Reward Money

“This cup of cold coffee is barely keeping me awake,” Sandra said, yawning with her hands planted firmly on the steering wheel. Sandra glanced over, then returned her eyes to the road. “You awake?”

“Just thinking,” I said, stretching my arms heavenward in the passenger seat. “We don’t have much longer to go.”

“Can you believe we made it out alive?” Sandra gave several devious chuckles. “He’s out of our lives for good. And they even put out a reward for the killers.” Sandra laughed hard.

“I still pinch myself sometimes.”

Sandra reached over to pinch me. “You’re still here.” She winked.

“The body,” I said. “Where are we going to dump the body?” I didn’t want to bring up the fact that we had her stepfather’s body in the trunk, but it had to be brought up sometime. Her stepfather was against our relationship. He said something about how he didn’t want his white daughter to date a black guy. Sandra couldn’t take it anymore, so we decided to do what two reasonable people in our situation would do: murder him.

Sandra blew out her lips. “Some out-of-the-way gas station,” she said. “We’ll leave him somewhere where someone will find him.”  

“Ahh, you need him to be found to collect the insurance money,” I said.

“Now you’re thinking.” Sandra winked.  

“Still can’t believe you murdered the guy.”

“Woah!” Sandra said. “Let’s not use the word murder, not even once. Don’t let that word slip again.”

I placed my hands in front of my body. “Whatever you say.”

“Besides, he deserved it,” Sandra said, convincing not even herself. “He was going to turn us in for smoking pot. Do I look like the jail type?”

“We could have just robbed him,” I said. “But no. You just had to bring a loaded pistol.”

“Oh, so now this is all my fault?” Sandra said. “You would turn this around on me.”

“Relax. You know that’s not what I meant.” Honestly, I had no idea what I meant. All I knew was that we were murderers, killers, or avenging lovers, which I didn’t know for sure. I didn’t want it to go down like this. I mean, now that we’re no longer burdened by her stepfather, I’ve never felt heavier. 

“Didn’t have to come out and say it word-for-word. I can read between the lines.”

“You’re misreading something,” I said as she parked the car.

“Get out,” Sandra said. 

“Wait, are you going to kill me, too?”

“You should be so lucky.” Sandra gave me a tight-lipped smile. “We’re dumping his body here. Someone should find it in the morning.”

Sandra popped the trunk, and we edged our way to the rear of the car. Up until now, I’d never seen a dead body. I didn’t want to see one now, either. Hell, I didn’t ever want to see a dead body. But a life of crime comes along with hanging out with the wrong crowd. And Sandra was my biggest mistake and my happiest pleasure. Maybe I should have listened to Mom when she told me Sandra was no good. I just had to prove my mother wrong, though. Mom would forever throw this in my face, and I wasn’t really responsible for this shit. Was I? I didn’t pull the trigger. Sure, I helped dispose of his body, but that’s like 2-3 years in jail, right? And then I’m out. I’m leaving with some money. We buried his body in dense brush. I raised a sly brow.

“Well, give me a hand,” Sandra said, swooping to lift his upper half.

I shook my head. “Right.” I grabbed her stepfather’s legs. We buried his body in dense brush. 

Sandra shook the dust from her hands onto the ground. We buried his body in dense brush. “Why do you have that gun on me?” Sandra said.

“Because I’m getting the reward money for turning your ass in.”

A grin tugged at the corner of Sandra’s mouth. “You’re smarter than I thought you were.”

Twitter – @AC0040

(© 2023 AC)

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