Glory Box ~ Dia De Muertos

  Dark Flash Fiction ~  Copyright Linda Y James   All Rights Reserved

Mature Content 

 

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It had been 6 months since we last spoke.  Over a year since we last touched.  And there was a whole lot of that going on.   A Shag marathon at his London flat.  It would have been a perfect weekend had it not been for HER.  

I repeatedly.. REPEATEDLY.. asked him not to talk about her.  Sure,  in general terms, OK.  But leave out the blow-by-blow account of their sexual escapades.   And telling me that she informed him ~he had given her “ the best orgasm ever.” He brought this up : Not once, or twice, try at least on seven different occasions.    

 

Jeez.  Seriously?

 

Wait..what?  Not the best SEX ever.  There is a difference.

 

 

Did he do that with his other women.  Prater on about her.  Or was I special?

 

He would preface encounters with her by saying,  “I know you don’t want to hear this, but…”   

 

We had the start of a good solid friendship.  He is engaging, intelligent, sweet smile.  And at times caring and respectful of my feelings.  Except.. yeah.. you got it.  

 

Oh not to forget the kisses, mind-blowing kisses and foreplay.   He would gently stroke my earlobe then very slowly, teasingly kiss tenderly down my neck.  Back up and suck ..very gently on my earlobe.  Turn my head … softly kiss my mouth.  Hold my hand and play with my fingertips, move his fingers and  stroke my palm.  With both hands…take  my face firmly yet gently while slipping his tongue in my mouth then sucking on my lips.  Slow, juicy, kisses… He would stop suddenly.  Release me.  Then pull me close with one hand while pulling my hair back with the other.

 

Then on to the slow gentle kisses going down my neck to my breasts, tenderly sucking my nipples  before grazing them lightly with his teeth.  What a way to climax.  And the intense look on his face.  The man ..in bed.. knew how to please.  

 

I wanted to see him before I left town.   My employer , an up and coming biotech firm had recently put in my transfer to their Berlin office.    

 

I just finished an emergency job for the Akira Ebisu Corporation.  I was their “cleaner.”

Cleaned up the problems that could harm the reputation or cause “hardship” to my employer. 

I poured a glass of wine, lit a B&H Silver Slide Filter and inhaled deeply, blew out a few rings. My grandfather taught me how to do that when I was 15.  I know, great man, bad influence.  With sage advice,  “Never ever take shite from anyone.”  A true mantra.

Savoring every drop of wine and starting to relax before I was interrupted by a loud knock at my door.

 

“Bakery Delivery.  Sign here.”

I signed and the corporate courier dressed in all black handed over the package.  I watched as she..she seemed so young… in her mid 20’s.   Tall..170cm.. perhaps. Short blonde hair.  Small cute face with freckles. Athletic build… I watched her walk to the curb, climb onto her posh jet black Ducati Diavel and jettison away in seconds flat.

 

The Package was a small black box, weighing less than I had expected .. not quite a kilo. ( I was expecting at least 2 kilos.) I took the package back to the kitchen and opened it to verify contents then repackage for my corporate overlords.

The “Bakery” had done a superb job. Inside the box was a crystal jar containing a grayish material.  Their state of  the art equipment refined what had been coarse sand like material into sugary texture granules. And thus reduced the weight of the product.

Oh yes, back to my friend.   This was Dia de Muertos after all.  And most years, I would gather with a small group of co-workers who celebrated.  Our chief accountant and his wife would usually host..they would go all out.  Complete with elaborate costumes and sugar skull face paint.  And the food ..yes I’m going to say it.. was To Die for.

Tamales made from corn-based dough filled with shredded chicken, diced green and red peppers, sweetened with pineapple cinnamon jelly.   Pan de Muertos:  Sweetbread baked in the shape of bones lightly dusted with confectioners sugar.

Alcohol..and lots of it.  Not just tequilla, but specialty mixed drinks.  My favorite is Margarita del Diablo.   Blood orange puree, sour mix with mole rim and the key to its greatness … ginger ale and wait for it… Tres Generaciones with Citronge.  Hmmm..

And let’s not forget the Sugar Skull Cookies which brings me back to the beginning of this story, my friend Jason.   I COULD drop by his flat and give him a peace-offering of some freshly baked cookies. 

I took out my cake mixer, spatula, measuring cups & spoons, cookie sheet   and  searched my cupboards & fridge for all the key ingredients:

 Sugar, Butter, Vanilla, Almond Extract, Flour, Baking Soda, Shot of Tequila for good measure and

for the Royal Icing:  Meringue powder, Food Coloring, Angostura Rum, small pack of cream cheese.  

Then added…

…   1 full tablespoon of the sugar like contents from the “Bakery”  package.

 

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I resealed the Crystal Jar  and put it back into the black box.  Placed my business card on top of the jar. A sign to the higher-ups that the contents had been “verified.”  Taped the box.  I would hand deliver this along with the contents of my briefcase early tomorrow morning to my boss, Stanford.

I poured another glass of wine, lit up my fifth ..no sixth  B&H of the day , put on my grey linen apron & proceeded to make the best damn sugar skull cookies ever.     

I placed my tiny ‘skulls’ into a medium-sized Cello cookie bag.  Put the  bag into a midnight blue gable box.   Fed the cat,  checked my makeup and headed out to my friend’s London flat.  It would take about 20 minutes from my Wandsworth home.

 

Although I came to his home unannounced & as of late, we weren’t exactly on the best of terms, he greeted me cordially.  Said he was about to leave to meet some friends.  I explained that I had been re-assigned to Berlin  and would not be back in London for several months.

 

Jason invited me in for a quick drink.  His deep intense grey blue eyes.  Strong jaw.  He looked good. And despite my reservations,  I so badly wanted to ask…

Does a shag come with the drink?

 

“Actually, I just popped in to say goodbye and inform you of my temporary relocation and to give you these.  Freshly baked with a very special ingredient.”

 

I handed him the gable box.

 

“Please have one.  Let me know what you think.”

 

“Skulls? Really?”

“For Dia de Muertos.  Please have at least one.”

As he opened the box and took out a light pink skull cookie,  I noticed an off white cedar chest in the corner of his kitchen.

 

“The chest?”

“Glory Box.  I made for a friend.”

 

I walked over to the chest.  Excellent craftsmanship.  Ornate ~ with the initials AES craved on top.

 

I knew those initials.  Angela Elizabeth Stewart.  HER.  

I took a couple of the cookies from the box. Rolled them in foil, and wrapped the foil in one of my friend’s Crimson linen napkins.   Placed my ‘gift’ into the glory box.  Next to some very nice thick blue towels, and on top of what appeared to be some very expensive celeste colored Egyptian sheets.

“My contribution.”

A smile.  This man had a very engaging smile.

 

“The cookies?”

“Delicious.  So what is the secret ingredient?”

“Very secret corporate recipe.  If I told you.. then I would..”

“Have to kill me?”

“Naturally.  I will say this.  I know that you have had this ingredient on more than one occasion and I would say it’s a safe bet, you’ve described it as more than delicious.”

“Really?”

“Pretty damn sure.  Look it’s late , I have a flight early morning and you stated earlier than you were meeting friends.  I better go.”

 

I was nervous for some reason.  I  walked over to the counter and gave my friend a warm hug and light kiss on the lips.

 

“I’ll ring you when I return to London.  If that’s ok?”

 

Another smile, but sadness in his eyes.  I didn’t feel it was from my leaving.  Something else. 

“Bye for now, Misaki,  Take Care.”

“You as well, Jason.  Enjoy your cookies.”

 

 

halloween make up sugar skull

12 Hours Earlier 

I was preparing  for my  co-workers Day of the Dead Party,  Yes, looking forward to the Devil Margaritas and Pan de Muertos and the sweet succulent tamales.   

A night off.  Or so I thought.  I had  Los Platronics ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ playing in the background.

Lost in thought.. the phone rang.  It was my boss, Chief of Security, Stanford.

“Emergency At Limerston.  Your assistance is required.”

I didn’t have a choice.

My drive to Chelsea took less than 10 minutes in moderate Holiday traffic.  The Corporate flat was off of Limerston Street.  Two Bedroom, 2 Bath, one Reception room, Garden, Study/Conservatory, generous sized living room/dining room,  Pantry and Laundry Room. Red Brick, Black Doors.  

I had been to the Flat twice before.  

I was greeted at the door by Stanford.

“Honey Trap gone wrong.”

“What?”

“Martin was a target of an online Honey.”

 

Cinco de mayo - Sugar skull

Martin was one of our leading bio-engineers.   Who as well as ALL of the Akira Ebisu ‘family’ went though a very through orientation process that spelled out that our competitors in addition to many governments would use such a ploy to gain access to our proprietary research.

Stanford informed me that during  the  tryst, (which from the looks of it, involved some bondage gear), Martin’s “date” had an aneurysm and died at the scene. Information and photos on her iPhone confirmed her espionage.   He handed me the phone.

I was surprised it was unlocked.  As I scrolled through the photos of pages of Martin’s documents, I came upon some of a personal nature.  And I recognized the man in most of those photos, my friend Jason.    Some things were starting to make sense to me.  His hardcore addiction and attraction to this woman.   She had been using him as well.  She was pretty.  Heart shaped face with widow’s peak.  Younger than he had led me to believe.  Thirty? Thirty-one? Short dark hair.   They looked happy together.

 

“Angela Elizabeth Stewart.  Art Student. Camden.”

“Body?”  I asked Stanford.

“Already at the Bakery.  Should take 3-4 hours for you to receive the package.  Confirm contents and return with her phone, purse & keys tomorrow morning.  Remember your card on top this time.”

Glad I remembered my briefcase.

“Arrangements on her Holiday?”  I learned that the details could vary.

“Your usual channels.  Make sure that her phone is wiped and her keys will be placed with the ‘twin’ cadaver for her unfortunate car accident.  This should occur as soon as possible.  And we need leads on her boss.  Any questions?”

“No Sir…Correction,  one sir.  You wouldn’t have an extra pack of B&H?”

  

Special Note regarding the above flash fiction piece:

 

    • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, products,  places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Trademarked Products ~ were used as a literary device only.   No sponsorship or endorsements implied or expressed. 

One more thing ~ Cookie Anyone?     

 

Great sugar skull  cookie recipe here… minus the secret ingredient  … (evil laugh)

Sugar Skull Cookies