Turnabout is Fair Play

Submitted into Contest #102 in response to: Start your story with a metaphor about human nature.... view prompt


Suspense Thriller

It is raining like cats and dogs. Jeff has his umbrella open and walking as fast as he can, but the rain is still hitting his face and body. The 2 AM downpour is a surprise to him, and he is only partially prepared for the trek back to his car.

Jeff is looking down, doing his best to keep as much of the rain away from his face. A large gust of wind blows and takes his umbrella right from his hands. For a moment, he thought about chasing it down the street but thought better of it as he held his black trench coat shut at the top collar. He squints his eyes, trying to keep as much of the rain and wind from blinding him even more. He sees a red neon light saying VACANCY and a larger one saying MOTEL fifty yards in front of him.

By the time he reaches the establishment, there is not a dry piece of clothing on him. He is so wet, his t-shirt and underwear are now chafing his cold, tired body. He walks into the office.

At first, Jeff is simply happy to be out of the elements and feeling as if Satan himself was spitting on him for what he had done thirty minutes earlier. The warmth of the heater inside is comforting, and he soon forgets about the rain outside.

He looks around and sees the guest book open on the counter and a silver bell with a small sign that reads Ring For Service. So he does.

Before the clang of the bell stops, a young woman’s hand covers the bell and prevents it from ringing. “What do you want?” she asks in a soft, sensual voice.

Jeff looks up slowly from the young hand that stopped his bell from ringing and follows the thin arm covered in a shag bathrobe to a bare shoulder. His eyes move from the shoulder to a youthful face that has been inconvenienced by someone wanting a room. The young lady adjusts her robe to cover her skin.

“I just need a room for the night,” Jeff says, looking deeply into the lady’s eyes.

“There’s a minimum stay of two nights,” she replies. Her voice is soft and sexy, like the ladies of the old Hollywood movies. “But if you want to just stay until the rain stops, you can use the guest room in the back.”

Jeff can feel his body heat warming up. So much so, he feels as if steam is rising from his clothes. “How much is that?” he asks.

“Well, mister. If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.” The young lady turns away.

Jeff loosens his shirt collar and takes a gulp. He isn’t sure if she is talking about money or some other form of payment that he knew he would regret later.

“Follow me,” the lady says, opening the door to a bedroom in the back.

Jeff follows her, even though it is against his best judgment.

Through the door, he sees a couch, a king-size bed, and a large TV. It is well lit and appears to be a typical suite. Nothing like the fur-lined bed and red lights he was picturing in his mind.

“You can stay here. I can check on you tomorrow morning.” The lady smiles and closes the door as she leaves.

I must have totally misjudged her, Jeff says to himself. He takes his trench coat off, still questioning his judgment of the lady when a knock comes at the door. “Yes!”

The door opens, and it’s the lady again. “I’m sorry for being rude. Would you like me to put your clothes in the dryer to dry them off for you? If so, just leave them outside the door, and I will throw them in the dryer first thing in the morning.”

“Thank you,” Jeff says, surprised at her hospitality. I must have totally misread her.

Jeff undresses, starting with his shirt and tie. His slacks were dripping water on the floor as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a receipt from earlier. It is for the last motel he was at, finishing his last job for the week.

He reaches in his other pocket and pulls out the ten thousand dollars in cash that was his payment. Being a hitman has its privileges. But being so close to where the crime was committed was something he did not prepare himself for. He is supposed to be on the road, heading out of state. But the weather had different plans for him.

Jeff makes sure all his pockets were empty and places his wet clothes outside the door. Moments later, he hears a knock. The lady has returned.

“You should get out of your underwear, too,” she says. “You’ll catch a cold.” She hands him a pink terrycloth robe to put on. “Sorry, it’s the only thing I have.”

Jeff didn’t say a word. He walks to the bathroom and undresses out of his undies, and puts the robe on. He hands his wet underwear to the lady. “I didn’t get your name,” he says.

The lady smiles as she takes his things. She glances down below his waistline and smiles. “Looks like the robe is a bit small for you.” She turns around and walks away without giving him her name.

Jeff watches her leave down the hallway and notices the reflection in the mirror at the end of the corridor had her face looking directly at him. He looks up just in time to see the lady turn towards him and smile before entering the door at the end of the hall. He looks down and sees the robe was open, displaying his manhood, and quickly attempts to adjust it. He turns around and closes his door.

Jeff decides a hot shower is in need to try to get the cold dampness to go away. He turns the shower on and lets the water get to his desired temperature before stepping in. The thin, plain white shower curtains reminded him of the movie Psycho when the lady was taking her shower. Things didn’t end well for her, and it made his mind start to wander.

He puts his head down and lets the hot water soak his hair. He closes his eyes and feels the warmth take over as the chill slowly goes away. His thoughts go to earlier when he shot and killed the man they paid him to get rid of. “Pore bastard,” he mumbles. “He had no idea.”

Jeff turns the water off and reaches for the towel hanging on the wall. He pulls open the shower curtain and is startled to see the lady leaning against the bathroom doorframe, watching him. “So, who’s the pore bastard?” she asks as her eyes move below his waist.

“Nobody you know,” Jeff mutters as he walks by her. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Long enough to see what I needed to see.”

“What’s that? Haven’t you seen a man take a shower before?” Jeff drops the towel on the floor and turns towards the lady, showing he was no prude.

The lady smiles and walks towards him. “You seem awfully confident.”

“Listen,” Jeff interrupts. “Is there something you wanted? If not, I would really like to get to bed.”

“Oh,” the lady says, pulling the bedsheets open. “I guess we want the same thing.” She drops her robe and climbs into bed. She taps the pillow next to her. “Are you coming?”

“For a girl so young,” Jeff says, “you sure do know how to make a man feel at home.”

She smiles. “Please, Mr. Davies. It’s my job to know.”

Jeff sits up quickly. “How did you know my name?”

“You told me when you got here,” she says quickly, looking away from him. She realizes he hadn’t told her his name, and he caught her. Her mind moves quickly, trying to cover up her mistake.

Jeff jumps out of bed and runs for his gun holster, hanging behind the door. But the gun was gone.

“Looking for this,” the lady says, pointing the gun at Jeff. “When you are paid to kill, what does it feel like, Mr. Davies?”

Jeff knew from her comment that she is fully aware of his profession.

“Do you enjoy it? Or do you just look at it as just a job? Do you have any emotions? Do you feel the pain of your victims? Or do you just pull the trigger and leave?”

“Why are you asking me these questions?” Jeff asks, standing naked, with only a confused look on his face.

“Because, Jeff Davies,” the lady says, “You will be my first paid job to kill a man that has killed so many. I actually could live for a couple of years for the amount they are paying me.”

“They? Who are they?” Jeff asks.

The lady smiles. “They are the collective individuals of those that want you dead, Jeff. The people that you killed. The people that you showed no mercy for. The people that were given no chance to live again. They all want the same for you.”


July 12, 2021 18:54

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