Crape Myrtle (16)
Five in the afternoon, she appeared on the beach in Muay Thai outfit; headband, gloves, Taekwondo shoes, ankle sleeves, pink satin slit shorts, black sports bra and white windbreaker with mesh bag around her neck.
The beach cleared to the eyeshot. Few vehicles remained in dispersed spots. Beachgoers climbed ashore due to the unfolding weather. They were still loitering in the grass in scattered groups. Like usual, Taco carts and Tejano music continued in this awe-inspiring bliss.
Linda Linz wore a long black lace dress, cowboy boots and a blue utility jacket with sleeves rolled up from Azzedine Alaïa; the King of Cling who was said to create clothes with his own hands.
A little girl ran up, “Linda! Linda! Someone gave you a flower!” passed a pink crape myrtle and ran away.
“Thank you!” She smelt the flower and searched around through the drifting crowd. Those deep-set eyes fixed at a posture in white windbreaker and pink shorts with hands in the pockets.
She approached with a surprised expression on her face, holding the flower, Finally, she uttered, “Mono! Why are you wearing that?”
Natalia took away the black masquerade mask with purple feathers, “So that you could recognise me at once.” It was a song titled ‘Mentiras’ that recently reached the top charts played on the amplifiers.
“Am I not happy to see you!” she cursed between the teeth, “You are a…son of a…bitch!” in a subconscious mind not sure that Natalia stole the film in her camera.
“Come to the beach,” demanded Natalia, “I have something to show you.”
“It’s cold! I’m not getting down!” Linda knew she had to avoid this girl. Natalia grabbed Linda’s wrist with a strong grip. “Alright, alright, I’m coming!”
She drew the woman towards the beach, “Come on, baby! Let’s talk!” and hauled her into the loose sand.
“Take it easy! Mono! What’s wrong with you?”
“Look!” she shoved the mask into her hand, “Can you tell what it is?”
“No!” growled Linda brushing it away, “You can release my hand,” though she could easily fling off a fist in sparing glove.
Natalia cautiously released, “Come over there!”
“No!” she saw the signboard; ‘Swim At Your Own Risk’. “Nobody is out there!”
“Tell me about Savon Martin.”
“Who?” asked Linda massaging her wrist.
“Savon Martin…your boyfriend!”
Those deep-set eyes turned dark and penetrated into Natalia’s pair four inches below. “I don’t know!” and she turned to go. Natalia tried to grab her arm but Linda managed to flick away.
Natalia stepped up and caught her wrist. “Don’t go away!” Linda gave a twist and turn with strong bones and surprising strength but she failed to get free. Natalia clutched her arm underarm and dragged across the sand to the point beyond risk, off the access road.
There were people wandering in close quarters to hear a shout. The sky turned grey in an overcast. Wind and chill pierced through skin. Natalia demanded, “Tell me about Savon Martin.”
“I don’t know!” snapped Linda.
“I don’t want to hear that again,” warned Natalia, “Tell me about Savon Martin and I will leave.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking abouch…”
Natalia delivered a punch to the solar plexus and Linda stooped down like the wind knocked out unable to breathe. She shoved her over the foredune to shed below the dense grass and climbed on top, “I don’t want to hear another word. Where is the will?”
Linda cried in a frail voice, “Go fuck yourself!”
Natalia punched her face rapidly spurting blood from her nose. Linda was dazed for a moment. She wiped a backhand to witness blood. Then she grabbed Natalia’s windbreaker and pulled towards her face tossing her hips forward simultaneously to throw her off. She grabbed her middle and rolled over, grasping her wrists unexpectedly. A slight struggle but Natalia got her legs outside Linda’s body. She brought them up to lock in the face and jerked to throw Linda on her back. Natalia dived on top cradling both legs to the shoulder and pinned down with an elbow across her face.
Linda continued to exert force while her bottom got exposed in a thin red underwear as she lay head over heels and Natalia dangling jingle bells.
Linda’s fingers ploughed the sand and then she grabbed something solid. It was in Natalia’s mesh around her neck tossed in her reach. Linda slammed on Natalia’s head with the camera. Natalia rolled away.
For a moment, they remained still. Linda got up on her feet and glanced around. Then Natalia stood and both were exposed above grass. Abruptly, Linda fell back. Natalia launched a teep – a push kick. And she delivered a fistful of blows. Once again grabbed a leg and neck in a pin down.
“Please!” she heard Linda’s voice.
“Are you going to talk?” asked Natalia.
“Where’s the will you stole?”
“You will not lie to me?”
“Don’t make me come back again,” she released a bit and asked, “Did you take the money?”
Natalia straightened up and pulled out a voice recorder from her windbreaker pocket, “Where did you get the will?”
“Savon gave them to me…the will and the album in case they might steal. They could not find them at her mother’s place because it was hidden in a pocket under the bottom drawer in the wardrobe. If you don’t pull out the whole thing, you don’t see.
“Savon had seen the album before. Didn’t know it was a will inside the fireproof case. Then this guy came one day while I was with Savon. His name is Curtis. Asked to talk outside. He said his half-brother had a favourable offer to make, meet at Hulsen & Quinn. I drove him there. They offered a quarter million dollars for the will. Savon refused to accept it.”
“Who killed Savon Martin?” asked Natalia.
“I don’t know.”
“His name is Curtis. I have a strong feeling about him. I saw his car at Forsythe Park when Laura was killed. I didn’t have a camera but my friend did. She took some photos.”
“What type of car?” asked Natalia.
“A ’67 Ford Country Squire,” answered Linda, “I saw hypodermics in the car. He left the Ford in a parking lot near Hulsen & Quinn.”
“Where did you dump the camera case?”
“When I first came to Corpus Christi, I stayed in Annaville. I left the case in the motel. There was a circus I did go and had this idea about a rave. Some circus guys stayed at the motel.”
“How did you contact the lawyers?”
“I dropped a note under the door at Carmen’s.”
“You asked for money?”
“Fifty thousand. I was paid cash in dollars at Hulsen & Quinn.”
“You studied everything before you approached. Where were all those files and photographs?”
“I burnt them.”
“Mentiras!” snapped Natalia, “You’re a two-faced liar! In fact, a very clever one. Happy Christmas!”
She pulled up and began to walk towards north. It was extremely chilly and falling dark. When she arrived at the engagement point, she picked the mask from the sand and continued on towards her dirt bike. The crape myrtle flower lay dropped in the sand.
That night, weather turned awfully bad to bring in an ice storm in Corpus Christi. A rare phenomenon but it happened before. 24th December was recorded as one of the coldest days and freezing conditions lasted thirty-eight hours.
On 14th February 1990, Linda Linz appeared in an interview on KRIS-TV. She wore a sparkling gold mini dress and an untouchable with a net worth of 20 million dollars earning an annual sum of 6 million dollars.
“And then there was this,” anchor pointed to an image on the background screen of the studio set.
A transvestite with honeycomb hair sat bare and partially covered in chocolate on top of Linda Linz seated on a canvas folding chair.
Her deep-set eyes framed in golden hair scanned the image without losing a flair and confessed, “Yes, and that happened there.”
– END –