The 7 Deadly Sins Series – Crystal Light and the Look of Lust

Illustration by author

Crystal was around 14 when she first noticed men giving her what she called “the look”.  Before she reached 16, she fully understood that the look was one of sexual desire.  By 32, it was a simple fact of life.

While giving her order at the deli counter in the Shoprite, the guy in the apron and paper hat would glaze over, no longer hearing her.  He was stripping her naked and doing freaky things to her in his deli-guy mind.  Crystal would smile at him, lean over the counter a little, and end up with a pound of imported soprasetta for the price of baloney.

One man hadn’t given her the look in years.  They say marriage does that.  She didn’t know whether it was the years or the fact that Mr. Light had doubled in size since their wedding.  Everyone, including Crystal, called him Mr. Light, out of respect and fear.

She’d gone to see a private eye to help her discover if Mister was off his diet, but wasn’t in his office two minutes when the guy started giving her the look.  She re-crossed her legs and tried to ice him back to reality.  She hoped he’d returned from his porno mind-vacation as she handed him the cash.  Now the detective wouldn’t even return her calls.

Crystal changed her strategy and tried to get a young guy named Nicky from the pool to hang out with Mr. Light.  Maybe a guy who could see his own feet without mirrors would snap her husband out of the habit of stuffing his face.  She was talking with him to see if he’d pal around with Mr. Light when Nicky got the look.  She knew his brain was busy pulling off her bathing suit, touching her in  places which the sun hadn’t browned.  He wasn’t listening anymore. How many guys today?  She broke it down as simply as she could for him.

“Could you just take him out?” she finally asked.

Nicky looked stunned.  She thought she’d gotten through.  Satisfied she’d made her point, Crystal got up from the chaise lounge and walked to the snack bar to find Mister.  She could feel Nicky’s eyes on her.  She swayed her caboose a little to thank him for finally paying attention.

Mr. Light had just finished talking to that creepy pool manager with the missing thumb.  The amputee looked a little pale as he shuffled past Crystal like a zombie.  She gave silent thanks to the patron saint of pervs, as the troll didn’t try to sneak a glimpse down the front of her bathing suit like he usually did.  Mister was giving her a look, but not the look the other men did.  Not a good one.

That all was two weeks ago and nothing had changed, except her bruises fading slowly toward yellow.

She went down the driveway to pick up the newspaper, and saw a gun under the bushes.  She wondered if it was time to find a safer home as she picked it up and quickly wrapped it in the Inquirer.  She glanced around the still street before heading inside.

Mr. Light was asleep, making those choking sounds like he did.  A smile crept across Crystal’s full lips at the thought of him choking.  As she glanced down at the bruises on her arm, her eyes traveled further to the newspaper with the pistol inside.  She touched the cool metal, wondering if the police could miss her bruises.  She thought about a horny cop giving her the look and what he might do to help her get away with something.

Willie Prader, Private Eye – Deadly Sin Series – A Glutton For Punishment

Willie Prader had a bad feeling about this one.  Like maybe he’d bit off more than he could chew.

The leggy blonde named Crystal had sauntered through the door and into his life just a week before.  For someone who made his living being observant, he should have learned by now – trouble was always blonde, and it always sauntered.

The job was simple.  She was convinced that her husband was cheating.  Willie’d been a private dick since Moses was a pup, but still had to wonder what kind of guy cheats on a bombshell like this dame.  She had the face of a starlet, and he couldn’t help but notice how her legs got together and made an ass of themselves.

Prader parked his battered Lincoln at the White Castle across the highway from the Palace Diner and waited.  The guy drove a ’68 Fleetwood, so he’d be hard to miss.  When Mr. Light finally pulled up at the Palace, Prader was amazed to find out just how hard to miss he actually was.  The guy got out of the Caddy and the chassis elevated like one the Impalas the kids drive out in L.A.  Only this car didn’t have complicated hydraulics, it heaved up because the guy who got out of it had to tip the scales at five bills or more.  He leaned down and checked his massive face in the little mirror on the door, then shifted his bulk toward the diner entrance.

Prader chuckled to himself.  He never would’ve guessed that a doll like Crystal would be married to a guy who looked like he was built when meat was cheap.  He leaned back on the Lincoln, lit a Lucky and watched across the lanes of blacktop as the round man somehow crammed himself into a booth.  The waitress was hovering at his table, spending too much time for someone who should be hustling up and down the aisle slinging hash for tips.   She laughed and smiled at him,  touching his arm as he shifted his attention between her and the glossy menu.

Willie decided to get a closer look at this little romance.  He jogged across the highway and stood in the shadows just outside the neon glow of the flickering sign.  He considered his surroundings, making sure he wouldn’t be too conspicuous.  He looked back up to the window and saw the booth was empty.  For a minute, he thought maybe he was looking at the wrong booth.  Just then, he felt the massive ham-hand grip his arm like a vise.  He was pretty sure the pain in his ribs was the business end of a Colt, maybe a Baretta.  The man-mountain pushed him toward the diner door and the barrel of the handgun kept him moving.

Light stared at him across the booth with tired eyes.  The waitress looked at Prader with just a hint of dull surprise after putting three platters down in front of the big man.  She smiled briefly at Light as she left.

“My wife sent you snooping” Light declared.  “She knows I’m cheating,” he continued, “but look at this plate of sausage and eggs with hash browns.  Do you have any idea how many points that meal is?  Sorry pal, but I can’t lose Crystal because of what you or some team of cardiologists tell her.”

Prader swore at himself as he lay bound and gagged in the trunk of the Caddy, probably on his way to a landfill.  If he got out of this alive, he’d need to listen closer to clients, especially the blonde ones.