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The audio cassette hissed away on aJkrh's Nagra. "You hear it?" he said. "There's nothing there." "Sure there is." He hit rewind and played it again. "Listen closely. This is a woman, now, remember. A beautiful woman. It's not going to be like foghorns in the night." I pressed my ear close to the speaker. He was right: a few seconds in, a distinct "puh." "This is first gen?" I asked, knowing the answer. "Course. You know I always do my own field work." He patted the Nagra gently, lovingly. "You can't trust the provenance on this kind of merchandise. I was sitting so close, I didn't even need to use the shotgun." I searched aJkrh's fucked up face. He was crafty, but that's what made him so damned good. "And... did you..." "Did I... what?" aJkrh smirked. "Did you... smell it?" "Money first." "Half first," I bargained. "Half after you tell me." "Done." I forked over twenty bucks and grabbed the cassette before he could change his mind. The plastic was still warm from the machine. "Yeah, I smelled it," aJkrh said. "It was... mousey. And lemony. Like a mouse with lemons squeezed all over it." aJkrh was crude, but not without sensitivity. "She shifted her haunches," he whispered. "To let it out, I mean." "Oh, God!" I blurted, bringing the cassette up to my nose. Of course there was nothing. Just the smell of acetate and adhesive. I closed my eyes and tried to picture it. "That's right," aJkrh purred. "Drink it in. Three days ago, in a small Manhattan diner, Jessica Alba squeezed out a fart. She thought she could get away with—" "Please, you're intruding on my—" "She thought she could get away with it," aJkrh persisted, swallowing hard. "But I was there. Maybe she took a shit earlier, do you think? From her asshole." He was right. Maybe she had taken a shit. Maybe Jessica Alba's anus was gluey with dung. That would account for the muted force of the expulsion, the voiceless anal plosive. "Puh," aJkrh reminded me. "Puh." "Take it! Take it, you wretch!" I said, shoving the other twenty in his clammy paw and bolting up the basement stairs. Normally I stay for cookies, but this was an emergency.
Date Written: April 29, 2008
Average Vote: 4.83333