off her right shoe and pulled her foot into her lap and began massaging it.

He eyed her bare thighs, calves, shins, and heel. “But you managed to hold on?”

“Yeah,” she stopped to think about it. “I don’t know. I spent the entire time in this moonlight trying to figure out one thing and now I’ll spend the rest of today’s sunlight trying to figure out another.” She snorted at herself. “I’m not even sure if it’s worth figuring out, to put it simple.” She was silent for a moment. “I’ve never been less on top of it than I am now. I guess I’m just not used to it.”

“Pretty woman like you shouldn’t have it so rough though.”

Your mom chuckled. “I don’t know if pretty’s got anything to do with it. Maybe if a girl were to marry a banker or big Hollywood producer. In my line of work, I think a pretty face just attracts more attention. And more intention means more abuse.”

“I understand” he said. There was silence for a few more blocks. Every once in a while, his eyes were on the rearview, looking back at her, dragging his gaze up and down her form as if he was pressing into her figure with his line of sight. From her dark eyes and sultry lips, down to her pinup girl legs. She stared out the window and into the vacant Chicago streets.

With time, she started to feel more at ease. “Can I smoke in here?” she asked.

“Me casa, su casa,” he said.

She pulled out a cigarette, and put it to her mouth. She began fishing for a match.

“So,” he said, interrupting her in her search. “How much?”

She pulled the cigarette out of her mouth, almost reflexively. “Excuse me?” she retorted.

“For the hour? How much?”

The car was silent for a moment. “You got the wrong girl, bub.”

“Really? I have the money. Whatever you charge, I’ll pay.”

“That’s not me. You’re barking up the wrong tree. I’m telling you.”

“Listen, I know your shift is over. I’ll add another few bills on top of what you normally charge. I need a crack at you. You’re driving me crazy back there.”

“Listen, you got the wrong idea.”

“Oh, come on. You’re teasing me with those legs. And I saw you standing out there. What an aassss. I’ll be quick, trust me. I can come back there and we can do it quick.” He wasn’t even trying to be subtle now as he gawked at her body through the rearview.

“I said listen! You got the wrong i-”

“No, you listen!” he screamed, swinging around to face her. His arm shot out suddenly and without warning, grabbing her shirt collar and pulling her forward. “You think you’re the only one out here working hard? I’m just paying you to bend over and take it. I’ll do the rest of it. I can tell with you I’m not going to last long anyways humping that big ole’ thing. I’ll be the quickest customer you’ve had tonight, you can bet cold hard cash on it.” He swung his head back around and pulled on the wheel to glide slowly into an alley way.

Your mom put her palm out into the back of his neck and pushed. “Agghh” he shrieked. She grabbed the handle of the car door and pushed it open, jumping out just as it slowed down. When she hit the ground, she stumbled, but regained her balance and took off running. Her bare feet against the cool pavement, she could hear him behind her, running at a similar pace. She looked over her shoulder to see him rocketing forward at her.

He was a short man. Fully clothed in the typical cabbie uniform, from the shoes to the hat, all standard. Or at least it would have been, were it not for one chalant detail: his open zipper. His genitals hung out, swinging to and fro’, but still hard and ready for action. He had whipped it out within minutes of her entering the cab, and had been playing with it with his left hand the entire time. That was where his courage came from. But it would also be his downfall.

Your mom knew that running wasn’t going to work for much longer. Instead she stopped dead in her tracks, and spun around. There he was, less than a second from reaching his pudgy arms around her, and closing the distance, which from her perspective meant him and his ‘pistol’ gaining in size. She leaned back on her left heel, and with her right foot, planted a kick square into his six shooter and bag of rounds. He fell to the ground howling in pain.

He looked up at her as she stood, a full mountain over him. In his face was only weakness. She lifted her bare foot as a symbol of what she’d do next if he tried to get up.

His facial expression didn’t change. But he squealed: “yesss, bring that Spanish foot down on me, sweetheart.”

She was staggered. “Italian,” was all she could bring herself to say.

“Even better,” he said, and he pulled his hands away from his testicles and opened up his thighs by pulling on his bent knees with his hands. “I love a strong woman. Stomp them,” he said. His face glowed with satisfaction. A part of her body had touched his. That was all that mattered. And now he wanted more of it.

She lowered her foot to the concrete below and stepped backward. She looked the sad little man in his watery eyes, then she turned around, and walked off. He watched her backside as she did.

“I’ll cherish the backseat you sat on!” he yelled to her. “And thanks for the shoes!”

When your mom had finally made it to the sanctuary of her lobby, she only took a few steps before collapsing and becoming a crying mess, though one that was bathed in the horizontal pattern of shadow and golden sunlight. She sat down in Vinny’s chair. “I’m glad you get a break, buddy,” she said. “Because no one else is in this stinkin’ city does today.”

She cleaned the sole of each of her feet of pebbles, and then she got up again and continued to her office. She looked up at her cat clock, its eyes going back and forth with each tick. It was 8:21. Another forty minutes and she was open for business. She could have just left the front door locked and the sign on “closed,” but she had to work. She didn’t know what else to do with herself. It had always been that way.

She sat up on the ledge of her desk and she reached across it to grab her cigarette case. She tapped one of the cigarettes, lit it and began to smoke. She put the case back down. It glimmered in the sunlight. She caught the reflection of that glimmer in the mirror. She looked over to see her sitting in it. Her exhausted face, and round bottom looking back at her.

“You guys cause so much trouble for me,” she said. It wasn’t the first time she had wished she was more plain. She remembered the first time that thought had occurred to her. In Little Italy when she first started to evolve from the ugly duckling that she was into something else. That time when Angelo spanked her bottom by the baseball diamond. When she was too shy to do anything about it. It was from that day forward that she promised herself that nobody would do that to her ever again. And she had lived up to that one even until now. Even this day, her worst since, she was able to make it without a single palm getting anywhere near that golden olive.

She smiled to herself in the mirror.

Sweetheart, she thought. “You’re still the most cold-blooded flatfoot I know.” She laughed to herself. “Humphrey Bogart’s got nothing on this.”

She circled her desk and looked in the bottom drawer for a spare pair of shoes. They sat there, waiting for her, next to a big empty spot. Did Vinny take the camera?, she thought. That guinea idiot.

As she placed her spare shoes on the desk, she opened up her top drawer. Next to an envelope of money was her bottle of scotch. It looked like an oasis in the Mojave. She pulled it out, along with a tumbler and unscrewed the cap. She poured herself a drink, watching is slosh through the glass and settle, and pushed the bottle aside when she was done. She took a sip and then stood up, glass in hand, and headed to the window. She opened up the blinds with her other hand and looked through. She took another sip of her drink.

“Another day,” she whispered. “Another story to tell.” And then she downed the rest of the glass.

She pulled out her cigarette case, which glimmered in the sun, and she pulled out a cigarette. I’m going to need coffee too, she thought. I picked a bad time to quit.

She tapped her cigarette on the case and it fell from her hand. She saw it drop to the ground below in slow motion. As she kneeled down to pick it up, she dropped her case. Her knees buckled and she fell to the ground. She put her arm to her carpet to lift herself up, and as she got to her knees, she wobbled. She had worked herself to the bone last night. She reached out for her chair and pulled it out. She fell ass-backwards into its familiar seat. Yeah, she had worked hard. What harm could a few minutes – scratch that, a few hours – of good sleep possibly bring? She hadn’t taken a day off in years. There was no shame starting now. She knew that. She slowly shut her eyes.

Her empty tumbler sat on the table before her, illuminated by golden sunlight and wrapped up in silvery smoke.

Her eyes fell closed. There was silence, both in her ears and minds, which was then torn away by a dull thud.

What is it? she thought.

The thud came again.

Did I drop something. I’ll get it when I wake up.

Another thud.

It’s knocking she thought. It has to be.

Suddenly there was the distant but unmistakable sound of glass breaking. Your mom just barely found the strength to open her eyes. She could barely make out the blur before her. But she could hear the unmistakable squeak of her door opening. And then a shadow walked through. And as he got closer, he began to gain in definition. Until she could see an oversized beige coat. An oversize hat of the same color. And dark sunglasses over invisible eyes, which sat above a bushy blonde mustache, and below a blonde mop of hair.

Your mom shut her eyes.

He stared down at her. She was motionless.

He took a few steps into the room and began to remove his coat.

Your mom made no movements whatsoever.

He saw the empty tumbler and the open scotch bottle. He smiled under that mustache. And then he reached for that very same mustache and pulled it off.

And then he removed his hat. And he grabbed the top of his blonde hair, and he pulled it off as well. A wig. And then he grabbed his sunglasses and placed them on the windowsill.

He had transformed in the space of seconds into a figure that would have been very familiar to your mom if she were only awake to see him standing there just feet before her unconscious self.

“I guess I will be bending that gorgeous thing over this desk after all,” he said. “If only you were a bit more receptive when I asked, you could have gotten paid for it.”

When he rounded the desk, the first thing that he did was grab your mom by her thighs. He lifted them, slowly letting his fingers slide down her legs as he did, until his hand were holding the heel of each foot. He placed her feet on her desk and he ran his finger along the anterior lateral of her right foot down to her heel, and when he saw she wasn’t responding to what should have been ticklish to her on any other day, he smiled.

Upon the rooftop of the Lucky Bird Hotel, which sat a few blocks over to the east, stood a figure holding binoculars. He had a bag at his side with something heavy in it. He saw the passed out dark-haired woman through the window, and then saw the tall figure which eclipsed her. He let go of his binoculars and let them hang from his neck and he snatched up his bag and ran back into the stairwell, circling down like a corkscrew into champagne until he reached the ground floor.

He almost pushed a bellhop out of his way as he jetted through the lobby. He squeezed in through he revolving doorway opposite a few jocks, and he came back out into the sunlight he had just escaped from. He continued on, running down the street, with nothing but the will to do right in his mind.

He cut across traffic, bearing the horns of cabs and meat trucks and he continued on, until he reached the building that your mom’s office was in. He ran up to the third floor and he saw the broken glass in the hallway. His heart sank.

He ran up and opened the door. And there he saw your mom lying, facedown on the desk, silent, with her middle-aged client from a few days earlier standing over her.

The client looked back at the intruder at the doorway, startled. And then when he saw who it was, a look of assured nirvana retook his features. “Right on time,” he said. He pointed at the tumbler and bottle. “Looks like your plan worked. You’re a genius.”

The intruder dropped his bag to the floor and reached inside. He pulled out a camera. And then with his other hand, he took down his pants, exposing his hard cock to the sun and shade. He was ready for action. He was the first one to be naked in your mom’s office, he wasn’t going to be the last.

The man slightly trembled as he stood over your mom’s bent over behind. “Oh god,” he said.

“I wanted this thing since the first moment I’ve seen it.” He exhaled deeply. “This is going to be good.”

His fingers slid down her hip, down her thighs until he reached the hem of her skirt. He grabbed onto both sides with his fingers, and stood there a minute.

Then with one fell swoop, he pulled up your mom’s dress. Your mom’s bare bottom exploded into view violently, aggression upon the air itself with its bounce and shape. It sat there gloriously after settling. Staring at the world, exposed but inviolate.

And then, as sudden as it was merciless, his palm came down, giving your mom’s defenseless right cheek a satisfying and full spank. He looked down at her sleeping face. “I told you I would.” The cameraman whinnied in pleasure. “You like that,” the man asked. “How about this?” He grabbed each heavy cheek and he pulled them apart. Hidden within was a sweet-looking pair of holes. He leaned down and put his face next to the gorgeous sight, likely the biggest one of its kind in Illinois, and he smiled at the cameraman. “Snap one,” he said.

The bulb went off and the flash lit up his smiling face and her expressionless olive-flavored behind all at once. “Take a picture of me giving her a kiss on the cheek,” he said. Again, the bulb flashed on the image of him kissing her on her round flesh. “Okay,” he said. “Now I’m going to make this thing into a hot dog.” He opened up her cheeks and stuck his wiener in between them. “Take a picture,” he demanded.

The cameraman ran up and stood over the comical, yet all-American, sight, and he snapped another photo worthy of his scrapbook.

The client began humping as his piece rubbed in between her cheeks. The cameraman, imagining what it would be like to be in his shoes, became worried that he would ejaculate before the main attraction began. He knew if it was his piece in between those tanned cheeks, he would have already blown his load all over her shoulders and the back of her head. The cameraman had never had sex before and was enthralled at the thought of what it might possibly look like.

Luckily, he was about to find out.

“Think it was funny that my old lady was getting piped by a negroid?” he asked the back of her head. “How about a piece of my Christopher Columbus up your new world?”

He pulled his angry prick out from between her welcoming cheeks and instead pressed it up and into her special place. The camera snapped again mid-push. He began to start doing the dirty deed with her.

So this is what it looks like, thought the cameraman as he snapped a few more picture. It’s the cat’s pajamas.

Watching the soft flesh, olive in complexion, being pressed and pushed by that solid milky frame was driving him wild. There bodies in lover’s dance, combining and improving upon one another. Their fates tangled like alley cats in the same lane. His white butt cheeks the moon to the darkness of her butt cheeks. Strung together along the same shade of black that comprised their respective butt-cracks.

“Ooohh” said the man. “I figured since my wife is fucking a black nigger, maybe I should fuck a white one.” He grabbed the back of her hair and made a makeshift ponytail in her fist and pulled her head up. “I see why it is you people breed like rabbits. If my wife had an ass like this, I would have fucked her after giving her that beating the other night. His pelvis was hungry for that ass and it kept chomping at it with each thrust, but it never got its fill.

After a series of photos, your mom’s date for the morning wanted to look at her face, so he flipped her over on her back, and hung her legs over his left shoulder and began to fuck again. Her head rocked slightly as it went up and down with his every pump. The black lashes of her closed eyelids contrasting wonderfully with her tanned complexion. Her mouth slightly ajar, leaving just enough room for him to let spit drip out of his own mouth and land within hers on his first try. “Bombs away,” he said as it left his lips. “Bullseye,” he said when he saw where it landed, smack dab on her silent tongue.

The cameraman stood behind them, marvelling at the view as if it were his first time in New York City, admiring the torch on the Statue of Liberty. The man’s white back stood firm there, as its lower sections snaked back and forth aggressively with each push. Your mom’s naked feet sat, one on top of the other, on the pedestal of his left shoulder. Their shape so perfect and sweet, and in such great contrast to the flavor of the Chicago sun or the flesh of the man who enjoyed her. Feet meant for the dirt and grass of southern Italy, underneath the shade of a fig tree, with inconsistent blotches of sun playing along them in patterns sorted by Ceres. Instead they stood there, toes swaying about in stuttered and sudden motions, sun, shade, sun, shade, the pattern of man, in horizontal bars from her heels to her toes. Yet still, her suitor made it feel as if she belonged. Her body meant for his. It would have been obvious to any disinterested observer, and necessary to any observer who was interested.

The cameraman snapped his picture, knowing it would be among the most magical of the morning.

Your mom’s eyes began to open, just vaguely, catching hold of nothing.

“Oh,” he said. “Wakey wakey, nice and achey.”

He grabbed her by the back of her head.

“Now that you’re up,” why don’t I show you just how good you look getting plugged.”

He pulled his cock out into the cold world and grabbed her by her hair, dragging her as she stepped awkwardly and inefficiently toward her mirror.

He turned to the window and pointed at it. “Open the shades!” The cameraman complied. “I want her to get a good look at herself.”

The morning sun kissed her on her bottom so sweetly. It only made sense. Italy and the Midwest shared the same sun. The glorious rays of the goddess Sun shone on the glorious form of her younger sister. Your mom was a dream, a fantasy made real. An ideal out of touch to the scrupulous and unambitious. But a reality for this dime store crook.

He grabbed her and held her head up to her own reflection by the back of her hair. “Focus,” he said. It was as if she heard him, because her eyes started to lock on her own image, just slightly, before losing track of the world and fading out again. “This will be the hardest case in your life,” he said. “I want you to tell me what you see happening here, who it’s happening to, and who’s doing it. Tell me, who’s the victim, what is she the victim of, and who is the one victimizing her?”

He shoved himself in again. “I’m going to fuck you back to Rome, you guinea bitch.”

Your mom stood on the same sore feet that had propelled her the entire previous day, from one red herring to another, over grass, linoleum, and concrete, before finally taking her to the end of her own little picture-show here. Her insides were being filled. She was stuffed beautifully. Her shoulder bit. Her cheek kissed. Her tongue licked. Her eyes focused and unfocused on a two-headed silhouette before her. A silhouette which flashed every few seconds into a clear image, before descending back again into darkness. The sweat of her cheeks and the sweat of his pelvis merged and fell to the ground as one. A melting pot unto itself.

The cameraman knew what he was doing. Immortalizing each moment, allowing it to last with the passing of seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, decades, and centuries. Even as everything before it was bland, and everything after it would be a step each away from it, this moment would cling to eternity. His victory. Her loss. Roosevelt’s victory. Mussolini’s loss. The world’s victory. The world’s loss. All preserved like film stock within the black of a crate sitting in the library of congress, like so many newsreels and films from the silent era.

“Pete-ar Waarrrrn,” she said.

“Not so quick with your tongue now, I guess,” he said, and he stuck his foot in front of her ankle and pulled, causing her to trip forward. “Look at yourself. A total disgrace.”

He began to thrust into her.

“I’m getting in real deep now,” he said. “I can feel it.” The top of the dividing line between her cheeks was still visible, even as he eclipsed the rest of her bottom with his welcoming nook.

There feet intermingled amongst each other on the carpet. Hers small and olive-colored. Sweet. His big and white. Rough with age and labor. As photogenic as anything that had ever been shot. Each thrust forming a pocket of air in between her bountiful cheeks and his hungry hips, causing a clapping noise as the two made contact, fitting to fills the hall at Carnegie at the end of a vaudeville act.

The cameraman could see his two subjects in the monochromatic black and white they were being captured in.

They looked like stars on the big screen to him. Except bigger somehow. At least to him. Carved in immortal silver. Sent to Barcelona on the Santa Maria, and to Naples on a raft. Topped off with a postcard from the Alamo. A courtesy to cousins and aunts back home, letting them know she’s been totally assimilated.

“Give yourself a kiss,” he said, and he pushed her head forward into the mirror reflection of her own beauty.

“K-k-kith?” your mom stuttered out.

“Won’t you ever shut up?” he said, and pulled himself free of her. He then stood up, towering over her, leaning. And he pushed her into the corner. Her mouth fell open, and, uninvited, he shoved himself inside and began thrusting. His white testicles bounced off of her bronze chin like tennis balls, making for a wonderful photo. One quite like any other that had ever been taken. “What’s the matter?” said the tennis player. “Cat’s got your tongue?”

“Serna immimm leal” she said.

“Ugghh” he said, and thrust in deeper and upwards, reveling in the sensation of the roof of her mouth against the top of his pecker. Then he grabbed the base of his pecker and the space underneath his balls and clenched them between his thumb and pointer finger, and he shoved all of it deep into her mouth, testicles and all.

Her entire mouth was filled with him. His balls pressed flat against her tongue. The tip of his penis almost touching her tonsils. The cameraman had never seen a woman make a face like that, and he wasn’t about to allow it to pass with time. *snap* went his camera along with a flash.

In order to breath, your mom took in a full whiff through her nostrils, dragging in the pungent scent of his white flesh which bloomed like a flower before her. Suddenly, her client pulled all of himself out of her, his Florida from top to bottom wet with surf off her Tyrrhenian and Dalmatian coasts. And he was about to show her the San Andreas Fault in his big white California.

He spun around and presented his big white backside to her, as if he wanted her to say something about it, and then he grabbed the top of her head with his big white palm and pulled her into it. Her head disappeared. The cameraman took in jagged breath after jagged breath as he snapped a frantic picture for each exhalation. The gorgeous face, not fit for these wild pastures, swallowed whole. Eaten alive by the whale of that crack.

“Say something smooth now,” he dared her.

“Mmmimmmummmammm” she said.

The eyes rolled back into his head. “That’s the first nice thing you’ve said to me. What else?”


“Oh yeah?” he said, dragging himself up and down her face as he did. “You know what I have to say to that?” And he then let out a large trumpet blast, big enough to take down Jericho itself, walls and all. “Get some of that famous Chicago air.”

Your mom, in keeping with her usual self, talked through it all, letting him invade her mouth and nose. She was filled with his insides, just like his ass was filled with her. Her cheeks and temples surrounded and pinched by those fleshy walls that groped at her in the darkness. Air burst and tickled her nose again as the walls of flesh vibrated ticklishly upon her cheeks.

“I’m surprised that one didn’t blow you back to the Rubicon,” she heard, muffled to the point of inaudibility. “Ready for another Mount Vesuvius blast?” She heard the camera snap as well, but she saw no light.


Suddenly, the light came back, the sun blinding her already weak eyes. And when she regained vision, it was to the sight of a swinging johnson coming right for her. It filled her mouth yet again, and after another minute or so of friction on her tongue and cheeks, it was pulled out yet again. And then she heard a wild grunt, and saw something white and thick rocket out of a hole before seeing nothing at all.

He grunted enthusiastically as he shot ropes of sticky glue all over her face. Gluing her eyelids shut, and then letting the last little bit gush into her mouth, coating her tongue with a plaster of his particular flavor and texture. “I’m glad I didn’t waste that on my wife,” he said, as he enjoyed the afterglow.

The pictures snapped at an almost mechanical consistency, capturing even angle of that sticky wop face. She had been made complete.

The sun rose higher in the sky, illuminating the office like a distant explosive flash. The cameraman documented the rubble as the perpetrator picked up the silver cigarette case off of the desk and pulled himself one. He tapped it on the case, which shone bright in the sun, and he put it in his mouth.

After watching the maestro flip the gorgeous body of the goddess around before him, and documenting her in all her flesh and poses, the smoker approached the two of them with what was left of his cigarette still in his mouth. The Eritrean ashtray sat on the table alone.

As your mom lay there, face down, ass in the air, as the camera, just a foot away snapped it into silver immortality, her client came near, getting in between the cameraman and his subject. And kneeling down, he took the cigarette from his mouth, and pulled your mom’s left butt cheek away from its center in a very cold and academic way, as if for the camera. And then taking one last puff of his cigarette, he pulled it from his lips and held it there. He stood there for a moment, and then began lowering it, slowly but surely towards that untarnished olive flesh.

And stopping to give the camera a moment to capture the perfect bottom as it would never look again, he then pressed the cigarette to her flesh, causing a satisfying *tttssssssssssss* to fill the air.

“Let that be my final kiss to you, sweetheart,” he said. And then he pushed her head forward until she fell flat to the ground, and her gave the newly marked cheek an assertive spank as if he were punishing his only daughter.

And then he got up. He pulled out a brown paper envelope from his coat and threw it on her desk, between her ashtray and her bottle of whisky. On the envelope it said in his handwriting: “Here’s what you’re owed for following me around all night. And there’s a little extra in there for the fun.” He then put his oversized coat and hat on, not bothering to make himself fully descent underneath, and put on the wig and put the beard into his pocket, and left.

Your mom lay there, facedown in the shade, as the sun had finally climbed over the highest frame of her idyllic Chicago view. The cameraman opened the door and stepped through with his camera, and all its contents, sitting inside his bag. He shut the door behind him.

Your mom, sitting in the silence of her office and mind, lay before her own naked reflection, that sat, semi-obscured by large lettering written in her own apple-red lipstick. “Open your mouth and every Tom, Dick, and Harry you ever said a word to will be getting your glamor shots.”

Your mom sat motionless. Not a muscle, thought, or toe stirred. All the tension built in her shoulders, calves, and soles massaged out by the thumbs of time. And for the next 15 hours, she had finally got that full night of sleep that she had worked so hard for.

The young actor, who in many ways was your spitting image, sat on a stool in front of his large and glamorous mirror. Even when viewed from an outside observer, it would be as clear as day that he was in show business.

He held onto a brown rosary, not knowing how to use it. He had never prayed in his life. He wasn’t even a Christian in any real way, never mind a Catholic. His eyes were furrowed with worry as he looked at them, multiplying worry on top of itself.

“Where could she be?” He said. “Where? Where?”

Suddenly, his expression became stoic, and his posture upright. It was as if he was a completely different person. “I could find her for you,” he said to himself. “I kind of specialize in that sort of thing.”

The look of worry came back, and he hunched over and began thumbing the rosary again. “We’re a poor lot,” he said. “I don’t know if I can scrape up the bread.”

His spine became straight again, and his eyes focused, even clever. “You can pay me with credit,” he said. “Your advance will be the thrill of another adventure.”

He stopped and pouted. He picked up the jumbled mess of papers off of his desk. Going to the bottom of the page, looking at the dialogue written under STEVE DOMINGO.

“Your advance will be the thrill itself,” he said exasperated. “Why can’t you remember your lines, you dumb oaf,” he said to his reflection.

Suddenly, he heard a knock at the door. He smiled at himself. And then he threw the script on the desk and left his bedroom.

He opened it to see you standing there. You looked like him, just darker and more olive-skinned. He smiled at you, and then his eyes dropped to your side. “What’s that?”

Your were carrying a bag, which hung next to your knees. “It’s a bag,” you said.

“I know that. But what’s in it? You paying me in Washingtons?”

“It’s a camera,” you said.

“Oh,” he said. “You dirty young man. You didn’t tell me you were going to take pictures.”

You smiled devilishly as you blushed.

“You also didn’t tell me what an absolute pinup girl your mom was going to be. And I thought you were a pretty one.” He reached out and touched your forearm.

You blushed even harder, but said nothing.

“So the work is done?” he asked, enthusiastically.

You nodded your head. “Yeah.”

“Oh,” he said. “You have no idea how happy that makes me. Unless… would you like to see?”

You nodded your head again.

He grabbed the hem of his morning bathrobe, pulling it aside, freeing his erect member to your view. “I was excited enough to begin with, but when I saw the real her, I knew I was doing this for such a good cause. It always makes acting so much easier. When you love and respect the material.”

You looked down at his nakedness, which he was displaying openly through his open apartment door. He was the second naked man you had seen today, and the third naked person you had ever seen. The fact that he was only 24, making him nice and fresh, made him intriguing to you. You almost regretted not taking him up on his offer earlier.

“Like what you see?” he asked, and put his hand underneath the hem and began playing with it. “How ‘bout you come inside and we roll around for a bit?”

“Umm” you said, and you frantically grabbed inside your coat. “H-here, I have your money,” you said, and you pulled out an envelope and handed it to him. He let go of the hem of his robe, causing to fall and obscure his pleasure.

“Thank you, kindly,” he said.

“Uhh,” you continued. “I need to get going.”

“So soon?”

“Yeah,” you said. “I-I-I n-need to develop these.” You held up the bag and gestured toward it with your head.

“Oh,” he said. There was a silence for a moment. Then he asked: “Can I come?”

“Umm” you said. You didn’t expect him to ask that.

“You have no idea how excited it’ll make me,” he said, and pulled up his robe with his other hand. “I want to see that wonderful thing of hers get what it was asking for. Besides, I’ve never been in a redroom before. I’ll be as quiet as a mouse. Just hand me the photos when they’re done. I’ve seen her toes, legs, and face, now I want to see the rest of her. Gorgeous thing.”

You waited at his kitchen table as he got dressed. You sipped his jet black coffee. You saw his rosary sitting by the front door on the floor. It looked familiar to you. You meant to tell him about it there, but by the time he had came out decent, you had forgotten. The two of you walked down his hallway towards the elevator. He pulled aside the gate and ushered you in with his other hand. “Ladies first.” You went in, blushing. He came in after you.

Just as he was about to turn the knob for the main floor, you heard someone yelling down the hallway. “Wait for me! Hold the lift!”

When he got there, he said thanks and stood next to you as your partner shut the gate. He looked down at your bag. “What’s in there?” he asked.

Right when he did, a clever thought came to your mind. But your tongue, as usual, wouldn’t carry that clever thought to the daylight. Instead it was going to opt for the truth: “a camera.” But even before it did, your partner, after finishing with the knob, and the elevator starting to rumble and then descend, said, as if his thoughts were yours and vice versa, exactly what you wanted to and couldn’t.

“Oh this?” he said, pointing to it. “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.”

And the elevator slowly descended.


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Feb 20, 2021

I always watch in wonder as you keep on reinventing yourself in this fetish. This story was one hell of a reinvention bro. You don't have to shift to mom seduced by bully stuff due to some people's compelling. This is your unique stuff, your trademark. Maintain this. This one story proves that there are countless possibilities even in unconscious/unaware mom genre if you are willing to think. I loved the characterisation of mom in this story. Dude it really felt like a movie at places. It has hilarious moments, thrilling moments, teasing moments and a jaw dropping climax. Throughout reading the story mom had the form of Gal Gadot in my mind. Mom's ability to outsmart men, wits an…


Katherine Halsey
Katherine Halsey
Feb 19, 2021

Based on recent story "Spank", I'm rooting for jogs to be more bold but it took unexpected turn. As the jogs making a remarks about her ass, and spank it.It's good but I'd prefer the mom stay conscious similar stuff as you wrote "5 hours nick", where there's little resistance and relucatancy when engaging sexual intercourse. I'm having fun reading your blogs tho. Been here 2 years ago and still. Overall, pretty good. Keep it up 👍

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