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Lady Dick

by Tony Parker

About the Author: Tony Parker has lived in Beirut, Rome, London, and Prague. He currently lives in Seattle, in the Pacific Northwest. He studied fiction with James Thayer at the University of Washington, who stressed the value of scene, character, and conflict. He has been published with Literally Stories and Fabula Argentea.


I kiss him on the hotel room bed, the bedside lamp the only light. My evening gown and heels lie on the floor, the straps of my slip fallen off my shoulders. He’s down to his shorts. Just the way I like them. It makes a better picture, intention clear, but not a Hays Code violation. I pull him over to the near side, in the foreground. I unhitch his hands from my body and murmur, “Let me slip into something more comfortable.” I give him a smoldering look over my shoulder. I can frame the bed and enough of the painting to make the location. “Don’t you even twitch.”

In the bathroom I yank open my overnight bag, pull on my getaway dress, stuff my feet into flats. I glance in the mirror and tie back my hair. An Aryan milkmaid face, if I smile. I slot the flash gun into the Voitlander’s hot shoe. I spent sugar on the camera, ’cause I only get one shot. Like so many joes, I learned my trade in the war. Back then I was deep in occupied territory, the dink on the bed was a Nazi officer, and my camera was a gat, spitting lead. Main difference is it’s harder to scram when the mark is alive and angry. But the war ended two years ago, and DC coppers object to me ventilating mugs for adultery. In my right hand I carry a blackjack.

I take a deep breath and raise the camera. Showtime.

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