Disembowelment fantasies had made washed-up actress Vera North a star on the Walk of Gore. 2,273 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.
Sunset plays gentle with crumbling mansions and women. Bathed in the bloody light of a death-bound day, there was nothing between her front door and the sun except the Pacific. Between her and the sun was me and my chainsaw. She shielded her eyes.
“You won’t need that,” she said. “He already fell down dead.”
“Yeah, but I only got a Ford flatbed, not a semi.”
“I wanted to spare him the indignity of an autopsy.”
“Call another landscaper.”
She thought about it briefly. “You’re late, by the way.” Sunset showed who she was, or used to be: Vera North, straight-to-DVD splatter star supreme. She caught the flicker, and knew she was no longer mortal in my eyes. “Never mind,” she said.
Most past-it movie actresses get screechy when menials presume to knock on their front doors. Vera, who’d died a thousand slow gory excruciating dismemberment deaths for public consumption, was past caring. She asked if I wanted a cocktail.
Drinks clinked on the way out to the backyard, where we viewed the deceased.