Offered By Sharon Bailey
My name is Sharon, and I began writing my own poetry and short stories in 2007. I work with professional writer Eadie Allen on her many and exciting writing projects. The latest book finished is titled Intimate Secrets. I'm trying to finish one book Porcupine Blues, which is a collection of short st...
It’s Cold If You Go Underground
Not If You Go All The Way To The Bottom
Then It’s Hot As Hell
It’s nine thirty on Monday morning, the stock market opens for another week
of trading. Adam Mintz begins wheeling and dealing, by four o’clock on
Friday he expects to cover his losses of the last month. He’s been using his
client’s money, buying on margin, taking insane risks, conning, hustling,
burying himself, falling further and further, hoping that he won’t hit the
Marsha Mintz has decided to divorce Adam, she can’t trust him, he’s
betrayed her. She hasn’t caught him with another woman, not yet, but she
knows there is someone else. He’s never home, always on the phone with the
door closed when he is, late at night, early in the morning. They don’t share
a marriage, she wants out, before it’s too late.
The opening bell was an hour ago, Adam has lost several hundred thousand
dollars of someone’s money, he’ll have to cover his tracks, bury them in the
BURIED IN DIRT
Adam hadn’t wanted to live in Brooklyn, but Marsha had insisted on settling
down in that borough.
“We’ll be having children soon, let’s prepare for them. I’m not a gypsy who
enjoys changing my residence every season. Mother and Daddy said they
would help, if the house didn’t cost a fortune, and our plans were sensible. I
intend on not upsetting them, and making myself miserable.”
“What about me, Marsha, how about my feelings?”
“We’re living in Brooklyn, not Philadelphia. Do you know that some men
make that commute five times a week. They work on Wall Street, but their
wife doesn’t want to live in New York. Rather than make her cry, an
unhappy home for their children, they ride the train.”
“They’re nuts.” Adam said so low that he wondered how Marsha heard him.
She had, he saw the expression on her face, pursed lips, the look that made
him wonder if dinner would be thrown back up on the table.
“Read the paper, Adam, it’s a thick one, do some of the work that keeps you
busy at night. You’ll be in your office, before you’ve finished the sports
section. We’re living in Brooklyn, be glad that Mother and Daddy are
“I don’t have anything to say about where I’m going to shack up evenings
“Not when you’re being selfish and ridiculous.”
“Two of my better qualities, I suppose.”
“You’re impossible, Adam.”
“Another one, I knew you’d find it.”
“We’re living in Brooklyn, no more discussion. I’m not raising children in
an apartment that is as big as a postage stamp.”
He had had a vasectomy, she didn’t know about that. He was good at
keeping secrets, a skillful liar, he smiled at his new wife. There was no
reason to move to Brooklyn, the apartment wouldn’t be crowded with
babies, and what went with them. He wasn’t going to be spending his hard
earned salary on a bunch of noisy, smelly, brats. If Marsha didn’t know what
to do with herself she could work. New York was full of jobs, he was sure
that someone would hire her.
“Of course I want children, what woman doesn’t want to create another
“One that isn’t married?” He said, as if he were being playful.
“Oh but I am, I’m Mrs. Adam Mintz.”
That can be changed, he thought, as he moved away from her. She was
starting to put on weight, the beginning of a double chin, a slight bulge
around her waist.
“Where are you going?” She asked, anxiously.
“To the bathroom, do I need a pass?”
“What’s wrong, Adam? Is this how we’re going to start our married life?”
“I don’t want to move to Brooklyn. Everyone comes before me, Mommy
and Daddy, unborn children, other crap, it all comes ahead of me.”
Marsha looked at Adam, she had never realized that he was this selfish. She
knew that he was somewhat full of himself, but she chalked it up to being a
salesman. They could all be pushy and aggressive, no matter what they sold.
Adam made his living by getting people to buy stocks and bonds from him.
He had to use some force, he had told her that, but didn’t he know not to use
those tactics on her?
“I’m sorry, darling.” He tossed the words out with less care than if they were
“Adam, the beginning of a marriage is very important.”
So is the ending, he thought, but said nothing to his wife of three months.
Thank God, he’d had a vasectomy. He would only have to dispose of
Marsha, not several more mistakes, their children.
“Adam, this is serious. If something is wrong, I want to make it right, before
we involve innocent children.”
“I’ll have to adjust to living in Brooklyn.”
“I’ll have to adjust to living with you.”
“Yes, you’ll have to do that.”
“Daddy might give us their old car. I was going to surprise you, but you look
so despondent, that I decided to tell you now. I can drop you off at the
station every morning, and pick you up each night.”
“Sort of like a large package of garbage.”
“You don’t pick it up, once you’ve dropped it off.” Marsha glared at Adam,
two can play this childish game that he feels is necessary.
“I need to go out for a while.”
“Where will you go, Adam?”
“For a drink. Manhattan is loaded with bars.”
“That’s a good reason to move to Brooklyn.”
They had been living in that borough for two years now, in a white house, no
children, and Marsha wanted a divorce from Adam.
Look a little ragged around the edges.” Stan Levine said to Adam at eleven
o’clock on Monday morning. “Marsha give you a wild weekend?”
“No, I’m just tired, I’m getting older.”
“Christ, man, you’ve hardly sampled thirty.”
“Dog years, maybe that’s what it is, I’d be over two hundred, anybody
would be tired.”
“Yeah, that would be a lot of mileage.” Stan said, as if it might be a
Adam couldn’t stand the ass, and wished that he’d go back to his own
cubicle. Take that skunk water that he was trying to pass off as a fancy
cologne with him.
“Lunch at one?” Stan asked.
“No, I’m going to eat in my cubby hole, call some clients, start the week
with a flurry of activity.” Adam looked at a paper on his desk, avoiding
Stan’s level gaze. He didn’t owe this lunkhead anything, he wasn’t going to
let him make him feel uncomfortable. Those feelings were reserved for the
big boys, called the boss, they could stick the pins in him.
“How about later in the week?” Stan persisted.
“Yeah, later.” He had better places to piss his money, than a hot dog with
The morning came to a close, the afternoon dragged on, Adam spent several
hours calling clients about money making prospects. Who could resist
putting in ten thousand dollars, turning it over to one hundred thousand in a
matter of weeks? You’d be able to buy that boat that you wanted and
couldn’t afford last year, Dr. Branch. His client was young, African-
American, a dentist on the way up, confident that he would be able to live
the good life with a little help from the market.
“Mrs. Jenkins, you can’t let an opportunity like this pass you by.” He called
an eighty year old widow, three times she’d buried a good husband, she’d
“I don’t know, Adam, I can’t outlive my money. I doubt if I’m going to get
married again, unless I find a man with very poor eyesight and no children
watching his money like chicken hawks.”
“Oh Mrs. Jenkins, you’re a lovely woman.”
“Nevertheless, even you would have great trouble selling what I have to
offer. Men of my age want women who are at least twenty years younger
than I am. Men who are what I would want to look at across the breakfast
table would clean out my bank account quicker than the stock market and be
gone without a trace. They would bury me while I’m still living.”
Adam wondered how he could get Sarah Jenkins back to the world of
investments, it was almost three o’clock, the market closed at four.
“Mrs. Jenkins, this stock could go up in a minute, it’s priced at three. If you
put ten thousand dollars on it, you’d have thirty thousand shares. If the
investment gained a point that would be thirty thousand dollars, we’re
talking real money, not chump change.”
“What if goes down a point, what happens to my money then, do I lose thirty
thousand dollars, well do I, Adam?”
“Only on paper.” He answered her question hardly above a whisper. She
probably couldn’t hear him, but she surprised him by saying that whether it
was on paper, in cement, carved out of wood, she couldn’t afford to take
wild, foolish risks with what she had in the bank. She was in excellent
health, what if she lived another fifteen or twenty years, who would help
her? No one in her family, she laughed bitterly. They wanted her money, not
the other way around, she told Adam.
“I’ve got to spend my money in the market, the one that has meat and
vegetables in it, Adam.”
“What about making money, so you’ll have more to spend wherever you
“How much will a hundred shares of this fantastic opportunity cost?”
“Three hundred dollars.” Adam answered glumly.
“Put me down for that. Send the bill to my accountant. He won’t scold me
for what I’d spend in Atlantic City with my daughter on a bus trip.” Sarah
Jenkins loved talking to Adam, but she didn’t want to miss her soap opera, it
was close to that time when she could enter the world of the young and
Not even worth doing the paperwork, Adam bitched to himself, as he said
goodbye to Sarah Jenkins. He had wasted twenty five minutes, the market
would close before he could hustle another client. Tuesday had to be better
than Monday, he needed the money, he needed it desperately by Friday
Written by Eadie Allen