Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 36


Cynicism, Lea Kelley

Suicide Queen

by Chris Bollweg

A wipe of a hand across glass brushed aside a layer of dust, leaving rainbow streaks of oil in its place. Peering through the glass was a memory of the face reflected atop it. Those sultry eyes, over a devil may-care grin, that never faded in their emerald luster. They lacked facets that had yet to come to light.

There was a name for the possessor of this museum to her nostalgia, and it whispered from each artifact on display in the penthouse. This memory was signed at the bottom with a kiss and an SQ. Inside the case lay a stack of hundred-dollar bills and the Queen of Hearts with a sword through her head.

“To your right, ladies and gents,” She made a sweeping gesture, “from the tombs of The Great Raj, we find a display of natural stones; obtained under extreme duress from Calcuttan armed transport. Not the cleanest heist our Suicide Queen ever pulled off, but successful all the same.” Her little joke to herself, playing tour guide to an imaginary crowd.

She approached the display at the center of the room. Encased in museum-grade glass, sat real sunken pirate treasure; a barnacled wooden chest spilling pieces-of-eight.

“And this exhibit, folks, has quite the adventure behind it.” She turned on her bare toes as if she were still wearing heels. “It began, like all great adventures, with a mysterious stranger.” She waited for the imaginary ooh’s and aah’s to die down. “One who looked like Michael Douglas after a few Gin Rummy’s.”

She leaned in for the crowd to get closer, “That’s the Suicide Queen’s beverage of choice. One part gin, one part rum. Roll the dice and toss in some ice.” She punctuated with a wink.

“That’s right folks, our femme fatale, The Suicide Queen, hunted this chest down all in thanks to a map, obtained from our man after a steamy night of passion in Buenos Aires.” Her pulse quickened at the memory. Oh, to be young again.

“Three months on a Spanish crab trawler, she bent the captain’s ear.