Bob Hodge, an itinerant shoe salesman, was deeply in love with his neighbor, Miss Dorothy. At eight a.m. on the dot, she would shuffle out the evergreen door in her rubber duck house robe to fetch the mail. Bob would stroke her plump, oily cheeks with his eyes. He could smell her White Rain shampoo on his clothes. She was his angel sent from heaven.
One day, Bob saw a flyer advertising free psychic readings taped to his front door. He thought, ‘Why not? Perhaps this woman can tell me when her husband, the town sexton, will die. Then she will be free to marry me.’ Dressed in his finest purple suit, he climbed into his Geo Metro and drove off towards his future.
The map lead him to a small damp cave, far from the highway. “Hello?” he called. Sweat gathered on his low forehead. No sign of people nor animal could be found. A figure dressed in royal blue appeared like a star in a black hole. “Is this the right place?” he asked, standing tall with the help of his favorite elevator shoes.
It nodded. Inside, an old woman sat at a low table in front of a crystal ball. Her voice sipped his soul. “What do you want to know? I haven’t got all day.”
He sat across from her, the glass ball concealing her face. “I want to know when I will marry my true love, Miss Dorothy.” The orb clouded like a stormy sky. A figure came into focus. Bob’s leapt and lust collided with fear.
Miss Dorothy, dressed in mourning clothes, stood in front of a packed suitcase. Her diamond voice whispered, “I can’t go on here. You can understand that, my love? So many unpaid bills. I sold the house just to cover your funeral.” She placed her late husband’s photo into the suitcase.
“Where is she going?” Bob demanded. “I would follow Dorothy to the ends of the earth.” The shrunken fortune teller nodded, sweeping her knotted hands across the scene. “Touch the crystal ball and you will be with your love. Make haste.” His white, velvet finger stroked the glass.
Bob lay on his side unable to move. He thought about Miss Dorothy. Her ears were like an elf, eyes like a spring puddle. He had never spoken to her. His passion burned for her all the same. A dull thud broke his reverie.
Sharp pain flooded through his body. Blood dripped from his brow. Nails dug at the bag. ‘Must get air,’ he screamed. Dorothy’s voice cut through his pain. “My dear, sweet Bob. Soon we’ll be together again. It’s better this way.”
“It’s for your own good, my sweet. I know you didn’t mean to. I forgive you.” she purred, “you are mine.” He pleaded for freedom from the bag, for his life. She cried harder. “We are in your car, love, in the middle of a Minnesotan lake. No one will find us here.”
The ice water hit Bob’s toes before spreading across his body. She held the body bag close as snow and ice swallowed them whole. Across the lake, a voice filled his ear, “Wish granted.”
Written for Sanaa’s Prompt Nights: Karma
Photo Courtesy of Thomas Hafeneth