TASLOW sat across the small table from Mr. Jinx, eyeing him suspiciously.
Jinx silently retaliated by locking eyes with Taslow, his large, oval black eyes clouded by Taslow's cigar. To Taslow, the cigars, which were expensive imports, spelled class. To Jinx, they smelled like shit.
Taslow knew what lurked behind those eyes; he was in constant fear of it, so he very rarely upset Jinx without just provocation. Taslow spoke up, breaking the uncomfortable silence. ''Jinx?'' No response. ''Jinx? Earth to Jinx. Earth to Jinx!!''
Jinx said nothing in reply. He sat motionless, expressionless, except for the steely gaze he'd focused on Taslow's face. ''JINX!!'' Taslow shouteed this time, showing signs of his building frustration. ''IS ANYBODY IN THERE?!''
Jinx's frozen expression suddenly thawed, his cold, black eyes seeming to gleam now, like black pearls. ''The cigar,'' Jinx said.
''What's that?'' Taslow retorted, blowing a puff of acrid smoke in Jinx's face.
''The cigar,'' Jinx calmly repeated. ''Put out the fucking cigar.''
Not wanting to irritate Jinx unnecessarily, he stubbed out the cigar. ''Satisfied?'' he asked.
''Quite,'' Jinx said, cracking a cocky grin. His facial skin seemed to peel, crack with the effort, resembling blistered paint. It gave Taslow the creeps. ''Quite satisfied, indeed.''
''Screw you,'' Taslow spat vehemently. ''I'm just about sick of your shit, Jinx.'' Taslow picked up a bottle of sour mash from the table, took a long drink, grimaced, set it back down. ''Having your daily dose of liquid courage, I see,'' Jinx retorted, thoroughly enjoying Taslow squirm. ''And, in retaliation for your previous remarks, screw you, too. You are the one who dissolved our partnership, remember?''
Taslow knew that Jinx held all of his secrets in tow; so he tryed to regain his composure. ''The reason I dissolved our so called ''partnership'' is because you killed that kid. Jesus, Jinx, all he wanted was an autograph.''
''He was a nosy little shit who would have eventually informed the police about us,'' Jinx said, matter-of-factly. ''He had to be ........reeducated.''
''You didn't have to kill him,'' Taslow emphasized again. Jinx abrubtly changed the subject. ''Tell me, Taslow, what do you see when you look into my eyes?''
After taking another drink, Taslow said, ''Demons. I see a demon behind those eyes. Pure evil.''
''Maybe what you see,'' Jinx said, ''Is a reflection of yourself, then.'' His doll like eyes were full of life now, his mind full of terrible yet strangely pleasant memories.
That sent Taslow over the edge. He garbbed the whiskey bottle from the table, swinging it toward Jinx's thick skull, cracking it wide open, sending Jinx toppling to the floor with a sickening THUD.
Taslow rose from the table to stand over JInx's motionless form, make sure he was really dead this time. He was; his small wooden skull was ruined, his sawdust brains spilling out onto the dirty motel room floor. ''Dissolved, hell,'' Taslow said, spitting on Jinx's lifeless form. ''This partnership is terminated.''
Taslow opened a small suitcase nearby, removing a .38 revolver, then walked into the bathroom. Looked into mirror.
Into himself; into the eyes of a demon, a man with too many secrets, a killer of children. He cocked the hammer back on the .38, pressing the barrel against his right temple.
''Corpses are blue, and blood is red,'' he said, his finger tightening on the trigger. ''Abra cadabara.......you're dead.''
And sure as hell, a few seconds later, he was.
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