The Stockbroker – 8

The one called Jane was pulling at her tshirt where the sleeves were cut out. Then she watched him for a moment before she spoke again. You sleep-off that jump, mister?, she said.

I guess.

You didn’t much look like you were interested in breathing again. Good old Adolf goin and savin you. Kind of ironic right? Adolf savin and stuff.

Yeah, I guess.

Well, you’re in decent company now, Morris.

That’s good.

Holly, you had somethin you wanted to ask of here Morris.

Yeah. You want to offer me up any of what you got.

I’m mostly out.


He took the stash out and when he did she unclipped a set of keys from her jeanshort loop and dipped one into the bag and took a bump.

Thanks, she said.

You want some, he said.

The other shook her head.

He returned the stash. And the three of them remained in silence drinking and after a while he looked up toward the towers and said: you know those were erected because Austin had itself a serial killer.

The one had her head down and was clicking the snap-hook of her key ring. She looked at Morris now. What was erected?, she said.

The moonlight towers.

She continued clicking the keys. A serial killer?, she said.

A serial killer. Way back about a hundred years ago. Called him the midnight assassin.

She let her thumb off the snap-hook and regarded him. That aint true, she said.

The other was watching him again now. I heard he was called the servant girl annihilator, she said. Said he was serving God.

That aint true is it, Jane.

She looked at her. It’s true, she said. Killed somethin like eight girls. While they was asleep. Put some kind of spike in their ears. They said it might have been Jack the Ripper. Some voodoo ladies over in the old slave quarters thought he was some kind of spirit on account he never woke any of the dogs up.

Yall are pullin my leg.

Anyhow good thing we have them moon towers otherwise we’d need to be lugging our own lights out here, aint that right Holly.

She raised the cup to her mouth and drank. He studied her now and could see the sides of her breasts through the cutout.

Eyes up, Morris, she said, lowering down the cup.


That’s alright. I know they’re nice to look at. Just don’t be so obvious.

His face colored and the one asked him for another bump and he let it to her and then he finished what was left of his beer and set it in a bag with the rest of the empties.

She was watching him once more. Say, Morris is your first or last name, she said.

My first name is Jon.

Well, Jon. My brother’s got Tourette’s. I reckon it’s what’s got hold of you the same.

That’s right.

It don’t bother me none.


I know it bothers some people but those people they’re bothered by most anything.

He stood there for some time longer. Trying not to make a sound. Trying not to move. Finally he said: I got to get going.

She put out her hand and he held it. Don’t be a stranger, Jon, she said.

I won’t.

Holly, tell him don’t be a stranger.

Don’t be.

He let fall her hand. He turned then and began to walk away and when he was about disappeared into the grove he could still hear the party. He kept on, passing beyond the cookfire and somebody still playing the guitar. A trove of stars was plied against the impending dusk. He walked along and up the creek bank and could see the tower just forwardly to the east.