The Gift of Death

Grant and Daisy sat in his 1958 Cadillac convertible overlooking the calm sea from the observation point.  Above, a canopy of stars blanketed the night sky. Free from most of the town’s light pollution the stars appeared to wrap around the world and fall into the sea. The still Pacific Ocean reflected their light like diamonds floating atop the surface of the water.

Grant slid his arm behind Daisy’s head. She lifted her bleached blond hair and rested her soft locks on his arm. Daisy let her head lay softly into the crook of Grant’s right shoulder and sighed. “Could tonight be any more perfect?” she asked.

Grant breathed in deeply. Daisy’s sandalwood perfume worked on his mind like a drug, and he could feel the endorphins washing through his body. “You smell amazing, and you look more beautiful than the stars.”

Grant felt Daisy’s fingers glide over his chest. She turned her head and whispered into his ear, “Flattery will get you many places.”

Grant gently lifted Daisy off of him. She turned to him and looked confused. He reached down into his pants pocket and retrieved a rectangular black box. “Allow me to bestow upon you a gift worthy of your beauty.” Grant opened the box to reveal a bracelet covered in small diamonds and three blue sapphires. Daisy audibly drew in her breath.

“Where did you get that?”

Grant handed Daisy the box. “Oh, it’s been in the family for a while, and I’ve been waiting for the right person to give it to.”

Daisy’s blue eyes stretched wide, and he snapped the clasp on her wrist. She held up the jewels towards the faint glow of the streetlight far away. Suddenly, she pulled down her hand, “Wait, what are you going to make me do for this?”

Grant laughed and held both her hands. “Silly girl, you’re already doing it. Why do you think I gave you such an expensive gift. I promised you I’d be your sugar daddy. After all, it’s not every forty-five-year-old man who can enjoy the company of a twenty-five-year-old woman.”

They kissed one another deeply, and Grant pulled her body in close. He could tell she was ready to do more, but not here. Grant did not want to be caught by the police or some passing stranger. They released their embrace and Grant relaxed back in his seat and continued looking up at the stars.

“What’s wrong?” asked Daisy. “I thought I was going to show you my proper gratitude.”

Grant slid his fingers behind his head and sighed. “Patience my dear. We have all night tonight.”

“You mean you don’t have to work tomorrow? You don’t have to go home?”

Grant smiled and glanced over at Daisy. Her short skirt had slid up mid-thigh, and she had made no effort to cover anything up. She was as willing as she was beautiful, he was a lucky man indeed. “Nope, no hurry tonight. My boss gave me the day off tomorrow, so I can stay out all night with you if I want.”

Daisy giggled, leaned over, and blew in his ear. His whole body trembled with excitement. Her perfume once more took over his mind. He closed his eyes and enjoyed her nibbling on his ear. The faint sound of a car on the road pricked his mind, and he opened one eye and looked in the review mirror. He watched the shadow of a station wagon pass by behind them. Grant closed his eyes and continued to enjoy Daisy’s affection.

Both Daisy and Grant jumped when something metallic banged into the side of the old Cadillac’s steal rear corner panel. A woman with tears in her black eyes stood there with a pistol pointed at both of them. Daisy hid her bracelet between the seat and her body.

Grant turned and gripped the seat like a man to a life raft. “Dorothy! What are you doing?”

“What am I doing! What are you doing? Who is this hussy? Why are you with my husband?”

“Husband?” stammered Daisy. “Grant, you never told me you’re married. Where’s your ring?”

“He says it doesn’t fit,” snarled Dorothy. “I might have known she wouldn’t know. I should shoot you now.” Grant watched the barrel of the gun center on his face.

Grant began to weep, “Please, honey, no. Think about the kids, what about Daisy? She didn’t even know about us. You can’t kill her.”

Dorothy tossed a lock of her black hair over her shoulder and scoffed, “The kids are grown. Don’t you think they’ll understand? As for blonde here, I imagine she can keep her mouth shut.”

Daisy nodded her head furiously, and her long blond hair landed tussled over part of her face. Daisy did not dare move to fix her hair.

“Please, darling, I promise it won’t happen again.”

The loud explosion from the gun’s muzzle made Daisy jump, and parts of Grant’s skull clinked against the windshield inside the convertible. Pieces of Grant’s brain tissue and blood splattered into Daisy’s hair that protected her face.  Daisy began to shake and sob.

“Take it easy, sister,” said Dorothy, “You didn’t know any better. You make his fifth girlfriend in a year. The bum had it coming. If you keep your mouth shut and help me clean up your fingerprints and evidence, I’ll get you home safe.”

Daisy nodded. She pulled her hand up from between the seats and brushed her hair away from her face.

“Where did you get that bracelet?” asked Dorothy.

“It was a gift from Grant.”

“That belongs to me. It was a gift for our ten-year wedding anniversary.”

Daisy looked at the diamonds and sapphires glinting in the faint light. “Well, I think its fair payment for what you have both put me through.”

Another small explosion left the muzzle of Dorothy’s gun. “Consider yourself paid in full.” She walked over and took the bracelet from Daisy’s limp wrist. “Well, I better get things cleaned up and get out of here. At least I won’t have any witnesses now.”

In a few minutes, Dorothy was driving down the two-lane coastal road. Bloody gloves, rags, and shell casings sat inside a bag that she would be burning soon. A street light turned red, and Dorothy stopped the car. She raised her arm and held up the bracelet where she could see it. Dorothy smiled as she admired the red hues refracting from the diamonds.


Coming this summer


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