Bye, Bye, Bunny
By Stewart Sumner
Stewart Sumner lives and works in London. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming at GC Magazine and Gator Springs Gazette. He is currently working on a novel about memory and the elusiveness of time.
She dragged the rolled-up carpet from the house to the road, lifted up her short skirt, stuck out her big breasts, cocked up a thumb and waited for a car to stop.
A large black Daimler pulled up. A man got out. He was dressed in black. Black suit, black tie, white shirt. Short black hair. Dark sunglasses.
‘We’ll put the carpet in the back,’ he said. He stroked it. ‘Axminster, eh? Nice piece of stuff, that.’ He lifted up the carpet. ‘Jesus, what you got in here, a body?’
She chuckled. ‘My poor little Bunny snuffed it.’
‘Sorry to hear it.’ His legs bowed. He slid it into the back then swung round to the passenger door and yanked it open. ‘Be my guest.’
He put the car in gear and they drove off.
He gave her the once over. Nice tits.
‘Nice car,’ she said. ‘Spacious.’
‘Most hearses are.’
‘This is a hearse?!’
‘Yep. It’s OK, there ain’t no coffin in it. It’s my day off.’ He glanced at her face. Dark eyes. Thick, black eyebrows. Long lashes. A short, round nose. Luscious lips. ‘Where do you wanna get to?’
‘Where you going?’
‘Great. What was its name?’
‘Yeah, what was its name?’
‘I called him Bunny.’
‘Oh, right. As in bunny rabbit.’
He looked down at her long legs in black nylons. Shapely. She could wrap them around him any time she liked.
She looked at his belly. ‘Like your booze, don’t ya?’
‘I have a few beers, now and again.’
‘How d’ya like yourself in the mirror?’
‘Nothing to be ashamed of.’
‘Life’s a bitch sometimes.’ She rubbed her hand up and down her skirt. ‘I tried everything - latex, rubber, multiple orgasms - he just wouldn’t bite.’
He indicated to overtake but there was no break in the traffic. ‘If this carries on, we’ll have to get off at the next junction.’
She pouted. ‘D’ya like rubber? Black stockings and suspenders?’
He went red.
‘Thought so. He was about as exciting as a slug on heat.’
‘The guy in the carpet.’
‘What?!’ He almost ran into the back of the car in front. ‘You said it was your bunny.’
‘Talk about gullible. Did you really think I’d use an Axminster to wrap a bunny in?’
‘You mean there’s a corpse in the back?’
‘Nothing unusual for a hearse, is it?’
‘But…’ He took a deep breath. ‘Did you kill him?’
‘What difference does it make?’ She lifted her skirt to reveal black suspenders. ‘Want me?’ She licked her lips. ‘Cos you can have me, if you want.’
He pulled onto the hard shoulder. ‘You’d better tell me what’s going on or I’m going to the police.’
‘Right. Let’s unroll the Axminster.’
He opened the car door.
She clutched his arm. ‘No, don’t do that. Saul ‘Bunny’ Davies is in the carpet. Before he died, he swallowed a lot of money. My money. I want it back.’
He dabbed his forehead with his handkerchief. ‘I can’t be mixed up in this, I’ll lose my job.’
‘I’ll give you a grand if you get me where I want to go.’
He lifted his sunglasses and rubbed his eyes. ‘This Bunny, nasty piece of work, was he?’
‘He used to shoot and ask questions later.’
He ogled at her erect nipples. ‘When do I get my grand?’
‘There’s six grand up my butt right now. I’ll pluck one out for you when we get there.’
‘How do I know you’re telling the truth?’
‘Look the other way.’
‘Just do it.’
She raised her bottom, pulled her panties down, fumbled for the cord and tugged. There was a squelch. A cellophane packet popped out.
‘You can turn round now.’
He gawped at the damp packet stuffed with money.
‘I’ll get it out and show you…’
‘I’ll take your word for it.’
‘Right, turn your head. I’m not leaving this where you can grab it.’
He turned his head. ‘Haven’t got a gun up there too, have you?’
‘Just drive the car.’
He glanced in the mirror and waited to rejoin the motorway.
She ran her fingers through her hair. ‘Relationships are such trivial bullshit. What do you make of it?’
‘Make of what?’
‘It makes me numb.’
‘My butt’s numb,’ she tittered. ‘I think the gun just went off.’
‘What?! I’ll stop the hearse.’
‘1-0, Mr Gullible.’ She laughed. ‘You know, you’re not bad-looking for an undertaker. Now, what shall we have for starters?’
She unbuttoned her blouse and slipped out her left breast. He tried to focus on the road.
‘No need to be shy, Mr Undertaker. Pull over.’
She unzipped his fly. He pulled onto the hard shoulder.
‘For Christ’s sake, we can’t do it here,’ he said, ‘someone’ll see us.’
‘As you like. I can wait.’ She slipped her breast back in her bra and buttoned her blouse. ‘Now take me to Lunar House.’
‘That’s the Home Office.’
‘Spike said outside Lunar House.’
‘Spike’s our doc. He fixes things.’
‘Bet he doesn’t come cheap.’
‘I come cheaper,’ he grinned.
She sucked on her hair. ‘Go on.’
‘I know everything there is to know about dead bodies. I can open up Bunny boy in a jiffy.’
‘Really? What did you say your name was?’
‘OK, Lenny, another grand if you skin my Bunny.’
‘I’d be delighted to. And what’s your name?’
‘Call me Princess.’
They drove to his brother’s place in Wembley. He parked the hearse close to the entrance to the flats. She puffed up her hair in the rear-view mirror and ran bright red lipstick over her lips. She blew herself a kiss, then went to help Lenny. He pulled out the carpet. She grabbed the other end. Bunny seemed heavier. He struggled to prop open the entrance door. An old man tottered down the stairs and held the door open.
‘Ta,’ Lenny said.
‘What happened?’ the old man asked, ‘you run out of wood?’
Lenny looked blank.
‘Had to bury him in a carpet, eh?’
‘Actually,’ the Princess said, ‘it’s my Bunny.’
The old man laughed. ‘Must’ve been special. Not many bunnies get a send-off in an Axminster.’
She made crocodile tears. ‘It was his favourite carpet.’
‘Nice bit of carpet, that,’ the old man said.
‘Yeah,’ Lenny said. ‘I always say if you’re talking carpet, you’re talking Axminster. In fact…’
‘Lenny,’ Princess interrupted, ‘the two big ones.’
They went over to the lift and propped the carpet against the wall.
He pressed the button. ‘Shit, it’s broken again.’
‘What floor is it?’ she asked.
‘How are we gonna get Bunny up to the tenth?’
‘Got a better idea? There’s some rope in the back of the hearse. We’ll tie it round the Axminster then yank Bunny up the stairs.’
He wrapped the rope round the carpet. ‘We’ll carry it till we get tired, then drag him up.’
‘Wouldn’t it be easier to dump the carpet and carry him?’
‘If that old boy sees us chucking out an Axminster he’s gonna get suspicious. Now, grab hold of the top.’
They made it to the fourth floor before she got out of breath. She sat down on a step and spluttered.
‘Think I’m gonna puke,’ she wheezed.
‘Not on the carpet!’ he yelled.
She held her hand over her mouth and coughed violently. He sat down beside her and put his arm around her shoulder. She gurgled.
‘It’s OK,’ Lenny said, ‘take your time.’
She rested her head on his chest. The coughing stopped. Lenny patted her arm and stared at her breasts.
She groaned. ‘Thought my Cornflakes was coming up then.’
He helped her up then threw the rope over his shoulders. ‘I’ll drag it up. Shout if you see the rope coming undone.’
The carpet bumped along the stairs. She followed behind. On the seventh floor, a small boy came flying down the stairs with a football. When he saw Lenny dragging the carpet, he stopped.
‘It’s all right,’ Lenny said, ‘I’m an undertaker.’
The boy threw the ball at Lenny and ran. The ball hit Princess in the face, smudging her lipstick around her mouth.
‘Jesus!’ she cried. ‘I’ve only just put it on. Got a mirror?’ Lenny said nothing and kept pulling.
When they got to the tenth floor, he unlocked the door to the flat and bundled the carpet inside. Princess sailed in and sniggered. He locked the door behind her.
‘We made it,’ she said.
Lenny held out his hand. ‘Right, that’s one grand, thank you very much.’
‘A deal’s a deal. I got you here, now I want my grand.’
‘Wouldn’t you rather wait till you’ve fleeced my Bunny? Then you can have the two grand together.’
‘I want one now, one later.’
‘But my butt is sore.’
‘Hand it over.’
‘Whatever happened to trust?’
‘Couldn’t make it. Prior engagement.’
‘Funny boy. Where’s the boudoir?’
‘By the kitchen. Hang on to that cord, I don’t want you flushing it nowhere.’
He waited outside the door for her to come out. She groaned loudly.
He banged on the door. ‘What you doing in there?’
‘The cord’s stuck.’
She put her left leg on the toilet seat, gritted her teeth then heaved… She wriggled her buttocks. The packet plopped out. She rinsed it under the tap and laid all the notes on the floor. There was just over £1,000. She’d give him 500 and leave the other half for herself. He wouldn’t notice. She rolled up her 500, slipped it back into the packet and squeezed it between her buttocks.
She opened the door. Lenny was leaning against the wall.
‘Here,’ she said, ‘one grand. You get the other one after you’ve made my Bunny croak.’
The money was soft and squidgy. He’d never held so much before. He wanted more, and he was going to get it.
‘Satisfied?’ she asked.
‘Very. Though last time you took the money out it was more fun.’
‘It can be fun again, big boy.’ She glanced at his crotch. ‘But first things first.’
‘Shit! The toolbox. I left it in the hearse.’
‘Then you’d better go and get it.’
Lenny stomped out, grumbling under his breath. She undid the rope. The carpet drooped to the sides and let out a fart. ‘That you, Bunny?’ she giggled. She tried to unwrap the carpet. There was still time to work out how to get the money and leg it before Lenny came back with his tools. Perhaps if she jumped on Bunny’s stomach the notes would spew out of his mouth. She jerked the carpet. A foot poked out. The shoe was immaculately polished. Bunny had class.
His best shoes. Bunny never wore his best shoes on a job. She gripped the sole and tore it off. It was stuffed with £50 notes. ‘Bingo!’ She groped for the other shoe. She tugged on it. ‘Come on, baby.’ It wouldn’t budge.
She ran to the kitchen, found a carving knife and hacked off the sole. It was empty. Unbelievable. She opened the kitchen window, grabbed both shoes and hurled them out. She stuffed the notes down her bra.
Lenny came in as she was taking off Bunny’s socks.
‘Nothing here,’ she said.
‘Christ, talk about whiff city. Get those bloody socks out of here.’
She flushed them down the toilet.
‘Where’s his shoes?’
‘He wasn’t wearing any.’
‘Nasty. Very undignified to die in your socks. Give me a hand with the carpet.’
He slid his hand inside the end and unrolled it. Bunny flopped out onto his back. In his black Armani suit. His trousers around his ankles. His hands in his Y-fronts.
‘What was he doing when he had his little accident?’ Lenny asked.
‘Having a dump.’
‘So what about the…’
‘I pulled his Y-fronts up, out of respect.’
‘That ain’t nice. Popping him there. Couldn’t you have waited till he got out?’
‘It was an accident.’
Lenny opened his tool box, took out a hacksaw and started to sharpen the blade.
‘What you gonna do with that?’ she asked.
‘Cut him up.’
She frowned. ‘You can’t bloody cut him up with a hacksaw, it’ll take forever! What other tools have you got?’
He rummaged in his tool box. ‘Well, there’s a hammer, and a chisel.’
‘Jesus, Lenny, you’re not Michelangelo!’
‘I’ve got a hand drill too.’ He held it up proudly.
‘No problem, you said. You really are as thick as shit.’
Lenny threw down the hand drill and went into a sulk.
‘Shit, Lenny, grow up, will ya?’
She knelt over Bunny and tapped his stomach. ‘Now, think. How would a doctor do it?’
‘With a surgical knife.’ His face lit up. ‘Or a Stanley knife.’
She slapped him on the back. ‘Yo, Lenny. Strut your Stanley.’
He drew a circle around the stomach and cut into the skin. The blood spurted out. She fetched a towel from the bathroom and mopped it up. He cut all the way round then peeled the skin off as if he were peeling an orange.
They inspected the stomach.
‘Not very big, is it?’ he said. ‘About the size of my fist.’
He plunged the knife in and slit it open. ‘You sure he ate all that money?’
‘Get on with it.’
‘Can’t see any.’
He pulled the coating off.
‘There’s nothing there!’ she shrieked. ‘But I saw him swallow it!’
Lenny laughed. ‘Maybe he crapped it straight out again.’
She glared at him.
She put her hand in the stomach and groped around. ‘He was in there dumping a long time…’
‘Maybe he shoved it up his butt.’
‘Believe me, Lenny, that much money won’t go up there.’
They looked at one another.
‘Well, some of it could be up there,’ Lenny said.
She screwed up her face. ‘Don’t even think it.’
‘Good job I’ve got my chisel, eh?’
She swiped the chisel out of his hand and threw it across the room. ‘There ain’t nothing up there so don’t waste your time.’
Lenny scratched his head. ‘Now what do we do?’
‘You get rid of the body and I say thanks for the memory.’
He shook his head. ‘No, you pay me the other grand and I say thanks for the memory.’
‘But we didn’t get the money.’
‘The deal was to open him up. That’s what I did. And it’ll cost you another grand, no, two, to get rid of the body.’
She made a run for it. Lenny lunged at her legs. She crashed to the floor. Lenny sat on her stomach.
‘I want the other grand,’ he said.
He noticed something sticking out of her bra. ‘That’s a big boobie you’ve got there. You’d better empty your cups.’
She pulled out the wad of notes.
‘Thanks.’ He stuffed them into his trouser pocket. ‘Right, here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m taking you and Bunny boy to the M25, junction 23. South Mimms services. Then you and Bunny are gonna take a walk.’
‘No, Lenny!’ She flashed him her tits. ‘Take me, right here!’
He stood up and brushed himself down. ‘Oh, I’ll take you, all right, Princess. For a ride. But first I want that grand, so open up.’
She parted her legs, and pulled up her skirt. ‘It hurts bad.’
‘Cut the crap and pull the cord.’
He picked up the Stanley knife. ‘Last chance.’
She sighed. ‘Turn around.’
‘Not this time.’
She lifted up her bottom. She tugged. There was a pop. She held up the packet. Lenny snatched it from her and tore it open. The notes spilled onto the floor. He gathered them up and counted them.
‘There’s only 500. Where’s the rest?’
She shrugged her shoulders. ‘That’s all there is. I gave you 500 and kept 500 for myself.’
‘Pull the other one.’
‘I’d have to be a bloody contortionist to get six grand up there.’
‘Wrong answer, Princess.’ He twisted her arm behind her back. ‘Well?’
‘I don’t know where it is.’
He twisted her arm some more, she squealed. ‘Don’t make me get the chisel.’
‘No, please… Wait, I’ve worked it out. It must be in the cistern.’
He let go of her arm. ‘That’s better.’
‘We could split it two ways,’ she yelped. ‘70 for me, 30 for you.’
‘Make that 50-50.’
‘But it’s my money.’
‘It’s our money now. I could take the lot.’
He was right. She had nothing to bargain with. She’d play him along, get him back to the house, then there’d be another little accident.
They waited till dark. Lenny buttoned up Bunny’s jacket, slung his arm around him and marched him down the stairs. Slumped on Lenny’s shoulder he looked drunk. They bundled him into the back of the hearse and covered him in a bedsheet.
‘South Mimms, here we come!’ he said.
They drove in silence to Bunny’s final resting place. A grey industrial bin at the back of Welcome Break. The hearse pulled up a few hundred yards from the service entrance. She kept lookout. Lenny and Bunny swayed arm in arm.
‘Easy, Bunny, easy,’ Lenny said.
The smell of rotting vegetables hit Lenny. He held his nose. He leaned Bunny against the bin, grabbed him by the buttocks and pushed him up the side of the bin. Bunny slid down. Lenny gripped his trouser belt and rammed him to the top of the bin. Bunny slid down again. Lenny motioned to Princess to help. They took hold of one leg each and tossed him into the bin, head first. There was a thud.
‘So long, Bunny,’ Lenny whispered. ‘Been nice knowing you.’
He pulled his collar down and straightened his tie. ‘Now let’s get the money.’
They walked slowly back to the hearse and drove off. Back on the M25 they burst out laughing.
‘He never liked Welcome Break,’ she said. ‘Didn’t have the stomach for it.’
Lenny guffawed. ‘Bit impulsive, our Bunny. Always driving in head first.’
She held her stomach. ‘No, stop, I’ll piss myself.’
He tapped on the steering wheel. ‘Now we’re partners, you can tell me how much money there is.’
She counted on her fingers and rolled her eyes. ‘About 50 grand.’
He whistled. ‘50 grand, eh? Lovely.’
He pulled the hearse onto the hard shoulder, went round to the passenger side and opened the door.
‘What we stopped for?’
‘Thought you’d like to stretch your pretty legs.’
‘Get out.’ He pressed the Stanley knife to her throat.
‘But we had a deal.’
‘Just stick your tits out, someone’ll pick you up.’
As he drove off he waved to her and smirked.
Getting in was easy. The silly bitch had left the back door unlocked. He scanned the living room. Leather suite. 36-inch widescreen TV. Gold fireplace. Axminster. The Axminster… He’d forgotten about the carpet. He’d fix that later. He went upstairs. The bathroom door was open. There was a gun on the floor. Two bullet holes in the wall behind the toilet. A blood stain by the corner of the bath. A cracked toilet seat. Princess was a crap shot. Bunny must have slipped and hit his head on the bath.
He lifted the cistern lid. Inside, it was crammed with £50 notes. Hundreds of them. His eyes bulged. ‘Gotcha!’
He stuffed the money into shopping bags. He pressed the last few notes to his lips, kissed them, shoved them into his trouser pocket then picked up the phone.
The police picked Princess up where Lenny said she’d be, a mile away from junction 23. She took a bite at one of them, so on went the cuffs. They shoved her into the back of the police car and drove to South Mimms. The place was swarming with police. Bunny was being retrieved from the bin, a rotten cauliflower lodged in his mouth.
‘There was this undertaker, see,’ she said. ‘Lenny. In a hearse. And my Bunny was in the Axminster…’
‘And what was the registration of this hearse?’ the detective asked.
‘Um, E something, 1 something. My Bunny swallowed 50 grand so we cut him open, but there wasn’t any money.’
The detective turned to the sergeant and smiled. ‘I see.’
‘So we dumped the body and he chucked me out of the hearse. I told him the rest of the money is in the toilet. We gotta get to the house before he does. It’s my money…’
‘Take her away,’ the detective said.
The policeman wrenched her arm and led her to the police van.
Princess turned to the detective, confused. ‘Hey, what ya doing? Don’t ya believe me?’
Lenny stacked the shopping bags onto the passenger seat, where he could see them. In no time he was on the motorway. ‘Poor princess,’ he sighed, then laughed until it hurt.
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