I see 'em out there. Lots of 'em. I love 'em.

Faces. Innumerable, beautiful faces. Yellow faces, chocolate faces, red faces. Beautiful faces of milky-white European descent...

See, this is my workplace, the Trapsdale City's Corner's Office is where I look at all these beautiful faces, and fall in love with 'em. Each and everyone one I want.

Little Bob pops up out of my right shirtpocket today, Wednesday. Little Bob is the only other living thing here. A mouse. My friend.

"Who should I date tonight, lil' bob?" I ask 'em, pointing at our two newest prospects/arrivals: Mrs. Williams, 34, killed by a hit-an-run driver while she was out walking her chow. Or, or!" I point to a much older lady lying on the slab: "Mrs. Karen Brunswick?"

We decide on Mrs. Karen Brunswick.

I run towards the front door and put up my "Sorry, I have gone out to lunch. Be back in forty-minutes [Smiley face]" sign.

Forty minutes, I think. Plenty a time for Mrs. Karen Brunswick and me to get properly and intimately acquainted.

"Yessir," I think a-loud, in my Southern drawl, "plenty a time. But actually, I only got thirty minutes. Thirty ta wine and dine with Mrs. Brunswick and then ten at least to haul her ass back up stairs from the basement and then back on to the slab."

"Well, sir," I discuss the matter with lil' Bob. "We got ten minutes ta get the lovely Mrs. Karen Brunswick," God rest her pretty lil' soul," I say, takin' off my Stetson cowboy hat, "back on her slab. "The police is gonna come with her daughter to indentify her in forty."

"What happened to Mrs. Karen Brunswick?" Bob asks me.

"Don't'cha remember?"

"No." (little Bob, sonofabitch he is, comes from a very elitist family an' brags about it, what with his formal words an' whatnot.)

"Mugged an' raped on Delaware Street. The most rotten, indesirable sonofabitchin' side of town. Filled with Godless junkies, pimps an' whores. But, but as you can see, facially, at least, Mrs. Karen Brunswick's still quite visually stunnin'."

"I see," my rodent-friend retorts.

"Well, what're ya waiting fer? Gimme a hand."

We, that is, Lil' Bob and me, gentlemens (despite of our differing levels a education) to the last tote Mrs. Karen Brunswick up off the cold slab and on to a fancy-lookin chair you'd see in on of 'em first class, five-star Italian restaurants.

"Lay come stai, Senoria Brunswick," I ask 'er.

But she don't say nothin'.

"Here you are, Mrs Brunswick, I hope you like ripple, 'cause that's all we have," I snicker, snicker. I pour in her glass, then into mine. A quarter-glass full, each.

Tense, I ain't used to being around such prudish women, I try to break the silence, by saying "Yer necklace looks purty. Good thing 'em thugs didn't steal it from ya. You're very lucky."

No response. She just sits there ignorantly, with 'er mouth gaped widely open.

She might just be very self-concious. An' shy," I encourage myself. I'll try my best to remember not'ta comment on that giant exit-wound hole in the back a 'er head...

She finally starts talkin'. About things. God. An' Grocery store shoppin. And finally Vietnam. Her son'd died in the war. I tell her how I'm against the military draft. Unfortunately, she disagrees. She tells me, "I believe firmly in the draft. If you're young, ablebodied and eighteen. Why shouldn't you? I say you owe it to you country!"

I sag.

Now Mrs. Brunswick's loses all 'er beauty. And her entire face is beginnin' to look like one gigantic, ugly exit wound. It's because a people like hers mentality that I was sent off to that Goddamn war. Against my own will.

I begin to lose my appetite--along with any former desire I might'a had to lick Mrs. Brunswick's face.

The police arrive with Mrs. Brunswick's daughter an hour later. Pretty young thing. Brown eyes. Yellow hair. She reacts just like all of 'em--friends an' family members a murder victims, that is. First the sheet's slowly removed, family-member/loved one screams then nods head gravely.

That's what happens today. That's the way it always happens.

As the police an' the bereaved daughter leaves, Lil' Bob, always knowin' how to cheer me up, pops out a my pocket again an' tells me 'xactly what it is I need'ta hear.

"Why so glum? There's still Mrs. Williams."

"Yes, indeed." I says.


Copyright: © 2010 Jack Bristow


Jack Bristow graduated Long Ridge Writer's Group in 2009. He lives in New Mexico. His next short story, "Our Bus Driver, Fred" can be read in the upcoming issue Thirteen of Cantaraville: An International PDF Literary Quarterly.


  1. Really dark and twisted tale. Makes you wonder what really goes on in the morgue at night. Love this!