Thanks to Cormac Brown for hosting Friday Flash Fiction.
Good Thing Going
Jake Monroe had to kick out the back window to escape. He couldn't take any chances going through the front lobby. The doorman would get a second, good look at his pretty face, and chances were, he'd put two and two together and come up with four whenever the cops came out to investigate the rotten smell coming from 4B.
He'd been at this for so long, had such a good thing going, it would be a shame to get caught now. So many things left to accomplish! So much space in the new, oversized freezer he'd bought just a few weeks back!
The window gave onto a fire escape. Four floors up, no way he could carry her down, no matter how light she was. Too bad! Then again, she did have a cat, which would get hungry at some point...
Monroe stifled a laugh and made his way down to the street. His car was parked a few streets over, so he had to be careful. He put the collar of his windbreaker up and kept his head down.
As he slid in behind the wheel, he let out a sigh of relief and smiled at his reflexion in the rearview.
He replayed the night's events in his head. Damn, he was good. Couple of drinks, a bit of flattery, she blushes a few times. Bingo, good as done. He'd had to keep a straight face when she mentioned, you ever been on TV?. Must be someone else, he managed to convince her. I get that a lot.
Monroe looked at the clock in the dashboard. A few minutes past five. Too late for the morning news. With a little luck, a friend, or her brother, mother, someone, would worry about her and call it in before the six o'clock news. With a lot of luck, this would keep.
He started the car and slipped in behind a bread truck, a large smile on his face.
Ah, the sweet feeling of a job well done!
* * *
Monroe slept much of the day, waking as the sun started its descent. He turned on the tube while whipping up breakfast, catching the end of a dumb reality show where a bunch of ugly guys and girls fought for the attention of some rich dude.
The news came on just as he put the finishing touches on his egg burrito. On the screen, the gorgeous female anchor told him about the latest fight on Capitol Hill, another suicide bombing in Irak, and flash floods in California.
No mention of his work. Oh well! No sense being down. Good things came to those who wait.
Time to get ready for work.
* * *
A quick shower. Shave. Fix the hair. Lucky boxer shorts. Dark suit. Power tie, Italian silk. Spit-shined shoes.
He took a last look in the mirror before going out the front door. He smiled, flashed a perfect set of teeth.
“Good evening,” he said to his reflexion.
He winked and let himself out.
* * *
Outside, rain had sent everyone inside. He had the street to himself.
A lone phone booth at the corner.
Why not? he thought.
He stepped in, looked around one last time, picked up the receiver and punched the numbers.
“9-1-1, please state your emergency.”
How much fun was this?
* * *
Monroe made it to work in no time flat. He was on the first of six steps to the front door when someone detached himself from the crowd of smokers and came up to him.
“Hey, Monroe! How was Puerto Rico? Get some tail?”
Obnoxious Oliver McDonald. Fifty-five year old fat fuck living vicariously through him. Monroe despised every inch of him.
“Well, O-Mac, I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you!” Monroe told him with a wink as he opened the front door. “Later.”
His boss was standing next to his office when he stepped off the elevator. “You're late again, Monroe. Geez, a week of vacation wasn't enough, you need to take another hour?”
“Love you, too, Sandberg,” laughed Monroe as he blew him a kiss.
Sandberg shook his head. “Melissa wants to see you. Now.”
“When doesn't she?” Monroe asked as he sat at his desk and looked over the message slips on his desk. Nothing that wouldn't keep. He booted his computer, looked over the unread email messages that had piled up while he'd been on vacation, and decided they could wait. Melissa couldn't.
* * *
Fifty minutes later, he was sitting again, his hair perfect, his smile bright and sparkling, eyes wide open.
“Five, four, three, two...”
“Good evening, I'm Jake Monroe, and here's what's making headlines tonight. Police have launched an investigation after the body of a woman was found in an Upper East Side apartment. For more, we go live to...”