At Ease with the Dead

At Ease with the Dead by Walter Satterthwait

Book: At Ease with the Dead by Walter Satterthwait Read Free Book Online
Authors: Walter Satterthwait
too.”
    For the first time in years, I wished that I still smoked cigarettes. “And when was this?” I asked him again.
    This time he answered. “Summer before I went to Philadelphia. ’Twenty-five. So anyway, I’m standin’ there in her doorway and she’s just lookin’ down her nose at me, the bitch. I’m sorry, Brian, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. ”
    It was a cruel impersonation: head back, voice nasal, the words precisely enunciated, sharp as razor blades.
    â€œSo I tell her, see, I tell her Bobby tole me the whole story, and if she don’t want the Doc to know, well then, she better get down off her high horse right quick. I tell her not to worry, she’s gonna like it just fine. She just stands there for a minute, thinkin’, and then she says, Come along. Bold as brass.”
    The clouds had passed from his eyes; they were bright, shining with an interior light. Between his lips, the gray tongue flicked quickly, once, twice.
    â€œSo we go upstairs to her room. She closes the door and turns to me and just stands there again. Queen of the May. So I reach out and I tear open the front of her dress. Buttons go flyin’ everwhere. Lie down , I tell her, and she does. And I pull down my pants and I get onto the bed and I give it to her. I mean to tell you, son, once she got wound up, she was an animal. An animal. And I made her beg for it. You like this ? I say. You want this ? I say.” He cackled, shook his head. “I made that bitch sing for her supper. Didn’t I though.”
    I suddenly found myself wanting, very badly, to ram a fist into the weathered old face.
    He was frowning now. “But then I get off her,” he said, “and pullup my pants, and the bitch goes and spoils it all. I look down at her and goddammit if she ain’t cryin ’. I say, what’s the matter with you? You got what you wanted. She pushes down her dress, covers herself up, and she just keeps cryin’. Real quiet-like, with her hand over her eyes. She says to me, Would you please go now. So I go. Who needs that whiny shit? But first I tell her that maybe I’ll be back, drill me some more of that nice sweet cooze.”
    â€œDid you?”
    â€œFuck no. Like I say, don’t need the whiny shit.” He shook his head sadly. “They get you ever’ time. One way or the other.”
    â€œSo this was this summer of Nineteen twenty-five?”
    He was looking off, toward the neat suburban homes. “I tole Bertie about it, though, and he tole me later he had some of it himself.”
    I needed to take a shower. Preferably with lye. “This was the summer of Nineteen twenty-five?” I asked him.
    He nodded without looking at me. “Summer of ’twenty-five.”
    I asked him, “Did you know anything about some remains that Lessing brought back from his last field trip?”
    Still looking thoughtfully off at the houses, he said. “I’ve had me a good life, son. Good food, good drink, heaps of good pussy. I don’t owe shit to nobody, man or woman. I got no one to worry about but myself, and I got no regrets a-tall.” He turned to me. “No regrets a-tall. I’ve had me a damn good life.”
    â€œDo you know anything about the remains Lessing brought back that summer? The body of an Indian?”
    Blinking, he frowned. “What? Indian? How the fuck I know about an Indian? I was in Philadelphia.”
    He looked off again at the houses.
    The local elementary school had just ended its day. A few tiny forms were walking down the sidewalk, arms swinging earnestly; others ran across green lawns with the jerky unself-conscious zeal of childhood. I could hear the thin distant sound of their cries and shouts and laughter.
    Brian DeFore sucked silently at his gums and watched them.
    I left him there.
    It was a place that had seen better days, but couldn’t remember exactly when.

Similar Books

4 Plagued by Quilt

Molly MacRae

First Fruits

Penelope evans

Returning Pride

Jill Sanders

Demolition Angel

Robert Crais

Her Dakota Summer

Dahlia DeWinters

B00ARI2G5C EBOK

J. W. von Goethe, David Luke

Survivor

Kaye Draper

Maplecroft

Cherie Priest