11) Let Me Clarify That

By Manuel Royal
May 28, 2020 · 194 words · 1 minute


"Cinnabar! That's what I meant. Both a mineral and a color."

Finally a smile with teeth. "I like that."

I'm having a good night. It won't last.

A trace of smile lingered around her eyes, but her voice was all business. "You better have a clear head when Herbert comes back out. By now he's found out whether you're a cop or a Fed, or a debt tracer or what-have-you."

Knew it wouldn't last."Guess I'm what-have-you." So what was that about?

"Yeah?" She poured a shot of something dark and took a sip, looking at him. Still like a tiny bit of smile. "Well, you're not a reporter, he would have picked up on that right away."

He had written a list of things not to talk about. This was one of them. "I need an exhumation." He waited for a reaction.

Mathilde pulled the cherry from his drink and bit it. "A wormfood exhumation, or a spiritual exhumation? My mother always said her soul died when she got married and was rotting inside her like a tiny corpse. Right here." She pointed to her mid-torso. "She blamed it for her flatulence."

He didn't know what to say to that, so he took a drink.

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