Author’s note: if you’re new to this blog, you may want to read the previous installments of Margo’s story:
Hermosa Beach Heartache
Margo in Rome
An Unexpected Guest
UPDATE: Chuck Wendig over at the great blog, terribleminds has issued a flash fiction challenge regarding “The Lady and The Swordsman”. Now, although this story was written before Chuck announced the challenge, AND, although this story is above the 1,000 word limit, I felt it should be entered into the challenge for two compelling reasons:
1. “The Lady and Swordsman” seems to apply, thematically
2. Margo is a child of the terribleminds flash fiction challenge – you could say it’s her birthplace, her home (see above for earlier Margo stories).
Margo Heats It Up
He looked like Omar Sharif. Abrams was right.
His name was Ephraim Zanzibar, and he was a very bad man.
Margo’s knowledge was founded on personal experience, not just talk on the wire.
She’d met Zanzibar in a hotel in Hermosa Beach several months before. Abrams had blackmailed her into seducing the guy for information. Of course, he’d failed to tell her about Zanzibar’s kink: raping women after knocking them out with roofie-laced drinks.
Margo had started out the assignment refusing to kill Zanzibar, wanting something different for herself. And, of course, for the baby and Dan. But after two hours with the man, she’d known the world would turn more safely with Ephraim Zanzibar unceremoniously turned to crab shit off the Hermosa Beach pier.
Margo had entered his room at the Del Ray hotel and asked him for a vodka rocks. She taken her drink to the bathroom and poured it into the sink, replacing it with water. Her baby was going to have enough trauma that evening without bringing alcohol into the picture, she’d figured.
What had ensued still sickened Margo. But now, she had Mr. Ephraim Zanzibar in her sights. And things were going to get hot.
Margo edged around the riot of bougainvillea and jasmine that surrounded the compound. The sound of Egyptian pop music poured out of the open French doors. The cloying scent of jasmine turned her stomach slightly, but the sheer mass of it hid her from Zanzibar’s view.
Thank God, the morning sickness was all in the past, Margo thought.
Zanzibar was dressed in a white silk bathrobe. He had drinks in either hand and, with closed eyes, swayed to the music. He was completely unaware of Margo’s presence, in the dark, not four feet in front of him.
A young woman entered the room wearing a nothing but a black bra and thong. Zanzibar passed her a drink and pretended to engage her in a dance. The young woman finished the drink in three gulps. Margo of course knew what was coming.
Once the woman was staggering slightly, Zanzibar reached back and punched her squarely in the face. She went down and didn’t move. He moved in like a hyena at the kill.
That’s enough, Margo said to herself.
She drew her Luger and stepped out of the darkness into the soft, yellow light of the open French doors. Zanzibar’s eyes widened when he saw her: black jumpsuit and ski mask.
He turned and started to shout but she reached him in two long strides and pushed the gun’s muzzle firmly against his temple. Margo whispered, “Hello Omar.” She traced the gun along the ridge of his deformed left ear.
“What the fuck are you supposed to be? Some kind of half-assed Ninja?” His cologne was as bad as the jasmine and Margo pushed him away, keeping the gun leveled directly at his face.
She pulled the mask off. “How’s your ear?”
“Looks like you were planning on having some fun here tonight, Zanzibar. Sorry to break up your lovely party. I’ll be taking her when I leave.”
He shrugged and smiled. “More, many more, where she came from. Maybe you’d like to take her place? We never got to finish back in Hermosa Beach.”
Margo remembered the first wave of unreality that had alerted her to the fact she’d been drugged back at the Del Ray. She’d taken a long, deep gulp of her water, but he’d somehow slipped a roofie in there. He was good, no doubt. It seemed only seconds before she was reeling.
She had staggered toward the door but he’d grabbed her wrist and yanked her back into a bear hug. Margo had bit down and ripped off a large chunk of his left ear, which she’d spat into Zanzibar’s face. His punch brought stars and then a deep, velvet blackness.
When she’d come around, she was naked, lying on the bed on her stomach. He was on her back, trying to push his cock into her ass. Her first thought had been, at least this will be easier on the baby.
At one point, he’d pushed off of her and gone to the bathroom.
This is it, move Margo! she’d told herself through her stupor.
Lying there, she’d had a vision of the baby, of Dan, and of the new life she wanted. She’d bit down, hard, hard, hard, on her tongue. Blood had spattered the sheet as she’d swung her head back and forth, trying desperately to wake up. She’d been able to scramble to the door, get on her knees, open it, and fall forward into the hallway. Then she’d crawled like a crab to the fire alarm, reached up, and pulled for all she was worth, flooding the hotel with its wail. Zanzibar appeared in his doorway just as the other Del Ray guests were emerging to gawk and scream at the bloody, naked woman with the dazed but crazy eyes.
“Oh, I’ll be finishing all right. I need to go image your hard drive. You, in the meantime, can sit down right here while I tie your ass up.”
Zanzibar started a low, guttural laugh. A troll’s laugh. “You’ve put on some weight since we last met. You can’t blame me…I used the other hole.”
Margo shot off his left kneecap.
“Aarrgghhhh! You miserable bitch!”
“Shut up or the other one goes, too.”
Margo tied his hands behind his back. He was going nowhere, with no hands and one leg.
After making a copy of Zanzibar’s hard drive, she came lightly down the stairs. This should get Abrams off her back, finally.
She went into the bathroom. She had to piss like no one’s business. She looked at herself in the mirror. Baby bump clearly showing now.
Back in the living room, Zanzibar was looking pale and pissed off.
She took a small envelope out of her back pocket. It was filled with something lumpy.
“Omar, there was a time when I would have made you cut off your own dick and eat it.”
Waving the envelope in front of Zanzibar, she continued, “But, I’m trying to have a new life. Something that makes me happy instead of satisfied. There’s a difference, you know. I’m sure you wouldn’t understand.”
She opened the envelope. It was filled with fiery, red peppers.
“These are my roofies, Omar,” Margo said. “I wouldn’t want to leave you with the impression that my desire to turn over a new leaf has somehow dulled my sense of justice.”
She pushed Zanzibar’s bathrobe up and crammed the first red pepper up into his ass.
He moaned loudly.
“This may get nasty. Hold on a minute,” she said.
Margo returned with a dishrag that she pushed deep into Zanzibar’s mouth.
“That’s better.” And she shoved another pepper deep into him.
And then another.
“Hmmmpphhh. HMMMPPPHHH!” It was all the sound he could make. Tears filled his eyes.
“Did you know you have digestive juices in your rectum? It’s true. Wait until they get a load of these, Omar. This should help you remember what you did to me and all the others.”
Zanzibar’s face was purple with pain and rage. Veins bulged in his neck and forehead.
“I’m going to leave the rest of these for you. As a memento,” Margo said, and threw the envelope onto the table, spilling some of the peppers.
Then she went into the other room and picked up the comatose girl. “C’mon, baby doll. This is no place for nice girls like us.”
On the way out, Margo leaned down and kissed the envelope, on a whim.
Then she kicked Ephraim Zanzibar in the balls, as hard as she could.
“Don’t come looking for me, Zanzibar, you fucking loser. You’re the last bit of shit I need to wipe off my shoes so I can start a real life.”
After dropping the girl off at an emergency room door, Margo went in search of Abrams.
To give him the disk.
And to claim her future.
Once again, Margo image by Nathan Eckinrode
Hot pepper image by Nina Matthews