A Love Letter to Squeakie Pelham

For the past two years, I’ve tried to come up with a clever and original introduction to each story, like The Twilight Zone on meth, welcome to the hellhouse; this is life in the Gutter.

I have no set-up for the next story. You people are sick.

A Love Letter to Squeakie Pelham by Salvadore Ritchie

Huey Lewis and the News asked if I believed in love. I answered back with an emphatic YES. Why else would I have shaved every bit of hair off my body and slicked every bald inch with Tara Thunders Cinnamon Flavored Erotic Grease? I did it for my betrothed. I did it for Squeakie Pelham. I did believe in love. In fact, love was the reason I decided to fight.

I was thrashing around, slippery as an eel from an intruder in my house trying to shoot me or kidnap me or something. Naked, bald, vulnerable, I decided the best defense was a good offence. I had slid towards him on one heel and slammed right into his chest, locked in mortal combat. Being a short, skinny man, I used the only two assets I had—a Tara Thunders grease-drenched body and a vintage gold-speckled motorcycle helmet. I put it on earlier while sitting in the closet, snorting the last of my three eight balls. I felt safe in there while waiting for my betrothed to return with more powder. Upon impact, I wrapped one leg around his and locked his chest to mine. I went for the gun. My goal was not to remove the gun from him because, like Squeakie, he had at least a foot and fifty pounds on me. The goal was to grease it up enough with Tara Thunders’ slather that I would have a clean shot at getting away before any pops from his piece. I slammed my helmet against his chin because I was too short to reach his nose. Stunned, he grunted and stepped back with the leg I was locked on. With that precious second I simply rubbed his hand and the gun down. Then I rubbed more cinnamon erotica into his eyes. 

Dah! Was all he could get out. 

Now let’s pause here. 

This has been a fast pace tale up to this moment, but I would like to stop for just a second and tell you that there is a point where incredible amounts of cocaine over a long, continuous period gives one a certain super human ability to respond to volatile situations with decisive accuracy. This was one of those situations. (P.S., It also gives one bursts of genius, like surprising your betrothed by shaving every bit of body hair off and drenching yourself in Tara Thunders cinnamon-flavored grease. No sober person could think of such creativity, I assure you. That is erotica. That is romance. That is love.) 

Stunned, slicked, distracted, my assailant was overwhelmed by the cheetah-like nature of my ferocity. This was my opportunity. We were doing close-quarter battle in the second story master bedroom loft that over looked the sparsely populated prefab mansion that I had recently purchased. One of the spoils of a 90 million dollar Power Ball lottery win six months earlier. The loft had a rod iron balcony that offered panoramic views of the open gourmet kitchen and main living room below. 

I released myself from my assailant by a bold jerk back, fueled by a cartel amount of cocaine inside me. With the soles of my feet still slick, I dipped into a slide. Like an Olympian speed skater, I used Tara Thunders erotic grease to hurl myself head first to the balcony. My glistening stomach slammed into its faux Tuscan railing and over it I went, bottoms up. On the way down I flipped twice, legs spread.

In that moment I thought about how profound life was. I thought about Squeakie. I wish I could have climbed her mountain one last time. Maybe this was it. Time does slow in these moments. It’s amazing how fast 90 million dollars disappears, especially with good drugs, illegal cockfighting and mug shots. How fast it all goes… 

Down I slammed into four mattresses Squeakie and I ordered online days before with the plastic wrap still on. The plastic clung as long as it could to my greasy back as the dip finally gave way and catapulted me skyward. Like the space shuttle, I reached a moment of terminal velocity and gravity pulled me back to the only other piece of furniture in the room, a glass table shaped like a painter’s pallet with gold legs. 

Smash, I went right through it. 

My assailant’s gun went off twice as he rolled down the stairs, still greased from my intimate snuggle. 

Despite an almost spiritual numbness from days and days of cocaine intake, I was becoming keenly aware of the different shards that were imbedded in my skin. None the less, I sprang up, knowing I had to warn my Squeakie of the danger. My betrothed!

Head first I went into the ten-foot-tall glass doors that lead to the pool. I guess the glass truly was reinforced because my vintage gold speckled helmet bounced right off of it, sending me backwards and once again onto my back. 

Now I was grunting. 

I flipped over onto my stomach to see where my assailant was.

Relief cascaded through my coke-addled body. He was crumpled up at the bottom of the stairs, a lifeless lump. Perhaps one of those gunshots got him. Perhaps the tumble broke something important. 

I didn’t care. As long as he was dead. As long as I still believed in love

Salvadore Ritchie works as an IT professional at a hospital that handles large trauma and psych units. Shotgun wounds from beef's gone bad or naked maniacs high on bath salts, he sees it all. Sal picks up on stories in the lounge or by watching police sprint down the hall with stun guns ready. His stories have appeared in Pulp Metal Magazine, Yellow Mama and A Twist of Noir. At home he lives with his wife's cats.