Cigarette in a Chocolate Box: Episode #3 (A Series by Brian Kasaine)
|| Catch up with Episode #2 here.
By the time he gets there, darkness is encroaching. He shakes with trepidation, raising his wrist to his face. The blue-glowing figures on his watch read 9:04 p.m.
As he takes the final four steps of a flight leading to Daniel’s and Sly’s door, his legs almost give up. He gets a hunch that something is terribly wrong. His heart threatens to detonate. It feels as though it is beating, not from the left side of his chest, but the center. He stops to catch a breath, blood rushing in a throbbing vein on his temple.
That’s what happens when he’s scared out of his shit. A chillingly cryptic text message from Sly is what had sent him scattering across town to reach her.
A beautiful flower has been snapped broken.
It hadn’t revealed much, but it heralded a storm. When he rung her phone, it went unanswered, thrice. And the fourth time the phone was switched off. She had confided in him about Daniel’s recent marital misdemeanours.
From the window facing the front, he notices the lights inside are switched off. ‘Where are the kids?’ he thinks to himself. In this house, Saturday nights are usually reserved for family game night. Normally, it would be raucous, the kids bawling with laughter as they enjoy the only night of the week that they get to stay up late. But today, all is as silent as a grave.
Another chill shreds its way up his spine. “Optimism,” he whispers to himself, “All is well.” Taking a deep breath, he tipsy-leggedly approaches the door. His soft knock nudges it open with a menacing, drawn out creak. Something is disturbingly haywire. The living room is washed in darkness, but a light glows from across the hallway. It’s from the bathroom.
“Hello… it’s Uncle Sam.”
On the morning after my birthday, I woke up and Liz, the girl who was in my bed all night, fixed us breakfast. She’s a frequent strumpet I’ve been selecting from the escort’s app, and yeah, she fixes me breakfast before leaving in the morning. That’s how ‘bonded’ we’ve gotten. But of course, I throw in good money. A cup of coffee and honey-cured bread later, I help Liz practice her profession, again. And then I pay her in cash.
As she walks away through the wooden gate, I watch her bare back. The shiny top only covers her front, half-way. A near colourless string holds it around her neck. She’s in an abbreviated black skirt, the one I almost ripped to threads last night. My eyes remain fixed on her ample figure that’s hoisted on six-inch black spikes. I watch from the door, my body aching for a shower.
Today I’ll have to go back home to Sly, before she gets even more suspicious. I can’t miss another game night. Through the barbed wire fence, I watch leggy Liz walk towards the main road, and then I slam the door shut.
A clean-shaven middle-aged man shoulders his way through low branches of a bush adjacent to the cheater’s den. He smoothes down his crinkled shirt and grins loosely at the images neatly captured on the screen of his Nikon camera, around his neck. He nods to himself as he looks at one of the many intimate pictures he captured from inside the cheater’s den. It is the best one of the lot. A clear picture of Daniel in economical dressing, only a vest and pair of boxers, savouring the swinging hips of a skimpily dressed dime piece as she trods away seductively. The pic leaves little to no doubt.
The man with the camera is a private investigator. Sly hired him to tail Daniel after weeks of uncharacteristic behaviour and half-arsed excuses on his part. Now, she has lurid proof of his infidelity. While propped on his blue Yamaha Cruiser motorcycle, the PI shoots the images over to Sly, complete with dates and timestamps. He proceeds to give his machine a neat kick and the engine revs. The back tyre squeals and a handful of sand is kicked up as the man drives off towards the city. A satisfactory smile stretches across his face. His job done.
Little did he know of the scary horror that his successful job would unleash.
|| Continue to Episode #4 here.
Cigarette in a Chocolate Box is a four part series by Brian Kasaine that will run every Wednesday in October.