Winter 2012, #18


The Beating

     by Cary Tennis

The beating had been about average, given how much money was involved: a little shoving, a few punches and it was over, like they had a 6:30 beating to get to and his face was holding them up.

After the beating he lay gasping for breath on the bed in the room on the boulevard that had French doors and flowers in a vase on a table.

It was a much smaller room than he had expected to get.

"Money," he said to himself, fingering the swollen place over his eye. "Money doesn't matter." But a small room was different. Room size mattered. A small room could make a rich man feel poor. He called down to the desk and requested a bigger room.

"Everything OK up there?" the desk clerk asked. "I heard some noise."

"Everything is fine now," he said. "I just need a bigger room. I'm expecting more guests."