Episode 10: Making Waves
She drove through the city, her predator’s eye falling on each pedestrian in turn as she smoked, more out of habit than hunting. As much as it galled her to admit it, fucking Missy was right, along with that pussy bitch Daniel. She needed to lay low for a while.
Well, mostly low.
Taking an abrupt right which squealed her tires and left the driver of the car behind her swearing, she turned into a fast food drive-in and stopped before the speaker. The window rolled down.
“Ca…’elp you?” the speaker blared, much of its clarity lost in a haze of crackle and static.
“I daresay you can,” Princess told the speaker box, flicking her cigarette butt at it. “Give me one of those foul salads you sell, whichever is the most popular.”
“…m… tha’d be the gard…alad…”
“Whatever, that’s what I want.” Princess said, and drove forward to the window, braking just as the pimply youth within finished speaking to where she had been.
“Your total is—” he said, before catching sight of her. “Oh…er…” he looked back at his computer terminal to confirm. “Three dollars and…”
“Look, Clyde,” Princess said, reading his nametag and flashing him a grin. “Why don’t you give me everything in the register, and I promise you’ll never see me again.”
The boy was dumbfounded. “Twenty…three…what?”
“You have money there in that drawer, and I need it. Give it to me, and you’ll never see me again. If you don’t, I promise you that you will see me again enough to make you wish you had given it to me.” Princess smiled as a shark does. “You can call your manager if you like, but no matter what comes next, you will die screaming and your last wish will be that you had emptied the register when you were told.”
Clyde was sixteen, and was only working part-time to save up money for a car. His second dearest ambition was to get a girlfriend and take her necking in his car. His dearest ambition was not to get killed. As his eyes traveled over the creature in the car, he took in the red-stained fingers which drummed the steering wheel, matted hair, the slightly bared teeth, but what he would always remember was the sunken bloodshot eyes, devoid of sanity and mercy. He knew if he refused, he would see those eyes again, and right now Clyde’s dearest ambition was for that not to happen.
“One minute,” said Clyde, and punched NO SALE on the register. The door banged open and he scooped out all the bills, folding them into a wad and handing them with the salad through the window into the reddened hands.
Princess beamed and gave him a wink. “Such an intelligent boy. What did you say my total was?”
Clyde’s autopilot replied, “$3.23.”
Princess peeled four ones out of the wad and gave them back to Clyde. “Keep the change. Thanks!”
Clyde could hear mad laughter as the car pulled out of the drive thru, screeching onto the main road and out of earshot. He let out a breath he was not aware he had been holding and yelled for his manager.
“What in the fuck Fuck FUCK was that about?” Missy was howling as Princess counted the wad of money while stopped at a red light. “Are you just incapable of going an hour without fucking with someone’s life?”
“Partially,” Princess said, flicking through the twenties, tens and fives. There were a few fifties and one hundred dollar bill. All in all, about three hundred thirty dollars. “But every little bit helps.”
“You do realize,” Missy said, her voice shaking with fury as she nearly hyperventilated, “that kid is looking at the security camera footage with his manager at this exact moment and writing down the license plate?”
“I took off the license plates, after you left work.” Princess nodded to the plates in on the floor of the passenger seat.
“THAT was stupid,” Missy snarled. “Why don’t you just break all our tail lights and run red lights while you’re at it.” Lighting a cigarette and tossing the wad of money into the glove compartment as the light turned green, the car spurted through the intersection, turning right again into a strip mall. Wrenching the car into a parking spot, Missy got out with the cigarette clamped between her teeth, fumbling with the license plates. There were only three screws to attach the two plates and Missy cast her eyes to the heavens praying for patience. A thought flashed through her mind…
…why don’t I just kill myself…
…before she leaned over and slammed the rear plate onto its mount and poked the screw toward its receptacle. Her fingers protested as the stubborn screw turned by fractions, not helping her mood. Her teeth clenched as she forced the screw through several revolutions, then added the second screw, which was even more reluctant to be seated than the first. Swearing, she managed to get them both tightened to her satisfaction, and straightened up, taking a long pull from her cigarette as she looked around.
A man was coming toward her, sauntering with the overly casual stride of the Casanova. A low keening noise came from Missy’s throat and her fingers tightened on the license plate as she hooked the cigarette back into her mouth and marched around the car to secure the front license plate. The man followed.
“Hey there li’l lady, you need help?” His voice was dripping with insincerity and condescension. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see him adjusting his crotch.
…will this ever end?…
“Got a wrench or some pliers?” Missy said, not looking up, her voice flat.
“Got a Leatherman right here,” the man said, pulling one from a case on his belt and offering it to her. Missy took it, doing her best to ignore the excessive contact with the man’s fingers that he insisted upon as it left his hand.
“Thanks,” she said her voice cold as she leaned down to tighten the one remaining screw into the license plate using the pliers.
“Girl, if you want to thank me, you can think of a better way I’m sure,” said the man, his voice lowering. Missy’s blood boiled as she felt a hand crawling up her ass as she finished tightening the screw.
Turning, she caught his hand and held it to her chest, fluttering her eyes at him. “You are so right, my knight in shining armor.” She raised the hand to her mouth, pursing her lips as though she were about to kiss them.
The man’s oafish chuckle turned into a scream of pain as her other hand clamped the cutting edge of the Leatherman’s pliers onto his middle finger with all the force her hand could muster.
“Thank you,” Missy hissed in his face, twisting the Leatherman, feeling it sink deeper into his finger. “I really appreciate it.”
She released him and he ran, sobbing, for the safety of the building. Faces stared, at her, after him, some curious, those who had witnessed the entire scene looking far more apprehensive. Missy spat, folded the Leatherman and tossed it into the car. Sliding behind the wheel, she pulled out of the space and onto the main road with a squeal of tires.
“There’s always some fucking idiot,” she muttered, fumbling with her cigarettes. “Why can’t they just—”
The blip of sirens behind her snapped her eyes to the rearview mirror. They grew huge as they took in the police cruiser behind her, lit up like a Christmas tree. For a moment, Missy and Princess were both frozen.
Princess took over, calmly pulling a cigarette from the pack and lighting it as she pulled over to the side of the road. For a moment, she considered flooring the gas pedal, then tossed her head and smiled her nasty smile. She rolled down the window.
“Evening, officer,” she purred.