Johnny America


Hot Fig­ure


So it’s a hot late Ju­ly and Brook­lyn is bak­ing hot, as are the fig­ures that live there. Deuce S. Bagg is one such fig­ure who fig­ures him­self very hot in­deed, and not just on ac­count of the weather.

Now Deuce is a, shall we say, tem­pera­men­tal sort, prone to phys­i­cal and ver­bal abuse when the mood takes him. And take him it does on one of these hot Ju­ly nights, his mind hot, his mood hot, and as for his fig­ure, it goes with­out say­ing. But this night in par­tic­u­lar, he let him­self get a tad too hot, to the detri­ment of his re­la­tion­ship with lov­ing wife Shaylene.

“Ah, to hell with her!” Deuce yells, slam­ming his door shut at one in the morn­ing, wak­ing up an ar­ray of neigh­bors dense­ly packed in­to three sur­round­ing floors; build­ings these days are made pa­per thin, you understand.

So he’s walk­ing the hot night, sweat drip­ping down his hot fig­ure, and he hits up a rat­ty-ass mo­tel. Noth­ing for him to do now of course but throw back a case of beer and mes­sage girls on the In­ter­net, as he was wont to do when his mar­riage was on the rocks, which was frequent.

One girl seems okay…Korean girl, nice girl, on­ly shows her face but Deuce has an imag­i­na­tion ca­pa­ble of ren­der­ing her un­seen body in high men­tal fi­deli­ty: she’s a sizzler.

She mes­sages him, telling him he has a hot figure.

He says thanks and how’s yours?

“Ha­ha, mine too. What are you do­ing now?”

“Think­ing of your hot figure.”

By virtue of dig­i­tal hap­pen­stance, Deuce’s first ro­man­tic tar­get dis­ap­pears of­fline mid-con­ver­sa­tion, and he is left with a part of his fig­ure even hot­ter than when he start­ed. Now this pos­es a prob­lem giv­en his un­re­strained ten­den­cies when things get heat­ed; add to this the dif­fi­cul­ty of build­ing a rap­port with a stranger when your figure’s all hot and you have your­self a hot lit­tle problem…

Two hours pass of Deuce hand­ing out un­so­licit­ed re­marks to strangers about how hot their fig­ures are be­fore he gives up in de­feat, though by then it’s 4 AM and he has work tomorrow.

“Guess I’ll just hit the hay.”

He wakes up and it’s al­ready past eleven in the morn­ing; so much for work. Deuce calls in sick with a fab­ri­cat­ed hot fever, nips down to the 7‑Eleven for a six-pack. By the time he gets back to his room, the mid­day sun is burn­ing up the walls: the ceil­ing fan’s no use, open­ing the win­dow does noth­ing, and throw­ing back three cold ones does lit­tle to quench the blis­ter­ing heat of his figure. 

It’s the dog days of sum­mer: got­ta be care­ful not to let your fig­ure grow too hot, he tells him­self, but there’s on­ly so much a guy can do.

Flips on the com­put­er— there’s three new mes­sages: two of them act­ing too cold, Deuce knows it will take all af­ter­noon to coax them in­to a hot sit­u­a­tion. The third one is the Ko­re­an girl from last night— he re­sponds with hot aplomb.

“You thought I had a hot fig­ure?” he types ex­cit­ed­ly. “You wouldn’t be­lieve how hot it is now!”

“Oh re­al­ly? 🙂 Mmm, can you mea­sure it?”

“Hold on, let me see.” Deuce steps away from the key­board, search­es the mo­tel draw­er; sure enough un­der the King James Bible is a big red ther­mome­ter. He sticks it in his ass­hole and con­tin­ues to chat with his pants down…takes it out a few min­utes lat­er and to his hor­ror it reads 3,005 de­grees.

“Holy hell, that’s enough to…”

The flames en­gulf­ing Deuce’s fig­ure rise to the height of the room: it’s an in­fer­no the likes of which most mo­tel rooms will nev­er witness.

When the coro­ner re­leas­es his re­port the next day, he has on­ly this to say: “It is a re­al tragedy, but the body we found was in­cin­er­at­ed on the spot. With in­con­tro­vert­ible proof, we have found the cause of death to be the victim’s ex­ces­sive­ly hot figure.”

Filed under Fiction on March 19th, 2021

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[…] Gertrudes” is now on its way to Lim­er­ick Coun­ty, Ire­land. Thanks again for shar­ing, “Hot Fig­ure” with us, Ed — we hope you en­joy the hot […]

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