Money has a smell all its own. A flat scent of eager hands and disappointed dreams. Miriam loved the smell of cash. Not the flat crisp hundreds the ATMs spat out but the odor of well-worn bills. The battered twenties and tens that made their way through the club, eventually landing in piles on the corner of her desk. Continue reading GLASS CEILING by Frank Quinn
“I’m not going to tell you what it is,” Jessica said into her phone. “You’ll just have to see for yourself.”
She slipped her credit card back in her wallet and mouthed a ‘thank you’ to the girl behind the counter. The clerk was the same age as Jessica but gothed up in a black tee, black nails and sleeves on both arms.
“I love your ink,” she said as Jessica turned to go. “It’s tre cool.”
Jessica threw the girl a wave and shouldered her way out the glass door and into the lingering heat of the summer afternoon.
“When do I get to see it?” Chris asked. “Is it someplace that’s going to be fun to find?” he asked the question with a certain lasciviousness in his voice.
Jessica laughed. “Maybe,” drawing out the word in a tease. “That is if you’re nice when you get home.” She turned north along Main street passing a glass fronted hamburger joint and an antique furniture store where a set of silver bar stools and a wooden zebra squatted in the long shadows of the sinking August sun.
“When’s your flight arrive?” she asked.
“Tomorrow. By noon,” he said. “Two if there’s a delay.”
Jessica’s phone buzzed in her hand. She glanced at the screen and saw she had a text:
I C U
Love the pink tee
I can C your nips
Jessica froze, unconsciously raising an arm to cover her breasts. She glanced down and saw her nipples were indeed raised, pressing against the thin material of the pink tee shirt. The creep who inked her must have sent the message. The guy had a look about him. It was freezing inside the shop. He probably kept the A/C cranked so women’s nipples would pop up. Well, she wasn’t going to stand around and be a victim.
“Hello? You still there?” Chris asked.
“What?….Yeah, yeah. I’m still here,” she stumbled. Traffic stopped at the light began to roll slowly past. “Hey, I gotta go,” she said. “Call me when you check in at the airport, okay?”
“Sure babe. Can’t wait to see the new tat.”
Jessica spun and marched back to the tattoo parlor. She was going to give that pervert a piece of her mind. Stepping up to the plate glass window she realized it couldn’t have been the tatto guy who texted her. He was deeply involved with a customer. The tatoo guy’s greasy yellow hair was pulled into a tight pony and he leaned over a man’s back, pen in hand, thick glasses propped on his nose.
Jessica watched for several seconds before he finally pulled away to adjust his equipment. She could tell from the casual nod he gave her that he had nothing to do with the text.
It had to be the girl. Yeah, that was it. The receptionist chick had her cell number on the receipt. The little dyke was getting her jollies sending creepy texts. But not today bitch, not today.
Jessica flung open the door and stomped in. “I didn’t appreciate your text,” she growled.
The girl looked up from a magazine staring at Jessica’s accusing finger. She glanced over her shoulder then back at Jessica. “Are you talking to me?”
“Hell yes, I’m talking to you. I didn’t appreciate your little text. It’s not funny and I’m not going to be coming back to this parlor.” The girl stared, open-mouthed, as Jessica turned and stomped out the door.
Feeling rather self-satisfied at having stood up to a jerk, Jessica crawled into her Toyota and headed for home. Traffic was light, for a Saturday afternoon, and she didn’t feel much like cooking. At the last moment, she swung into a Walmart parking lot to pick up dinner from the deli and some cat food for Mr.Kelly.
Jessica slid out of her car and was halfway across the parking lot when her phone chimed: Continue reading UNKNOWN NUMBER By Frank Quinn
Gavin tilted his head and puffed a stream of smoke out of the cracked window of his old F150. The window was rolled up enough to block out the rain that piddled and thumped on the roof but wide enough to keep the truck from filling with smoke. With drips soaking his jeans and the smoke slowly choking the air it seemed neither objective was being met.
Continue reading CANDY MAN by Frank Quinn