Monochromatic Murder

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Emo

Your head always loses when it says one thing and your body says another. Sometimes, or maybe just this once, Frank wished his head would have come out on top.Staring up again at the stark white wall at the end of the hallway he now sat, watching the slow, lazy circles the large gray and black industrial fan made in its center. It seemed to have no purpose there other than to antagonize ones with its monotony. Counting the slow rotations led to time moving slower, and maybe that’s what Frank needed in these moments before they ushered him into the interrogation room. More time to collect his thoughts, his wits, and his courage.He wasn’t going down for this. Sure, Jimmy was dead, and they had seen him and Jimmy fighting at the club yesterday. But knuckles and knives were quite different, and Frank refused to carry a blade. They made letting out someone’s life just a little too easy. In a moment of rage, one swipe or thrust couldn’t be undone, let alone the thirty-seven times someone had poked Jimmy as if he were just a pin cushion. There was no way he could be sewn up ever again. Yes, Jimmy was dead, yet Frank was not his killer for all his evil ways.He knew in his head who the murderer likely was, but his heart still refused to accept that logical conclusion. It said there was no way Coral could have done it. She was too much of a sexual creature to be depraved and violent, certainly not thirty-seven times worth. Even just knowing her for three days, he swore she was not that type of girl, despite all the evidence proclaiming otherwise._________ It had been raining relentlessly that fateful evening, the night he met her. The streets reflected the weak overhead light of the lamps in a quicksilver shimmer, the hardness he felt with each slap of his long feet, proof that those pounding drops had not beaten the roads into submission. He watched as a splash from his step sent ripples through a puddle. His black coat was turned up at the collar and his gray hat was pulled down at a rakishangle to protect his clear gray eyes and keep the drops off his vanilla skin. His black hair curled up in an unruly fashion over the coat’s collar and his cold ears. The shadows cast, likely hiding his firm chin and full lips from the eyes of those scurrying about him.A quiet man, others rarely knew his thoughts until he expressed them in action. His profession called for deliberate deeds, violent and forceful. It was a necessary business; powerful people needed obstacles removed, and he was the perfect eraser. He was not proud of what he did, but he was satisfied with his reputation of how he did it. Fear and respect tied to his name.His destination finally emerged from the fog that rolled in heaps on this cool November night, the neon announcing the club’s entrance giving off a buzz as it blinked on and off. Minton’s Playhouse, the sign proclaimed, as its bright letters burnedthrough the charcoal darkness. bursa escort Harlem might not be safe for him, but this is where Jimmy said they should meet.Stepping past the doorman without glancing at him, Frank checked his hat and coat. Carefully, he smoothed his gunmetal suit and straightened the black tie on his worn white shirt. This is as good as it gets, he said to himself, and pushed his way into the maelstrom of bodies surrounding the bar.”Commando cocktail, please,” he announced, raising his hand to draw the attention of the tender. So sometimes the name of the drink has nothing to do with its content. On other occasions, it is indicative of the nature of the consequences of the potation, and such would be the case with this bourbon-based glass of trouble.Throwing a couple of coins on the inky-colored counter, Frank turned to survey the room, drink in hand. It was easy to spot the exits. The trouble was simple to identify. The bulky forms of men, too tall and wide for any type of suit to fit properly, along with the knowing outline of the heat they carried concealed,gave them away instantly. At least four, no, five, belonged on the offensive line of the Giants, not here in this club. Bringing his eyes to the apex of their center, Frank saw Jimmy. There he sat, a wide carefree grin on his oily face, a miniature among these men watching over him. Even though years younger than Frank, Jimmy was already growing a pale hairy inner tube around his waist, and nearly bald; money could buy him popularity it turns out, but did very little to fix his scarred face.Women didn’t seem to notice his ugliness, or at least it appearedthat way to Frank, because every time he met with Jimmy, a different slinky girl hung on his arm. Tonight’s dark flavor wascrowned in a platinum halo, her hair curling up just above bareshoulders. Her silk gown flowed in onyx ripples around and on her many curves. She bent down, whispered in Jimmy’s ear, and then headed to the back of the club, to the powder room.Frank couldn’t stop staring at the sexy flounce she crossed the loud room with. An invitation screamed with each movement of her clad flesh. The way the gown was poured on her curvaceous dark skin left little for his vivid imagination to conjure. Her breasts were unrestrained by anything other than the taut silk that crept across them, a slight bump in the circular center of each announcing a reaction to the feel of that fabric. The black material flowed below her bosom, covering any flaws found through her middle, and then again clung close to her womanly hips and bottom. The effect was like watching a puma prowl across the jungle floor. Visceral lust bloomed in Frank’s body. Licking his drying lips, he straightened his tie once more. Drink in hand; he made his way after her swaying form, desperate to meet her.A long cigarette holder poked up from her right black-gloved hand, a smoldering bursa escort bayan nub about to go out. Frank picked his moment and stepping up he said, “Do you need a light, Miss?” pulling his silver Zippo lighter and flicking a flame with his other palm at the same time.Turning her gaze up at him, she smiled, so wickedly his constitution nearly failed him, “I don’t have another cigarette on me at the moment,” saying this she casually opened her arms to him as if he could search her to prove otherwise.”I have some Camels,” he quipped as he fished in his interior jacket pocket.”Okay, sure,” again that smile that warned of trouble if only his body could hear his head. Raising the holder, she indicated he should place her smoke. Then, leaning in, she lit it with a puff. “With that nonsense accomplished, my name is Coral. I am sure that’s what you wanted, but you can call me Jimmy’s girl.” Once more that evil grin flashed, a raised eyebrow asking if he had enough game to play.”Nice to meet you, Coral, I’m Frank, as you can tell, I like to disobey.” He parried her grin and brow with a devilish wink and an angelic smile of his own.”Well, Frank, what brings you into Harlem tonight, the girls or the drinks?””Neither, it’s a man.” He purposefully paused, creating mystery and to see if she had turned to run or stepped closer.A shimmering cloud surrounding them both followed a deliberate drag on her cigarette as she looked him in the eyes. “Why would you mess with a man when you could play with the likes of me?” As she finished her sentence, her eyes directed his to follow down, and her gloved hands flowed over the curves of her body and lifted the coal-colored hem of her dress a few inches.”I have business with the man, but would indeed consider playtime with a girl like you.”As she turned to leave him for the powder room, Frank reached out and solidly grabbed her bottom. She whirled on him, a hand raised as if to strike; as she swung, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her into him. She tilted up her chin and, in a burst of lust, their lips crushed together as his arm snaked around behind her.She felt his desire harden against her stomach, her breasts ready to burst from his squeeze. Pushing against his chest, she separated their lips finally. “You better mind your manners, mister. How dare you?””I don’t care if you don’t like my manners. I don’t like them myself. I know they’re bad. I will grieve over them in the morning.” His retort shot back, and pulling her to him, he kissed those glorious lips again.A clearing of a gigantic throat behind them had Frank break off the kiss and turn to face one of Jimmy’s goons. “Leave the lady be, or I’ll knock those pretty teeth of yours out.”The size of this bloke’s fists sent an obvious message, and Frank let his brain work for once tonight. He liked his teeth and wanted to keep them. Letting Coral go, he stepped back, hands raised. As she turned escort bursa to glare at him, he noticed an additional detail; her lips were now a full crimson in contrast to the gray blacks and whites that formally surrounded him.”Go clean yourself up. Jimmy is ready to see you,” the leviathan ordered.”I’m ready now””Your face is dirty. Go clean it first.”Was his face dirty? Frank put up a hand to touch his lips, and the white tips came away coated in scarlet. Now alarmed, he ran to the restroom. Crashing in, he went straight to the mirror above the sink. It covered his lips and the surrounding area in ruby smudges. Washing first his hands, seeing the red bleed off the white, he cupped water and brought it to his face, rubbing. Looking in the mirror afresh, he noted the red was gone, but the gray had not returned. Instead, a warm white surrounded his now pink lips. He smacked them together and rubbed his eyes once more. The color remained. Something had happened when he kissed Coral.Wiping his mouth with the back of the sleeve, he headed out to meet with Jimmy about the job.________Arriving back at his room in the early morning hours, the first thing Frank did was check the mirror by his bed. The alien colors once around his mouth were fading back to the familiar grays. A sigh of relief and he turned to undress. All his clothes went quickly in a pile on the bed until he was standing in his smoky boxers. As he hung things up, the shadows and light from the single bulb in the room swept across his naked torso, heavy muscles and light hair did little to hide his skin. Scars ran over his ribs on both sides, a deep sable bruise sat on his right shoulder, and a fresh inky scratch stretched its way across his flat stomach.Looking at his shirt, he could see it was ruined, cut clean through, and marked with his raven-colored blood. He tossed that in the bin. He would need a new one tomorrow. Next, he checked his suit coat. Somehow, it appeared unharmed. As he slid his hand into each pocket of his trousers, he felt a sharp corner of an object. Pulling it into the low light, he saw it was a business card for a place called “Onyx Club” on West 52nd Street. Scrawled on the back in spidery ink, “I sometimes hang out here; about 4 p.m. tell them you are from 802, Coral.”When had she slipped this in? It had to have been during their kiss, but he hadn’t even noticed. It was clear she wanted more of him or more from him, and he didn’t care as long as he got to see her again.The job Jimmy had hired him for was done and then some, so he needed to see Jimmy again because he owed him more money. He hadn’t described the half of it, nor the two extra men Frank had to take down.But first sleep was necessary, then meeting Coral again tomorrow at the Onyx Club, before visiting Jimmy for that much-deserved pay._______Coral had much better taste in clubs. Minton’s wasn’t everything the Onyx was. The walls were decorated in simple black and silver stripes. The bar was marbles of white and black, mirrors in the back wall reflecting the low lights. But people didn’t come here only for the libations; this was the place for the best Jazz.

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