He pounded her chest. She was perfectly still. What now, he thought. Dennis rifled through his drawers. Condoms. Band-aids. Dental floss. He found a compact an old girlfriend left.

He held the mirror under her nose. No breath at all. Dennis thought about calling 911. But what would he say. He couldn’t even remember her name. Darla…Denise…it began with a “D”. Or was it a “K”.

They met in a bar. The Purple Lagoon. He remembered that name. Dennis had never been there before. They drank. They talked. They went back to his place.

Dennis heard someone knock on the door. What now, he thought. He pulled back the curtain. Looked through the window. Mrs. Fenster stood there, wringing her hands.

Is everything alright? I thought I heard…

No. I mean, yes. I mean, everything’s fine. It was just the TV. I’ll turn it down now.

Are you sure, she asked, looking over his shoulder. It sounded like something terrible hap—

It’s nothing, okay? Just the TV. I’m sorry it disturbed you. Oh, and thanks for the cookies, by the way.



He closed the door. Looked at the couch. She was just lying there. Still fully dressed.

They were kissing at first. Dennis tried slipping his hand down her pants, and she screamed. Not a  “stop” scream. Not a “please don’t” scream. Really it was more of a squeal than a scream. Still it was loud. The walls were thin and she went on and on. It happened before he could stop himself.

Dennis had never hit anyone in his life. What now, he thought, but she looked up and smiled. Harder, she said. I like it that way.

So he did, and she squealed. Harder, she said. He did, and she screamed. Dennis hit her again and unzipped his pants.

Then she was still. And she wasn't breathing. They would send him to jail. They would send him to prison. Ten or twenty...thirty years maybe. Alone in a cell with a guy they called “Snake”.

Dennis looked over at…Gretchen. Or Gabby. No sign of life. Not cold yet, either. She wouldn’t scream now. What the hell, he thought. 

He felt it at first. Then Dennis saw it.


It can’t be.

No way.

But it was.

The Purple Lagoon was that kind of bar.

His heart was pounding and Dennis heard sirens.

He started to cry.

What now, he thought.

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