Without a Match

The gun was still lying on the night stand. It had been three hours since she had awoken, but had never attempted to actually get out of bed. Instead she lay on her back, watching the small metal fan that was propped up on a few broken milk crates in the corner as it slowly spun around musty air.

Her whole body radiated a thick heat, and the sheets stuck to her sweaty legs as she tried to shoo them away. Anything for a bit of relief from the sweltering humidity.

She reached over to the nightstand, and extracted a pack of cigarettes from the drawer, but she couldn't find a book of matches. She tossed the pack onto the floor, and the two remaining cigarettes scattered themselves in different directions. She sighed and buried her face into her pillow. It smelled like stale cigarette smoke and sweat, and she gagged and pulled her head back quickly.

Propped up on one arm, she glanced over at the gun. It stared back at her silently. Sure, she could use it alright. Although, she hadn't found an excuse to actually pull the trigger yet. She reached over and casually dropped it into the little drawer. It landed with a dull thud next to a few half-empty tubes of lipstick and cigarette butts.

As she went to lie back down, the phone began to ring. Which was strange, considering she hadn't paid the telephone company. Unless the boss paid again. He always wanted to make sure they stayed in contact with the girls.

She groggily sat up and wandered into the next room, grabbing a silk robe as she went to cover herself. She picked up the receiver carefully and held it to her ear.

"Hello," she said.

"Sweetheart, it's Lester," A rough man's voice answered.

"Hi boss," she said casually, seating herself in a torn armchair, and propping her feet up against an open window.

"Listen doll, we got problems down here. Louise ain't comin' in and we're in a real jam. You're gonna have to steal the joint tonight, you hear?"


"You ain't got a say in these things sweetheart. You're coming in tonight and that's that. And listen, the fuzz might have caught wind of our little operation, so we might be on the look out. Be prepared to do the Sunday School show until we're in the clear."

"Alright, Lester. I'll be there," she said, and then hung up.

The End

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