7. Arnotine Ferucand (7)

“Oh, now you’re in trouble,” roared the woman rubbing her blubbery jaw. “I’m gonna tell on you.” She settled herself onto the bed, which sagged wearily beneath her. “Turn on the air conditioning,” she ordered. “It’s hot in here.”

It was 2:45 p.m. Ryu had already telephoned his Japanese contacts from Jacmel the night before with the news that he’d captured his quarry, explaining that she wasn’t what he had expected but the microchip was almost within his grasp. They’d book him on the next flight out of Port-Au-Prince, but it didn’t leave until 6:05 p.m. Ryu turned on the air conditioner and went to the bathroom to wash up. He stood for a long time looking at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. As always, the face that looked back was impassive though no longer perfectly groomed. A blue-black shadow ghosted his jaw and the area between nose and lip. Other signs of exhaustion revealed themselves on his fair, well-sculpted visage. What was he doing here, in this hellhole of a country, with an ill-smelling behemoth? She was disgusting. Was he making a mistake in taking her back? She did know about Miura and she seemed the only link to the whereabouts of the valuable chip.

Stripping, he stepped into the shower, letting the cool, clear water tumble over his tattooed flesh, washing the decadence and dirt of Hispaniola’s westward claw from his thickly muscled body. I believe Ryu thought about me then … about my short but meaningful future. Love is such a complicated emotion, one that this man experienced as short blips on the flatline of detachment, a feeling that he had made a point of not clinging to. When he reentered the room, the fat woman lay stretched out on the bed, snoring loudly.

Involuntarily and altogether uncharacteristically, Ryu shuddered. The fat woman made his skin crawl. He called the clerk and asked him to confirm his airline reservations. Then he called the bar and ordered a cold beer and something to eat: lambi and diri blan, conch and white rice. He drank the beer, but the whistling, snorting, malodorous form of his slumbering roommate ruined his appetite, so he didn’t eat. He had room service deliver a bottle of whiskey. Then he sat in the chair and drank it, watching the fat woman snore.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 7.7/Arnotine Ferucand is Dead

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  • Jobiggar

    I love the image of watching the fat lady snore. What parallels, I wonder, to watching the fat lady sing?

  • boldlow

    What an astute question from Jobiggar. Perfect combo for Ryu – a refreshing shower, an empty stomach and a bottle of scotch with a snoring behemoth as entertainment…anxious to learn what more's in store for these intriguing characters! Can't imagine the behemoth fitting through the plane's door, much less finidng a seat (or two or three)…

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