Chapter Forty Three
Granny and Kainda waited for the transport that would take the top half of Martha back home. Martha had swapped her lingerie for an oversized t-shirt from Marian’s dresser. Her torso was tucked into a scented kitchen garbage bag in order to prevent any fluids from dripping onto Marian’s cherished white Berber carpet. As she debated which method of tying off the t-shirt would be most flattering, Kainda watched, perturbed.
“What?” Martha asked. ”You know those medics can be cute.”
“At least you don’t have to worry about panty lines,” Kainda snarked. “Apparently the grieving widow has had an adequate time to mourn.”
“You know full well that ‘husband’ was nothing more than a means to an end. He knew the risks before he signed on.” Martha wiped the lipstick from the corner of her mouth, aligning it perfectly with the shape of her lip.
“What about the baby? What is going to happen to him?” Kainda asked, becoming increasingly perturbed.
“That baby was a ‘just in case I needed one’ baby. As it turned out, I didn’t need one. It will get placed in the used children’s home or whatever they call that place. It’s all about being prepared for the game, having the right tools at your disposal.”
“Yet you always resort to the same tool, or should I say toolbox.”
“Said the woman who couldn’t get a man to mount her unless he wanted a horsey-back ride.”
“Ladies! Enough!” Granny scolded.
“I have won a half dozen of these little games using my wits and my toolbox, as you called it. I haven’t found a man, or woman for that matter, able to resist what I have to offer.”
“Too bad what you ‘have to offer’ is lying amongst the shrubbery,” Kainda laughed.
The sound of the garage door opener announced Marian’s return home. She approached the group in the living room and stopped to kiss Martha on the top of her head.
“Nice try, girl. Better luck next time. You better not have dripped on my carpet.”
“Bitch,” Martha responded.
The two laughed.
“So, did you catch up with him?”
Marian settled into the loveseat and began to unlace her boots as she spoke.
“I tracked him and the blonde to a carriage house in town. From the sound of things she must have drunk as much of his magic Kool-Aid as we did. It took everything I had to keep me from jumping through a window and tearing that whore’s face off! Exactly when is this damn potion going to wear off, anyway?”
“I don’t think it will wear off,” Granny started. “I’m going to have to figure out an antidote. Oh, by the way, Blondie wasn’t exposed to the philter. She is truly attracted to him.”
“Ha! It sounds like he prefers a different toolbox to hold his screwdriver, Martha!” Kainda poked, despite her own jealousy.
“That is just fuckin’ peachy! It isn’t bad enough I have to deal with this . . . “ Martha waved her hand below the abrupt end to her torso, “. . . I’ve got to contend with all that ‘true love is stronger than magic’ bullshit!”
“I pulled you from the game. There isn’t going to be any ‘contending’ on your part,” Granny corrected.
“What I say goes.”
“Fuck off, old woman!”
Granny threw Martha a familiar look.
“Sorry,” Martha said. “Fuck off, Grandmother.”
“That’s better. Always remember to respect your elders while telling them to fornicate with themselves. As for the issue of true love . . . it is a powerful force and capable of a great many things but Blondie was just getting her rocks off. She is an obstacle, nothing more. All of you need to focus on the game and get past the potion induced lady boners you have for this guy. I’ll work on creating an antidote; you focus on the finish line. Okay?”
All three nodded.
The doorbell rang. Granny opened the door to find a uniformed driver standing on the porch.
“I’m here for a pick-up.”
“That would be me. I’m Martha,” she cooed as she struck a seductive pose.
The driver thought Martha looked like a pin-up calendar that had been torn in half. He scooped her from the chair. She looped her arms around his neck.
“My, aren’t we a strong one!” she purred.
“Are there any legs?” He asked.
“No. They were too far gone,” Martha pouted.
“How about bags?”
“Just the one you’re holding,” Marian chirped.
“So, just the torso, then?”
“Hey, I’m right here and I have a name!”
“Do you have room for a spare husband and child?” Marian asked. “I really don’t have use for them anymore.”
“I don’t think there is enough room, Ma’am.”
“Damn. I was hoping you could take them along with their good friend Mr. Franklin.”
Marian snapped a fresh bill from her pocket.
“I guess there might be enough room up front. Have them meet me in the driveway.”
The driver tucked Martha into the crook of his right arm as he pulled a module from the clip on his belt with his left.
“I need a signature.”
He tipped the screen toward Granny.
“Do you need a receipt?” he asked.
“Nope. We’re good.”
With a tip of his cap the driver was out the door and standing beside an old white panel truck, complete with running boards and eyebrow-like fenders. He pulled open rear doors and, to Martha’s dismay, set her on the cargo area floor. He then slid her in between some existing packages and slammed the door closed behind her.
“Who ordered the pick-up?” Granny asked as she watched the truck drive off through the front picture window.
“Someone who uses her brains,” Kainda replied.