Posted in Fiction

Cutts, Shoots and Leaves

This is the beginning of a short story I started back in 2019. Consider it a work in progress.

The motel room was dark. Cutts flicked the switch, already knowing the layout of the room.  She ticked off the amenities on her fingers. Two queen size beds, television, desk, armchair, minibar, bathroom.

She’d always known this was how it would end.  Well maybe not always but she’d recognized that there was a good probability that she’d live her last moments in just this sort of place.

Thick drapes blocked any connection to the outside world. “It’s a tomb.” She thought.

The sea bag was light. It took no energy at all to pull her sack across the threshold. Hell, there wasn’t much in there. Just a pair of skivvies, a baggie with her works, a fifth of Beefeater wrapped in her dress blues, a gun and a roll of plastic sheeting. She’d had the forethought to change to her dress shoes before leaving the apartment. ( It wasn’t so much an apartment as a rooming house, where she rented a room and shared a bathroom with two other tenants.) 

Still, there was a commitment in every step Cutts took. The first when she packed her seabag, methodically placing each item into the bottom. Careful to slide the roll of plastic sheeting in first so as not damage her works. And then when she lifted the sea bag and placed the strap over her shoulder.  Each movement toward the hotel room was another signature to her now decided fate.  She did not pause however to ponder this.  Yet, this was the truth. Every movement, every breath was a step closer to bringing about her own end. Even when she straddled her soft tail and started it up, the hallmark eruption of  sound was yet another action moving her towards imminent death.

She wasn’t exactly sure if she’d change into her dress blues. Just as she was unsure if she would use again.  It seemed appropriate to dress for the occasion.  As if bringing about your own end would or should be a formal occasion. Shooting up would entail the possibility of passing out or changing her mind. And she did not want to change her mind.

She had come this far and did not want to begin again. Not start over. Not admit she had fallen. Not cop to being human and that thing she repeated every time she shared in a meeting. How long had it been lip service to introduce herself as, “I’m Cutts and I’m an addict?”

She also didn’t want to leave a horrendous mess. Of course there would be splatter, but why cause the hotel staff any more trouble by ruining their bedclothes? No, she would spare them at least that.

The room began to materialize and Mad surveyed the scene. “Typical.” She said, clucking her tongue. “Nice, clean hotel room. Resolved actor dutifully unrolling plastic sheeting and covering the bed. Wow, this chick is OCD or nuts or what?” Mad was speaking aloud. Although she was pretty sure Cutts would not be able to hear her. And if by chance she did, well, maybe she would stop this nonsense and avoid everything that would have to come after.

Suicides are a paperwork nightmare. Mad pushed her hand through her short, cropped, hair and sighed.

Cutts had everything laid out.  One bed was covered in plastic sheeting. On the other bed she unrolled her dress blues, picking up her works and laying them tenderly next to her clothes. She even laid her skivvies on top of her trousers in exactly the right place they would go on her body. She laid one pair of black dress socks neatly on the floor just below the legs of her trousers. Last to be unpacked was the gun in its case; a Glock 9mm. She placed it carefully next to her works. 

“So it’s come to this.” She whispered to herself.


a writer, photographer, sporter of black turtlenecks and a cemetery enthusiast. A former smoker, Mrs. Stahl does not have any cats and prefers Autumn to all other seasons.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s