I’m telling you this story because you’re the only one I trust not to judge me. Others might think me hard. Not you. Maybe because we’re similar in ways that count: we’ve had to scrounge through garbage to get anywhere. Strays, both of us.
Harold was a nothing – and not just when it came to sex appeal. He had bulging blue eyes set in pasty-white skin, and spittle that always gathered in the corners of his lips.
He did have one thing going for him. The only child of a woman who’d made a fortune in the hair care business, Harold was loaded.
I first met him when he showed up to cut the blue ribbon on Mama’s newest salon. I was the shampoo girl. Soon as he saw me, Harold gaped at my assets, both of ‘em – and I ain’t referring to my eyes.
It was easy to see that despite his money, Harold was a loser with women. All it took to charm him was a big smile, even bigger knockers, and a willing attitude.
After several weeks, I signed a pre-nup and tied the knot. Six months after that, Mama kicked the bucket, leaving a fortune to Harold. All that lovely money to that unlovely man.
A girl can look past a lot of spittle for that kind of dough.
It was harder to overlook his meanness. He liked pain. Not his.
It was the zebra-striped pajamas that evened the score.
Some girls get a sports car Christmas morning from their rich husbands; some get diamonds. What did I get? A pair of zebra-striped pajamas and matching hood imprinted with a zebra’s face.
“C’mon, Ginger,” he whined that night, “let’s play ‘Big Game Hunter’ – you’ll be the game and I’ll be the hunter!”
“Not tonight, Harold.”
“C’mon, let’s have a little fun.” Drooling, he showed me the corded whip he’d hidden behind his back.
But isn’t that what I’d signed up for on my wedding day? So, yeah, I pulled on those damned pajamas, feeling miserable and just a little scared.
“Okay, baby, run for it!” he said, slapping the handle of the whip against his hand. “You have a thirty second start – GO!”
I took off running down the long hallway, looking for a place to hide.
“Here I come!”
Then, “Shit! Damned dog! Ginger! Dammit, I told you to keep that dog outside!”
Hurrying to Harold’s side, I saw him cowering against the bannister at the top of the stairs, screaming as teeth sank into his ankle. He started falling backward, but caught himself.
Teetering, one hand grasping the balustrade, he whispered, “Help me.”
Gazing at the fallen whip, the spittle on his lips, I made a decision: one light tap.
The sound of his head making contact with the stairs was like the sound of a cash register. Ka-ching!
So, that’s the story.
A little nip from you, a little push from me…
How’d you like a diamond collar, boy?
Word count: 500
Author’s Note: This story was written in response to ThainInVain’s weekly flash fiction challenge to write a 500 word or less story in which the story begins “I’m telling you this story because you’re the only one I trust not to judge me…”
It has been a pleasure to participate in ThainInVain’s challenges in 2014. I am looking forward to 2015, TiV! Happy New Year, everyone!