My Mother-in-Law Drinks

Read My Mother-in-Law Drinks for Free Online

Book: Read My Mother-in-Law Drinks for Free Online
Authors: Anthony Shugaar, Diego De Silva
dentist’s drill at the first stab of pain.
    â€œMove it,” the engineer commanded, with glassy indifference.
    That was when the old woman realized that something was happening behind her that might be worth seeing and finally she turned around.
O Maronna
,” she said in a faint voice. And she covered her mouth with one hand (I wonder why, I thought to myself, people always feel a need to censor themselves when something scares them).
    Whereupon I had the impulse to give her the beans, just like that, for no good reason, but this time she was the one who refused to cooperate.
    Matrix crossed his arms behind his back and bowed forward. Engineer Romolo Sesti Orfeo followed his movements by moving the barrel of the pistol from his face to the back of his neck. With his free hand he lifted Matrix’s arms to the height of the metal rail that ran along the front of the dairy case. The leverage forced Matrix to bow even lower, as if he were supplicating the linoleum floor.
    Now it looked like a wartime scene. A prisoner awaiting execution, kneeling before his executioner, deprived even of the right to look at him.
    Matrix’s face, what little I could see of it, seemed to have lost the careless confidence it had worn until just a minute before. A loss that by rights I ought to have noticed with some satisfaction, considering how obnoxious I’d found him up to that point; but instead I was having a hard time accepting it. Seeing someone fall completely under another person’s control always has a unpleasant effect on me.
    The old lady grabbed my arm. She was squeezing it.
    I came that close to saying “What about the beans?” but I managed to restrain myself.
    Engineer Romolo Sesti Orfeo pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket. The appearance of such a distinctly police-related contraption reassured me of his intentions. In fact the old woman immediately asked me, “So he’s a detective?” as if I ought to know.
    What I found most unsettling about that masterfully executed operation was the fact that, in spite of appearances, it still didn’t look like an arrest. At least, not an ordinary arrest. The impression one got from watching Engineer Romolo Sesti Orfeo at work was that he’d been waiting for that moment for some time. There was something excessively calculated, something . . . personal, in that display of bravura. That’s why I continued to refer to him mentally by the name and title with which he’d introduced himself. In other words, I didn’t believe (and hadn’t believed from the beginning) that he was a cop.
    Matrix’s breathing was labored, defenseless and uninformed as he was with regard to his own future prospects. Engineer Romolo Sesti Orfeo snapped a handcuff around the first wrist, ran the chain around the metallic bumper that ran along the front of the dairy products case, and then proceeded to cuff the other hand.
    Having successfully partially hogtied him, the engineer withdrew the pistol and, with the ultra-nonchalance of a consummate professional, turned on his heel and started walking calmly down the aisle, leaving his hostage behind him, as if he were done with him.
    I was still standing there with the old woman clutching my arm, as if we were a pair of extras dressed for a film, waiting for the unit production manager to tell us whether we should stay or were free to go.
    â€œDid he arrest him?” the old woman asked me.
    â€œWhat does it look like to you?” I replied.
    Engineer Romolo Sesti Orfeo looked me right in the eye and nodded, just once.
    The old woman immediately released my arm and stared hard at me, just inches away from my face.
    I started covering my ass like an idiot with such pathetic phrases as “Hey, surely you don’t think that . . .” and “Look, I have nothing to do with . . . ,” the end result of which was only to reinforce her suspicions of some

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