Crimson Stain

Silver Lining


Gator Green

Gray-Eyed Death

Amber Gate


EASY,” SHE SAID, and then the phone rang. Or maybe it was the other way around. Maybe the phone rang, and then Bonnie called my name.

Bright sun shone in the window, and the skies were clear as far as I could see. There was a beautiful woman of the Caribbean lying next to me. From the living room, early morning cartoons were squeaking softly while Feather giggled as quietly as she could. Somewhere below the blue skies, Jesus was hammering away, building a single mast sail that he intended to navigate toward some deep unknown dream.

It was one of the most perfect mornings of my life. I had a steady job, a nice house with a garden in the backyard, and a loving family.

But I was nowhere near happy.

The phone rang again.

“Easy,” Bonnie said.

“I hear it.”

“Daddy, phone,” Feather yelled from her TV post.

Her dog, Frenchie, growled in anger just to hear her say something to me.

Jesus stopped his hammering.

The phone rang again.

“Honey,” Bonnie insisted.

I almost said something sharp, but instead I grabbed the receiver off the night table.



Ezekiel is my given name but I never use it. So when that deep voice came out of the phone, I stalled a moment, wondering if it was asking for someone else.

“Ezekiel?” the voice said again.

“Who is this?”

“I’m lookin’ for Raymond,” the near-bass voice said.

“Mouse is dead.”

I sat up, pulling the blankets from Bonnie’s side of the bed. She didn’t reach for the sheets to cover her naked body. I liked that. I might have even smiled.

“Oh no,” the voice assured me. “He ain’t dead.”


“No.” The voice was almost an echo. There was a click and I knew that the connection had been broken.

“Easy?” Bonnie said.

I put the phone back into its cradle.

“Easy, who was it?”

Bonnie pressed her warm body against my back. The memory of Raymond’s death brought about the slight nausea of guilt. Add that to the heat of the woman I loved and I had to pull away. I went to the window.

Down in the backyard I saw the frame of Jesus’s small boat on orange crates and sawhorses in the middle of the lawn.

“It was…a woman I think. Deep voice.”

“What did she want?”


“Oh. She didn’t know he was dead,” Bonnie said in that way she had of making everything okay with just a few words.

“She said he was alive.”


“I don’t think she knew. It was more like she was certain that he couldn’t be dead.”

Вы читаете Six Easy Pieces
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату