beauty, fiction, short fiction, women, writing

The Last Face I’ll See

There’s a kind of relief in knowing it will all be over soon. Acceptance is the key to integration.

We will not live past tonight.

Oh come on, we’ve been running for a long time now. We had a long stretch of good times before that, but we fucked up.

I objected to the mark from the start.

Not because of him. I called that from the start. A mark goes one of two ways.

They bend or they break.

You want the ones that bend. They don’t go to the law because they’re worried what people will think of them, or there’s enough dirt on them they want to just take the hit and keep going.

My concern was with her.

I know you laughed at me behind my back that you thought Mike kept me around like a mascot but I taught him everything he knows.

We’re still here because I didn’t teach him everything I knew.

He was brittle and soft like candy floss. His success had not been of his own making, and when we did the last round of recon, I pointed that out.

Do you remember?

No not, sometimes when you hear hooves, you need to think horses not zebras.

Some cons are too easy because you don’t see what you will owe on the back end.

Here is something useful to remember.

Women need security like men need approval.

Taking that reveals what is underneath a person. The mark is not always the mark.

No, I’m not going soft. I mean, I was fucking right, weren’t I?

You don’t last in the game if you’re soft, but intelligence is a smart trait

Him killing himself wasn’t a surprise. It happens, and I said it would happen.

We thought she would go away. They do that.

Don’t make that face at me. You know computers; I know people. We both got it wrong.

None of us saw her coming.

A year is a long time in the game. The money ran out before we knew what was happening.

It was too late.

Carl was sharp, but he did not recognise her.

It might have been why she was so messy. The coroner said there wasn’t enough unmarked skin to cover a stamp.

We were used to marks coming after us. It never went too violent, but we were picking on start-ups and small businesses. No one could have imagined that it would be the wife that brought us down.

She had engaged his lower brain, a push up bra and a good wig. Making his want simmer into need.

Things like that make me glad to be old. Having a libido, to quote Bertrand Russell, is like being chained to a lunatic in a burning building.

She shot Herc, low in the belly. He had been selling time shares in Orlando and she had sat through his presentation, asked questions that drew his attention but not his memory. She walked up and pulled the pistol from her purse.

Did he recognise her? Men forget.

Women remember everything. They play things over in their heads, they are mysteries sometimes even to themselves.

It is the most wonderful and terrible thing about them.

She’s not a monster. Calling someone that excuses them, and she has no excuse.

She has her reasons.

We gave them to her.

I know she’s checked in. I didn’t hear what room and I don’t care to.

Sure, grab the gun.

It’s as good a way to go out as any.

Me, I’m going to sit here, finish this bottle, a few cigarettes and wait for her.

She’s beautiful, and if I have any choice in going, then if the last thing I see is a beautiful face, then that’s the best I can hope for.

Even if it’s a beauty inflamed by hate.


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