Jason Richard Wright, Chapter 7

Ruby
Ruby painted her lips red, after slipping into some red leather. Her burgundy hair bounced outward, down and about as she flung her locks with her fingers–freeing them from the leather. Looking into a cracked mirror, in her rundown motel room that doubled as an apartment, she teased those black lashes. A little pink blush with a tap-tap-tap on one cheek, then the other. Not too much, otherwise she’ll look like a doll and men today don’t want a doll–they want a whore.

The door shutting behind her on its own, read Room 21.

Slipping her skinny biceps into black leather, the jacket clung to her torso. But she didn’t zip up, that’s where the moneymakers are hanging out. Walking barefoot, her feet adapted to the pavements and sidewalks they graced. It was the heels that hurt. She always carried them to her block, then put them on. A barefoot hooker just screamed hippie and that just didn’t sell like it used to. This ain’t no Woodstock, Mr. Walrus.

As she walked, she slipped her earphones in and listened to her Making Money soundtrack. It mostly consisted of AC/DC, Metallica and the such like. These songs put her in a groove, a beat and–unfortunately for her, but fortunately for others and then eventually fortunately for her–a mood.

Ruby had been working the streets for seven years now. She started at the tender age of 15, soon after leaving home. She was fed up with her father and his rules. She was gonna live her life the way she wanted and no two-timing, down-on-his-luck, impotent pervert trying to change his life for the better with a strict code was going to change that.

So at the corner of Jackson, Lincoln and bitter irony Ruby slipped into those heels and the role of slave. Pulling on the chain of the dog tags about her neck, she pulled them loose from the red leather and let them drape between her shoulders. Across the street she saw Blondie. Blondie was always threatening to take Ruby’s turf. Ruby glared at her, bit her lip and gave her a finger–the worst one. Blondie smirked, quirked the head and returned the favor.

A man spoke from the shadows of the liquor store, “Hey… you a hooker or something?”

“Do I look like a hooker?”

“I don’t know,” the voice responded, “I’ve never met a hooker.”

Ruby, rolling her eyes, responded, “Yeah, your mom was a peach, I’m sure. How do you want it?”

Walking into the street light, Jason Richard Wright looked nervous, “In the alley… I guess.”

Walking into the alley, Ruby leading, it got darker and darker. All they could see were each others’ silhouettes now, and his palms were sweating, “I, uh, got off early. I’m a janitor at the University; the power went out–the sent us home, they probably won’t pay us. They never do with things like this, they expect us to use our vacation or personal hours. Even during terrorist threats, it’s pretty stupid.”

“You’re on the clock pal,” Ruby spoke, “Is this all you want? A chat?” A door opened and shed light on Ruby, a cook from the bar saw her, “Frankie, do you mind? I’m working here.”

“Well, hurry it up, Ruby,” the cook spoke, “I need a smoke.”

As the door was shutting, Jason Richard Wright saw Rupert’s name flashing in the night on medal. And then the darkness was back, their eyes adjusting again.

“Hey, how did you get those dog tags?”

“Dope off,” Ruby said.

“You stole them didn’t you?”

“DOPE OFF, buster.”

“You did!” Jason Richard Wright screeched in the night and grabbed, grasping the dog tags in his fingers. Pulling towards himself, he tried to break them from about her neck but she caught his hand with one of her own. Jason Richard Wright felt two quick, sharp pains. One in the crotch, made with her knee. The other in his right side, a switchblade penetrating–he felt it scrape a rib. The switchblade was out as soon as it was in, he fell with the nausea to the ground. His head thumped and scratched across the trash bin. He felt her smaller fingers wrap around his right wrist and it was accompanied with two cold, metal fingers that completed a circle. She pulled his arm to the door and latched the other half of the handcuffs to the handle.

Running off out of the alley, Ruby saw the lights of the kitchen again piercing the night. Turning the corner, she was gone. The last she heard was Frankie screaming her name and dictating for someone to call the cops.

As Jason Richard Wright leaned against the door, bleeding on the kitchen floor, he laughed. He laughed as he never had. After all this time, he was brought down by a prostitute.

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