The Gold Lighter
It was the middle of the night as the black Lincoln came from the highway and onto the off ramp. The car curved onto a service road that ran parallel to the eight-lane highway, heading farther away from the city, and deeper into the country.
"Nasir, you are going too slow," Aasim barked the observation from the back seat.
The driver knew this was an order to go faster. "I'm going the speed limit. If I go faster maybe we'll get stopped." There was tension and nervousness behind the reply.
"OK... yes, you're right. It's unlikely, but the last thing we need is the police. I just want to get this done and be home as soon as possible.
"Yeah, me too." Nasir was dripping sweat even though it was a cool fall night.
Unlike his son, Aasim was not sweating, but was a bit anxious. Still, he was relatively calm considering the circumstances.
Aasim was past middle age, just overweight enough to be considered obese, and wearing a fine tailored, black suit. He did well for himself here in America, and he displayed it in many ways for all to see.
He was very proud of his accomplishments. He was in control of his destiny. He had built his good fortune up one brick at a time, and the mortar that held it all together was his family. So when the mortar started to crack, weaken, threating to bring the wall down, what was he supposed to do?
"Fuck!" Nasir regretted it as soon as he exhaled the word.
"Have I taught you nothing!" the older man yelled. "You swear like a common hoodlum on the east-side streets."
"But, but sh-she's still alive!"
"Yes, obviously. You are as incompetent as you are foul mouthed," Aasim said coldly.
"I swear, she wasn't breathing when I put her in the trunk. I couldn't feel a pulse either."
His son was clumsy, but he means well, Aasim thought. He is a basically a good boy. At least he tries to do what he is told, unlike his sister. "I'll have to take care of it when we get there."
Aasim's initial pride for his son was being gradually chipped away further with every frantic kick of the young woman's foot. "Did you at least remember to bring the gun?"
"Yes, sure, I got it right here." His son waved the dark grey Glock in his right hand.
"OK, put it away. I'll get it from you when we get there."
The site of the gun brought back a recent memory to Aasim. He could almost feel the firm weight of it in his hand. He relived the low recoil of it as he squeezed the trigger, putting a bullet through his daughter's forehead. The wide-eyed shocked look on her face just before her body dropped lifelessly down onto the grey basement floor. Everything had been so carefully planned, but then came that shrill scream at the top of the stairs. The screaming girl that was now locked in the trunk.... He felt the stomach acids burning in his chest. He reached into his pocket for the antacid tablets he often carried, but there were none - other suit.
He didn't want to kill his daughter.... but what was he supposed to do? His family, his relatives, and his friends, he saw their looks of disgust. He had lost control of her. She no longer respected his wishes. She didn't even respect herself. She started dressing like a prostitute, going out to clubs, seeing boys. Those filthy boys.... He knew exactly what they wanted. He was their age once. He yelled at his daughter, he locked her in her room at night, he even beat her hard with his belt, but nothing worked. She was slipping further into disgrace and pulling his family down with her. He was drowning in an ocean of shame. But did he do then what he did now? No! He bore the shame, made excuses for her; he even lied to new acquaintances. 'She is my stepdaughter,' he would say, followed by a shrug of his shoulders.
He endured the humiliation, better than most, he thought. And he would have, till the day he died, but then SHE appeared - that dirty, lesbian slut. When he thought things couldn't get any worse, there she was, and she was on his daughter like a bitch in heat. She infected his daughter with her depraved lusts. He imagined his daughter with her, and what sick sexual things they must have done together. He had seen some lesbian porn online. He knew. He thought nothing of it, until now. But now, now it was his daughter he visualized in those videos. What choice did he have?
The acid reflux got worse. "Nasir, give me that water."
"Yeah, sure, here." His son handed him the bottle that was in the cup holder.
Aasim drank the car temperature water until the pain in his chest subsided. He knew it would only give him a few minutes of relief.
"There she goes again," Nasir said annoyed, under his breath.
Aasim thought about the creature in the trunk of his car. She didn't even have the decency to die when she should have. Did he have to do everything himself?
He had killed his daughter quickly and painlessly. One shot to the head and it was done. But the girl in the trunk... well, he had taken his time with her. She was to blame for his daughter's death, not him, so he had exacted his revenge upon her....
One thought led Aasim to another; he just had to have a cigarette. He turned on the interior car light, reached into his breast pocket, pulled out a pack and his gold lighter. He examined the lighter, turning it around in his hand, as if viewing it for the first time. It had cost over a thousand dollars. He tapped the pack to pop out a cigarette, pulled it out between his lips, lit it, and took a long drag as he laid back in the seat. Up until today it had only been used on cigarettes.... His mind drifted back a couple of hours.
"Why are you smiling, Father?"
"Was I? No. Keep your eyes on the road," he said gruffly. "That dirt road is coming up soon. Don't miss it."
About a minute later, the car turned left onto a dark country road, leaving the modestly lit service road far behind, and sped off deeper into total darkness. The only light was coming from the car's headlights that revealed a tiny fraction of the straight road ahead. The kicking from the trunk finally stopped, and both men started to relax a little within the comfort of the desolate night.
"Fuck!" Nasir yelled as a large deer sprang in front of the car, bounced off the hood, and went directly into the driver's side of the windshield. Hind legs broke through the glass and the half dead, panicked animal kicked at Nasir's face. Nasir's foot involuntarily pushed down on the accelerator. The car sped off the road, tumbled upside down into a ditch, and collided into the trunk of a large oak tree.
The deer was dead, crushed and wedged under the car's upper hood. Nasir showed no signs of life as he hung upside down, still strapped in his seat belt. If he were still alive, paramedics would have been hard pressed to figure out how to feed him oxygen. There was no recognizable mouth, nose, or any other facial features. The airbags had worked, but only after the deer had brutally tenderized his face.
Aasim never used a seat belt. As a result, he ended up face down with his upper body lying on hard dirt outside the car. His lower half was unnaturally twisted, and lying on the inside of the car's roof. The door had been jarred loose by the crushing force of the impact, and then rammed open by his head and left shoulder.
Remarkably, the car's interior light was still working, and eerily illuminated the violent aftermath. Everything was now quiet except for the trickle of gasoline that was accompanied by the nearby concert of crickets.
BOOM! The crash warped trunk popped open. Rita crawled out from blackness into darkness. She was naked and covered by bruises and burns over much of her pale body. She had difficulty breathing due to a nearly crushed windpipe. Each breath was laboured as she slowly and painfully cleared the trunk.
Kalila was dead. Rita was sure of it. Many hours earlier, against Kalila's wishes, Rita had accompanied Kalila home to try to reason with her father. Her father had called for her to come down to the basement. Rita had hung back and waited at the door to the basement. She had glimpsed the flash of the gun from her position at the top of the stairs. She saw the love of her life go down. She remembered screaming. Then she saw those cold, crazy eyes of Kalila's father that shifted from his daughter's dead body up to her. He hadn't planned on anyone else being there. She saw it on his face. And then he smiled at her. It was a horrible, evil smile....
But there wasn't time to dwell on the recent past now. She had to stay alive. Rita tried to stand, but several of her toes had been broken. The slightest pressure caused excruciating pain, which led to brief but terrible flashbacks of how they had gotten that way. She resigned the attempts to stand and continued to crawl away from the car.
Aasim awoke to the strong smell of gasoline that assaulted his nostrils. He turned his head just enough to see the young brunette girl crawling away.
"Bitch!" Aasim yelled. He became aware that he couldn't feel his legs. "This is all your fault!" he spat out. He looked back at his legs. He was lying in gasoline! He was soaking in it, and he didn't even know it. The gas was leaking in from the opposite side, and was pooling inside the hood. The car had ended up in a less than level angle. The front was lower; the gas tank side was higher. The gas came in through the broken back window on the opposite side, not far from his paralyzed feet.
Rita looked back at the sadistic bastard through swollen, black eyes. She had trouble seeing as it was, but now they were filling up with tears from the strain and fumes. She rubbed her eyes with the back of her trembling hand and looked again. The car's interior light reflected off a shiny object several feet away from Aasim's outstretched arms.
He followed her stare and spotted it as well - his gold lighter. Aasim tried to stand up but his legs were useless. With his arms, he tried to drag himself clear of the car, but the lower part of his jacket was caught up in the mangled door somehow. Before he could figure out how to free himself, Rita had crawled to the lighter, snatched it up, and crawled to a safe distance from the wreckage.
She looked with uneasy fascination at the lighter that lay in the palm of her hand. Such a benign looking thing it was. How deceptive; much like its owner.
Rita thought about Kalila's beautiful, brown eyes. She could have gazed into them for hours. She remembered the sweet smell of her long, black hair. How she loved to comb it for her. She regretted not having made love with her. They both had agreed to wait out of respect for themselves and their families. But now, the woman she wanted to spend the rest of her life with was buried in a shallow grave somewhere in a forest. That much she had overheard.
Rita's sickening feeling of loss for her soul mate quickly changed into blind rage. She glared into the sociopath's empathically challenged eyes. "You said you did this for your honour," she choked out. "Do you even know what that word means? Where were your morals when you shot your daughter in the head? Where was your compassion when you used THIS on me?" She shook the lighter in his direction. "Shit, you enjoyed every minute of it, you sick fuck! No, this has nothing to do with honour." She clicked open the lighter's lid and flicked on the tiny flame.
"What are you doing?" he screamed.
"Giving back. This belongs to you." She tossed the gold lighter into the gasoline.
My other fiction is available at smashwords.com or at my above website in PDF format with cover art.
This work of fiction is the sole property and copyright of Robert G. Moons.
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