by Robert Garner McBrearty
In this version, the young woman drives through pouring rain and checks into an old, dilapidated motel where she is shown to her room by a tall man, the motel owner, who mutters something about his strange, ailing mother. The young woman steps into the shower, but senses movement, a shadow, just a moment before the curtain is flung open. A huge knife plunges toward her chest, but, in this version, she is a karate expert, a professional killer in fact. She catches the arm of the psycho in the granny moo moo, throws him down into the shower, rips the knife from his hand and stabs him three times deftly in the chest as he screams. Blood swirls down the drain as she puts her clothes back on, assumes no check out is required under the circumstances, and sets off in her car, leaving the authorities to figure out why the motel owner, wearing a granny moo moo, is dead in the tub. She drives on through the rain, squinting through the windshield, spine tingling, scalp prickling, hands tight on the wheel. She’s on full alert now, wondering in what form the next assassin will appear.
Robert Garner McBrearty’s stories have appeared in a number of places including the Pushcart Prize, Missouri Review, Narrative, New England Review, Fiction (forthcoming), Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and North American Review, as well as in his own four collections of stories. Most recently, Matter Press published a collection of his flash fictions.