Samantha Gill was a terrific fan of the movie “The Martian” and was working out joules to newtons conversions in her head (which, admittedly, wasn’t difficult) as she stood at the iron grille waiting to be let in. She heard the mechanical click of the bolt being remotely pulled back, and watched the gate automatically swing open.
Her supple hips moved seductively, which was more out of habit than intent, and the brunette could smell roasting meat as she crossed the long driveway. This confirmed her prediction that Harold would have put something on the grill by now to celebrate. The front door was unlocked, and she let herself in, walked through the foyer, down the hall, past the great room and the office, into the kitchen, and then out onto the back patio.
“How’d things go?” Her middle-aged partner was just making conversation as he turned away from the propane barbecue and glanced in her direction. The eighteen-year-old’s wry grin had already told him the answer. Sammy reached in her jacket pocket and jangled the jewels, the sound confirming her most recent success.
“Fine. Another old man seduced, robbed, and murdered. I memorized the safe’s combination when he opened it to show me these.” She briefly produced a handful for Harold to examine.
“Good. Dinner’s almost ready. I have a bottle of Cabernet open on the counter inside. Pour yourself a glass. After we’re done eating, you can put your latest acquisition with the rest of the loot.” He turned back to her with “that” look on his face. “Then we can have dessert.”
She knew she’d be what he was having after dinner and dispassionately winked at him. They’d been working together for three years. He’d found her turning tricks in San Francisco, letting disgusting old men and not a few women paw her, then giving 90 percent of her take to her thug pimp. As the saying goes, Harold offered her a deal she couldn’t refuse, but his paws were no more appealing to her than anyone else’s.
Sammy finished her wine just as Harold brought the steaks in and shut the door behind him. Living on an acre and a half of land north of the city was perfect for both of both of their needs, but tonight, it would be even better.
He had just put the platter down on the counter when she pulled the Beretta Nano from her other pocket, the one he’d bought for her sweet sixteenth birthday. He turned and she allowed him one tiny moment to look at her smile and realize what was about to happen before she put six rounds into his chest. Harold was dead before he hit the floor.
She rolled him onto his back, both to verify he was dead and to keep too much blood from seeping onto the ceramic tile floor. Then she laid the handgun and jewels on the kitchen table, and pouring herself another glass of wine, sat down. “Plenty of time to clean up after dinner. I’ll let the steak rest. You taught me that, Harold. You taught me a lot of things, provided me a home, gave me a life I could have only dreamt about as a homeless child hooker.”
She sipped from her glass while contemplating next steps. She couldn’t stay here indefinitely, but she probably had a week or so to solidify her plans, that is, after burying Harold behind one of the out buildings.
“Here’s to you, Harold. Thanks for the ride, but now that you’re gone, no more partners. From now on, I’m working for myself.”
I wrote this for the Saturday Mix – Double Take, 29 September 2018 hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to take two pairs of homophones and work them into a poem, short story, or some other creative work. The two pairs are:
jewel – precious stone
joule – unit of measure
grill – to sear or cook
grille – an iron gate or door
My biggest challenge was figuring out how to use the word joule. Then I found out the relationship between joules and newtons, and remembering how newtons were used in the 2015 film The Martian, tossed it in by way of trivia.
Oh, a Beretta Nano has a six round magazine and it the perfect semi-automatic handgun for a woman to carry concealed.