By Steve Loring


Jason woke with a start and a stabbing headache.  His temples throbbed.  Someone was knocking at the door.

“Go away.”  He hissed.  His insides turned and told him to go to the bathroom.

Where was he?

Oh, yeah.  Crap motel. 

Rough night.  He remembered now.  The woman he was after followed him here.  They talked and drank copiously from the cheap bottle he’d purchased around the corner. 

Things got weird after that.   

He entered the miniscule bathroom and looked at the toilet.  It was clean, sterile even.  The porcelain gleamed and fostered his need to piss. 

He unbuttoned his pajama bottoms.  The urine hit the bowl.  Jason exhaled and leaned back, relaxing with the stream.

Knock knock.  Knock knock.  KNOCK!

Who the fuck was at the door? 

Jason wanted to ignore it and get on with vomiting, but instead he moved to his bag and retrieved a Browning 9mm semi-automatic. 


He raised the pistol and inched toward the door.

“Who’s there?”


Gun to hip, he approached and asked again.

“Who the fuck is it?”  Jason pressed his eye to the peephole but couldn’t make out the face on the other side.

“Open the door, asshole.”  The voice was female, familiar. 

He unlatched the deadbolt and swung the door wide.  A beautiful woman stood on the other side, clad in a low cut black dress, dark sunglasses dangling beneath her perfectly cast blue eyes.

“Grace?”  He stammered, weapon falling to the floor.

“You don’t answer your door anymore?”

“No… not lately.”

“Not even for me?”

Jason bent down and picked up the semi-auto.  He removed the clip and slipped it into his pajamas pocket. 

“Come in.”

“You sure?  You were a little angry with me last time.”  She slinked inside and slid onto the king size bed. 

“What do you want, Grace?”

“I want a million bucks in the bank.  I want a guy to tell me I smell good sometimes.  I want weekends away from this shit town.”

She rolled a cold eye.

“But, we both know I already have all that.”

She turned her gaze toward his and smiled.  Her gleaming teeth cut through the dim hotel room as her face bounced in and out of shadow.

This was no longer the tense, pensive drama geek he helped get away from an abusive father years ago.  The last time he saw her, she and her boyfriend, a wannabe low-level meth dealer, decided to run off to Vegas to get married.  Within a month, he was pinched by undercovers at Circus Circus and got hard time due to a slew of priors.

Grace did toothpaste commercials and grunt work low budget films to make ends meet after that. 

Yet here she was, despite it all, now considered one of Hollywood’s new up-and-comers.

Jason was actually surprised she was still alive.

“I need your help.”  Her augmented breasts rose and fell.

“Go on.”

“There’s this girl.  A real stalkerazzi.  Like, Single White Female stalker.  She thinks she’s me.  Follows me everywhere.  I don’t know.  I think she could be dangerous.”

“What does she look like?”

“Like I told you.  Me.” 

Jason winced.

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“Your fucking job, maybe?  You’re the private detective.”

“You want me to follow her.  Track her.  See what she’s up to…”


“Okay.  But I get paid this time.  In cash and upfront.”

“Whatever you say, Jay.” 

She retreated from the bed and fiddled with her phone.

“Your money is transferred.” 

“You should go.”

“You sure?”

“I’ve got work to do.”

“Suit yourself.” 

With that, she scooted off the bed and headed toward the door. 


* * *


Jason moved back to the bathroom.  He suddenly felt like he might be sick.  The scattered remains of a pair of black sunglasses sat on the floor next to him as he placed his face above the bowl.  His insides begged to be let out, but after a few huffs and heaves, he gave up.

He had nothing.

Felt nothing. 

He turned his head toward the silhouette behind the shower door.  It was limp, dark, and caliginous in the bright light.

Jason slid the shower door open.  A dark haired dead beauty flopped out and hit the floor.  Blood oozed from her eyes and ears.

He thought he had everything right.  Every detail.  The hair.  The glasses.  Hell, she even spoke like her.  Yet, still, here it was.

He had killed the wrong woman.

Steve Loring’s work has appeared in Psychopoetica, SPIN, Billboard, The Los Angeles Times, and The Orange County Register to name only a few publications. Loring’s background in film and screenwriting is evident in his written dialog, though he’s spent much of his adult life as a lyricist — a vocation that helps him bring dark, poetic twists to the fiction he writes. His most recent work was published by Akashic Books, Jitter Press, and Omnific Publishing. He lives in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2015 Steve Loring. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!

Return to Fiction.

Return to Over My Dead Body! Online.