Hookers cost more when you don’t have any arms or legs, so it’s a good thing I took out that insurance policy on my late wife. It allows me to live by rather extravagant means: a 24-hour nurse, unlimited supply of Johnny Walker Blue, a gorgeous patio and pool, lots of shrimp cocktail, and hookers by the handful…if I had hands. If you’re forced to live the rest of your days as a stump, it’s the way to go. You wouldn’t think whores would be all that picky about their Johns (plenty have turned me down), but Mandy was different. She did her job like a real professional; always making sure I was satisfied; which made the blackmail all the more disappointing.
Her pimp, Vinnie, videotaped me with Mandy adnd sent a copy to the house with a note asking for $50,000. It wasn’t the best amateur porn. My humping looks like a fish flopping out of water – not a pretty sight. A security man I knew said it was a common scheme: Johns will cough up serious dough so their family won’t know they pay for sex. The trouble with Vinnie’s threat was I didn’t have any family.
However, I contacted my blackmailer and told him to come to the house for the payoff. When Vinnie arrived, my full-time nurse Freddie showed him to the patio where I was positioned under an umbrella next to the pool. My mini-fridge where I keep snacks was beside me. I have it close because I like to feed myself. I use a mechanical arm that I control with my tongue. I told Vinnie to be careful of the mini-fridge’s extension cord, which was frayed toward the end.
“I’m glad we can come to an understanding here,” Vinnie said as he stepped over the cord and sat down in a chair next to me. He was a pudgy man in black leather; a real mouth-breather. “I think this will be, like, beneficial for everyone.”
“Please, have a drink,” I said, motioning my head toward a pitcher of Sangria.
Vinnie grunted something and helped himself. It was gone in two gulps. He poured another glass without my offering more.
“I don’t want this video out and you don’t want this video out,” Vinnie said. “So, you got the cash or what?”
“Was Mandy part of this?” I asked.
“Well, yeah, she’s the one on top of you in the movie.”
“Is she in on the blackmail?”
“Nah, she don’t know nothing. I keep my girls outta the loop, so I don’t have to pay them extra.”
“I’m curious,” I said. “How much of a cut do you get of Mandy’s money?”
“Half,” Vinnie said and had another glass of Sangria.
“You brought the tape?” I asked.
Vinnie smiled and held up a manila folder. There was a bulge the size of a videocassette in the middle.
“This is it,” Vinnie said. “Now, show me the cash.”
I moved my mechanical arm with my tongue and grabbed a leather satchel sitting beside me. The arm hooked the bag and I swung it over the pool and dropped it into the water.
“Oh, I’m terribly sorry about that,” I said. “Just reach into the water there and get it. I’d get up myself, but…”
Vinnie said something about what a motherfucker I was and kneeled at the edge of the pool. When he stretched out for the bag, I swung the mechanical arm around and pushed him in.
“What the fuck?” Vinnie said when he came back up.
“Sorry about that,” I said. “But I think this will be, like, beneficial for everyone.”
I used the arm to push the mini-fridge with its frayed extension cord into the water. Vinnie stiffened up and I thought I could smell something cooking. The electricity shut off after a minute and Vinnie’s dead body just bobbed in the water. I watched him for a while, and then used the voice-activated phone to call Mandy.
When she answered I said, “If you come over, I can give you double your normal take home. Vinnie won’t be a problem for you anymore.”
Stephen Allan is a sick individual who has been successful (so far) at avoiding the loony bin, mainly due to his ability to act normal around the authorities. His odd sensibilities are on display at www. Noirwriter.blogspot.com. This is Stumpy’s second outing; his first appearance was in FLASHING IN THE GUTTERS