Eric Burbridge has been published in several literary magazines and is currently working on a novel as well as other short stories.
Cynthia Massey meant business. The 5’3” frail addict watched the medium height and build uniformed mass transit worker approach. She stepped from behind a huge oak tree and pointed a 9mm pistol at his chest. He froze. “Don’t move,” she said in a soft, but stern voice. She didn’t want to break the 2am silence. She knew he couldn’t identify her in the dark hoodie. “Empty your pockets…now.” His hands didn’t move. “Have it your way.” She squeezed the trigger. He groaned and lunged at her before his face slammed into the grass. “Mess with me, you fool.”
She looked around; no lights came on in the houses that bordered the four square block park. She pushed him over with her foot.
Hurry… go through his pockets!
She snatched his wallet and shook it. No money. She checked his front pockets. Bingo! Cash, it felt like enough for an eight ball. She turned to run, but a hand grabbed her ankle like a vise grip. Cynthia fell forward into a pile of mud. Something stunk! Dog shit! She wiped her face on her sleeves. “Let me go,” she hissed and slammed the pistol into his skull, over and over again, but the grip tightened. The butt of the 9mm slid in the gashes on his head and blood covered her hand. He went limp.
Finally, he was dead.
“Let me go.” She hit at her victim’s fingers with the pistol. The butt missed half the time and struck her ankle. Slow down, Cynthia.
She stood, kicked and stomped the corpse’s arm. Nothing happened. She grabbed the other arm and tried to drag him on the wet grass. Cynthia forgot the knife in her pocket. She opened it, eased it between the fat fingers and twisted the blade. It snapped shut on a finger. She pounded on the knife until it cut through the bloody flesh and bone, fluid ran down her ankle into her sneaker. She worked the hand back and forth. She tried the next finger.
Dammit! His ring got in the way.
Headlights approached and slowed. She ducked and a cop cruised by and put a light on the trees. Duck! The light passed over her head and the car kept going. Thank God.
Cutting fingers took too long.
Cynthia plunged the knife into the wrist. Repeated stabs and twists began to work. Cartilage and gristle snapped and popped. She pumped her leg rocking the clinging hand.
Come off, dammit!
She stabbed and stabbed the joint. Shit! She picked up the pistol, checked for cars, and moved her leg to position the hand. She squeezed off a round into the wrist.
Fall off, hand! It loosened; now try it.
She struggled to her feet; took a deep breath and yanked it. She stumbled backwards, fell and hit the back of her neck on something. Her arms and legs trembled out of control. The pain subsided, but she couldn’t move. Her screams for help were mere whispers.
Cynthia lay paralyzed and watched the starless sky brighten. Tears streamed down the side of her filthy fly infested face. It was his fault; all he had to do was give her the money. So, she’ll them he tried to rape her. When she recovers she’ll join a rape crisis group. The only hitch in the plan; she forgot if she used that 9mm in another stick-up.