Carmen's Box

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

The love of a woman can buy a man's silence.

"It's 'luh-TRAWN'!" he insisted in his anger-tinged voice. The ignorant mo'fukkas always wanted to mispronounce his name 'LAY-trun'. In spite of their assurances to the contrary, he secretly knew they did it on purpose just to piss him off. At his age, he should be used to it, but he never did suffer fools gladly.

"My apologies, Mr. Cotton." the clerk said, "How may I help you?"

Oh, sure, they always got his last name correct. Even though the woman's blank expression never changed, he knew she was smirking inside, laughing at his slave name. Whitey was worse, of course, but this sista was thinking it too. Even 150 years after the end of slavery, his heritage dogged him wherever he went.

"My probation is over, and I want my driver's license back."

The clerk typed something on her computer. Her printer spat out a standard form. "Take this to the cashier." she said, pointing in the appropriate direction. "Pay the fee, and take a seat."

Latron's head practically exploded when he read the form. The fee was $125.00. "Mo'fukkin' robbing mo'fukkas!" he screamed inwardly. He wanted to shout it out loud too, but he knew that would only make matters worse. His bit his tongue and pulled out a wad of cash as he approached the barred window.

Society should not have been so quick to judge Latron Cotton. He had plenty of reasons to be bitter. His paranoia was not all in his imagination. Anyone having been raised in his circumstances would have grown up consumed with hate. It was a natural human reaction.

Latron's mother had died when he was 11, and his Aunt Kaneesha became his legal guardian. It was not a lucky choice. The woman didn't care about the boy one bit. To her, he was only a source of income, and she moved him to New York where she could get the most money.

A single woman with a minor child in New York City was essentially a winner of the welfare lottery. The Progressives there were past masters at soaking the rich with taxes in order to redistribute the wealth to the poor. Since there were always more people in poverty than there were productive citizens creating the wealth, the Populists would remain in political power forever as long as they were able to allocate government largess and able to bus their constituents to the voting polls.

Latron never fit in. His inadequate education in the Mississippi Delta had left him ill prepared for school in the Big Apple. His Southern drawl stigmatized him as an outsider. He was so despised that he couldn't even join the neighborhood gang terrorizing the streets of Harlem. Were it not for Carmen, his only friend in Gotham, there is no telling how his life would have evolved.

Although she was considered to be part of the local Puerto Rican community, Carmen Imelda Marquez Crespo was not from the island. She had never been there and neither had any of her ancestors in so far as anyone could tell. In actuality, she was part of the Isleños community, originally from the Canary Islands, and she happened to have been born in Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana. Since her contemporaries couldn't find the Canary Islands on a map, and since they probably thought Saint Bernard was a Swiss dog, she just pretended to be Puerto Rican.

She too was ostracized but for a very different reason. Carmen was a genius. Her IQ was at least 160, and the ordinary people in the barrio couldn't cope with that idea. They shunned her due to their personal feelings of inadequacy. In a sense, intelligence was a worse curse than stupidity on the streets of Manhattan.

At barely 15 years of age, Carmen was probably the most dangerous woman on the East Coast. Immersed in her bitterness, she had already planned her revenge on the sea of inferior people that had made her life a living hell, and her superior intellect virtually assured her success. All she needed was an accomplice, someone totally devoted to her and her alone, someone to take the fall when the deed went down.

The manipulative bitch knew a good thing when she saw it, and Latron was the perfect choice.

Latron didn't mind that Carmen treated him like dirt most of the time. The important thing was that she paid him attention when nobody else would. She even allowed him to do some special things like letting him watch her change clothes after school. Although he had not yet fully made the transition to puberty, he was mesmerized by the crack in her ass when she bent over in front of him wearing nothing but a skimpy pair of diaphanous panties. She even hinted that he might get to touch her butt someday. The excitement was overwhelming. Latron was in love. He would do anything for her.

The centerpiece of Carmen's revenge was a box. For all intents and purposes, it looked like a plain wooden box. It was, however, a magician's prop. When the top was opened, a linkage mechanism would spring a trapdoor in the bottom of the box, spilling its contents. Over and over again, Carmine and Latron tested the box. The routine was always the same. Latron would hold the trapdoor shut while Carmen inserted a gallon jug of water. She would then have him slowly open the lid to insure the mechanism worked flawlessly. They had tried it so often that Latron was beginning to get bored, but Carmen was thorough to the point of being fanatical.

On the appointed day, Carmine had Latron take the box out into the street. They walked for miles, weaving in and out of block after block of high rises until he was completely lost. They then snuck into the service entrance of a tall building. They proceeded up seemingly endless flights of stairs to the roof. Inside an elevator maintenance loft, Latron was ordered to place the box in a bracket above a shaft behind the elevators. It was so far down that he couldn't see the bottom.

As they had practiced numerous times before, Carmen took a gallon jug from a secret hiding place and put it in the box. She did so with extreme care, moving with glacial slowness. He could sense her fear while doing so, but Latron himself was too ignorant to be afraid.

The jug in the box contained a gallon of nitroglycerine. Carmine had learned to make it by reading books in the library. She had manufactured the stuff in tiny batches. It took her a over year to fill the bottle. Only her maniacal attention to detail prevented her from blowing herself to bits.

The idea was simple. Sooner or later, a curious elevator repairman would open the box, dropping the bottle down the shaft. Nitroglycerine is such an unstable substance that the first hard bump would set off a titanic explosion. Carmine figured a gallon of the stuff would obliterate at least a quarter of a city block. Most likely, the adjacent buildings and even the ones across the street would be damaged beyond any hope of repair. Depending on the time of day and day of the week, the death toll would run into the hundreds. Potentially, thousands would be injured. It was her hope that the carnage would rival 9/11. At any rate, the event would surely make news worldwide.

The most diabolical part of her plan was the way she had manipulated Latron. She made sure that if any pieces of the box were found following the blast, they would be covered in his fingerprints and not hers.

The day they set the trap was the happiest day of Latron's entire life. When they returned to Carmine's apartment, she had finally let him fondle her buttocks. She even allowed him to pull her panties down to do it. It was so exciting that it aroused his first boner ever. It is the kind of thing that a young man could never forget, the kind of thing that would seal his lips forever. Her secret was as safe with him as if he had never known it in the first place.

Carmine never lived to savor her revenge. She was killed during a drive-by shooting a month before she would have graduated from high school. It was unknown if she was the target of the gang hit. More than likely, she was just an innocent bystander. About the best thing that could be said about it was that her death was quick. She didn't suffer for long.

Today in Manhattan, somewhere below 133rd street, a building is living on borrowed time. People are going about their daily lives totally unaware that they are seconds from their eternal doom. Carmine's box is still there, patiently awaiting the hand of Fate. The explosion will happen. It is inevitable. Only Latron could prevent it, and he isn't talking.

Copyright © 2011 - 2015 W.C. Bell; All rights reserved.

Submitted: January 26, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Whiskey Charlie. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Victoria Quinn

It is all just a matter of time for everyone isn't it? Fate is a fickle Bitch though, as Carmen found out the hard way and Latron will too one of these days when everything goes KA-BOOM!! It'd be very ironic if Latron happens to be in the kill zone when it does go off! Loved the humor too. Saint Bernard is a Swiss Dog? Too funny! Great story!

Wed, January 28th, 2015 11:44am


Thank you for commenting. It's a great feeling when a story is a success.

Wed, January 28th, 2015 4:40am

Chris Green

Great story. I'll be keeping an eye on the news.

Wed, January 28th, 2015 4:38pm


Thanks for the kind comment.

Wed, January 28th, 2015 9:20am

Adrian Hunt

simply, I am not worthy. I'd offer you some constructive criticism, but it'd be like the blind man teaching the sniper how to shoot. Bravo...!

Sat, January 31st, 2015 6:28pm


Believe me, Adrian, constructive criticism is welcome. We all have blind spots, and they can't be overcome if they remain out of sight. Anyway, I am happy if you enjoyed the story. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Sat, January 31st, 2015 11:39am


You're so talented! I loved it - Sarah

Sun, February 1st, 2015 8:44pm


Thank you, Sarah. I appreciate it that you took the time to comment.

Sun, February 1st, 2015 2:54pm

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