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Lola

*

By Christy MunsonPublished about a month ago Updated 7 days ago 8 min read
7
Lola
Photo by DAVIDCOHEN on Unsplash

This story follows on to When Pennies Rattle. While each short story can be read separately, if you plan to read both, to avoid spoilers, I recommend starting with Pennies and then continuing with Lola.

-----------------------------------------------------

So that just happened. I mean, it just happened. Like, a minute ago.

I died. I died!

"Told you so, warden! Told you Ronnie'd be the death of me!"

I'm screaming. "You hear me, you dumb ass warden?"

I'm thinking he can't. No one can.

Dead's not what I thought.

*

I told 'em all that rotten no good murdering son of a bitch was gonna be the death of me. I'm only his fucking ex-girlfriend. The one he swore he'd cap in the head, stone cold dead.

The instant those fat a-holes figured out a pack of murderous monsters broke out of their prison, I should have been their first call. But no.

And now, I'm dead.

Think I'm gonna need a minute.

*

So there I was, doing what I do, minding my business. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, in the middle of some Highs, or a Circle K, or I don't know, maybe a 7/11 or whatever, in walks Ronnie, my "ahmma-hunt-yaw-dawhn-en-kilt-yaw" wild eyed bat shit crazy ex.

Just like that -- free as a friggin bird.

Ronnie always kept three steps ahead. Outsmarting everybody. Loved laughing at the "blue dawgs," making 'em chase their tales.

He followed me across state lines. They said maximum security would hold him. I said, no way. My hard-earned tax dollars hard at work.

Then, bam! Out of nowhere there's a gun in my teeth and Ronnie's chasing me round the store waving his anger like a sawed-off.

He found me. Said he would.

I knew he would. Never doubted. Why'd ya think I ran?

Fat lotta good it did me too. I'm dead.

Can't wrap my head around it. Dead. As in right now that's it, lights out. No more living. Time's up. Poof. Gone-zo. But I was having a baby!

I was gonna be a mom.

Ronnie swore he'd kill me. Swore to God, in front of witnesses. And Ronnie ain't one for idol threats.

Popped his Pa in front of me and God and everybody. Popped Pauly too. Sweet Paul Dupree. Shot him dead, in the gut. Wasn't a threat to nobody. Just working. Tightening up the raddy on that old lady's Plymouth. As if that old bucket of bolts would ever run again.

Point is, he's scary. Ronnie. Him and Mick, his nasty ass cousin. The both of them. Jackals together. Big time scary. Mean.

Ronnie? Look at him wrong, like, 'yaw gohne and dohne it nohw,' he was coming at you. I mean, he said he'd kill his Pa, and just like that. Bang. Deader than dirt.

So, yeah, I did it. I went into town and hired that lawyer lady to get that paper, that restraining thing, like everybody was preaching. I mean, people talked me to death about it.

Like that did me any good at all.

I remember my frumpy old landlady, how she starts slashing her skeleton paws in my makeup tray fingering my PML mothership like I wasn't long for this world. Sheesh. Gimme a break, lady.

"He's gotta a gun trained on you right now, love," she smiled with her crinkly eyes, like old bag ladies do. Kept saying, "You gotta make a run for it." That part she said with some oomph. Then she squares up her bony shoulders. And I kind of respect that bit to be honest. She practically whispers, "If you've got even one snapping brain cell left in that pretty little noggin of yours," and I'm quoting, you know, she says, "You skedaddle." She actually said that. To me.

She thinks I'm pretty. Or at least I was.

Then she puffed a couple a times, getting in a long drag. Coughed all over, too, all open mouthed and gross, with her floppy old tongue coated sticky with all those little black dots like mushrooms or some shit like she hasn't fully swallowed her meatloaf. But those things were definitely not meatloaf.

And she thought I had issues?!

*

So, yeah, Ronnie's a bastard. But slippery, like a fox.

They dropped his ass in maximum security and what'd he do? Laugh! My lawyer lady was there. Said he held his belly and winked at her on his way back to his cell.

Took him, what, a minute to get gone? Three steps ahead. Called it. He's got inside help is all. Ronnie's a people person.

Made the move three times in a month, trying to get away from him. One ratty motel. Another. Two dog-free shit holes. Hated those. They're the worst. I mean, who doesn't love dogs?!

And then, that last place. Shesh. We landed down by Morgan's Lott, that hell hole, my baby girl and me. Cuz of him.

Didn't matter how far I ran, or where. Ronnie would find me. Said he would.

It was just a snack size Freetos and some Kisses and a thingee of lip balm, cuz my lips dry out with the baby and all, and then. Bang!

He killed me. He killed me. That son of a bitch!

And now I can't see a thing. All these tears are coating my eyes like vaseline.

"Rot in hell! You hear me, Ronnie, you SOB. You too warden. Hope you're right there with him! I don't deserve a single damn phone call?"

*

I love her, you know. More than anything. So much. I wanted her. To be her mom. I'd've named her Lorraina Jane, for my Ma's Ma. Rainey. Rainey Janie. Isn't that just the sweetest thing you've ever heard? I'd've treated her like gold, too.

But she's like me. Lots of luck, and all of it bad. Him for her Pa, and me as her Ma. I messed up big time. Ruined her life. Before she got to take a single breath in this world.

That's gotta be some sort of Guinness Record. World's Worst Mom.

*

He was different. Ronnie Blue Eyes! That smile against a gorgeous head of fire-red hair. Oh, he was something. Smoking hot.

What he did to me -- and I don't mean that dirty neither. Hand to God, even his lightest touch gave me goosebumps! His fingers on my shoulder getting me out of the car. I mean, OMG!

It was love. Real love. Sounds so stupid now.

Thought I'd actually found it. Movie magic. Sounds so corny now. Thought it was real. Knock your socks off, fall back to bed on a Tuesday good. Ronnie made me believe. I saw him. Through all his pain and anger and disappointment.

He promised me. A home, protection, romance. I mean, we were great. And boy did we have fun. He was fun. Until he wasn't.

*

Started getting jealous over everything. Stuff that wasn't even on me. This one time, the pest control guy comes pissing in the parking lot right under our bedroom window. Didn't even know. But you think Ronnie believes me? No. Somehow it's my fault. Some guy comes whipping it out from 50 yards and it's my fault? Fucker broke my jaw for that shit.

He got drunk all the time. Started picking fights. Kept falling me into stuff, smacking into things.

He loved me though. He kept smiling his won't do it again's. And I had nowhere else to go.

But it all changed when he burned me with his cigar. That was it. He was sorry, after, but mostly because I needed him to be. I don't think he ever really meant a single one of his sorries.

A few days later was when he went and capped his Pa and Pauly. One, two. Right in front of me. Changed everything. His eyes went cold. Cold as death.

No way I could tell him then. About the baby. Not ever.

All I could do was run.

*

Took the cops less than an hour to find him. In his truck. Behind J's bowling alley. Camped out. Black out drunk. Keys in the ignition. Gas all but burned off. Neil Diamond on the radio. Cracklin' Rosie. My lawyer lady said so.

Arrested him on the spot. Coupled loaded guns under the seat. Sentenced his dumb ass to life.

Ronnie said "Guilty" just like that. His right hand up to God. But he said it smiling, looking through me. I figured he knew. About the baby. About me lying to his face.

If he didn't want to kill me before, that'd certainly do it.

*

Thing is, Ronnie can't sit still. Wasn't going to be okay being locked up. Not again. I knew that. Nearly killed him the first time. Said he'd die before going back.

He knows people. Inside people. From the last time. Those guys have his back. Because he'd have theirs.

I never doubted.

***

She's an angel, you know. My baby girl. I don't mean to say she's here. I'm not off my rocker. Not sitting here looking a set of floppy baby angel wings and a halo, you know, getting our pictures took at the Pearly Whites.

She's not here. I know that.

But it breaks my heart. I need her. I need her to know how much I love her. That I wanted her. I tried to keep her safe.

It wasn't enough.

*

I'm gonna find her. Once I figure out how to move my legs.

I don't get how death works. I might not even have legs. But if I do, I can't feel'em. I can't tell where I stop and where the darkness begins.

"I am getting my daughter back!" I'm screaming now, like my life depends on it. Maybe I'm crazy, shouting like there's someone out there watching and listening and giving two shits about me. "Well, I'm here, bitches. Deal with it." I've got a daughter to find. "Try and stop me!"

I'm probally talking to my damn self. But there could be cameras -- it's not impossible. God made cameras. And all the best TV shows have 'em.

***

I'm exhausted. Slumping over. Fighting for breaths. I hate how it feels, having that stupid plastic contraption over my face. Come on now. Would it kill you to take your hands off of my ribs? That hurts!

That's the worst part about being dead. Being alone. My baby girl not being here with me. Ronnie took her from me. But I took her from him first! "Take that, Ronnie, you arrogant bastard!" I kept her safe from him as long as I could.

Wait. Wait a sec.

I feel.

I feel pressure.

How's that even possible?

What does that mean?!

Am I alive?

Did I not die?

Are you kidding me?

I'm alive?

I'm alive?!

Oh my great goodness, I'm alive!

I can sort of see. I'm looking out, into the world, the beautiful world, and it's real. I'm alive!

Something's in front of me. Coming into focus. Sparkly white and super clean. There's a person holding my hand. No, taking my pulse. I have a pulse! I have a pulse? I have a pulse!!

Try to talk. "Baby?"

The nurse nods. Smiles. Understands me.

I'm not dead!

Fetal monitor?! I use my eyes to plead for an answer.

"You're baby's strong. Good vitals. Bullets missed her."

Rainey's hanging in there. That's my girl!

She's a fighter. Just like her Ma.

********

Copyright © 04/11/2024 by Christy Munson. All rights reserved.

CONTENT WARNINGthrillerPsychologicalMysteryLoveFantasy
7

About the Creator

Christy Munson

My words expose what I find real and worth exploring.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

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Comments (4)

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  • Mika Oka27 days ago

    Brilliant piece, Christy

  • D.K. Shepardabout a month ago

    Great piece! So glad she didn’t die!!

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    Excellent story 🎉🎉 idea superb

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    Brilliantly written, Christy.

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