As he took the corner of 3rd Avenue and 8th Street particularly fast, the cold black handgun on the passenger seat almost slid onto the floor. Jack’s hand snaked out and caught it in time, pulling it back within easy reach for when he got to his destination. When his hand wrapped around the checkered rubberized grip of the 9mm Beretta, his mind began to visualize the events that he planned to occur.
He saw himself enter her apartment, the one he had been paying for. He saw himself walking in the darkness through the living room and entering her bedroom, where she would be asleep. He had a key, though she didn’t know it, so he would enter silently and catch her totally unaware as she slept. She would be in a silk baby doll nightdress – expensive, imported, and one of his many purchases for her. She’d not know he was there, not see him, and be totally unaware of anything until his finger pulled the trigger, the gun barked, and a 9mm slug of lead ended her miserable life.
She had been different lately. Not as passionate or sensual. She seemed to get tired more easily and wasn’t as happy to see him. Her eyes lacked the sparkle and passion they had once held. Jack was nobody’s fool; he could see what was happening. It was obvious. Gina was seeing someone else. Well, no woman took his money, lived in his apartment, and then slept with another man, not as long as his name was Jackson P. Dunphy.
He was out in the suburbs now, cruising down Madison Boulevard towards the apartment complex where he rented suites for his Mistresses. The snow was still falling, but lightly now, twinkling in the streetlights as it passed beneath them.
Jack wasn’t watching the road. His mind was fixated on his planned murder. Nobody would notice her gone, she was just another floozy in this gumball town, just another piece of eye candy seen on his arm at cocktail gatherings and social dinners. There had been many before her and would be others after she was gone. Nobody would even notice she had been replaced.
He had been at just such a party tonight. It had been an opening of the Ozland Gallery. Some artist named Riali was displaying cutesy works that weren’t Jack’s taste. Not that he had cared about the art or the dame with him. Jack was there because the important people were there, and he was one of the important people -- Important with a capital 'I.' As it was an artsy event he had taken Trish who knew all the local artists. She wasn’t as good in bed as Gina, or even Lisa for that matter, but she had the ability to talk about anything and was good for when he had to mix with the eggheads, beatniks, and hippies.
Jack saw the traffic light go orange and gunned the engine of the ’77 Plymouth Volare. The 318 cubic inch V8 growled and the car sped up effortlessly, easily beating the red light. He was going dangerously fast for the weather conditions, not paying attention as his mind wandered, and still feeling the effects of the several, very dry, martinis he had imbibed at the gallery.
Jack didn’t see the three cats until it was too late. Their pure black fur stood out in sharp contrast against the white snow and their eyes sparkled with the reflected light of the streetlights. Black cats were unlucky and were the harbingers of doom in Jack’s opinion. He could have sworn they were smiling at him, some evil thought in their little kittenish minds.
When he saw them he reacted on instinct and stepped on the brakes. The wheels of the Volare locked up instantly and the car began to skid. In a frantic effort to regain control, he jerked the steering wheel to the left, over-correcting for the skid and putting the sedan into a slow spin.
Arwin saw the headlights coming towards her. She saw the car running the red light. She saw it start to spin and she could do nothing as it crossed the center line into her lane. It was late at night and she was on her way to the bus garage to park the bus for the night. She had finished her run and was alone when the drunk ploughed into her front grill. But it was a big, solidly-built bus and she was wearing a seatbelt, so apart from irritation at the reports she knew she was going to have to write, she was unscathed by the collision.
The coroner’s report stated that Jack died instantaneously from severe trauma to the head when he went through his windshield head first into the New Flyer logo on the front of the bus. The cause of the accident was listed as loss of control at excessive speed for the conditions due to alcohol impairment. It didn’t say that a useless scum bag had been sent to the depths of Hades where he belonged.
Looking down from her perch on a nearby rooftop, Bast the Cat Goddess smiled and stretched. Her three little minions had done their job for the night and were now safely snuggled up in their baskets. The world was a slightly better place because of her efforts.