DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON
"I've never had this drink. Did you know it was a particular favorite of Hemingway?"
The man shows no sign he understands my meaning and I sip the drink. I shiver at the taste and drink more.
"I must admit this isn't to my liking, but Hemingway is a favorite of mine, so I will indulge him. Oh, the title of that book tickles at my brain more than you know. Death in the Afternoon."
I nod at the worn copy on my bed, though the man can't turn his head enough to follow my eyes. No matter. Placing the champagne flute on the table, I smooth my dress and approach the man. Pulling the duct tape away from his lips, I listen to him gag and cough for air.
"Do you know who I am?"
"Yes, I recognize you from the news. What am I doing here? I didn't rape anyone."
That's not what George told me, sir. "Are you telling me the women that accused you are lying? Is that what you expect me to believe?"
He begins to respond, but no words escape his lips.
"Tell me your name, sir."
"Daniel. My friends call me Danny."
I close my eyes to stop the tears, memories biting at my mind. A wave of red anger flows over me as I fight to push the images of him from my thoughts.
"That was my father's name. Daniel Thomas." The words sting my lips and I grab for the drink again, finishing it in a gulp. "Another please, George."
The hidden door opens and George prepares another cocktail for me. I open the top drawer of the end table and retrieve my knife. The man watches in silence, eyes straining to take in the scene unfolding just beyond his sight line. When he notices the knife, color runs from his cheeks.
"Are you going to kill me now?" His voice cracks and trips over the words.
I smile and wave the knife round his head. Before I answer, I unbutton his jeans and begin pulling the fabric lower to expose his genitals.
"No, not yet, sir." I smile again and lock eyes with him. "Do you know why they call me the Butcher of Vegas, sir?"
"I am happy to show you." Placing the knife against the base of his limp cock, I drag the blade gently, careful not to cut him. "The last moments of your life shall be a story, sir. I will call it Death in the Afternoon."