Left in the desert by J’Rie Blackwell-Elliott

Everything looked perfect on that crisp desert morning. The sun still sitting low in the sky, not ready to fill the day with it’s heat. The only thing out of place was the blue car. It sat on the side of the empty road, waiting patiently for the return of it’s owner. No one pays attention to abandoned cars. We pass without a second look. This day however, someone should have looked that second time.

Five days before

Brandie made ready for her day, coffee, make up, three outfit changes and she was out the door. Brandie worked at a small finance company in Nocken, Nevada. She was a hard worker, and was good at her job. Though accounting was not her main focus. Her main focus this morning, as well as every morning for several months now. Was her boss’s assistant. He was a distinctive blonde haired man who answered to the name Jack McDaniel. Brandie and Jack had been having a clandestine affaire since late winter when he confided in her how truly unhappy he was with the situation in his home life. Brandie wanted Jack with his striking blue eyes and his massive hands so badly she was willing to over look something as trivial as a wife. Especially one that had worn out her welcome. They would meet every day at the same time behind the closed theater. There they would take his car for a lunch time tryst back at her apartment. After breaking his marriage vow with his afternoon sweetie, Jack would excuse himself outside to call the bothersome wife from his cell phone. Brandie never questioned him wanting his privacy. She knew if the wife ever found out the fun would be over. Brandie knew it was no fun to date a man dealing with a divorce and a bitter soon to be ex-wife. So if privacy was what he wanted, that was what he got. Though a wife is not what Jack was hiding from Brandi. In fact he had never been married. He knew that she would be an easy target, someone who would give him what he wanted. Telling her he was married was an easy way to circumvent any of those inconveniences like paying for a date, or pretending to listen when she talked. She made it easy for him, lunchtime was perfect for sex. It was long enough to do it right but not long enough to have to cuddle. Then later he never had to worry about her calling him, because he told her his wife would find out. Coming back in from his phone call Jack told Brandie. “Brandie, I have to go help my wife this afternoon. Her car broke down. I won’t be going back into the office.”

J’Rie Blackwell-Elliott may be reached for comments at dixiepoet@gmail.com.

“Alright.” She said, “Just drop me off, so I can get my car. I can get back in time to cover for you.”

“Thanks doll face. What would I do without you?” He kissed her passionately dipping her back in his best Humphrey Bogart good bye kiss, and they left the apartment.

After arriving back at the office Brandie made sure to write a phone message for the boss from Jack. It read: Had to leave early wife’s car left her stranded on route 6. Call me if needed. Brandie knew their boss, Mr. Eugene Young would never question Jack. He was a intimidated by Jack. It was not so much a size or strength difference, as it was a personality difference. Eugene was a lonely bachelor and a typical dorky accountant, with glasses, a pocket protector, and pants that were to short. He was nervous around women, and intimidated by men. Where Jack he was the antithesis of that he had the personality of a man who was always in the “IN” crowd. He always got the girl, caught the football, and basically made the lives of all the Eugene’s in the world miserable. Jack would always pretend to like Eugene when they were in the office together. So Eugene overlooked the days when Jack never returned from lunch. However this day would be different, this day was the day that Jack never returned at all.

After dropping Brandie at her car Jack made his way out to the dessert. The emptiness of the area was what he had been hoping for. When a crime is going to be committed it is best to do it in secret or so Jack thought. He drove for miles that after noon deeper into the Nevada desert. Making sure not to be followed. Coming on the rendezvous point Jack pulled the car over and waited. Watching the clock on the dash of the car made Jack impatient and angry. How long did they expect him to wait. He was the one with the goods to deliver. How dare they be late, he thought. An hour and a half had past, only two cars had past, Jacks anger grew, also the need to heed the call of nature. He opened the car door and stepped into the desert heat. He walked around the car stretching his legs and let out a grunt of frustration. With not a living thing in sight besides a lizard or two Jack relieved himself beside the car not bothering to hide. The mid day heat is where no one wants to stay long so he quickly returned to the cool air of the car. Minutes ticked by Jack leaned the car seat back and fell asleep. He knew he had to stay for the pick up, leaving would cost him two million dollars.

Jack was awakened by someone tapping on his window. He was shocked to see the darkness around him. He stepped out of the car. “Where the hell have you been? I‘ve been waiting for three hours” He said to the unimposing female in front of him.

“That kind of language is not required Mr. McDaniel I told you I would arrive with all haste. I never said I would arrive on your schedule.”

“Do you have the damn money?” Jack demanded. The woman laughed with a coolness about her.

“Mr. McDaniel do you take me for a fool? I am no virgin at this. I have dealt with tougher than the likes of you in the past, and I am sure I will deal with tougher in the future. So, no, Mr. McDaniel. I did not bring the damn money, as you so vulgarly put it. I must see verification of all your merchandise prior to any monetary transaction.”

Jack step forward towards her yelling. “You stupid bitch, what do you take me for? You drag me out to the desert, then you don’t even bring any money!” He took one to many steps towards this mysterious woman. In a motion he did not even see, a straight razor sliced the material from the crotch of his pants. The sting in his groin was explosive as the razor found it mark.

“I suggest you do not take one more step or I shall be forced to complete what I have already begun. As now it is only a bleeding wound. In three seconds I can completely remove your genitals. At best you would never urinate, or be with a woman again. At it’s worst it can be a fatal and we are a long way from a hospital, so worst is what it would be. You choose Mr. McDaniel back up or die.” Jack stumbled back quickly grasping his throbbing crotch. “Now, that we have an accord, please let me see the merchandise.” Jack staggered to the back of his car, and opened the door. “Oh, Mr. McDaniel it is perfect. Better than I could have ever dreamed.” The small woman began to rub her hands and lick her lips. “How did you ever come across this?” She said with lustful passion in her voice.

“I just found it at crack house in Cummings. So, now you’ve seen it when do I get my money?”

“Do not worry so much Mr. McDaniel. I fully intend to give you everything I have promised. Orlander, will you be a dear and give Mr. McDaniel his money.”

“I thought you said you didn’t have it?”

“Oh dear, I lied to you. Do you really think I am new at this?” Orlander a tall pale ashen looking fellow handed Jack a bag. Jack excited jerked the bag open, Ben Franklin was staring back at him. “No, Mr. McDaniel I am not new at this. I have been around since before your great great grandfather born.” Jack looked at her with amazement and disbelief. “Now, I have given you your money, and now you are going to give it back.”

“WHAT!” Before he could move the petite woman grasped him by the sides or his head. “AUGH!” Jack screamed as his body began dieing. She held on to the sides of his face until nothing more than a skeleton was left of Jack McDaniel.

“Orlander, put that garbage in the trunk please dear.” Without speaking Orlander did as he was told, putting Jacks skeleton in the trunk of his car. The small woman reached into the back seat of the car and removed a small sleeping child. “Look Orlander the drugs are wearing off.” The little girl looked up at her with large scared eyes. “It’s okay child. I will not hurt you.” She lifted the child out of the car seat and held it in her arms. “She is so beautiful Orlander. I think I will give her the gift. Not the one I gave you so many years ago. Not just eternal life, but my entire gift. A man could never handle such a thing.” She said to the little girl. “But we women can. Orlander, it has been two hundred and eighty years since I found you as a baby. I think we will call her Philomena. Now come Orlander we need to go shopping. I am a new mommy again.” She kissed her new girl child and got back into their darkened car. Orlander, turned off the engine to Jacks car, left the keys in the ignition, locked and closed the door. Then grabbing the bag of money, he walked around the darkened car and they drove away. Leaving Jack and his blue car in the desert alone. How long will it go unnoticed? How long will it be ignored? Who knows. What truly happened that night in the desert? I don’t know. Do you?