An experiment here...stories loosely based on actual deaths in Detroit.
Willis Dumphrey and Carla Batista Stabbed in a Early Morning Holdup
The only convenient— no, the only feasible time—for them to have sex was before eight A.M. on weekday mornings. And to top it off, they did it on a narrow cot in Travis’s office. Travis, a former ballplayer and now businessman, never came in much before nine, and, in fact, most days didn’t show up at all. He was likely about to run for City Council come November, or so the Metro paper said.
Sometimes she worried the scent of their mornings would seep into the room and trip them up, but at some point in the past, it’d become part of it.
The two of them, Carla, the cook and Willis, the bartender and manager, came in before nine to set things up. The bar attracted an early lunch crowd— people from downtown offices, or the courts, or the stadium if there was a game. The waitresses and dish-washer started work at ten when things picked up and the rest of the day usually passed in a blur. They finished their shift at six and went home to their spouses.
But there was this first—this magic—and almost every day. It was not a love affair exactly: it was two lonely, horny people taking comfort in each other. Too bad it had to be at this hour, but it began to seem right. And when one of them took a vacation or got sick, the other one grew antsy. Making love with her sixty-year old husband at night twice a month—that’s what seemed odd now.
“You’re going to have Sweetie in here while I’m gone, aren’t you,” Carla asked, curled up in Willis’ arms. Sweetie was a waitress who'd just turned 22. He laughed. They were dressed now but couldn’t quite say goodbye. They had a few minutes. She was going to Lapeer for a few days to help her daughter out with her new baby. It would be her first grandchild if the kid ever got itself born. A week late now and no sign of it; her daughter was going bonkers waiting.
Willis was about to say something funny—she could tell from the smile that was beginning to form—when the door swung open and two men wearing masks pushed into the room. Carla started to scream but then thought better of it.
The larger man shrugged and without saying a word, yanked the cord from a lamp, motioned for them to get up, and herded them toward the cold storage unit down the hallway. They could hear the other man rifling the safe as they moved in single file. Once inside the room, he inadvertently rubbed up against Willis and his mask slipped down. They saw it was Travis and
glanced at each other in shock.
“Too bad,” he said. Just that. He looked indecisive for a second or two, but then pulled a knife from his pocket and quickly stabbed Willis in the chest and stomach. Willis slid to the floor as blood spurted from several places.
“Travis,” Carla started to say. “You don’t…” She could see terror in his eyes, but also the
heartlessness. Coldness. His arm rose over his head as it came down hard into her breast. His ballplayer days were behind him now, she thought as she died, but he still had some power in those arms.