Sunday, 12 September 2010
THE BOG (and others) By Ron Koppelberger
Fast answers to the brave resolution of Wallis K. Nassau sloshed and rolled with the thick morass of quicksand he was neck deep in. Was it preordained he wondered, was he destined for some fateful absolution, a medium of reconciliation with god?
Wallis had intended to throw the garbage bag covered corpse of his wife into the morass. A perfect conclusion to years of miserable garrulous arguing and infidelity upon infidelity. She had turned her back to him as she grabbed for the phone, her accomplice; she was finally asking for a divorce. She had chosen a new lover, a boy in the dawn of maturity, a child barely twenty-one. Looking over her shoulder she had given him a smug sneer of unbridled hate. In that moment the decision was made for Wallis; he grabbed a silver burnished vase embossed with archaic Egyptian legends, it felt good in his hand, heavy and dangerous. As she replaced the receiver he slammed the vase into her head, crushing her skull with a scrunchy crack.
There had been a spellbound moment of fear as he watched the blood pour from her head but it had passed and he had calmly sopped up the blood with a roll of paper towels, then he snuggled her into several garbage bags tying them off with a roll of twine.
Her body had thumped into the trunk of the car with a satisfying thump. He drove the Mercedes near the speed limit as he followed the curvy road to the swamp. Finally he pulled off the concrete two-lane highway onto a dirt two-track. The Mercedes bumped along nearly getting stuck in the muddy ruts. He had stopped the car at a thick knot of tangled vines and briar scrub. Opening the trunk he removed her body spending the next hour dragging her through the Palmetto scrub and pine tree saplings.
He had intended to leave her in the midst of the dense thicket when he saw the reflective surface of the morass.
Dragging her to the edge of the muddy quicksand he hefted her in. Unfortunately the twine around one of the garbage bags had coiled like a snake around his ankle and he stumbled in.
As the swampy grit flowed into his mouth and eyes he realized that the scream of a wild goose was echoing in the forest. It sounded a little bit like laughter, his wife’s laughter.
Live and let live
The shrewd haul, the weatherproof asylum, the carefully exalted argument for universal gold. He saw evergreen nuance in the hundred dollar bill, it was perfection, a generous dollop of amazing art. He had spent a year perfecting the silver plates, a year of diligent dreaming in vagabond tatters. The counterfeit bill was perfect and the paper was in whitewashed unity with the fresh ink. From one dollar to a hundred. He had bleached five hundred one dollar bills and reprinted them with the silver plates.
He felt prosperous as he surveyed the clothesline full of money. “Ahhhhhhhaaaa!!!” the smell of drying ink, he sighed in quiet admiration. He inhaled the scent with profound measures of intoxicating glee. Benny Worthy was his partner in crime; he had supplied the ink and enough inspiration for both of them.
The oaken varnished veneer of the door rattled on its hinges. “Open up, it’s Benny!” he went to the door and unlocked it, cautiously leaving the chained portion secure. Peeking into the hall he saw Benny’s unmistakable figure impatiently shifting from one foot to the other. “Come on, open up!” he groaned. He opened the door to Benny’s betrayal and the end of their relationship. Benny pointed the 38 revolver in his direction. “Here…” he tossed a knapsack to the ink stained floor and said. “…put the plates and the money in the bag, Hank!”
Hank filled the bag with the hundred dollar bills tossing in the silver plates last. “Thanks, Hank…..” he chuckled. “Thanks, Hank……for the memories,” he sang. Benny turned his back to Hank and walked toward the door. Hank had the semi auto 22 rifle in his hands a moment later. He aimed at the center of Benny’s back and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened, the gun had jammed. “Live and let live,” Benny chanted as he left the room. Hank sighed realizing he had no choice.
A single hundred dollar bill lay crumpled, unnoticed against the floorboard. Smiling he realized that would buy him an unsurpassable drunk.
Another Day in Paradise Lost
The shortened, unerring sound of wondering injury was in accord with the pain of a rosebud misery, blooming in waves of agony. The crisis of blood he thought in miserable contemplation. He had confidence in his ability to defy the odds, his mortality, his immortality against the gunshot wound to his stomach. A pain filled adventure and a misadventure in uncalculated distress, he had mistaken the clerk for a snatch and grab mark.
Denver Caymen had pulled the plastic 22 calibre pistol from his waistband and aimed it at the clerk. “It’s the downs and I’m advancing myself a little credit, hand over the cash, Nash!” The clerk had just stood there staring at him with a bulgy eyed fright and a blossoming grimace of anxiety. “You dreamin’ partner,” he quipped, “…get tha money!” Ten seconds passed as they stood face to face without release, a tight bond of expectation between them.
Surprisingly, the clerk pulled a pistol from beneath the counter almost as if in slow motion. He fired and the first shot caught Denver in the gut, the second nicked his ear and a well of blood poured from the gash. Standing over him the clerk pointed the weapon at his head. Denver prayed and closed his eyes.
The police officer opened his car door, sirens blaring. He would later reflect that he thought he saw the silhouette of a man pointing a gun at a dark shape in the floor, the guy in the floor seemed to be praying on bended knees. The loud crack of a pistol echoed in the parking lot as the officer rushed the door. A dark shadow fell across the convenience store and the fates dealt another hand of chance. The day moved on and the sun sank into the twilight horizon as life and death went into the mix, the stuff of existence and the substance of another day in paradise lost.
Ron Koppelberger aspires to become established as a poet and a short story writer. He has written 95 books of poetry over the past several years and 16 novels, publishing 289 poems and 128 short stories in a variety of periodicals. He has been published in The Storyteller, Ceremony, Write On!!! (Poetry Magazette), Freshly Baked Fiction and Necrology Shorts. Also he recently won the People’s Choice Award for poetry In The Storyteller for a poem titled Secret Sash. He loves to write and offer an experience to the reader. Ron is a member of The American Poet’s Society as well as The Isles Poetry Association.