Under a moonlit sky, rain drops the size of ping pong balls bounced and splashed as if in watery song. Elena Ferucci dashed into the bar, completely soaked. As she looked around the room, she ignored the men undressing her with their eyes. She was used to it, but it still pissed her off. But then of course, most everything pissed her off.

She avoided eye contact with anyone and casually selected a bar stool next to a man in a mechanic’s uniform. As she sat down, her soggy, blond ponytail swung near his face, lightly spraying his cheek. “Sorry,” she said and fumbled in her purse for a tissue. The man lifted his cocktail napkin and wiped the drops away. He said not to worry. Elena thought he seemed shy and might prove to be a bit of a challenge.

She threw him the barest of smiles and turned to face the bar. She knew she had his attention. She smoothed the loose hair back from her face and her damp skin glowed in the dimly lit bar. Her wet clothes clung as if her body possessed them, rather than simply wore them. The bartender approached and asked what she wanted to drink. She turned to the mechanic, looked at his glass, and said to the bartender, “The same as the gentleman is having.” Perhaps emboldened by the smile, and surely mesmerized by her looks, the mechanic spoke again. “You don’t even know what my drink is.” And with that, she knew she had him.

 “I don’t care what I drink, I just want to get drunk. My name’s Elena, what’s yours?”

 “I’m Wayne,” he answered and lifted his glass. “Cheers.”

They had a few drinks and made small talk. Elena didn’t want to rush anything, so she took her time. She could tell this man wasn’t used to beautiful women coming on to him. He acted cool, but the glint of sweat on his forehead gave him away.

Though she could drink most men under the table, she faked it and started to act a bit woozy. She began to slur a few words, almost knocked over her glass, and then dropped her purse.

 “Want me to take you home? Seems like you’ve had enough for tonight.”

“Sure. But only if it’s your home you take me to. I don’t want be alone,” Elena sighed. A tiny tear slipped down her cheek. It was the perfect touch. She knew he’d never resist.


Wayne lived a few short blocks away in a small one-story house behind a well manicured hedge. He led her inside and offered coffee. Elena laughed, flopped down on the couch, and demanded another drink. Wayne decided to have another one too, just to calm his nerves. The look on his face suggested he still could not believe this gorgeous woman was sitting in his living room. Apparently, the situation rendered him mute. He disappeared into the kitchen. He came back with two glasses half filled with whiskey. They sat, silently sipping their drinks.

While Wayne seemed to marvel at his luck, she was planning her next move. He now seemed sufficiently drunk, Elena had played her role to perfection, and it was time to take the next step. She leaned over and kissed him passionately. At first, Wayne almost wept with gratitude. Then desire took over, and he kissed her back, hard. She figured it must have been a long time since he’d been with a woman as he seemed desperate to want this to happen.

”Where’s your room?” Elena pulled away. Wayne stood up, swaying slightly, and led her down the hall. He stumbled into his room, almost pulling Elena down. She laughed again and gently pushed him away.

“Why don’t you undress and get into bed while I get ready. Where’s the bathroom?”

Tongue tied from the booze, he gestured to his left. Elena nodded. She led him to the bed, “Go ahead, I’ll be right back.”

Purse under her arm, she went to the bathroom and closed the door softly. She heard him undressing, actually, it sounded as if he were ripping his clothes off, then she heard the bed creak. It was time. She smiled at herself in the mirror and unbuttoned her blouse. She opened the door and saw Wayne eagerly waiting. She undid another button.

 “I want you to close your eyes so I can surprise you.”

Wayne, who would have walked on hot coals if she had asked him to, immediately complied. He heard a rustling, and then she whispered. “You can open your eyes now.” When he did, she shot dead center between them. “Sweet dreams, darling.” Elena unscrewed the silencer and put the gun back in her purse.  

She emptied all the cash and credit cards from his wallet. She took a digital picture of his Transcon Airlines uniform, zooming in on the name patch, pocketed his employee I.D., made wax impressions of his keys, and copied down the work schedule she found in his pants pocket. Next was the kitchen. She rummaged through some drawers until she found a heavy duty screw driver. She went out a back door which led to a small back yard. She shut the door, then pried it open from the outside so it would look like a break in. She went back inside and returned to the living room. She found an old desk and emptied some of his drawers, ransacked a coat closet, and turned over the couch, ripping off the bottom. She pulled a small vial from her bag and left traces of cocaine on the coffee table. Surveying her handiwork, she was completely satisfied. Elena locked the front door from the inside, checked to make sure the street was empty, and pulled it closed. She made her way back towards the bar where she left her car on a side street. It was late and she saw no one. Once safely inside, she called Klein on her cell. He picked up without a greeting.

“Done.” She hung up, started the car, and made her way home. The air was thick and humid even by Miami’s standards. Even her air-conditioned Miata seemed uncomfortable.

After parking in the garage, Elena went into her workshop and got busy. She was still juiced from her encounter with Wayne. She’d even considered having sex with the poor guy before she killed him. He wasn’t all that bad, kind of rugged looking if you squinted a bit, but she simply didn’t have time. Too much to do. She scanned his I.D. card and made a high resolution color copy with all the identifying information left blank. She took one of her fake driver’s license photos and pasted it over Wayne’s face on the new I.D. card. She carefully printed out a phony name and address in the same font from her computer, and precisely positioned the tiny type on the card. With just a dab of glue she was good to go. The last step was to laminate the card in plastic. Unless it was put under a magnifying glass, no one could ever tell this card from a genuine one. She had already procured a mechanic’s uniform that matched those worn by Transcon’s mechanics, just like the one Wayne had only been too eager to shed. You could order anything online these days. She used her sewing machine to make a name patch, double checking the digital photo to make sure the placement was absolutely correct.


She checked Wayne’s schedule. Transcon Airlines flight 10 to Amsterdam would leave at seven in the evening the day after tomorrow. It was a new Jetstream 555 bound out of Miami International.

Too bad it’ll never get there, she thought and smiled. Elena pulled a worn photo from her skirt pocket. She stared deeply into the eyes of the woman staring back at her. Her mother was far more beautiful than Elena ever hoped to be.

“They took you from me, mommy. That stupid flying machine totally fucked me over when it killed you. But don’t worry. I’ll make them pay for it.”

Elena gently kissed the picture and went to bed. Everything was in place, nothing would stop her now, and revenge would be the sweet justice she’d waited so long for. She slept better than she had in weeks.