The frosty November day came through with a vengeance. Icicles formed on Mooney’s windowsill, yet she had it wide open. How else would she be able to ear hustle? The yellow chiffon curtains danced in the wind and the cigarette between her fingers threatened to light her apartment on fire. Spread hip to hip in her favorite chair, she was doing a horrible job of being the neighborhood watcher. When she began to snore, the cancer stick was moments from somersaulting to the carpet, until she heard Cutie Tudy’s screeching voice outside. Her eyes flew open and flapped a few times, before resting on her sneaky, smiling face walking toward the building.
Cutie was arm in arm with her latest piece of candy, No Good Naylor, from up the block. Although he was easy on the eyes, he was a seventeen-year-old know-it-all who was one deed away from career criminal status. Cutie and her friend weren’t the only ones who tried to steal Mooney’s sleep that afternoon. Just fifteen minutes earlier two strange teenagers entered the premises, forcing her antennae to shoot up. Something was off with the duo, she was sure of it.
Mooney’s eyes remained on Cutie and Naylor until they melted into the brick building and away from her prying eyes. Restless, she stood up slowly, tucked the sleeve of her robe in the pocket, and smashed her cigarette into the glass tray next to the table. She grabbed some dirty laundry from the back and the dishwashing liquid in the kitchen. Before stepping foot out of her quarters, she grabbed her keys and stuffed the hammer in her pocket. She picked up the .45 a week back after the rash of break-ins, robberies, and rapes in her complex. If anybody wanted a taste of what rested between her legs, it would cost them their lives.
It was said that Mooney moved as light as a cat, and the theory proved correct. Headed for the basement, her toes angled against the cold, hard steps like a ballerina. She continued to move toward the laundry room until she heard two voices. Since it was pitch-black downstairs, she placed the pillowcase down for a second, stuffed her hand inside of her pocket, and cocked her weapon without removing it from its holding place. When she was done, she picked up the pillowcase and continued in the direction of the sour-smelling laundry room.
A wave of anger crept over her as she moved into the darkness, especially considering two weeks earlier the tenants had a meeting with the property manager about a lockbox being placed around the light switch to prevent the creepy people from turning it off. This, after an eighty-seven-year-old woman was raped and left for dead just because she chose to wash her grandbabies’ clothes. Since it was still as black as the bush on her pussy, she figured they didn’t give a fuck.
“Come on, stop playing, Cutie,” Naylor whispered in the shadows. “You know I won’t tell nobody if you let me flip that button. So open your legs and stop fucking around. You so got me geeking.”
Cutie sighed loudly. “I want to hook you up, but how I know you telling the truth?”
“Telling the truth ’bout what? I haven’t lied to you since you gave me your number in front of your school.”
She giggled. “I hear you, but you friends with my ex-boyfriend and stuff. I be seeing y’all together all the time shootin’ dice out back.”
“You already know I know the nigga, but I’d never do you like he did. He my boy and all, but he told everybody how sweet your box is.” He paused. “To tell you the truth, that’s why I’m here now. If you were mine, I’da never told nobody that shit.”
“I knew there was a reason.”
“I’m just being honest, Cutie. But it ain’t like I want to just stick and quit.”
“You promise you telling the truth? ’Cause I’ma cry my makeup off if you lying to me. I ain’t no freak or nothing.”
“First of all you ain’t no freak. And second of all, on everything I love, my mama included, I’m being real with you. I really want to be with you. Like more than I wanted to be with anybody.”
This mothafucka wants the pussy bad,
“Good, ’cause I really like you too. I told my friends and everything.”
“Well, stop playing and let me feel that jelly right quick.”
Cutie raised her jean skirt, opened her legs, and allowed him access into her body. His fingers pushed and prodded inside of her, scraping her labia along the way. It stung a little, but she was so juvenile that wanting to please him was more important than her dignity, or her health for that matter; Naylor’s hands hadn’t seen soap or water in days.
He felt he was in there like swimwear, until Mooney whispered into the darkness, “Cutie, stop what you doing and come on over here. Now.” She placed the pillowcase on the floor and it made a soft thud.
Naylor pulled his wet fingers out of her box and asked, “Who the fuck is that?”
Using the darkness to her favor, she said, “Don’t worry about who I am. Worry about what I can do to you.” She focused her attention back on the girl. “Cutie.” She paused. “Come on over here. Don’t make me wait much longer.”
“I don’t even know where you are!” She fussed, straining her eyes to clear up her vision.
“Just follow my voice. That’s all you need to do.”
“Ugh, I can’t believe you doing this!” Cutie pulled her panties up and tried to push down her skirt, which hadn’t budged an inch due to being so tight and tiny. It wasn’t enough for her to give the boys in the neighborhood an idea of what she was working with; she had to put it all on display like a Macy’s store mannequin. “This is so fucking embarrassing.”
“No, this is embarrassing,” Mooney responded as she flipped the light, revealing two boys across the way in the laundry room. Both held night-vision cameras in their hands. The plan was to put the video footage of Cutie getting it in on a Web site the three of them ran called Freaks On Blast. Had it not been for Mooney, she would’ve been a star.
“Oh my God! I can’t believe you did this shit to me,” she screamed at Naylor, hitting him on his collarbone with a bony fist. “You setted me up! You ain’t tell me nobody was going to be down here! I hate you! I hate you!”
Naylor stood up and pushed Cutie away. She flew backward and bonked her head on the washing machine. When she was on the floor, legs up in the air, he focused on Mooney. He could’ve broken the old biddy’s jaw if his arms were longer.
“I can’t believe you setted me up,” she repeated, rubbing her head.
Focusing his eyes back on Cutie, he said, “First off, ain’t no such thing as
you up. Second of all, you walked down here with me on your own. I didn’t give you no piggy-back ride.” He looked at his friends and said, “Come on, y’all. Let’s bounce before I bust on these bitches.” Naylor looked at Mooney and said, “You better hope I never see you again.”
Mooney’s voice was as cold as ice. “Now you know if you really feel that way we can make this the last time right now.” Using her only hand, she pushed her gun firmly into his crotch, right above his nuts. Mooney wasn’t up for killing minors, but if she had to go to jail, she was going to make it count. “So what you say, young man? You wanna die or live to breathe another day?”
Naylor looked at the gun and almost melted. “I’m g–going home,” he stuttered.
“I think that be best.”
When they walked up the stairs and out of sight, Mooney peered at Cutie in disgust. She knew the little girl was looking for love, but would have never thought she’d play herself in such a slutty fashion. “Where’s your mother, Cutie?” She grabbed her pillowcase off of the floor and moved toward the washing machine and threw her rags inside. “Because I know she don’t approve of the way you carrying yourself out here. Making movies and shit.”
“Why you worried about it?” she asked in a snotty tone, crossing her arms over her chest. “I keep telling you that you not my mama.”
“Trust me when I say I don’t want to be.” She focused on the mini miniskirt she sported even though Christmas was around the corner. “And it’s obvious that you don’t need to be watching yourself. Had it not been for me, you would’ve been famous.” She shook her head.
Cutie hopped on top of the washer next to the one Mooney was using. Her white stained panties were on exhibit for anybody wanting a view. At the moment there was no one. “So what you gonna do now, tell on me or something?”
“First of all, close your funky legs.” Mooney frowned.
She closed them and frowned. “Excuse me!”
Mooney shook her head. “Excuse yourself. And have I ever told on you about anything before?” Cutie didn’t respond quick enough for her. “Ain’t no need in you thinking too hard. You do a good enough job of telling on yourself as is.”
“Well, this is different because you caught me with a boy. So are you gonna rat me out or not?”
“Depends,” she said in a low voice.
“On if I ever catch you playing yourself like that again.” She flipped the top on the dishwashing liquid and poured it inside.
Cutie felt like such the slut puppet. “How did you know I was even down here? And them too?”
“I know a lot.” She smiled slyly. “You think sitting in the window all day makes me crazy. I say it makes me aware. I knew the moment I laid eyes on them before they came into this building that they were with him. They all have the same gait and, if you ask me, the same underhanded eyes.”
“They moved the same. Walked the same. Stuff like that.”
She sighed. “You know Naylor and his friends are going to retaliate against you, right?” Cutie warned. “They not the kinds of boys you mess with, Miss Mooney lady. I’m just saying.”
Mooney took her weapon out of her pocket and aimed it at Cutie, who flinched. “If they do, then I got something for ’em.” She tucked it back in her robe. “Plus I’m too old to be worried about some boy fool.”
Now it was Cutie who felt sorry for her. “I’m serious. Naylor mean, real mean, and his friends are too.”
Mooney laughed. “So what, you care about me now or something?”
Cutie frowned. “No! Ugh! I’m just letting you know that you should’ve minded your old-ass business. You can take the info or leave it. I don’t care much.”
Mooney grinned. She and the girl argued a lot, but there was a commonality between them, and if someone looked hard enough, they could even see love.
“After everything I’ve seen, there’s no way I’m gonna let a couple of little boys scare me.” She slammed the washing machine lid and leaned up against it. “And you shouldn’t either.”
Although Mooney was “Queen Cock Block,” Cutie would be lying if she didn’t say she was kind of happy that she saved her. She’d planned to do all of the freaky things she’d seen in the porno movies at her house. Not only that, but she missed Mooney. They hadn’t been in each other’s company in weeks, and there was something she wanted to know, but she didn’t have an excuse to be around her until now. She was already getting shit from her friends because of the strange relationship developing between the odd couple.
After remaining silent, Cutie asked, “So you gonna finish telling me or what?”
“What’s going on with your foster sister?” She reverted back to the topic. “How are you two getting along?”
Cutie frowned and pouted. “Damn, you act like you in love with her or something. Always asking me what’s up with her. When you gonna start asking what’s up with me? I got feelings too, you know.”
“I do ask about you. All the time. Ask your mother.”
Cutie tried to hide the smile, but it was exposed. “I never knew that.”
“Well, I do. And I asked about your foster sister because the last thing I saw was you beating her over stealing your iPod. Which, by the way”—she pointed in her face—“you had in your pocket the entire time. Remember that?”
Embarrassed, Cutie said, “How could I forget? You never let me.” She sighed. “I’m never home to see my foster sister. And Moms took a second job, and I’m always out the house. By the time I see her or my sister, they be ’sleep. And I like it that way.” She kicked her legs back and forth on the washing machine, sending banging disturbances throughout the laundry room. “So you gonna finish telling me the story about Farah or what? Was she able to get out of the situation?”
“Which situation, little girl?”
She exhaled. It seemed as if Mooney enjoyed delaying the story just to annoy her. She was certain that Mooney was aware that she wanted to know the fate of Farah Cotton and Slade Baker. “Farah killed Knox, her boyfriend’s brother! The last thing you told me was that Slade’s mother came in town and found Knox’s phone under her bed. So what went on after that?”
“Let’s just say things didn’t go the way Farah intended, when Slade and his family showed up to her house to question why she had Knox’s cell phone. Because, you must remember, the only reason she had it was because she killed him in her apartment, on the kitchen floor.”
“Yeah, and then she drank his blood,” Cutie added.
Mooney placed her hand in her robe and rested it on her gun when she heard a strange noise upstairs. “You’re right. And Farah never for once thought that his death would be tied back to her in any way. Why would it? It’s not like she ever met him before she killed him. And although she was dating his older brother, she didn’t know what Knox looked like.”
“Sometimes I have nightmares about Farah,” Cutie admitted. “With the drinking blood thing.”
“I know, it has kept me up late at night too. Originally she took to drinking blood to heal porphyria, you know, the blood disease she was born with. But later she started enjoying it.”
“It seemed like a lot of things were going on in her apartment at Platinum Lofts,” Cutie reflected. “With all the missing people she killed to drink their blood, she couldn’t have gotten away with it. Right?”
“You’re jumping way ahead now.”