Fiction for Charity, Part VI
This is another one of those short-short stories for the fiction for charity thing that ended up being longer than I intended. So much longer, in fact, that it's become a work in progress. In in the interest of getting these stories up in a timely fashion, I'm going to post Part I of Death Has No Name )tentative title). To be continued.
This one is for Dorkafork, who has unfortunately stopped blogging.
383 Hillside. 383 Hillside. Danny kept looking at the card and then looking at the house and each and every time, they matched up. It didn’t look like a temp agency. All the agencies he had been to before this were housed in brick buildings, except for the one that was in the sub level of the mall. That was the last one he had been to, and they had sent him here because they were closing up for summer vacation. What kind of business goes on summer vacation? Well, no matter. At least they were kind enough to send him somewhere else. Maybe he looked desperate. Maybe they could smell the Eu de Loser that seeped from his pores. Sure, yea. They felt sorry for him, what with the joblessness and the hopelessness and penniless, pitiful state of his wallet. So they sent him to....this house. Which was supposed to be a temp agency.
Danny knocked on the door. Sort of. What he actually did was brush his knuckle along the wood, so as not to make too loud a sound so when no one answered the door he could walk away and not be berated by Dina later on for not trying, because he did. They just didn’t answer. It wouldn’t be a lie to say he didn’t knock. There was knuckle meeting wood and as far as he was concerned, that was a knock and not a lie.
Too bad for Danny that someone inside that house had really good hearing because just as he was about to turn around and head back to his car, the door opened.
“Good day.” A middle aged woman with large breasts and a high, tight ass stood in the doorway. Danny didn’t mean to notice her breasts and ass. That is, he intended to look her in the eyes and say hello, but his brain pulled a fast one on him and directed his eyes towards first the breasts - which looked firm and full and encased in a push-up bra - and then to the woman’s ass, which was heart shaped and rose up in just the right spot and which Danny imaged he could bounce a quarter off of.
“Good day,” she said again.
“Uhh.. Good day. Indeed.” He struggled to stay focused on the woman’s face, without exactly focusing on the way her freckles seemed to form into a kiss. “Is this uhh...,” he glanced at his card and again at the house.
“Forrester Temp Agency. Yes.”
The woman opened the door a bit more and Danny took that as a sign to enter, even though the woman never actually said come in or do you want a job or would you like to bounce a quarter off my ass?.
It really was a house, with a welcome mat in the foyer and a living room that opened into a kitchen, where children’s drawings hung on the walls, hundreds and hundreds of drawings all taped and curled and faded and torn. Danny got his bad feeling, the one where his skin got all itchy and he automatically reached his hands up to his neck, where he began to scratch until he realized the woman was watching him, head tilted.
“Yep, yep. Ok.”
“Ok, because you look uncomfortable.”
Well yes, Danny thought. I’m uncomfortable because your ass is making me sweat and your wall homage to decades old children’s art is making me itch and oh, I just got this fleeting feeling that the worst decision I ever made in my life was to walk into this place.
“Oh, no. Just a little warm, is all.”
“Well, take off your coat. Mr. Forrester may be a minute, anyhow.”
The woman waltzed over to Danny - no, really, she waltzed - and deftly grabbed the sleeve of his jacket as she swung her arms out and over and the jacket waltzed away with her to the other side of the room, where she tossed it on a wall peg.
"Please, sit." She motioned to the couch, which was olive green stitched with a gold design, which made Danny think of the early 70's, which made him look at the drawings again, which he was sure was from the same decade as the couch. He sat straight upright, spine perfectly aligned, fingers folded together in his lap; a gentlemanly pose. The woman stood in the center of the living room, arms crossed, sizing up Danny. She was actually hmmming and mmhmming as her eyes traveled up and down his body and Danny started scratching his neck again and he knew that under his gray turtleneck, his skin was now blotchy, welted and pink.
Her hmmms and mmmhms were strangely musical, making Danny think of violins and concertos. When she spoke again, only to tell him to sit still, her voice had taken on a quality Danny didn’t notice before; sweet and light and not unlike a flute. This woman was a veritable orchestra! He started straight ahead at her as she continued to tilt her head and sway her hips and hmm and mmhmm and her breasts and ass moved in time with the her musings. He found himself thinking of a quarter rolling down the woman’s left breast and up the right breast and down her sides and hips and over her ass, where it deposited itself in her crack, where it developed an eye, which winked at Danny as if to say, come on over and fish me out of this bitch’s ass.
Danny was alarmed at the raciness of his thoughts, as his mind very rarely traveled in that direction. But alarmed as he was, that did not stop him from feeling a pleasant, warm sensation caress his body when the woman suprisingly touched his cheeks and kissed his forehead. He closed his eyes and embraced the moment - sure, Dina would kick his ass if she ever found out about this, but there was no way he was going to spurn a woman with a body like that, especially when her lips felt like fire and her hands like a hot bath running over him and yea, he had lost all control of himself.
Later, he found himself laying prone on the green and gold couch and the woman nowhere in sight. He had no idea what happened after she had touched him with hands that seemed to melt his skin right off. Did he do it with her? Did he make out with her or get his hand up her sweater or pull a quarter out of her ass? Oh jesuschristalmighty. He made it, did it, got down with a gorgeous babe and he had forgotten the whole thing. She must have drugged him. He immediately searched his pants pocket for his wallet, sure this whole thing was just a ruse to rob him, even though he was broke and there wasn’t much to rob. But his last dollar bill was still folded up in the wallet, his last two pennies tucked in the bottom of his pocket and his over extended credit cards still in place. Something was very, very wrong here and Danny knew that he knew the wrongness of the whole scenario the second his knuckled refused to knock hard on the door, because his gut feelings were always right in the end. If only he had learned to heed those feelings. If only the woman wasn’t so perfectly shaped. If only his head didn’t ache like Daffy Duck had just dropped an anvil on him.
He ran his hands over his body, from top to bottom and side to side, making sure that all his extremities were still intact. Yea, they were all there, even that one. And then he unbuttoned his shirt and checked for the tell tale scar of kidney removal. Danny believed that all urban legends were based on real events and even though he didn’t wake up in a bathtub filled with ice, he wanted to make certain that the woman hadn’t removed any of his vital organs while he was passed out.
When he was sure that he was as complete a human as when he entered the house, Danny sat up slowly and decided to make some decisions. That was the way Danny always did things - first he would decide upon what he was going to do - and actually say to himself, ok I have decided to do such and such - and then he would make the logical next set of decisions. Here, it meant sitting very still on the couch until his head cleared. Then he would grab his jacket, go out the door, get in his car, dig his cell phone out of the glove compartment, call the police and smoke a cigarette while he waited.
And what would he tell the police? Oh, yes. This beautiful woman with a killer body seduced me by humming at me and then I woke up. Well, yes, I guess you could say she molested me. No, I’m not quite sure if she did more than kiss me because I was passed out. Yes, officer, I still have my kidneys (because surely they, too, would suspect kidney thieves) and my $1.02 is still mine and so I’m not really sure what they did with me. And then he made the decision to not call the cops at all because somehow Dina would find out and then he’d be really, deeply screwed.
After a few minutes, when Danny’s head had gone from throbbing with pain to dull ache, he made another decision, this time to walk around the room and observe. And then he would leave. He would need to be able to describe his surroundings in great detail when he told this story at the Friday poker game. Details made a story believable and this one was not believable by any stretch, so he would have to bring in as much minutiae as possible.
He tiptoed into the kitchen, so as not to disturb the woman, who was probably lurking in a bedroom somewhere down the hall. Danny realized he knew the layout of the house. It was a cape, the same kind of house Dina’s mother had. He peered down the short hall which was off the kitchen and nodded to himself when he saw the familiar set up. Bathroom on the right. Closet, basement entrance and small room on the left. Another room straight ahead. At Dina’s mother’s house, the room on the left was the tv room and the room at the end of the hall was Dina’s childhood bedroom, left intact with the purple curtains and Cabbage Patch dolls and wicker laundry basket, in much the same way parents of dead children often left their bedrooms untouched, unmoved, like a forever shrine to their child. Danny wasn’t stupid. Well, not that stupid, anyhow. Dina’s mother was waiting for her to come to her senses, leave that no good husband of hers and come back to her purple room and Cabbage Patch kids. Forever 12. Dina once told Danny that when she got her period at 13, her mother cried for two days straight because it meant Dina wasn’t “her baby” anymore. Danny probably should have run at that point, but it’s kind of hard to run when your fiancé is holding your balls in a death grip.
So there he was in the hallway of this strange yet familiar house, having just woken up from a forced nap that might have been two minutes or two hours or a Rip Van Winkle amount of time. He touched his hand to his chin and it was still smooth and hairless, so he knew it was probably still the same day as when the woman kissed him. God, I hope I felt her ass before she knocked me out.
He turned around again, back into the kitchen and faced the wall of children’s art. The first one he examined was by Ezekiel, age 6 ½, who scrawled a picture of what appeared to be a caped mean with giant head and sticks for legs. Underneath the drawing, Ezekiel wrote: Dear Mr. Death, thank you foryur vizit and for beeing so nise. Luv, Ezekiel. The boy had dotted the drawing with tiny X’s and O’s all around Mr. Death, a hailstorm of love raining down on his big head.
Danny looked at a couple more drawings. Some of them were dated. Love, Andrew, July 1976. Kisses, Bettina, 1982. There was one on blue construction paper, a yellow crayon/white chalk masterpiece with the big headed guy front and center, standing in a garden of daisies, a crowd of stick figure kids gathered around him. Dear Mr. Death, you are cool. Thanks for the gum and stuff and I hope I can work for you some day. Love, Jaime, age 12.
Danny was about to let his imagination run away, far, far, away, when he heard a small, feminine cough behind him. He spun around and she was there, the woman, her breasts and her ass. Danny was torn between screaming and staring. He chose staring, as it presented less of a problem. The woman smiled at him.
“The kids just love Mr. Death. Such a shame he has to retire. They’ll miss him so.” Her voice was lilting and wistful and nearly rocked him into a state of euphoria.
“Yes. Yes, they’ll m..m...miss him. Mr. Death. Y..y...yes.” Danny silently admonished himself. Stupid Danny. Stupid Danny. You sound like a blithering idiot, a starstruck school boy, a damn bedwetter. The more coherent side of Danny’s mind quickly reminded him that they were faced with a rather strange situation and it was ok to stammer, even in front of a beautiful woman who may or may not have molested him while he was passed out.
“We’ve done the necessary study on you, Danny. We’d like to hire you.”
“For the Death job? Hire you?” The question marks in her voice made Danny feel like an idiot. And perhaps he was, because he had no damn clue what she was talking about.
“I was looking for a temporary accounting job. I think I was sent to the wrong kind of agency.”
“Hmm.” She put a finger to her lip, her hmmm still sizing him up. “No. Joe never makes that kind of mistake. Or any mistake. No. No. No. Joey sent you to us for a reason, I’m sure.”
“From BestTemps?” Again with the questioning tone. This time the woman raised her eyebrows, which only added to the effect of her speaking to a retarded person. She sighed. “The agency. In the mall. That sent you here.”
“Oh, yea. That one. But I applied for an accounting position, not an acting job.”
The woman laughed. She threw her head back, her red ringlets dangling in the air, and she opened her mouth wide and laughed. Her hands were on her hips and when her head leaned back like that, her breasts pointed straight at Danny. He thought of a display in a hands-on museum and for a brief second he imagined a “touch me” sign on hanging off the woman’s sweater. She was still laughing and leaning as Danny shoved his hands in his pocket, forcing himself to control his impulses. He always had a hard time with that. Dina told him he had ADD, but he shrugged it off as Dina’s way of saying “you don’t pay attention to me.”
The woman stopped laughing abruptly and faced Danny again. Her look was serious, nothing like the playful amusement that he had seen on her face since he first arrived. Her eyes were hard, her lips pursed and her arms crossed in front of her chest.
“This. Is not. Acting.”
to be continued.