• The Opera Lively Serial Novel Project - Chapter 12

    Opera Lively Serial Novel Project – Chapter 12

    “The worst part was the smell,” Karen adds, still dizzy, sitting on the floor of the restroom, her left cheek resting on the toilet bowl.
    “Don’t think about it, Karen. In this line of work, I’ve seen worse.” Joe Green tenderly cleans his colleague’s face with a tissue, removing the little fragments of her last meal still dangling from her lips. He flushes the toilet. “Are you OK now, Karen?”

    “But Joe, her eyes were still open! Such a pretty face! Oh Gosh, I’ve had it for the day. Will you take me out of here, Joe? I don’t feel so good. I want to go home.”
    “Risi has left. I think we all need a break from this investigation. Sure, I’ll take you home, Karen.”

    --------------

    “Oh it hurts it really does I should go to a hospital but I can’t they are everywhere I need to deliver the message I need to do it I need to do it focus focus it’s the only hope I can’t trust anyone I wish the pain would go away oh my God I’ve lost a lot of blood already can I make it? Can I make it? I hope I can it’s really important I have to just keep moving keep moving down the stairs to the subway this guy is looking at me weirdly does he see the blood oozing from my belly? No he can’t see it under this overcoat thank God he went away I can’t afford any help I hope nobody sees that I’m bleeding and calls the cops I just need to make it to the subway”

    --------------

    The cab stops. Joe helps Karen in, and gives the driver her address. She looks pale and spaced-out. He sits besides her. She moves closer to him and leans her head on his shoulder.
    “Joe, I’m so tired”
    “Just relax, Karen, you’ll be all right.” She closes her eyes. Joe peaks at her cleavage. ‘These are nice breasts' – he thinks, and feels ashamed. Yes, he desires this woman, but it seems wrong to be checking her out while she is so shocked and fragile. It was all good and fun when he was flirting with her earlier. But he’s feeling a bit unsettled too, after the gruesome encounter with Linda Freeman’s severed head. 'Yes, the smell of that decomposing head *was* terrible' he thinks. 'How can I feel horny now?'

    “Would you hug me please, Joe?” says Karen, moving her long and beautiful leg a bit on top of his. Her skirt moves up a little. Joe feels a stir down there, and stops fighting off his own reactions. He hugs her. They stay quiet, there’s a long silence, except for the cab driver honking and yelling at another driver. He breaks, pushes on the gas, at the same time talking on his hands-free phone in some strange language. “Pakistani, I guess” thinks Joe. It all seems so unreal. He carefully slides his hand down to Karen’s knee, makes contact with her naked skin. She doesn’t protest. He moves his hand a little up her tigh.

    -------------

    “I made it to the subway thank the Lord this car is empty I’m weak my head hurts is this what dying is? I feel so tired I don’t think I’ll make it if I could just go to sleep pourquoi me réveiller au souffle du printemps pour quoi me réveiller the aria is so beautiful and so true and I used to sing it so well on stage and they always asked me to encore it I should just lay down and die and never wake up again it’s completely useless to keep fighting I will never make it but I need to tell her I do but see in all operas when one is stabbed he sings even louder and for fifteen minutes until he dies but being stabbed in real life is much worse and it hurts oh it hurts but it is just my belly I was told that in real life it does take a long time to die if you’re stabbed in your belly I may still be able to deliver the message and then she’ll take me to a hospital and I’ll be OK they won’t have a reason to finish me up if the message has already been delivered it’s just two more stations until her neighborhood the worst part will be going up the stairs of the subway station I’m so weak oh pourquoi me réveiller?”

    -----------

    Joe Green pays the cab driver who complains that the tip is not enough. He adds one dollar more. The cabbie looks at him with a surly face and mutters something. His first impulse is to confront him, but Karen is standing there at the door of her apartment building. He adds another dollar and walks to her.

    “Come up with me, Joe. I need a drink. You need to pour me a drink.”

    He feels a sense of growing excitement. He doesn’t care for Linda Freeman’s head any longer. Karen is so beautiful and so sexy! They get to her apartment. She collapses on a chair.

    “There is sparkling wine in the fridge, Joe. Pour me a cup, please. The champagne glasses are in the cabinet to the left of the fridge.”

    ---------

    “One step up another one I can’t move any longer so close to her home and so distant I’ll die before I get there and the message will go undelivered Français encore un effort would say the Marquis de Sade but easier said than done I just lost too much blood and it hurts it hurts it hurts that’s the last step of this endless flight of stairs I see her building I’ll make it I will I will I’ve cleared the stairs just twenty yards more and I’ll be able to ring her bell oh I hope so much that she is home if she is I won’t die for nothing or maybe she will take me to a hospital there is still hope I’m almost there here is the bell I made it I made it”

    --------

    Joe passes to Karen the champagne glass. She’s still slumped on the chair. Surprisingly she stands up, drinks it all up in one gulp. She places her hand on the back of his neck, pulls him in and kisses him hard. ‘Her mouth doesn’t smell so good,’ Joe thinks, ‘but the poor girl just threw up, it doesn’t matter she is so beautiful.’ He kisses her back. She moves back a bit, looks at him with her big wide open eyes, so incredibly sexy. He freezes, keeps looking. She is putting up quite a show. She slowly unbuttons her dress. Black bra, contrasting with her very white skin. He moves towards her, she signals that he should stop. He does. She pauses, then moves her left hand to her chest, and achingly slowly pulls down her right bra cup, always looking at him. Her right breast pops out of the cup. Joe moves towards her again and lowers his head to kiss her breast.

    He doesn't even make contact. The door bell rings loudly and insistently. Both Karen and Joe jump up, startled. “Let’s not get the door” says Karen. “I’m not expecting anyone.” The bell rings constantly now. It doesn’t stop. The atmosphere is ruined. “We’d better see what is going on, this is not normal” says Joe.

    Karen recomposes herself, tucks her right breast back in, and goes to the intercom.

    “Who is this?” she yells, annoyed.

    A raspy and halting voice replies to her: “Detective Lindstrom, I need to talk to you! I’m dying. I’m dying... Come. Come now!” Then, a thud, and silence.

    Karen is buttoning herself up, reaches for her gun that she left on the shelves coming in.
    “What is it, Karen?”
    “Come with me, Joe!”

    She is already opening the door and rushing downstairs, leaping down three steps at a time. Joe follows her. She unlocks the front door of the apartment building.
    Slumped on the floor below the intercom, a man is breathing feebly. His overcoat is open, and his shirt is all bloody under it.
    He looks at Karen, his eyes are half-closed.

    “Who are you?” she yells.
    “I’m an… opera… singer… I need to… tell you… “ his head rolls down, he stops talking.

    “What? Tell me what?”
    “Is he dead?” says Joe. She shakes him up. His eyes open up a little bit.

    He says: “Don’t… trust… him…”
    “Who? Say it, man!!!”
    He makes one last effort, right before he dies: “Detective Alberto Risi… he is not… who he says he is.”

    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Opera Lively Serial Novel Project started by Amfortas View original post


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