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Mystery

Endow Jupiter tucked the pistol in his jacket pocket, smoothing his black overcoat on top of it to disguise the bulge. The suit was very expensive, he reminded himself proudly as he looked in the mirror. Faint silvery designs ran over its lavish fabric, their reflective surfaces allowing light to glint on it like stars to a sky.

An array of elegant soaps, lotions and hair creams dotted his hotel room’s sink. The man always wanted to look his best when meeting possible customers. 

‘Image is everything, including trustworthiness.’ 

The man often repeated these words to himself as he combed his inky hair. Smoothing it back always threw his handsome features and clever green eyes into sharp relief.

His image had to be perfect, as it did for every galla he attended. Tonight’s party was going to be different, though. Not only because he was meeting the most powerful drug lord in Tokyo (and perhaps all of Japan), but because this was it. After a careful purchase of the appropriate ring and what he saw as a beautiful preparation of words, a proposal was finally ready. He could even picture the scene:

Endow Jupiter walks up to Jacqueline Miasma. After a few witty jokes and a remark on her beautiful dress (who bought it for you, I wonder?), he’d slip the velvet box from his pocket, kneel down and ask her to become his Queen. 

A tear would fall from her eye, she’d say yes. He’d tell her about the palace being built for them on his private island in Fiji. 

Daichi Fumihiro, the greatest drug lord in all of Japan, introduces himself and announces he will be making a large purchase of guns and ammunition from Endow. They would be rich. Even richer than they already were. 

An alarm from his watch interrupted the daydream. Fifteen minutes until the party, he’d better finish up. Before exiting the bathroom, something caught his eye, a particularly decadent bottle of hand cream. It had been a gift from Jaqueline, she said it would: “Give you hands befitting your status. Honestly darling, did you ever see a Gun Lord with calluses like those?” 

Endow chuckled at her wit and quick-temper. He’d wear the hand cream tonight, just to please her. 

“Roses and Mint” the golden words read. A sweet perfume arose as he lathered the cool lotion on his palms and fingers. A tingle settled over his skin.

Before he had time to ponder on the strange sensation, his phone rang. It vibrated as he retrieved it from his coat pocket. One of his employees was calling.

“What is it?” He snapped.

“Sir, your limousine is outside. Miss Miasma is waiting for you.” A slow creaky voice told him. 

“I trust you haven’t kept her long, Wrinkle?” Endow asked, he put the velvet box in his pocket and went into the hall, locking the door behind him.

“No, sir. She arrived but a minute ago.” A slight tremble gripped his voice.

“Very good, Wrinkle. I’ll be down in a minute.” He hung up without waiting for a reply.

A quick ride down the glass elevator and a walk across the luxurious lobby led him outside. The night was fair and breezy. Noise from the city filled the air and a quagmire of street lights gave the sky a pinkish glow. 

“About time, handsome. I was beginning to think you’d never show up.” A coy voice greeted him.

A red, strapless dress was draped across her figure. Glinting black heels took her three inches from the ground, their color matching the gloves on her hands. Blood-red lipstick painted her smile and golden locks of twirled chin-length hair framed her blindingly beautiful face. She leaned on the door of the car, pocketbook in hand.

“Have I ever let you down?” Endow returned a smile and primly kissed her. “Shall we?” 

He opened the car door and let her step inside before sliding in after her. The limousine compartment was rather large. Two comfortable seats faced each other, to their left was the back of the car and to their right was a TV and minibar. Glass cups tinked together in their shelves as the limousine sped along. 

“How has the day treated you, my love?” Endow asked her.

“Japanese people are the best at pedicures.” She kicked off her heels to show him painted and polished toenails.

“Restaurants?” She continued. “Not so much, sushi and noodles can wear after a while. I miss steak. And those guards you hired wouldn’t let me go to the back alley bars.” A mischievous grin spread across her face. “That’s where you can see the most drama.”

Endow laughed and poured her some wine. His hands felt cold and strangely limp as he gripped the glass bottle.

“It’s only for your protection, my dear.” He assured her. 

They raised their cups and each took a sip.

“Bad traffic, sir.” Wrinkle slid open the glass window separating the driver and passenger compartments. “We’ll have to take an alternate route to the galla.” 

The car made a sharp left. 

“If we’re late, Wrinkle.” Endow gave him a threatening look. “There will be cons-”

“Oh don’t be so harsh on him, Endow!” Jacqueline laid her hand on his. “He’s doing his best.”

She nodded to the old man. Endow took a deep breath and let it be. 

“And you, my dear? How has the day treated you?” She brushed the hair from her ear.

“Oh, it was your average business day. Except for one thing.” He gave her a knowledgeable look.

“What is it?” She scooted closer, almost on the edge of her seat.

“I can’t tell you yet.” He waved a hand dismissively. “But I’ll say this, things will be very different after tonight. A good different.”

“Yes, my dear. Yes it will.” Surprisingly, Jacqueline returned the knowing smile.

Endow was slightly unsettled by this, but couldn’t figure out why. He decided it was simply pre-proposal jitters, and put it out of his mind. 

As he reached for his glass, a wave of cold seized up his hands. His fingers knotted up and jerked with pain. The man let out a gasp before gritting his teeth and pulling his arms in toward himself. Splotches of dark flashed in and out of his vision as icy needles spread up his arms and chest. 

“J-Jacqueline. Help-p. Hands c-cold.” Shivers wracked his body, but when he looked to his love, only a wicked smile played across her face.

“Ah, so the hand cream is taking effect. Good, good.” She pleasantly gulped some wine.

“Ja-Jacqueline, w-what?” As he spoke, the shaking grew more violent.

“I’ve played the part well, don’t you think?” She said. “I’ve run along behind you like a sweet puppy dog, slowly gaining your trust. You gave me what I needed just last week.”

Endow couldn’t muster any words, the cold was so intense. His confused face spoke instead.

Jacqueline threw back her head and gave a long, mirthless laugh. 

“You don’t remember do you? I’m not surprised, you were very drunk.” Her smile increased, reaching to her cruel blue eyes. 

“After I slipped that pill in your drink, you were basically at my mercy.” She leaned in closer to Endow’s quickly depleting form. “The deed, my love, the deed to your entire weapons empire. You signed it over to me, on this will. I brought a copy.” 

She held up a piece of paper. There was no mistaking Endow’s handwriting, he’d done it. The document expressed that in case of his untimely death, his entire enterprise was to go to Jaqueline Miasma. The bond was unbreakable and she would have the absolute power. Nothing about it was suspicious. She had been his sweetheart, right? Her personality was strong and she was well versed in the black market, why wouldn’t he sign over everything to her?

The man’s mind was in shambles. How had this happened? Especially to him, Endow Jupiter, the greatest Gun Lord in the world! He cursed himself for not seeing through the woman’s deceiving exterior.

“Don’t you think it’s perfect, Endow? Your minions will think it was a simple accident, the poison is practically invisible. No one will be able to question my authority.” Her eyes took on a wistful quality. “Jacqueline Miasma, the first Gun Queen to have absolute power.”

She seemed lost in her fantasy… until Endow convulsed and rolled to the floor. 

“Aww.” She gently ran her hot pink fingernails across his pale face. “Too bad you didn’t get to propose before all this. It would’ve been very entertaining.”

Endow tilted his head and saw the velvet box laying open a few inches away. She picked it up and tucked it gently into his pocket.

“We’re almost there, Wrinkle!” She turned to the driver seat. “Make sure your driving is frantic, we want to put on a convincing show!” 

She lowered her head next to Endow’s ear, her lips practically brushing him.

“He was pretty easy to buy off. But I’ll have to do away with him after, he’s too likely to spill our little secret.” She whispered.

Darkness began fogging Endow’s vision, his breathing became labored and a cold pain overtook his heart. The car began to screech and swerve, wine spilled on the floor and Jacqueline’s face hung just within his eyesight.

“Goodbye my love.” She kissed him one last time as the limousine ground to a halt.

Jacqueline put on a terrified face before bolting out the door, screaming:

“Help me! Help me, help! He’s collapsed! He’s dying! Someone help me!”

The last thing Endow Jupiter saw was his betraying lover screaming a lie about his cold-blooded murder. The empire he’d worked so hard to build crumbled right then and there. His eyes faded entirely, the cold took over and one last painful breath left his chest. The great Gun Lord was dead.

July 23, 2020 20:25

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1 comment

Sue Marsh
18:47 Jul 30, 2020

the twist at the end was good but I saw grammatical mistakes, but we all make them. keep writing

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