For weeks Queenie had filled my head with stories of palm trees and beaches, hot tropical nights and hotter sex. Same as the pictures from the travel agency that she contemplated with a look on her face like the enraptured saints in the windows of St Joe’s.
She said Drummond waited for the last charity drive donations to come in before dropping the haul at the bank, and we shouldn’t see each other until then.
Today, she saw the big envelope on his desk and called me. It’s now or never, she said. She kept Drummond busy with comps and property listings. To glue him to his desk until five. The bank closed at five thirty.
Queenie’s plan worked. I knocked Drummond out as he was getting into his car, stuck the envelope inside my windbreaker. I drove to the kid’s camp out of town. In the middle of winter, there wasn’t a soul around. With Drummond’s ballcap on my head, his scarf around my neck and a pair of glasses like his, people would think he drove the car. I wore gloves.
Drummond was still out when I carried him into the utility shed. He didn’t weigh much. I threw his car keys into the bushes.
Queenie appeared as I was about to sock Drummond again to make sure he wouldn’t come to for a couple of hours. She kneeled beside him to check his pulse. Why? She couldn’t stand the bastard. He squeezed her ass whenever she made the mistake to come too close. She leaned over and he grabbed her neck. He was quick for a guy who’d just had his clock reset. Queenie screamed. They made quite a racket, entangled, with garden tools crashing over them.
I slammed Drummond’s head into the wall twice and he was still yelling and thrashing. I didn’t think he had so much juice in him.
Queenie was crying.
As I waited for my heart to stop trying to escape from my ribcage, I considered the consequences of this mishap. It wasn’t completely dark in the shed. Drummond must have recognized Queenie. And their scuffle left traces. If the TV shows were right, there would be DNA. Queenie’s. Drummond was a pile of incriminating evidence.
Queenie stopped whimpering.
“Is he dead?” she said.
She would realize soon that she was in deeper shit than me. And she would remember the 9mm in her purse. I spotted a shovel on the ground. I swung it. I caught her on the side of the head. She was dead before she hit the ground.
I put the gun in Queenie’s hand and shot Drummond. I then worked his fingers around the handle and shaft of the shovel. It was plausible; that was all I needed.
On the walk back to town, I got rid of Drummond’s cap and scarf, and disposed of the gloves and glasses. It was bitter cold. The thick envelope inside my windbreaker kept me warm.
M.E. Proctor worked as a communication professional and freelance journalist. She’s currently working on a series of contemporary detective novels. Her short stories have been published in All Worlds Wayfarer, Bristol Noir, The Bookends Review, The Blue Nib, Fiction on the Web, and others. She lives in Livingston, Texas.
Image credit – M.E. Proctor