curio by laura ellen scott



Ancient Recipe

When mad behavior yields profit we call it savvy—as with the ax man of New Orleans who, after chopping up a few grocers and their lovers, promised he would not kill anyone enjoying jazz on March 19, 1918.  That evening the clubs were packed, and they remain so to this day.

But ax men are old fashioned, and the ax man’s grandson knows this. He’s finished his shift and sits in a hotel bar that overlooks lovers grinding against the brick wall of a torch-lit courtyard. Anyone can make a difference if they want to, he thinks. Sips a drink only a pro can mix.

The lovers are tour guides. One is dressed as a vampire, the other is dressed as a Frenchman. They go too far this time.

The bartender grunts. The pianist is off tonight, in every sense. The ax man’s grandson sees through romance. Wads of skirt linen bunched up, and the mimed penetration is convincing. All crimes are crimes of opportunity. An ax is just a hand made sharp as fuck. 

It’s not in the blood, though. Doesn’t matter what he wants.

It’s not in the blood.