The inspiring song for the first round of If Music Be The Food flash fiction is by The Naked & Famous. The song is called “Rotten”. Have a listen before you read the next entry, written by the timeless wonder, Jaime Johnesee!
Mexico Sounds Fine
Her left eye was swollen shut, painted with contusions of purple and black. Fifteen staples decorated the side of her head—closing a decent sized gash—her nose had been broken and reset, her lower lip was split and one tooth had been knocked out. The nurse in the ER had sarcastically remarked that Jenny’s three broken ribs went well with the hand shaped bruise on her neck.
She attempted to lie to herself. He won’t do it again.
She knew the truth; one day he would beat her until she was cold and lifeless. That seemed his mission in life. There was no way out that she could see. She felt like she was stuck in a glass box with everyone staring at her.
Presently, she stared into the mirror at herself, well, the ruins of herself at any rate.
She saw the scars he’d given her that others couldn’t see. The broken self-esteem, the empty eyes of someone who has learned to disassociate to save their mind further trauma, and the constant longing for death.
In her mind, there was only one way to end it. She stared longingly at the vintage razor he used for shaving and dreamed of pools of blood, for a moment.
It was time for her to escape but it must be planned out completely. She would move and take on a new identity somewhere. She set the razor back down. It troubled her that she’d unknowingly picked up the mother of pearl handled blade.
Is that blood on it? Oh, no. What have I done?
She looked at herself in the mirror and gasped. Her shirt was splashed with blood, but, after a frantic check she realized it wasn’t hers. She also noticed her injuries had healed quite a bit and the bruises had faded to an ugly green.
How long have I been away this time?
She didn’t know where she went when she disassociated but she had never been there this long. Usually it was just for the span of the beating or rape. Her mouth set in a grim line as she noticed there was over a week of healing.
What happened in all that time? What have I done?
Her attention returned to the bloody razor. She ran out of the bathroom, about three steps, and tripped over the corpse of her abuser. His throat had been sliced from ear to ear many times over, his head nearly severed from his body. There were dozens of stab and slash wounds on his face, hands, arms, and chest.
A million little thoughts flashed through her mind and she began a discourse with herself.
Oh, no! No, no, no, no, no, no! He’s a state cop. They’ll find me and lock me up forever. I have to hide him.
How do we hide him?
Maybe we could cut him into pieces and flush him?
But what about the bones?
We could burn him.
He didn’t renew the burn permit and the fucking Haskells will call the cops.
The pond? Weigh him down until we can come up with a better solution?
We could eat him.
Ew, no. We will take him down to the pond in that stupid metal locker of his with cinderblocks tied to all four corners.
He was supposed to be at work and he had already told her nobody knew he was there so he could kill her if he wanted. She felt startled as her memory flooded back a trickle at a time. He’d come home to beat on her after a fast food place got his lunch order wrong.
It happened often. He always told her the same thing; nobody would ever suspect him if she turned up dead because he had a solid alibi, he was at work in his job as a cop.
All of this was designed to turn her into his own personal punching bag. He’d been sweet at first, even romantic. Now she realized he had been training her into the beatings.
The first time he’d slapped her he’d been so kind and caring afterwards she truly believed he wouldn’t do it again. Three months later he blackened her eye. She threw off the past and busied herself emptying the locker, triumphantly throwing all his shit into a garbage bag.
Seriously, what childless grown man collects crib soothing toys?
She stopped as soon as the locker was clear. Then she stepped back to decide how best to approach sinking his corpse.
Going to have to remove the left arm to get him to fit. Sawzall, here I come. Need to get a tarp, too, don’t want blood in the grout lines on the floor.
She headed to the attached garage and had just set her hands on the reciprocating saw when a knock at the door interrupted her. She peeked out the side window and saw three cops she knew as friends of Kevin standing at her front door.
She walked quietly back and moved Kevin’s body into the locker. After she moved the locker on the dolly, she stopped and dashed to the bathroom to grab a wet washcloth and run it over her face. She then dropped a cup of water on her head, removed her bloodstained clothes, and pulled on a bathrobe.
She tried her best to calmly walk to the door and she took a quick deep breath before opening it.
“Hey, Jenny. Kevin left his briefcase on the counter at the office. Is he around?” Stan was a nice one. Guilt flooded through her.
She pulled the bathrobe tight around her, trying to choke the guilt out.
“He’s occupied with something in the bathroom right now.” Technically not a lie as he was facing into the bathroom and was currently staring sightlessly at the toilet, occupied with his death.
“Okay, hope it’s alright I just leave it with you? Have a good one, Jenny.” At her nod, he handed her the case and turned to leave.
The other two men also nodded at her and left with Stan. She smiled and waved then closed the door and waited a few moments until their car roared to life. As they drove away, she giggled at her good luck.
She’d been about to cop to it all.
She was laughing so hard she dropped the briefcase and a whole mess of cash spilled out. More giggles escaped her, she was soon laughing near-hysterically. It was like the universe was rewarding her.
After counting, she was thrilled to note she had almost a million dollars in cash. She picked up and read the journal in the briefcase, it was a highly-detailed log of Kevin’s plans. Her brief read uncovered that he’d been taking bribes and recently took a lot of cash to “lose” a rape kit in a damning case against a wealthy family. He planned to come home, kill Jenny, and escape to Mexico with the money, without having completed his job.
She read on and found he had a couple of spots in the house he hid even more cash. Three million dollars total. To her, Mexico sounded divine. She went to work planting Kevin, and his cinderblock covered locker, in the pond. After which she took a shower and dressed. Within two hours, she had pulled out all the cash he’d hidden around the house as well as the paperwork for a new identity that she’d bought over a year ago, when she first planned to leave him. Within five hours, she had crossed the border and disappeared into Mexico, cash, murder weapon, and all.
Read more from Jaime on jaimejohnesee.com.