by TORI FREDRICK
The Dalai Lama's Birthday by Francis Mariani | Flickr
She was the kind of woman who could make the Dalai Lama loot a liquor store. When considering the different varieties of females – shrews, harridans, harpies, cougars, MILFs, inflatable – Rita found herself contented to fall into the category of “temptress.” If the Dalai Lama taught her anything, it was to be grateful for life’s small blessings.
The morning after the robbery, they lay wrapped together in his orange monk’s robe, sharing skin and a Manhattan. Bald men loved her – she sometimes had to fight them away from her bulbous, exquisite breasts. The Dalai Lama added a touch of the exotic to her conquest journal, in which she rated his lovemaking a four out of ten. She didn’t give anybody special treatment.
Rita extricated herself from the tangle of sheets and clothes on the bed. She hadn’t really expected him to come knocking at her hotel room last night, a fistful of dollars and two bottles of top-shelf bourbon in tow. She was under no illusion that his whereabouts would remain a secret for long, and he was becoming quite silly after downing his second drink of the day, balancing on a pile of pillows for his morning meditation.
The problem became how to get rid of him. She retreated to the bathroom and pulled up the contact list on her phone; she knew a guy. “Vinnie?”
“I need somebody to disappear.”
The plan they came up with was a simple one, but it wasn’t going to be cheap – you couldn’t just roll the Dalai Lama into a carpet and dispose of him that way. Her instructions were to wait until she saw a dark grey van pull into the hotel parking lot.
Rita returned to the bedroom, pacing in front of the curtained window, relieved that her guest wasn’t a big conversationalist. This whole thing was a lapse in judgement on her part, but she smiled back at him every time he nodded or bowed in her direction.
“Can we make it look like a suicide?” she’d asked Vinnie.
“Circle of life,” he said. “Suicide’s a part of it.”
Rita really hoped they wouldn’t have to take it that far.
The van pulled in, headlights dim, and she turned around, letting the curtain fall closed.
It wasn’t hard to persuade the Dalai Lama to leave the hotel room.
“There’s a soul in pain in the back of that van,” she said.
The Dalai Lama’s eyes lit up like Christmas trees on the day after Thanksgiving.
He was clingy on the way out. He hung onto her arm like a tick – a big one. Rita couldn’t stand clingy. She watched the rear van door close on his gently smiling face with relief.
The van driver rippled with muscles and a full head of hair.
“What are you up to after this?” Rita asked. Apart from needing a shower, she had no other plans.
“I got no plans,” he said, looking her up and down.
Rita rolled her eyes. “Forget it.” Did men understand what a turn-off poor grammar was?
She headed back to her room for another drink. She really hoped Vinnie had something good planned. If karma was a thing, she didn’t want to get on the wrong side of it.
It was all over the news before the week was out. Rita’s relief was palpable.
The Dalai Lama was found in the basement of a Baptist church, leading a group of grey-haired, florally clad women in sitting meditation. None of them were wearing underwear.
Tori Fredrick pretends to be a librarian while daily recovering from the culture shock of moving to the American South. A lifetime horror fan (with an incredibly strong stomach), she can be found (only lurking) on Twitter @horrorcorps.