A vivacious blonde with a Monroe beauty mark and a lynx wrapped coyly around her neck takes a drag off a cigarette, leaving red smudges where her full rounded lips wrapped around it as she inhaled. She blows three smoke rings…no, four, and than stirs her vision upwards into the silhouette of a fat balding detective, the interrogation light shining behind him almost enough to blind her, if her eyes weren’t already so glazed over.
“I’ll ask you one more time, Ms. Di’Michelle, Do you know who Murdered Teddy Totone?” Another puff off her fag and she ground it out in the ashtray on the cool hard table in front of her. Licking the nicotine off her lips and acting much too calm and cool to be in such a predicament.
“I may be a bird, but this bird don’t sing. I’ll tells you what I know; you can draw your own conclusions. I heard about a real cool jazz place, upscale you know, and I decided to make the scene….
Real hip place to chill, but nothing to go ape over. Flappers were fixin the men an’ there was Teddy right in the middle with a gal on his knee. Real stacked with promiscuous threads, I remember I could see her wazoo out the bottom of her dress every time she shifted herself on his lap. An’ Teddy himself, dressed to the nines but sloshed as I ever saw a man. Stumbling over his words, feet and money… come to think of it, he was passing around a wad of it to the girls who were incessantly giggling.
“Ms. Di’Michelle, is it not true you were entangled with Mr. Totone?” The detective interjected while tossing down some marriage papers in front of her. She pursed her blood red lips and raised an eyebrow as the detective continued to toss down police records of abuse
“I was young, foolish, he took me for a drive… but as those papers say, it’s been years since I’ve been….” She drew one long breath as if biting back the word that was on the edge of her lips “entangled….. With Teddy Totone” She finished and than sighed, as the moment of memory had come and passed. Again she licked her lips as if maybe his name left an unsavory taste upon them.
"So, your saying that the sight of your former lover with another woman… or… women, didn't make you mad? Are you saying you aren't still bitter that Teddy Totone took you in, wore you out and hung you out to dry…" The detective had barely finished his sentence when Ms. Di'Michelle spat back her answer
"That cad can rot in hell for all I care, I tell you, I'm glad he's dead… but I didn't kill him. I'll shake the hand of the man that did though." She paused for dramatic effect "Now do you want me to get back to what I saw that night?"
Bright lights, Big noise, Cigar Smoke. Wonderful Jazz man on stage belting into his sax, not like anyone could hear it over the noise Teddy’s broads were making. Giggling at un-educated sexually charged slurs that Teddy is bold enough to call ‘just jokes’. They were attracting a few stares from the people that were there for more than just ‘the scene’. Normal people will never understand how important publicity is, and being seen with so many women is just the kind of bad publicity and negative attention Teddy seems to thrive on.
I remember a group of men puffing down a cigar in a dark corner, staring Teddy’s display into the ground and than turning there eyes to me. Mentally fucking me, I am sure of it. I’ve always been able to attract men’s… attentions. Teddy sure noticed I walked in, he started necking his whore in the middle of a sentence just to spite me.
I found a table near the stage and tried to avert my attention to the beautiful music seeping from that jazz mans saxophone. The act ended, he gave a short bow and walked off leaving a satisfying echo of blues in the air behind him. A stuffy looking man hopped on stage and announced the entrance of someone named “The beautiful Charlene”
The lights swept back to a piano, and the curvaceous raven haired woman lying on top of it. Her satin red dress pulled up to her thighs, and hanging off the side of what had in the last few seconds, become my new favorite instrument. The stuffy man walked over and sat down, cleared his throat and began to play a soft slow melody. The woman’s mouth opened and beauty flowed out, enchanting the room with a velvety run of words. She turned and the light hit her face and you could almost make out the sound of men’s hearts exploding and there genitals climbing. Even I myself was taken by her raw, unique beauty. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her, and although I barely heard a word of the song, I could tell you exactly what she sounded like.
The song ends, the men cheer, and the raven haired beauty vanishes backstage. It was at that point I again glanced over at Teddy’s table only to notice the table was empty. I presumed he had left during the performance with his troop of harlots. I felt sweat on my upper lip, and realized that the woman’s performance had made me glisten just a tad, so I headed for the ladies room to powder my nose.
I walked in and headed straight to the mirror, glancing at my reflection and as usual, loving what I saw. I barely had my compact out of my purse when out of the corner of my eye I saw the beautiful Charlene leaning up against the wall looking me up and down. I gasped and turned and she looked into my eyes, hers a piercing green staring into my crystal blue. A moment of silence, broken by her smile. No… not broken, shattered by it utterly and completely. Now, I must say, I’m not off in that way. I was raised proper, a Catholic girl... But Charlene’s smile alone made my knees buckle and my mind ready to sin.
She took a few steps towards me, and I took one in turn. We were drawing closer to each other slowly, while keeping our eyes locked. Next thing I knew she had her arms around my hips and mine were around her neck, her eyes were mere inches from mine. I felt her breath on my face, and her lips draw near mine, I closed my eyes and let sin take me away, but only for a moment. Suddenly we heard a noise, and she bolted from my arms and out of the room. I stopped for a moment to asses my situation, and than my ears automatically tuned into what I was hearing
“Teddy Totone, He’s here. Did you see him?” At Teddy’s name I fell back into reality and listened more intently. Realizing it was coming from the adjacent men’s bathroom I concluded the walls must be thin, and moved towards them to press my ear against and hear in better quality. “I hear he was tossing around money… and yet he doesn’t have the fifty he owes. I say we take it from him. I say we take him for all he’s worth. Lets kill him”
I gasped at that point, and the voices stopped and I heard footsteps draw closer to the wall. I covered my mouth so no more noise would escape, and I quickly exited the bathroom as quietly as I could muster. I returned to my table and played it cool and quiet. I paid my bill shortly after and tried to leave. Of course, I didn’t make it very far before I heard the scream and than was pushed around as everyone crowded in around Teddy, just laying there with a pool of blood beneath him on the front step.