Big Money by Janet Shell Anderson

I like big money.

I called Richmond’s house in Florida on my cell an hour ago, expecting to hear his voice. Police answered.

Richmond Edward Davies, the man I’m supposed to marry here in Arizona next week, is dead.

Something sings at the cliff edge; old rock lyrics crowd my mind. “I can feel it coming in the air tonight.” Old stuff. Means nothing. I taste the eclipse of moon in cloud over the famous canyon, walk to the edge of Bright Angel Trail, but there’s no Bright Angel for me. Something dark sings in the desert night. My aunt taught me never to feel anger. Grief. Love. She named me Estella. Her joke. Ten years ago I came here as a child, almost like an ordinary tourist, loved the mile-deep canyon, the violent red cliffs, slice of river. She taught me to hunt.

Now I hunt people. It’s not so hard.

Last year I found Richmond in Palm Beach. 700 million dollars. I liked him.

Under jellyfish moons where tides run to the seawalls and the air stinks of salt, I found out every single thing about the Davies’ family: accounts, money, insurance, intrigues, crimes. Big money usually comes from crimes.

Something cries in the deep canyon, sharp as razorwire. Far upstream where there are no tourists, I learned to deal with anything.

I saw a deer before sunset here at the edge. Over the lip of the cliff in the juniper. So fragile. It did not fall the five thousand feet. It vanished.

The moment I saw Richmond, I knew he was for me. The police say it’s suicide, but they’re wrong. Victoria Elizabeth Cameron Davies, his father’s widow, has murdered Richmond. I should have known. It’s always simple. She inherits.

“Cell Phone and Coins in Water” (image via Flickr user brokinhrt2)

On my cell, on Facebook, he still looks at me, beautiful face for a man. I toss the cell far out over the edge, far down toward the Colorado River a mile below.

“And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life.” I hear that damned song without hearing it. My aunt taught me everything. When you hunt, kill clean.

So I have to go to Flagstaff, get my gear. It’s a long drive to Palm Beach. Victoria will be surprised to see me.

Janet Shell Anderson likes to read and write flash fiction. Nominated for the Micro Prize for short fiction and  the Pushcart Prize for fiction, she has published a “flash novel”  only a few thousand words long that covers a character’s life. Her work has been published by Vestal Review, Convergence, decomP, Grey Sparrow, Concisely, The Scruffy Dog, Gemini, Pindeldyboz, Lark’s Fiction, Long Story Short and others. She is an attorney.