Mozart Kicks Beethoven's Butt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Close to the I35, miles and miles from anything else, a student called Brian hitches a ride.

Submitted: March 08, 2008

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Submitted: March 08, 2008



Mozart Kicks Beethoven’s Butt

“The highway’s back there. The turn-off for the highway was back there.” Brian had never hitch-hiked before and he was a little nervous. The couple in the front of the car hadn’t said much.

“I know,” said the man, whom we will call Chris. Indeed, that may have been his name.

“Do you know a short cut?”


“What’s… where are you taking me?”

The woman in the passenger seat flashed a smile in the rear view mirror. We will call her Tina. Their names really aren’t that important). Brian had noticed her smile when he had climbed into the scarlet Pontiac and thought it sexy. Now the disembodied mouth, perfect teeth, no lip-gloss, seemed less alluring.

After a while, Chris replied: “There’s an empty warehouse in a ghost mall further up the road. Miles from anywhere. We’re going to take you there. I’m going to torture you a bit and then my girlfriend is going to shoot you in the face with an automatic pistol.”

Understandably, Brian was silent.

I’ve never shot a man before and I may not do it again,” Tina said. “You should feel honoured.”

Brian put up no fight. He didn’t argue, attempt to bargain or plead for mercy. It’s quite possible, even as the car pulled into the deserted parking lot, that he believed the driver and his partner were joking.

The man was tall and heavily built and easily overpowered Brian long enough to strap him in the chair. His struggles were useless. The rope was tight and cut into his wrists and after a short time he urinated in his pants. The woman stood in a corner and watched him with a disinterested expression. Brian began to cry.

Chris unwrapped a cough lozenge and put it in his mouth. Brian watched the wrapper fall to the floor. Then Chris took a portable stereo from a shelf on the far wall and placed an unmarked audiotape in the cassette deck. He pressed Play but very soon stopped the tape again, took it out and re-inserted it to play the other side. This time he left it playing as he turned to his girlfriend.

“Where’s the Beethoven?”

“Isn’t that…”

“This is Mozart. Fortieth Symphony. I told you to bring Beethoven.”

“But I thought you liked Mozart.”

Chris had turned red. The veins were beginning to stand out on the sides of his head. “I do. I do like Mozart. But we’re going to torture him first. You know I like to play Beethoven when I do that, you stupid bitch.” He took two steps toward her, perhaps intending to strike her or to slap her across the face, then he turned and trod back to the stereo on the floor.

“Stupid bitch,” he repeated, “Stupid fucking bitch!” His foot went straight into the battery-powered device. The music stopped instantly but he delivered another kick anyway and sent the stereo crashing against the wall.

“Calm down. You’re acting like a little child.” The woman spoke with enforced calm.

“Fucking whore! I told you back at the Limey’s house…”

She blinked slowly and quietly said: “R. E. S. P. E. C. T.”

“You stupid fucking bitch!”

Tina pulled a colt automatic pistol out of her purse and shot Chris twice in the chest. Brian felt his bowels empty. The shots rang in his ears. Tina walked forward and stood over the dead body, her back to Brian.

“I fucking hate classical music,” he heard her say. “I like jazz. Charlie Parker.”

She turned to Brian and said, “I’d only known him a couple of weeks,” as if this fact explained her action. Then she raised the gun and pointed it at Brian’s head. He heard himself muttering a barely intelligible string of pleas and prayers before closing his eyes to block out the unbearable sight of the gun’s barrel. Tina remained in this pose for almost a full minute. Then she sighed, returned the gun to her purse and stepped over her lover’s body on her way out of the warehouse. Brian opened his eyes when he heard the Pontiac’s engine start up in the parking lot and listened as she drove away. Then the only sound was the thunder of his heartbeat.

The man on the floor was indeed called Chris. He was wanted by New Mexico police for a violent crime he had committed in that state in 1992. His full name was Chris Evans and it is purely coincidental and of no consequence that this is also the name of a British television and radio personality.

The woman, who may or may not have been called Tina, was never caught. Nor was she identified by police or other records.

Brian eventually broke free of his bonds, though he seriously sprained his arm in doing so, and made his way to the highway where a he was aided by the large occupants of a large station wagon. He was dubbed ‘The luckiest man alive’ by a North Texas newspaper but was killed in less than three months of its publication date when a tornado tore up his house in Campbell, Oklahoma.

© Copyright 2018 Richard Elliott. All rights reserved.

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