Their loud, drunken laughter filled the hotel. They guffawed about the way the cashier had tried to give April a check and she had gibed in a southern drawl, “Sugar, the only paper I’m acceptin’ is cash.”
Even though he was laughing as he entered the hotel room, Slick’s eyes were taking an inventory of the room in the same way he had been ticking off bullet points in his mind as a sort of ‘to do’ list that would end in his being twelve thousand dollars richer.
Once inside the hotel, April kissed him softly on the lips and told him she had to visit the little girl’s room. As she turned, she pulled her dress over her head and went into the bathroom clad only in her panties and bra.
Slick usually would have stayed a few hours and fled in the middle of the night once his mark was fast asleep, but something had scared him. She had become oblivious to his hypnotic charm and he had the feeling that she was in control. Feeling like time was running out, he spied her purse full of cash and reacted quickly.
“Hey babe, I’m going to get us some refreshments from the drink machine.”
His hand turned the deadbolt and then dropped down to the doorknob. He swept open the door, smelling the fresh air of sweet escape where he could soon be living the good life twelve thousand dollars richer.
The irony of the situation is that Slick had spent his entire life trying to rob or woo an affluent female. He had been kept by rich women ranging from middle-aged maw-maws to decrepit, dusty, divas. His only hope for advancement was to find an old woman with connections such that his obvious lack of work ethic and low moral fiber would no longer be a detriment to him. Little did he know that at that very moment he was leaving a librarian with a masters degree who made a thousand dollars a week and only owned a remodeled home in the garden district of New Orleans who, due to the untimely demise of her husband, was newly single and who needed nothing more in her life than for a man to love her. Should she regain her past, she would remember she was an heiress to the twenty million dollar Buckeley Trucking fortune. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees, here was the mark of all marks and all Slick could do was rob her for the price of a good used car.
He could have stepped on through that door and worn that stupid ear-to-ear smile for weeks had he not felt the cold steel of a nickel-plated beretta at the base of his skull. Cy froze, but she was just a tiny girl to him not much bigger than a fifth grader. However, any thought of disarming her froze like the blood in his veins when he heard the hammer cock back.
“Wait, wait, wait, I can explain.”
“Oh, there’s no explaining.”
“Please don’t shoot! I’ll give you the money.”
Cy didn’t move. His underdeveloped brain couldn’t process being the one without a plan. It was whirling, trying to figure out howto use this to his advantage.
“You heard me, strip, unless you feel lucky enough to run.”
“Can you even shoot that thing?” He feigned amusement and tried to call her bluff.
She was cool as a cucumber when she smoothly replied, “At this distance I can’t miss. I pull this trigger and your head becomes a canoe. Strip.”
With trembling hands Slick pulled off the pearl snapped cowboy shirt and all of her money fell on the ground at his feet.
“I oughta kill you right now. Get those pants off!”
“Now, you listen…”
She shot a round out the door next to his head, making his ears ring. He stripped down to his skin-tight black and white zebra striped speedos.
April started to giggle and said, “Now, get out!”
He didn’t even contemplate protest. She threw his boots at him, which was more than he would have left her with, and slammed the door. She laughed at the thought of Cy clad only in a speedo and cowboy boots trying to navigate Vicksburg. She rocked back and forth on the bed, barely able to contain her laughter until her cackling slowly morphed into a whimpering sob. Here she was, alone in a hotel room, and alone in the world.
She then realized she was lacking something, something that made her snatch her sundress off the floor and slip it over her head as she ran out of the room. “My car keys!”
The distressed damsel ran down the steps and around to the parking lot in time to see her El Camino with refrigerator and mirror wrapped in quilts exiting the parking lot. Before she could register why, somewhere deep inside her splintered mind she knew she couldn’t let that mirror go. She felt that it meant too much to her.
Before the car could pull onto the main thoroughfare, a blue and white police car skidded to a stop in front of it. Two officers leapt out with guns drawn.
“Get out of the car with your hands where I can see ‘em!”
Slick careened out of the car at a dead run, but the officers were too fast for him, carving a wide swath of road rash across his face as they drove him to the ground.
The police were only responding to the gunshot, but once they started to question Slick, they found out he was on probation. He started yelling, “She pulled a gun on me! I was only tryin’ to escape!”
Our librarian was not only out from under his spell, but in top form when she explained to the police that he had attempted to sexually assault her at gunpoint, which was why he was partially nude. She reached for the gun to try to shoot him, but she didn’t really know how to use it. When the actress finally collapsed in the parking lot and cried a river of fake tears, thanking them for showing up in time, her award winning performance sealed his fate.