Icy is a queen of pulp fiction, indeed her first novel - The Guns of Retribution, a Western - is published by Pulp Press. If you want to read more of her work do take the time to visit her blog where she shares and opines. In the meantime I just know you're going to enjoy the magical...
WHISPERING SWEET NOTHINGS
“Oh for the love of – I haven’t got the patience for this!”
Pounded the wheel one last time for good measure, I threw open the car door. I wasn’t exactly running late for a pressing appointment but shopping needed to be done ahead of my date that evening, and no desire to use the bus. I slammed the car door shut and stomped back up the path to my house, heading for the spare room.
The curtains stay closed to keep the room dim – can’t have my pretties being exposed to sunlight. I flipped the switch and the electric glare cut through the dancing dust motes spinning about the room. Wide shelves set into the wall opposite the window held rows of large glass jars. Each one bore a handwritten label, and each one contained a heart.
I stood on my tiptoes and scanned the labels of the jars. I knew it was there somewhere; I just had to find it. The light fell on the label of a jar near the back. The delicate black script spelled out the name Gary McKillock. Success! Pulling the jar free from its neighbours, I tapped on the glass, watching the heart shudder in its viscous fluid. It belonged to Gary McKillock, a mechanic who lived three streets away. I snared his heart but I still dreaded running into him at the shops, due to his fondness for meandering stories and overpowering aftershave. Still, on this occasion, I could do with a favour, and needs must when the Devil offers a hot date.
I unstoppered the jar and dipped my hand inside. It’s amazing how cold that liquid gets when it’s just sitting in the dark. Balancing the heart in the palm of my hand, I drew a sigil in the air above it. A corresponding sigil lit up on the right ventricle, glowing in pale green.
“You will feel needed. You will get an overwhelming urge to call me, and you will call me right now,” I whispered. The sigil faded, and I slid the heart back into the jar.
My pocket vibrated and a square of light shone through the material of my jacket. I fished out my phone – I didn’t even need to read the name on screen to know who was calling.
“Diane? Is that you?” That nasal tone was unmistakable.
“Hi, Gary! What a wonderful surprise!”
“How are you? Just realised it was a while since I’d heard from you...thought I’d call to see how you are.” I shuddered at the faint trace of hope in his voice.
“I’m fine, sweetie, just fine. Well, all except for my silly car.”
“What’s wrong with it?” Ah, there’s that tone. Curiosity.
“I don’t know, it just won’t start.”
“That’s no good. Listen, I don’t need to go to the garage for another hour, do you want me to pop round to take a look at it?
“Oh, would you? Only if it’s absolutely no trouble to you.”
“No trouble at all. I’ll be there in about ten minutes.”
I said my goodbyes and slipped the phone back into my pocket. Gary’s jar slid back into its slot among the other jars on the bottom shelf. Another name, this time on a jar at the front of the shelf, caught my eye. Heston Crater. How could I forget Heston? He owned La Coquille, a seafood restaurant on the high street. Memorable less for his cuisine and more for his bad teeth and penchant for mismatched socks, I couldn’t stand his mindless prattle but he never let me pay when he invited me to drop by for lunch.
Seconds later, his heart was in my hand, and I was whispering sweet nothings to his left atrium. I smiled, already tasting the squid in lemongrass broth, and returned his heart to the jar.
My phone rang.
_________ The End _________
Icy has also had her first book, The Guns of Retribution, published through Pulp Press.