One Cold Summer
By Joseph Logsdon
Nolan Bratcher was fucking a waitress. Sure, he was a married man, but that didn't prevent him from acting like a coward. It wasn't that his marriage was unhappy, it was just that he couldn't bear the thought of being with one woman for the rest of his life. Maybe, if he hadn't been the manager of a saloon, things would've been better. The drinking, the gambling, and the fucking were contributing to his fall from grace. It was hot, so hot that the crowd could barely tolerate the suffocating cigarette smoke. As they kissed in his office, Nolan knew that his luck was coming to an end.
"You really know how to please a man, Trixie," Nolan stated.
"Why, thank you," Trixie replied as she stroked his rough skin.
"Honestly, if I could have it my way, you would be my wife," Nolan stated.
"I agree," she laughed.
"We make a cute couple, don't we?"
"Yeah, I guess," she muttered.
"Is something wrong?"
"Well, we're not exactly a couple, are we?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Ever since we started doing this, you've been taking advantage of me. Let me tell you something, I won't be your slave anymore. Just because I'm your employee, doesn't mean you have the right to treat me like a fucking whore! Now, if you don't divorce your wife, I'll tell everyone about our little affair. You wouldn't like that, would you? Hell, you might even lose your job," she laughed.
"I'd fucking kill you," he replied.
"Let's face it, you don't have the strength, let alone the courage, to actually kill me. Sure, you talk a good game, but at the end of the day, you're nothing but a fucking coward," she laughed.
"Look, as soon as I get enough money, I'll divorce her," he stated.
"Really? Do you mean that?"
"The way I see it, I don't have a choice," Nolan stated.
That night, after the saloon closed, Nolan asked Trixie to help him clean the kitchen. It was quiet, so quiet that Trixie felt nervous as she washed the dishes. Nolan, on the other hand, was very calm as he wiped the counter.
"You know, it's really peaceful at night," Nolan stated.
"I guess," she muttered.
"Is something wrong?"
"It's nothing, really," Trixie cried.
"What is it?"
"I love you so very much, but I'm afraid of losing you. Even when I was a little girl, I was alone in this world. Being an orphan isn't as glamorous as it looks, you know. In a way, you're the only person who has shown me true kindness. I know your wife loves you, but ultimately, I love you more."
"I told you, I'll divorce her," he stated.
"How can I trust you?"
"Well, you can't, can you?"
"What does that mean?"
"I might divorce her, I might not," he laughed.
"That's not good enough for me," she exclaimed.
"Well, that's just too bad," he laughed.
"If you don't divorce her, I'll talk," she threatened.
"Go ahead, I don't care," Nolan laughed.
"You're lying, I know you're lying," she stated.
"You're right, I'm lying, but that's not the point," he stated.
"What is the point, then?"
"Look, I've got some money stashed away in the freezer. Now, if we're careful, we can retrieve the money. After that, we can play it any way you'd like," he stated.
"Where did you get this money?"
"I stole it," he answered.
"This is no time to ask questions. Now, are you in, or are you out?"
"Let's do it," she stated.
It was very cold as they walked into the freezer. Hoping to impress Nolan, Trixie searched for the money. At first, it appeared that Nolan had found it, but eventually, it seemed that his memory wouldn't allow him to discover the money.
"Where did you hide it, exactly?"
"I can't remember," Nolan answered.
"What do you mean, you can't remember?"
"Don't worry, I'm sure we'll find it," Nolan promised.
Before Trixie could respond, she realized that Nolan had disappeared. Approaching the door, Trixie attempted to open it, but she couldn't. The door was, indeed, locked.
"Let me out," she cried.
"You look beautiful," Nolan laughed, staring at her through the glass door.
"It's fucking freezing," she stuttered.
"I know, that's the point," he laughed.
"Why are you doing this?"
"Well, since I couldn't reason with you, I decided to eliminate you from my life. You have to admit, this is pretty creative," he laughed.
"Let me out of here, you fuck!"
"No matter how many times you scream, no one will hear you. Hopefully, by tomorrow, you'll be dead," Nolan laughed.
"What have I done to deserve this?"
"No one is allowed to call me a coward," Nolan grunted.