Killing Your Best Friend’s Wife

A close friend asks you to help him kill his wife and, to his surprise, you agree without hesitation—not because you particularly dislike his wife, but because she’s the only person who knows this one deep, dark secret that could ruin your life forever. Write about how you confront her and how the murder plays out.

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62 thoughts on “Killing Your Best Friend’s Wife

  1. kathleenmagner

    When I offered Genna her requested rum and diet coke, I heard the pop and fizz of the bubbles, and fought against a knowing smirk. It had been an easy pour since Martin had already made the mix. In each snap and clink of ice, the powder dissolved into the brown solution, the poison hiding like a knife in the dark.

    She cupped the sweating glass and reclined into my leather easy chair. “Why now?”

    “I wanted to make sure you weren’t going to say anything once the paperwork went through.”

    It was Genna’s turn to smirk. She did so while crossing her legs, revealing her calf and hint of thigh through the slit in her scarlet skirt.

    I suppose she was trying to distract me, so I gave the toned muscles a quick glance before sitting in the opposing leather armchair. The bottom of my mostly gin and tonic left a cold ring against my knee, one my jeans couldn’t thwart. My pants were thin and ready to be thrown out. Appropriate attire for taking out the garbage.

    “You’re really going to take the money and go, Charlie?”

    I winced at her casual drop of the theft she’d witnessed.

    Genna hadn’t been in on any of it of course but her knowledge of the accounting system had left my one small change a curiosity she, in her infinite persistence, hadn’t been able to overlook. Her face that night when she’d walked into my kitchen on Martin’s arm had been a mask of pleasantness. When he’d drifted off to seduce the firm’s newest secretary, Genna had cornered me. I suppressed a chuckle remembering how I’d poured her the same drink in that corner, one shooting off from the living room where we now sat. We’d stood by that slab of fake marble-sheeting plastering over the countertop’s spotty construction, bantering innuendos and suppositions.

    Thinking back on the exchange got me almost missing the narrow space where you couldn’t open the fridge and dishwasher at the same time, the curl of the linoleum tiles, and the dual burners with their bases rusted through.

    Taking a throat-quenching draw on my drink, I toasted the remains of the life I’d soon leave behind once I’d dealt with this last complication.

    “I think it’s about time I took off. The investigation’s over. I’ve been cleared by the police. No one’s looking in my direction. I plan to walk off into the sunset and enjoy the fruits of my labor.”

    “Unless I stop you.”

    I grinned. “Which is why I called.”

    Genna tilted her head, her blonde ringlets springing over her too-snug blouse. “You want to what, make me promise to keep my mouth shut?”

    “It’d be a start.”

    “Haven’t I proven myself already?” She examined the sharpened points of her manicured fingers. “I could have said something.”

    “But you haven’t.”

    “Precisely.” She coated her logic with her first sip, and my smile spread when the snaps escalated among the shifting ice cubes.

    … Click here to read the rest. Comments are always welcome.

  2. Ratboy111

    Dan was surprised when Victor called him for a favor. Dan didn’t expect Victor to ask him to kill Victor’s wife. “Dan, I need you to dispose of the body once you’re done.” He told him. “Okay,” Dan agreed, “but, where’s your wife?” Dan asked. “She’s in the trunk,” he explained. Victor handed Dan the keys and Dan drove off. Dan stopped at a secluded location near a lake. He popped the trunk open to check to see if she was in the trunk. Sure enough, she was in the trunk bound with chains and gagged with duct tape. Dan took the gag off to here what she had to say. “Dan, please let me go.” She pleaded. “Why should I let you go when you know my darkest secret.” Dan explained. “Are you talking about the fact that I stood you up on our date to the movies and left you a text message saying I’m leaving you?” She questioned. “You left me heartbroken and alone at the movie theater. Of course I kept on holding my anger inside until I found you again.” Dan explained. “That’s enough talking!” A familiar voice ask. It was Victor holding a gun to Dan’s head. “Tape her mouth shut!” He shouted. Dan did. “Now put the shackles on your legs.” Victor commanded. Dan shackled his own legs. Victor placed Dan’s hands behind his back and handcuffed Dan. Next, he pushed Dan into the trunk. He pushed the car into the lake. Now, Nicole and Dan are trapped in a car trunk and the car is slowly submerging in the frigid lake. Luckily, Dan was able to free himself from the handcuffs and shackles. Nicole, on the other hand, was sinking with the car. One side of Dan’s conscious told him to let her drown and the other to save her. Dan decided to dive into the water and save her. After Dan saved her, he carried
    her to his car trunk and shoved her in there. Victor thought he could escape, but Dan caught him and threw him into the lake handcuffed with weights attached. Victor’s now now widowed wife has become Dan’s wife and mother of his six children. And Dan’s my secret remained a secret.

  3. laurentravian

    “Jimmy, please!”
    Kassandra backed up into the kitchen door in panic.
    “You knew the risks! You knew what would happen if you married that asshole just because he gave you a glass ring!”
    “Jimmy!” she wept
    “I’m sorry, Kassandra. I always loved you. And I hoped one day it would…amount to something.”
    Her eyes widened, he turned his face away, and Jimmy ended the life of the woman he loved, and that asshole he called his best friend’s wife.

  4. Maleficent05

    Sitting at the bar, Mark’s wife continues to laugh like a hyena in the zoo. It is not the laugh of a beautiful woman. Connie is a beautiful woman. Her natural hair color is honey and spills down her shoulders like golden ale. Her eyes are pools of ocean blue with thick lashes and a perfect petite nose. Her eyes light up when she smiles and she is genuinely a kind and caring woman. It is a wonder Mark ever landed a chick like her. Connie’s laugh however, is the most obnoxious, shrill cackle which creates ripples of embarrassed laughter and small gasps from groups close at hand. There was a time last summer when I would have been happy to silence that laughter … forever. Liz and I were going through a rough time. Marriage is a lot of work and after 15 years together I was looking for a little adventure. I was in need of a weekend away from it all, private, just for me. I had decided to take a mini vacation to Reno, to stretch my legs and think about my future. I had met someone who intrigued me. Although not Vegas, it was apparent that what happened in Reno would stay in Reno. I am a faithful man. I do not cheat on my taxes, I always let the cashier know when I’ve been given extra change. I return every pen that comes home from work in my coat pocket. This one night, however, I strayed. I crossed the line. We spent the night in a seedy hotel room over an old casino on the strip. We had just come down for breakfast together and were sharing a bloody Mary when I realized someone was watching me closely. Looking up, I made eye contact with Connie. She stared at me for a moment and then cackled. I was infuriated, frustrated and angry. It did not matter that she herself was with someone else and it did not dawn on me until much later to blackmail her but at the moment I wanted her quiet. I stood up without saying a word and left. Connie has been making little comments ever since. So when Mark came to me and asked me to dispose of her I was quick to agree. I think I surprised him a bit and surprised Connie even more when I asked her to meet me at the same dilapidated casino in Reno. Connie walked slowly towards me as I sat at the table, her stir stick had slowed to a mere click to the side of her glass. We sat there for almost 8 minutes without saying a word. As she drank her margarita, I sat across from her sullen, nursing my vodka Collins. She finally looked at me, “If you were going to cheat, couldn’t you have at least cheated with another a woman? I never took you for a man’s man.” I grimaced. No one would ever know. I watched as the cyanide kicked in. “If you are going to laugh couldn’t you have chosen another animal besides a hyena?” Her eyes glazed and she slumped in her chair.

  5. taylorf463

    I was sitting across from Brad at Starbucks. He hadn’t told me why we were meeting; Brad made it sound like a secret. I suggested we meet at a local bar, but Brad said his wife had made him stop drinking. The way he was looking at me made me think this was worse than a bar deal, maybe like a street corner deal. Not that I knew anything about street corner deals or anything.
    “Dave, let me be honest, I need you to help me kill my wife. Are you in?”
    It didn’t take any thought, “Yes.”
    “Meet me at my house at three.” Brad stood up and walked out of the coffee shop.
    Don’t get me wrong, Brad’s wife is nice. I don’t particularly have anything against her but if the chance came up for her to go, then so be it. She knew just a little too much about me. She knew something that no one else knew. Sure I’d feel bad, but it would definitely be worth it. That was just a secret that couldn’t get out.

    “Hey man, come on in.” Brad opened the door and handed me a rope. “Just go up and put the rope around her neck while I distract her. All you have to do is knock her out and I’ll do the rest. Don’t want you to have to do the dirty work.”
    So we went off like everything was normal. Brad went to the living room with her while I went to the bathroom. I came back quiet to where I didn’t think they’d hear me. I quickly put the rope around her neck and pulled back. She started to struggle but eventually relaxed against the couch as she passed out. Brad and I tied up her hands and feet then put her in the truck and drove off. We stopped out in the middle of the woods after driving for about an hour. Neither of us said anything during the car ride. Brad’s face had lines of worry across it, almost like he was regretting what he was doing. I didn’t know what his reason was for wanting her dead and I wasn’t about to ask. I was just here to finish this. We got out of the car and unlocked the trunk. By this time she was awake and almost killed us with a tire iron as we went to grab her.
    “Why are you two doing this?” She screamed waving the weapon at our heads. Brad didn’t answer but I knew I should.
    “Jinny you know. He asked and that’s why I agreed. I can’t have anyone finding out.” Brad gave me an odd look as I said this.
    “Find out what?” She started, “That you used to be a girl! I overhead him talking on the phone with his doctor one day.” My mouth dropped open and Brad stepped back away from me.
    “I swear man, that was a long time ago. I had an operation. She’s the only one, the only one who knows about it. I couldn’t have anyone else finding out. See how you’re looking at me!” I was ready to kill her now, I could easily.
    “That’s the secret?” Brad looked at us and we both shook our heads yes. “Oh I thought you two were having an affair. I was coming out here to kill both of you. That’s all? I mean it is creepy but definitely not what I thought it would be.”
    “Yeah, that’s all.” I rolled my eyes and ran a hand through my hair. Nothing could ever stay a secret could it?

  6. Icabu

    Clem knew Leon’s wife Jessica was always a bitch. She’d played them against each other for her affection knowing they’d been best friends forever. When Jessica announced she was pregnant by Leon and married him, Clem stayed away – far away. The Marines saw to it that he had much more important things to worry about, like staying alive.

    Clem had been in the States only three days when he’d gotten the surprise call from Leon. After the Marines, Clem joined a ‘security’ company working in the Middle East – same work, much better pay.

    As requested, Clem met Leon at a tourist lookout at Boston Harbor. Leon walked up slowly and leaned his back against the railing; his long overcoat collar turned up against the cold wind.

    They exchanged pleasantries, but Leon appeared stiff and nervous. Clem was certain he knew the cause of Leon’s discomfort. Jessica.

    “I know what you do for a living,” Leon said. His eyes darted all around.

    Clem shrugged. “It’s no secret.”

    Leon nodded. “I need to hire you.”

    Clem smiled.

    Leon’s eyes held Clem’s for a beat. “I’m sure you know why.”

    “If I do, then the fee is eighty-five cents,” Clem stated.

    Leon briefly looked confused, then grinned widely. “One bullet.”

    Clem nodded and saw relief flood through Leon’s face. His friend looked much more relaxed, almost happy.

    Of course, Clem had been correct. He sat in a rented car outside a seedy motel that he’d discreetly followed Jessica to. When her ‘John’ rushed out of the room, he left the car and brushed past the loser on his way up to the room where Jessica had done her entertaining.

    Clem rapped lightly on the door, turning his face away from the peephole, but it wasn’t necessary. Jessica jerked the door open.

    “What’d you forget now?” Jessica hissed in her bitchiest voice.

    Clem forced her back in the room, throwing her onto the bed. He laughed as her thick middle jiggled as she bounced on the sagging mattress. The years had not been kind.

    “You!” she screeched.

    Without a word, Clem raised his silenced pistol and watched her body jerk as the bullet penetrated her brain, leaving a trickle of blood from the small circular wound on her forehead.

    The door creaked behind him and Clem whirled around. Leon stood in the doorway. Clem relaxed and nodded. “It’s done.”

    “Not quite,” Leon said. He pulled a pistol from his coat pocket. Like Clem’s, a silencer bulged on the end of Leon’s gun.

    “What’s this?” Clem gestured at the gun.

    “Jessica talks when she’s good and drunk. It took twenty-four years of pouring booze into her, but she finally told me it was you that raped her. Jimmy’s yours.”

    Clem shrugged. “She was playing us, you know. I just decided to play harder than she was.”

    “I ain’t playing no more,” Leon growled. He shot Clem through the heart, watching as his ex-friend fell across his dead wife’s body.

  7. Camille6

    “I want this to be the best Christmas party ever!” cried out my best friend, Maddie. She pushed the cart down the aisle, as I trailed behind like a scrooge-like sheep, murmuring my agreement.
    I had never really been into the whole Christmas thing. The hustle and bustle of the stores. The feeling of always going in circles. I suppose it could only be blamed on the fact that I never had anyone in my life, quite like Maddie. It had been her idea to have the Christmas party. We had been planning it together for weeks for a surprise Christmas/block party for our friends and as a way to revive the marriage between Parker, my longtime friend and metaphorical brother, and his perky wife, Ashley.

    Suddenly my cellphone started to ring. I saw that the number was Ashley’s home number. I wondered how things were going on at home. Jacob and the whole crew was supposed to be over there right now putting up the decorations. I hoped that Ashley wasn’t headed home. She was supposed to be at work for the next couple of hours at least.
    I answered. It was a male voice. Parker.
    “Hello? Liana?”
    “Yeah. It’s me.” I replied. “What’s up?”
    “Can you come back home? There’s an issue.”
    “What kind of issue?” I ask feeling somewhat concerned. What kind of problem could have possibly have happened that the boys couldn’t solve?
    “Um… sure. Maddie and i just need to grab a few more things and we’ll be there.”
    “Okay,” he murmured back.
    “Bye..” I said, but he had already hung up.

    Maddie hadn’t heard the conversation but i quickly filled her in with the vague details of a an issue at the house. We payed, packed the car to bursting, and drove home in tense silence.

    We got back at the house, which we were relieved to see hadn’t burned down. Parker opened the door and helped Maddie and I put away the groceries. Nothing seemed out of place. Jacob, Jordan, Collin and Brian were downstairs playing a round of pool. Everything seemed fine. But why was Parker so quiet?

    Maddie had to run back to her house, which left me and Parker alone in the upstairs of the house.
    “So… what exactly was the issue that we had to speed home for?” i asked feeling slightly peeved. It upset me that Parker could be so urgent and yet so blase at other times.

    He shrugged his shoulders back and said in a laid- back fashion, “ I don’t think that I’m going to be coming to the Christmas party tonight.”
    I stared at him. Was he serious?
    “Parker…. i don’t understand. This is pretty much your party.”
    “Don’t kid yourself Liana, I know what you and Maddie and everyone else is trying to do here. And you know what? I’m going to come clean and just say it. Maybe i don’t want my marriage to be saved.” Parker looked at me for a long time.

    Parker and I had been close for a long time, but he had never let on much about his love life. We just didn’t go there. I always had a smile, a frown, something, but right now…. i had nothing…
    “I don’t want to go to the party and see this lie…” he continued. “ I know you trust me and i want you to understand Liana. I don’t love my life, yet i live it.”
    I nod mutely.
    “I want it to be done. I won’t feel honest about it but I want you to help me.”
    My blood runs cold as I consider the cards that are being laid out on the table.
    “My god, Parker…. I will never help you commit suicide!”
    He smiles and then chuckles low. “No, I want you to help me kill… my wife.”

    Everyone mulls around drinking cider, wearing pressed clothes, smothered with flowery perfume. I slip the tablet into the cider as people are leaving, wearing a smile that has been paper mach ed to my face. After the last whiff of perfume is gone, I return to the kitchen. I know that if I don’t do this Ashley will do something to Parker. The inheritance from the wealthy older males of his family will suit her. I remember when she was drunk at a party, she told me. That was one of the few things that she could remember the next day. She may one day find she has to tie up a loose end… me. I have never told anyone but i know that Ashley is as dangerous as she is pretty. The powdery poison dissolves in an instant. The cider is steaming in the glass as I carry it, but there is only a lukewarm feeling soaking through my downy winter gloves.

    Ashley is in the kitchen. Parker is in the corner, a portion of shadow slicing across his foot.
    “Here,” i say handing Ashley the cup, and feeling Parker’s eyes on me. “You left it in the other room.”

    “Thanks,”she replies. “The party was amazing. You and Maddie did such a good job of planning.” I look up and see the smile on her lips, but it seems like its missing from her eyes. They look more like frozen pieces of chocolate in her face. She raises the cup to her lips to drink.
    Moments later she looks different. Not because she’s lying on the floor of the kitchen dead, spread eagled, with the broken cider mug shards sprinkled next to her. It’s her eyes. There is neither the warmth of oak brown, or the cool chocolate.

    Just a glassy stillness. The way that all of our lives look from far away.

  8. Lena

    “I know who you are,” She pauses, back against the wall, “Daniel Elms.”

    O, and she is so smug. Her eyes are a light with the gleam of a woman whose deviance and intelligence is beyond my own. Yet, she is unaware of what is happening. She is certainly frightened, as her trembling legs suggest. As she should be, really, but she’s not as frightened as I anticipated. It’s as if that knowledge will stop me dead in my tracks; but, the gleam of intelligence is only that.

    A gleam. A sparkle. Fake.

    “Your husband has sent me.” My grip tightens on the palette knife in my hand.

    She falters visibly; her entire body begins to tense. Her eyes widen. It is as if her soul has left her body for a moment. When it returns to her, though, she speaks: “Sure he did. To finish our family portrait.” She stumbles and stutters on the last sentence.

    “Alas, no.”

    “They’ll find you out.” She warns. With her feet alone, she slides her heels off. She takes one in her hand and she lifts it so that it is level with her chest, as if a shoe will protect her. She does not know how to use a weapon; never once has she had to raise her hand in defense of herself. I, on the other hand, have used this knife more times than I could count. “My husband will pursue you. He knows everything about you. He’ll put your ass right back in jail.”

    In one quick movement, I lunge forward, plunging the artistic tool into her abdomen. She lets out a desperate cough. “I served not one day in a prison,” I grumble into her shoulder, “due to the mercy of your husband.” I begin to drag the palette knife up; her shoe falls to the ground, and she pounds her fists desperately against my back. “And while he has been very, very kind to me,” I pull it out of her stomach and step back; she falls to the floor, erupting into fits of sobs. Before she can rest for very long, I lace my fingers through her long, chocolate-colored locks and I force her to look up at me. I press the palette knife against her carotid artery and she stares up at me in fear. With only the force in my arm, I penetrate the delicate thing and I stand back, watching as her body empties itself of blood.

    “He’s next.”

    I turn and walk away. O, Mother, I will kill him, and then I will find Gregor. We will prevail.

  9. Krillb

    Hi All,
    First time posting on here, I like the daily prompts. This one particularly intruiged, so I took the plunge. It’s largely unedited, but feedback is most welcome:

    I don’t normally do jobs for free, but a friend in need of having his adulterous wife murdered is a fiend indeed. Particularly when he isn’t aware that it was me who was having the affair with her that offended him so. I’m not sure poor Karyn deserved this. Still, they don’t call me ‘The Removal Man’ for nothing. Excellence in execution is what I do, won’t hurt to keep my eye in.
    I held the silenced pistol behind my back, and knocked on the apartment door.
    “Who is it?” asked the familiar gravelly voice, a mildly attractive bi-product of 40 Lucky Strikes a day. Lucky Strikes, now there’s a misnomer.
    “Hi Karyn, it’s me. English.” I replied.
    There was a scraping of chair legs on wooden laminate, a cough and a mutter. Slowly the door opened. Karyn didn’t say anything, merely turning and walking back into the hotel room. I followed her. Nice suite. Amazing what a middle manager in the organised crime industry can command.
    Karyn sat down and lit a cigarette. She looked at me, as if expecting me to explain my presence.
    “I hope you know why I’m here.” I said.
    “Please, no more fellatio. The thought of it makes me gag now. And I think I’m getting lip sores.” replied Karyn.
    “That’s very, er, forthright of you Karyn. However I’m afraid I’m here on orders of your husband. He wants you dead.” I said, bring the gun round to the front.
    “Oh, does he now! Why, because we’ve been having a good time for a few months? I bet you didn’t say anything about that, did you?” said Karyn, suddenly raising her voice.
    “Look, Karyn. Please don’t make this difficult. You know the rules. You start sleeping around in this game, you’re going to get plugged. It just so happens it’s on my shift.” I said.
    “Screw you, English. You’re loving every second of this, aren’t you? You bastard, I’m calling Stevie to tell him.” said Karyn, marching over to the cell-phone on the table.
    Now I can’t have this, you see. So I shot her in the buttocks. I didn’t mean to shoot her there, she stumbled just before the table. The bullet that was supposed to hit her in the leg hit her in the arse. I cursed under my breath. How very unprofessional of me.
    Karyn, unsurprisingly, screamed in agony. She fell, smashing her teeth on the side of the coffee table. How this didn’t knock her out I’ll never know, she managed to get up and lurch towards the window. She’s a game girl, that’s for sure.
    “Karyn, please don’t make a scene! Try to keep your dignity, eh? ” I said, realising I wasn’t helping much at this point.
    I wasn’t sure what Karyn said then, as she was still spitting out teeth, but she performed a perfect Superman dive out of the eighty-fifth floor window, whilst showing me the middle finger.
    Oh dear. Time to leave.

  10. Cloud Strife

    I slam my fist against the wall landing close to her face. She jumped with a frightened look on her face. “Who did you tell?!” I screamed at her. My eyes burning into her, “No one Koutke,” she whimpered. I didn’t believe what she was saying. I knew she told someone. “Who did you tell?!” I asked again with determination and force. She shook her head tears rolling down her cheeks, “No one! I swear!” I grabbed her hair and pulled her to the desk of the office room. She fell to her knees. I looked and found a letter opener. Grabbing it in one hand I held it to her ear. “Tell me or lose the ear.” Poking her firmly with the sharp end of the opener she cried out, “Please Koutke, please. I didn’t tell anyone.” Begging for her life she continued to tell me lies. With a swift movement I plunged the opener in the pinna of her ear. I heard the cartilage cracking as it tears through. She screamed in pain. Blood flowing out streaming down the side of her face. “Now, are you going to tell me?” She tried kicking me. I slammed my size 9.5 shoe on her knee. I heard something pop. I smiled and responded to it, “That crack sounded lovely.” She cried more screaming for help. I continued “I wonder if I can do that to the other one.” I laughed even harder at the thought of that. With the blood covered letter opener, I put it up to her cheek pointed side poking her gently. “Why are you doing this?” I heard her ask me. It was hard to understand between sniffles and breaths. I looked at her and smiled, “You will die here tonight.” After I said that she became quiet. She tried to fight more only to realize that I had broken her knee, she yelled in pain. I laughed more. “How about some cheek piercings?” I shoved the opener in her cheek and out the other one horizontal to her tongue. Then I got an idea as she wriggled in pain. I took my knee and slammed it against her chin. Her teeth cracked and blood pouring out. I laughed harder as she tried screaming. I let her go. She slumped and rolled to her side on the floor. The opener still sticking out of her cheeks, I looked at her. “God you are pathetic.” I walked over to her pulled the opener out. She tried crawling to the door. I grabbed her by the hair once more tilted her head back and whispered, “I love you.” I slammed the opener into her trachea. I held her as she drowned in her own blood, “I love you so much,” I pulled the gun out of my ankle holster. “I love you,” I whispered as I stuck the gun barrel in my mouth and pulled the trigger.

  11. svaughn

    addendum to the story:

    He wiped the tears from his eyes as he headed to the garage to load up the container of gasoline before heading up to the cabin. He had neglected to tell Brett that he would have no problem loving Amelia like his own daughter, because she was his daughter. Bev told him the day of Brett’s funeral. Apparently, Brett was sterile, but never knew it. Bev had stopped birth control without Brett’s knowledge trying to get pregnant multiple times after Amelia was born, but to no avail. She had secretly taken some of his semen to get checked and found out he was unable to father a child. As Jack climbed into his SUV, he remembered that drunken night about seventeen years ago. Brett had passed out drunk after a night on the town the three had shared. After Jack and Bev had put him in bed, they continued drinking in the living room. In their alcohol induced stupor, the let their guards down and both betrayed the man they loved, husband and friend. Bev and Jack never mentioned it. Jack remembered, but was too ashamed of his betrayal. He assumed Bev did not even remember it, until the day of the funeral when the bombshell was dropped on him. He kept a facade of nonchalance when she told him, but the anger almost overwhelmed him. He understood the term “seeing red.” How could she keep such a secret from him? Now, it was too late, he would always be just “Uncle Jack,” never Daddy. As he headed to the freeway, he could hear the gas sloshing around in the red plastic container; he thought to himself, “The bitch is going to pay. She killed my best friend, and kept me from knowing I had a daughter. Her sins will be cleansed by fire.” He wondered if he would feel any guilt from killing Rudy. After a moment’s thought, he knew that he wouldn’t. He always despised that little shit, Brett was the one who hired him. “Good riddance” he said aloud as he pushed the accelerator further to the floor.

  12. svaughn

    Crap! after rereading the prompt, I realize I didn’t adhere to the flow requested. Apologies to all, but enjoy this season appropriate Dickinesque short based on the general premise of the prompt.

  13. svaughn

    Jack bolted upright out of his sleep drenched in sweat. “Jesus Christ,” he said to himself, shaken by the nightmare of being visited by his recently deceased law partner Brett. Jack noticed he was hyperventilating, and closed his eyes and gradually slowed his breathing down until a regular rhythm developed and he pounding of the blood in his ears diminished. ‘Why on tonight, Christmas Eve, did I have to suffer from such a vision?’ he thought to himself. But he knew why; this was the first Christmas without Brett. They had met in law school and became the fastest and best of friends. Both had a certain irreverence to the mores of society that engendered a close bond. After graduation, they opened their practice, and the pool of their respective talents soon brought success.

    Jack remained the consummate bachelor, but Brett was lucky; he sought out, found, and married his soul mate Bev. She fit right in to the dynamics of their friendship; the duo became a trio, and even though Jack gladly gave the young couple ample time to themselves, the threesome spent most of the time together, forming a family-like bond. Then Amelia was born, and Jack assumed the role of the loving bachelor uncle. For the next sixteen years, they were all a happy family, with Jack loving Amelia as the daughter he knew he would never have. That all changed last month. Brett had died the day after Thanksgiving, falling down the front stairs in the foyer of his house, breaking his neck. The toxicology report revealed a BAC of .18.

    As Jack sat in his bed, grieving for his friend, he wailed aloud, “why the hell did you have to get drunk and break your fucking neck, in such a stupid accident!” “Because it wasn’t an accident” Jack heard as Brett’s voice seemed to glide through the night. The sweat that drenched his body immediately chilled on Jack’s skin, causing the unnatural tingling of goosebumps all over. He opened his eyes, and in the moonlight streaming through the undraped window, he saw Brett standing in his room. He did not have that peaceful look that ghosts were supposed to have; there was a disconcerting air in the room, his neck was posed at an odd angle. Jack immediately knew it was the appearance Brett had at the moment of his death. “I need you to do something for me,” he told Jack. For some reason Jack felt a bubble of irreverence gathering and retorted “oh really? Well, you aren’t Jacob Marley, and I’m not Ebenezer Fucking Scrooge,” he said while laughing.

    “Bev killed me, you jackass, be serious” he told Jack who felt a malevolent aura spike through him, causing more goosebumps, and tingling in the base of his spine. Jack couldn’t believe what he was hearing, “no way man, she loved you!” he yelled back. Brett’s apparition just smirked and said “apparently not; after we dropped Amelia off at the airport to go skiing with her friends, we went home and had a few drinks. She kept feeding me drinks, and suggested we go upstairs and have ‘a little fun’ like we used to have before Amelia was born.” The apparition began pacing back and forth, in a state of agitation, “when we got to the top of the stairs, she turned to face me and said she found someone else, and didn’t want to go through a messy divorce, and pushed me backwards down the stairs. You know what followed.”

    Jack was in a daze, he just knew Bev could not have done it, but there was Brett giving him something even better than a deathbed confession. “Who is the other person” Jack asked Brett? “Not that it matters, but it was Rudy” Brett answered with a cocked eyebrow. “Rudy? The new associate we hired in September?” Jack asked with disbelief. “Yep, apparently he’s got a thing for older women, and Bev was apparently a cougar.” As Jack thought about Brett’s last response, he voiced the question the he had been dreading since the beginning of the encounter, “So what do you want me to do?” He knew what was coming before the apparition opened its mouth to respond, “I want you to kill Bev and Rudy. They are at my cabin in the mountains as we speak. Go up there and set it on fire while they are sleeping.” Jack nodded in agreement; “but what about Amelia” he asked? “She will be okay; she and Bev haven’t been close for awhile. We just kept up a good front for you and everyone else. Just be there for her and continue to be her ‘Uncle Jack’, loving her like your she’s your own” Brett said sadly.
    “Okay, my friend, you can count on me.” Jack responded as he slid out of bed and began to dress. “I love you man, you were always like my brother” Brett smiled and said as his apparition began to dissipate. “Me too, my brother, me too” Jack sobbed as he turned to the bedroom door. He wiped the tears from his eyes as he headed to the garage to load up the container of gasoline before heading up to the cabin.

  14. kiara.toler

    I have to get back to class I just decided to write a quick something during my lunch break. Comments are welcome and appreciated.

    When River asked me to kill Riley for him I didn’t hesitate in replying, “Yes.” I hadn’t felt that surge in a long time. The pumping of my blood through my veins, my heart beating faster and faster feeling like I’m going to explode, and the eerie calm that overcame me was a beautiful scene of rememberance. I knew exactly how I was going to make this work and best of all not get caught. There was a knock on the door that interrupted my plotting mind. Snapping out of my daze, I head towards the door. Riley is standing there, smiling. Her red hair is wild, like always, but pinned up. She is rambling about River’s birthday and reminiscing about the day they met. All the while my mind is imagining her gray eyes without life, her mouth permanetly fixed into a scream of horror, and her body disfigured and covered in blood. The blood mingling in her fiery flames. I am unable to stop my eyes from glazing over. Suddenly she stops and stares at me for a moment. “Blaire are you okay? You look a little sick. Do you need me to take you to the hospital?” Oh, if she only knew how sick I really am, but she will know more than she thought she did soon enough. I just have to wait. Wait for that perfect opportunity. She’ll never see it coming.

  15. Anita

    Two hours before the big party, I stood in my best friend’s kitchen watching his wife put the finishing touches on a tray of hors d’oeuvres. “Well, it was a good run,” Lonnie said to me. “I knew Richard would have to make a choice someday, and to tell you the truth I’m surprised it took him so long to figure it out.”

    I raised my glass and tasted again the marvelous punch that was the trademark of their Christmas parties. No one else knew the secret ingredients in the concoction. Lonnie was always good at secrets.

    I’d thought I was, too. Until now.

    “I just told you your husband wants me to kill you. By the time he gets home for the party, you’re supposed to be laid out on the floor with a bullet in you. How can you just stand there putting parsley on a plate?”

    She laughed as she turned from the sink. “Oh, you won’t kill me. Not now. If you had it in you to do that, it would have happened long ago. Besides, you still can’t be sure that I haven’t left a little incriminating note somewhere. You’d do that, wouldn’t you?” She paused, looking thoughtful. “I wonder if that’s why you decided to tell me, instead.”

    “No! You know I’ve always trusted you. You and Richard and I have been friends for a ong time. I just don’t know how it came to this, or what to do about it. Now that he knows, we can’t go on just like nothing has happened.” The whole situation was frightening. I felt lightheaded, almost dizzy.

    “Of course not. Richard isn’t stupid; he knows very well that three people sharing a secret almost guarantees that it will come out in time. I’m not really surprised that he thought murder would solve the problem. It’s a little odd that he chose you to do the deed. But then you made a choice when you hesitated to do what he asked. So, unfortunately, I had to choose, too.”

    She took the glass from my hand and swished it thoroughly in the soapy dishwater. “Richard is far from perfect, but I do care for him. I’m sorry, and I’m going to miss you, Carrie, but I’m afraid the secret ingredient in this glass of punch was not quite the same as usual.”

  16. TEMiranda

    Isabel was the one for me, but for some reason she chose Henry. It took several years to get over her hypnotic eyes, her luscious voice, and her seductive laughter; in the end I chose to be Henry’s best friend and Isabel’s occasional lover. Things didn’t unravel as I had hoped, but as we matured into the morally-gray individuals that we have become I found our relationship to work for us. Henry was unaware, Isabel loved me, and I lived in poetic misery. It fueled my work as a songwriter, so I can’t complain.

    After almost fifteen years of our extramarital affair, Isabel finally decided to leave Henry. The news was shocking not only because she was not leaving Henry for me, as I had always hoped, but also because of what Henry said next.

    “You have to help me make her disappear.” Henry snarled across the diner booth, “She’s leaving me for some Spanish pretty boy, and unless I give her everything she wants she is going to go public with-”

    “No.” I interrupted; my voice could not be more solemn.

    “Yes!” he whispered. “She is going to ruin me. That slut.”

    “Wait, maybe I can talk to her. Make her change her mind.”

    “If she thinks she can take everything that I have worked for my whole life and spit on it-” Henry notices the young couple in the next booth and lowers his voice, “she’s already dead to me.”

    In a split second I thought of all the moments Isabel and I spent making love on my bed with the windows wide open to the view of the Hudson River, all the times she gasped “I love you” as she reached ecstasy, all the promises of a long life of passion so long as Henry did not find out; everything we had crushed by Spanish pretty boy. How long has she betrayed me? How long has she led me to believe I was her soul mate? I suddenly feel the weight of her betrayal on my shoulders and I slump in my seat. There is only so much misery a man can take.

    Henry rubs his furrowed eyebrows into relaxed arches and looks at me with fortitude. “You have to help me kill her. I’ll be in your debt forever.”

    My face is numb when I nod. “What’s the plan?”

    The Spanish pretty boy is twenty five years old and is obviously after her money, but Isabel doesn’t care, she is in love. When I turn the key to my apartment, as my back was towards her, she apologizes. “James, darling, you have to understand how hard this is for me.” Isabel purrs.

    “For you? I had to hear it from Henry!” I shout back as we walk into my one-bedroom, Riverside apartment from the hallway. Isabel follows with her three inch heels clanking. “He wants to kill you. I mean literally kill you.”

    Her shoes stop clanking. “How was he planning on doing it?” Her whisper made me believe she was not expecting such a dramatic reaction. When I turn around to glare at her I see her face is frozen in terror. “He asked you to help him, didn’t he?” Her eyes plead me but I cross my arms to fight back her spell. She shouts back with anger, “You cannot stand there and judge me for the same crime that you are committing. Your betrayal is worse than mine!”

    I rushed to grab her at her throat and pushed her up against my apartment door. “You lied to me.” I hiss as I enjoy watching her squirm under my strength.

    “Please,” Isabel gasps for air, “darling.” After a few seconds of fruitless struggle, Isabel’s eyes turn red and I release my grip. When her body falls to the ground and begins to heave I start regretting my actions. She is right; I cannot punish her for a crime I am committing.

    As she whispers endearments to me, thanking me for not killing her, I take a bottle of Don Perignon, pop the cork and pour some into a juice glass. I shake my head as I pour into a second glass for Isabel, already forgiving her for her betrayal. Isabel sits up against my apartment door and flickers her eyes at the glasses in my hands.

    “You can choose the glass if you wish.” I squat down right next to her after she makes her selection. “I was going to come over tomorrow night with this bottle for your fortieth birthday, pretend I forgot it was last Saturday, and Henry was going to make sure your glass was lined with rat poison.” I chuckle at the cliché of it all. “See, he complained to the maid about mice and had her spread rat poison around the house all day.” I shrug my shoulders. “Accidents happen.”

    Once I took a long swig I hear a slushing sound as Isabel’s body slumps lifelessly to the side. When I rise to my knees to reach for her I fall helplessly over her body and roll to my back.

    As I lay there dying, cackling for my last few breaths, Henry walks over my legs. With his hands in rubber gloves he bends down and folds them over his bent knee. He looks straight into my eyes and whispers, “I owe you one.”

  17. Rockygraciee

    “Amanda? I have news for you.” I say, entering Adam, my best friends house.
    “What is it, Fran?” Amanda, Adams wife asked impatiently. “I am quite busy!”
    “Not for long, not for long.” I mumbled to myself with a smile, clutching the knife to my side.
    “Okay, come into the kitchen, would you like some tea?” Amanda asked as I walked into the kitchen.
    “Listen, you know that secret you found out about last month?” I asked uncomfortably.
    “Yea, how could I forget!” Amanda said with a chuckle to herself.
    “Well…I can’t take risks with anyone finding out so…” I start, pulling the knife out from my pocket so she can see. “Sorry, Amanda. This is what I have to do.”
    “What? Fran I-I don’t understand!” Amanda stutters, backing towards the door. Silly her though. I wouldn’t let her out.
    “Well you’ll have plenty of time to think it over when your up there, dead.” I say slamming the door so she could not escape.
    “Please, Fran! What happened to you!” Amanda yells at the top of her lungs.
    “The secret happened to me, but the real question is…what happened to you?” I say.

    My knife went down, slash, her throat was slit.

    “Is it done?” Adam asked when I stepped outside.
    “Yea, now she is dead.” I say with a smile.

    WOOSH, something whizzed past us.

    “What was that?” I asked quietly, looking around.
    “Nothing, just the wind.” Adam said, even though it sounded as though he was convincing himself I settled down.

    WOOSH, it happened again.

    “A-are you sure it’s nothing?” I asked uncertainly.
    “Ya, p-positive.” Adam said, fear filled his eyes,

    WOOSH, it happened again. This time we heard a voice. Amanda’s voice, “You two devils! You will not be able to live good lives! I will haunt you…for as long as you live!”

    “A-Amanda?” Adam said.
    “Yes, it is me, HONEY!” Amanda’s spirit says like she was waiting for something.
    “Get away from us! Why can’t you just leave us alone?” I scream into the night.
    “No, Fran, you always believed in punishment, right? Well this is yours. Deal with it!” Amanda’s voice yells back.

    TWO DAYS LATER***

    “Why is that knife floating?” I yell to Adam at the diner.
    “I don’t know. Lets get outta here!” Adam yells, slapping some money on the table for the waiter.
    “Nobody is leaving, hon.” Amanda’s voice says.
    “Leave us alone.” I demanded, bravely.
    “No thanks.” Amanda yelled.

    Than my best friend was dead. Before I could help it. I yelled but I knew I couldn’t help it.

    Than she turned to me. I could feel a faint laugh coming from her, she was mad. In both ways.

    Now it was my turn. I closed my eyes and braced myself for her wrath but it didn’t come. I opened an eye. And than I saw the knife come down. Than blood. Than black. I was dead.

    The End

  18. Egg

    My right hand cupped the syringe in the pocket of my jacket; my left hand accepted the steaming cup of coffee. My best friend’s wife smiled sweetly and ushered me to a seat at the kitchen table.

    “I’ll get straight to the point,” she said as she slid into a chair opposite me. “I think Tony is about to leave me…. or should I say, I think Tony and his money are about to leave me.” Emma spooned sugar into her cup, splashed in milk and stirred the muddy concoction with a calmness that unnerved me; it had, after all, been a long time since I had done what I was about to do. “….which has gotten me thinking about our little secret.”

    It had been a stupid and careless mistake. Tony and Emma had arrived at my door ten minutes early, and in my haste to greet them, I neglected to pack away the papers that scattered my bed; the photos, the newspaper clippings about the boy’s disappearance; the notes I had scrawled over fifteen years; and of course, the fake documents that showed my face and his name.

    An unseasonal chill had fallen on us as we sipped wine on the patio, and Emma was in need of a sweater. I thought the dark blue one would suit her well, and we went indoors to fetch it. When Emma’s eyes fell on the detritus that littered my bed and the pathetic, worn shoebox that usually safeguarded my secrets at the back of my closet, my stomach lurched with panic.

    That night she promised secrecy, and for many years, Emma reveled in the conspiracy of my stolen identity as if she was playing a part in a spy movie, but I always knew that the novelty of her knowledge would someday wear thin.

    “So then, Carl, or whatever your real name is, I need money and if you help me out, I will continue to overlook your villainous past.” Emma stressed the last two words theatrically.

    I smiled into my coffee, mildly curious about her blackmail demands. The syringe was nestled in the crease of my lap and I tugged at my jacket to ensure that my pocket was easily accessible.

    “Emma, I have good news and bad news,” I said. “The good news is that Tony is not about to leave you. The bad news is – he’s asked me to kill you.” I leant over the table and searched her eyes for fear, but there was none.

    “And why do you suppose he thought you’d be capable of it?” she asked with a sly smile. “He knows, Carl. I told him everything. And you know what else? He’s worth a lot of money – dead…… or replaced.” Her eyebrows lifted. “So, what do you say…… husband?”

    The hearty thud of the front door interrupted my addled thoughts. Seconds later, Tony sauntered into the kitchen. “What’s up, guys?”

    I reached into my pocket and withdrew the deadly syringe.

  19. Delilah2011

    Just as Hank and I had planned it, I arrived at midnight the night before Margaret’s annual running of the maze, and stayed in the guest room.

    Now I was sitting in their huge kitchen finishing a cup of coffee, and watching Margaret futz with floral arrangements.

    “So Adam, I’m surprised you decided to join us this year. How long has it been? Six, seven years since you were last here?”

    “Six years to the day, come to think of it.”

    “I think you’re right. Well I’m glad you came.” She turned around and continued futzing with the floral arrangements.

    Margaret and my nightmares were the only two things that reminded me about a time in my life that I tried my best to forget about during my waking hours.

    Staying away from Margaret was easy enough since she and Hank moved 150 miles away from me, to live in this sprawling mansion with so many acres of land that Margaret had to have a hedge maze.

    The waking hours were trickier. Pills and booze kept my mind fuzzy but functioning. I brought new meaning to the word workaholic. At night, I’d stay up late learning foreign languages. I was fluent in Spanish, and planned to start French.

    But eventually my eyes would close, and before I knew it I’d wake up in a cold sweat, bed sheets soaked through, and sometimes it wasn’t just with sweat. Pretty miserable. But I guess I was too chicken to end it all.

    Of course, once Margaret found out six years ago, the threat of exposure, of further ruining a half-ruined life, was getting the better of me.

    So when Hank asked me to help him kill his wife, I said yes, without hesitation.

    I’d finished the coffee and went out the back door to the private park that was the Rierken’s backyard. The hedge maze was huge and imposing.

    Walking up to the “Enter Here” sign, I turned back to see if Margaret was watching. She wasn’t, but I saw Hank peer nervously of out of the attic window, and check his watch two times in just as many seconds.

    I entered the maze, took out the map Hank had given me, and made my way to the furthest corner.

    I knew our plan was on schedule when an hour later I heard Margaret calling out my name.

    “Adam? Are you lost?”

    “I think I am. I’ve been trying to get out of here for about an hour.”

    “Hank told me he saw you out here.” She sounded like she was walking towards me.

    “I didn’t think this was going to be so hard.” I shouted back.

    “I didn’t want to make it too easy. The party would be over too soon.” She was getting closer.

    “And then what, right?”

    “Exactly. There would be too much time to share the wrong types of stories.” And suddenly she was in front
    of me.

    “Yes. The wrong types of stories.” I said as I raised the pistol, and shot her right between the eyes.

      1. Egg

        I liked the dialogue, I liked the originality of the setting, I liked the cryptic undertones (ie the secret remaining a secret), I liked the no-nonsense last sentence, I liked the lovely rhythm of “there would be too much time to share the wrong types of stories” and I even liked Margaret’s compulsive futzing. Good job.

    1. Anita

      This was a good story. Normally I cringe at the sight of so many one-line paragraphs, but it works well here to indicate the two separate presences in the maze. For me, I’d probably try to expand and connect the first few paragraphs, though, to emphasize even more the maze sequence when it begins.
      Nice work.

  20. handburger

    Drip, drip, drip, the condensation from Johns face formed sweat beads that ran down his unshaven chin. It was 11 O’clock at night and not a noise could be heard except the Chevy Silverado radiator tinging as it cooled down from the late night drive.
    Motionless, John sat, as his mind reviewed what had just happened, his mind tried to slowly comprehend exactly what had been asked of him just moments before. “Sure, I’ve done it in the past, I mean I was basically hired and trained to be ABLE to do this.” John spoke out loud as his brain brought up his military service to justify why he was even contemplating this. “Danny is a good friend of mine, I know he would do this for me, and I can’t let him down.”
    John twisted his body, and thrust backwards to grab something out of his backseat. Constricted by the seat belt and unable to grab the box, he sat back into proper driving position and pressed the red button which unlatched the belt. Once again he contorted his body backwards, put his hand under the back seat and grabbed a short black box that he brought forward and placed on his lap.
    John gazed at the black box as if it were 100 yards away from him, as if this was the all or nothing moment which would decide his fate. Near silence enveloped John as a sudden feeling of guilt washed over his brain. He knew that although Danny asked him to kill his wife Casey, that he had already thought about and rehearsed this moment in his mind many times before. John knew at some point, one in which he kept postponing for the future, that he would have to do this. He had just never expected to be given Danny’s permission.
    John flipped the latch on the black box and began to open it as his back tensed in conjunction with his thoughts being flooded with the secret that Casey held over him. “She knows, dammit she knows, and she never lets me forget.” John chokes out as he slams his hand into the center console. ”Every time I see her, I know she‘s just judging me, with her hello, I know she‘s really just wishing I would get arrested.” Johns face deposits more and more sweat down off his face as he begins to shake and cry frantically. “Sh-she won‘t let it go away! I can‘t have her tell anyone, she plays so innocent but she‘s worse then me!”

    The motel was dingy, dark, and quiet as Casey lay sprawled across the queen sized bed. Just as she was about to doze off a blue light illuminated an imperfect circle on the ceiling which caught her eye. “A text” Casey thought as she rolled over to see who it was. “Ugghhh” she let out a groan as she read “Can‘t make it babe, wife was on to me”
    “Tell her to join in!” she replied.
    “Haha, rooms on me, relax and enjoy yourself!”
    Casey’s thoughts quickly reflected on what she was doing, how she had a nice warm bed at home with Danny, her husband, and what he could be up to with his friends since she was on a “business trip.” As quickly as they had entered her head, the thoughts were gone. She sleepily took one last look at the digital clock which depicted in red lights “11:27” and began to pass out.
    Breathing erratically Casey jolted out of sleep grabbing her chest as she gasped for air. She began to calm down as she realized it was just a nightmare and no one was actually after her.
    Beginning to let the tension go in her calf muscles, she rested her head back on the pillow with her eyes slightly open. She looked across the room to see the time, and through the darkness to her surprise she couldn’t make out the digital clock she had seen just hours before. “What…” she whispered as she squinted hard to make out any object in the room.
    Casey’s heart fell, she prayed it was another nightmare as the shock set deep into her skin and further through her bones. Her eyes adjusted around a man standing between her and the clock, whose face was unrecognizable in the dark, she screamed as the last thing she saw was the light glimmer off a Military issue Beretta M9.

    First time writing here, sorry if its too long!

  21. rob akers

    tlcall01…Thanks for the nice comments, I am an old guy trying to learn how to be a writer. I have big ideas, plans, dreams that are not very compatible with 3rd grade talent. I have a long way to go but I am enjoying the ride.

    I enjoyed your story and I especially like how you started with the murder then worked forward to the plan and reasoning. I especially like this: Rick stepped out of the hospital into the cool of the evening, gulping the fresh night air. The wind kicked up a tuff of his thick, brown hair. Absentmindedly, he reached up to smooth it back down. Disheveled, he stepped off the curb toward his car, turning toward the smell of cigarette smoke wafting on the breeze
    Very enjoyable

  22. tlcall01

    Julia slid into the booth across from Kendra, “Sorry I’m late. I had a meeting that ran over.” “You’re always late,” Kendra laughed, handing her a menu. “I took the liberty of ordering you a Long Island Iced Tea, your favorite,” she said, pushing the glass across the table toward her long-time friend. “Just what the doctor ordered,” Julia said, taking a long pull of the drink. The two sat looking over the menu. After a minute Julia began tugging at the neck of her sweater. “Do you think it’s it hot in here?” she asked, fanning herself with her menu. “Hum?” Kendra asked, glancing up from the menu. “I, I don’t feel well,” Julia tried to stand. The room swayed around her as she pitched forward, her hands grasping the table for support. “Oh my God, are you okay? Help! Somebody help!” Kendra yelled, looking around wildly, then back to her friend who was now clutching her throat, gasping for air. “I think she’s choking!” A man from a nearby table jumped up and grabbed Julia around the waist. “Are you choking?” he yelled at her. Wild-eyed and frantic, Julia shook her head. “Can’t..breath,” she croaked, her lips turning a ghastly blue. Suddenly her eyes rolled back in her head as she collapsed in a heap, the man’s arms still around her. Hurriedly he laid her on the ground and began administering CPR. Between chest compressions he yelled, “Somebody call an ambulance!” Kendra stood rooted. “Call 9-1-1,” he shouted in her direction. Coming out of her trance, Kendra fumbled in her purse for her phone.

    As the EMS technicians lifted the gurney into the back of the ambulance, a man came running up. “What the hell happened?” he yelled, trying to climb into the back of the ambulance. “Whoa, sir,” one of the technicians laid a hand on his chest as another closed the back doors of the emergency vehicle. “I’m her husband, damn it! What’s going on? What’s wrong with…” “Rick, oh Rick,” Kendra flung herself into his arms. It was awful, just awful,” she sobbed. “Okay, calm down,” said Rick, “tell me what happened.” “I, I don’t know,” Kendra wailed above the screams of the sirens. “We were looking over the menu when she started feeling ill. I…” Kendra’s voice broke on a sob. “Let’s go,” Rick said motioning to his car. Once inside the hospital, Rick rushed up to the check-in desk. “My name is Rick Simpson. My wife Julia was brought in recently.” “Just a moment,” said the woman behind the counter, her name badge camouflaged by the brightly colored swirls of her hospital frock. “She picked up the phone and spoke into it. A minute later she turned back to him. “Mr. Simpson, if you would please follow me,” she stood and walked out from behind the counter.

    “Anaphylactic shock… too late… did everything we could…” the doctor’s mouth moved, but Rick couldn’t make out all he was saying over the loud buzzing in his head. “I think I’m going to be sick,” he said, dropping his head toward his lap. Hours later, Rick stepped out of the hospital into the cool of the evening, gulping the fresh night air. The wind kicked up a tuff of his thick, brown hair. Absentmindedly, he reached up to smooth it back down. Disheveled, he stepped off the curb toward his car, turning toward the smell of cigarette smoke wafting on the breeze. He watched as Kendra dropped a newly lit cigarette, crushing it under the toe of her stiletto. They walked silently toward his car. Once inside, he rubbed his hands over his face. Turning to her he said, “Tell me everything.” Kendra sat for a moment, silent. “Did you know she almost died from a cherry allergy when she was sixteen?” Kendra asked, not looking at Rick but seeing into her past. Julia and Kendra had met when they were in grade school. They had become best friends back then, Julia sticking up for Kendra when the other kids had teased, calling names like “faggot” and “queer.” “We were at Jerry’s having a cherry Coke the first time it happened. Only that time, the first time, it wasn’t as severe, and we were able to get her to the hospital in time. I remember it was Jimmy Fischer who drove her there. He had this old Pontiac Firebird that he and his dad had restored.” As she reminisced, a tear dropped from her eye. She wiped it with the back of her hand. “I know this was hard on you,” Rick said, placing his hands over hers, “but you were the only one close enough to do it. Thank you,” he added, leaning over, his kiss lingering on her soft, moist cheek. He pulled back and studied her. “I have to wonder though, after all the two of you had been through, why? Why did you agree so readily?” Kendra shook her head. “I did it for you, love,” she ran the back of her hand down Rick’s face. He caught her hand and held it, trying to read what was swimming behind her eyes. Never would he know her secret. It would be buried with her grade school playmate, the one who had stood up for her. Only Julia knew that Kendra had once been Kenny, Kenny the fag, Kenny the queer. It was Julia who had been there through the multiple surgeries, through the shedding of her former life and through her complete transformation. Only Julia and Kendra’s parents had known, and now, they were all dead. Now, only now, could she fully live her life as Kendra Johnson, or rather Kendra Simpson if she had anything to say about it.

    1. tjmuta

      You have characters that are really good actors! I really like how you killed her first, and then went on to explain why.I was actually kind of hoping that you wouldn’t expose the secret and leave it up to the reader’s imagination from the plants. But hell, it’s a secret I think most people would certainly like to keep covered up, so you did in that. Frankly, I liked the story, and I think you’re major strength is the dialogue, which was considerably well written.

      Nice job!

    2. Delilah2011

      Very vivid writing. I felt I was “watching” the story instead of reading it. Only constructive criticism would be to agree with tjmuta comment “… wouldn’t expose the secret and leave it up to the reader’s imagination from the plants.” Other than that, well done!

  23. rob akers

    “Will you do it?” Greg asked nervously.
    “Sure, why not?” Robin stated casually like most people agree to grab a loaf of bread on the way home from work.
    “How will you do it?” Greg was surprised that she agreed so quickly and without hesitation. Robin was not the most attractive female in town but she had a way about her that was beautiful to him, just like her sister.
    “I don’t know. I have always been a fan of drowning but that is so Hollywood and even worse mundane.” Robin looked out the window. The suburban street was dark with only the occasional car lighting the snow covered street. The power was off for the second day and both Greg and Robin were wearing their winter jackets. Robin stared out the window for almost two minutes until finally her head nodded and she turned to Greg. “Go clean the driveway off.”
    “Again?”
    “Yes, again. Have it finished before she gets home.” Greg muttered something and pulled his gloves out of his pockets.
    Robin went to the medicine cabinet and once she found what she was looking for she put ten pills in a small zip lock bag and began to prepare dinner for three. Tonight was going to be steak night with mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans. Robin used the gas grill on the back patio to boil the water for the potatoes and corn and a small pan for the beans. Greg re-entered the house shivering from frozen sweat. He was looking forward to standing next to the space heater but Robin had a different plan. She handed him three rib eye stakes and hustled him out the door.
    Gloria came home from work before the steaks were finished. An ER doctor, she was considered essential personnel and as such she had the great pleasure of working during the harshest of weather. She had just finished a 24 hour shift and was looking forward to a full night of rest. Little did she know, that Robin was planning on giving her more than she expected. As the sisters drank a glass of wine, dinner was served. Gloria sat and had a wonderful last supper. Robin took pride in her mashed potatoes but Gloria’s had one additional item, 100 milligrams of finely ground Ambien. A second glass of wine finished off the meal and Gloria retired to the bedroom.
    An hour later, Greg and Robin roused Gloria from bed, covered her sleep shirt with a light robe and walked her onto the back patio and left her in a lawn chair. Neither spoke as they stood hoping that Gloria didn’t wake. After an hour, Robin sent Greg to bed with a warm kiss and a warning. “Remember I will always love you, just as I loved my sister.”
    Robin stayed up just to make sure that Gloria never woke from her slumber. As she sat and watched she had to smile because she knew that the world would never know that she was born as Robert.

    any comments are appreciated and welcome. Happy Holidays to All!

    1. tlcall01

      I had the same theme in mind before I ever read yours! Huh. I particularly liked these lines: “The suburban street was dark with only the occasional car lighting the snow covered street. The power was off for the second day and both Greg and Robin were wearing their winter jackets. Robin stared out the window for almost two minutes until finally her head nodded and she turned to Greg.”

      Good job.

    2. tlcall01

      I had a similar idea even before I read yours! I really liked these lines: “The suburban street was dark with only the occasional car lighting the snow covered street. The power was off for the second day and both Greg and Robin were wearing their winter jackets. Robin stared out the window for almost two minutes until finally her head nodded and she turned to Greg.”

      Nice work.

  24. UtahJackson

    Natalie poured a cup of coffee, the back of her jeans still a lusty ornament. I pulled the pistol’s hammer until it clicked into place. Natalie spun around.

    Her green eyes narrowed to the gun in my hand, unable to solve the puzzle it presented. She looked up to me and ran her fingers past the top of her right ear, depositing a blonde-highlighted lock nervously behind it.
    “Pete, what are you doing?” she asked, her voice jumping from concerned to shrill. “Don’t point that at me.”

    She ran to the side of the stainless steel refrigerator, squeezing herself into the overhang it made with the counter. “Natalie,” I said, “this isn’t what it looks like.”

    She screamed at me with fright and fury. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Her tears grabbed her mascara and trekked it down her cheeks in long, evil streams.

    I walked to the edge of the granite-topped bar to better my shot and rested a cheek of my butt on the end bar stool. I trained my aim at her face.”Your husband- and my good friend ,Tom- he asked me to do this for him. And I said, ‘No problem’.”

    Her expression grew at the mention of Tom’s name. “What? Why would Tom want to kill me?”. The question billowed from immeasurable fathoms of disbelief. Snot ran in awkward and bubbly patches down her upper lip and into her mouth. I twisted a little in my seat.

    Inexplicably, she continued to crouch and lean between the refrigerator and the counter. The thought of her husband’s extreme betrayal buried her face in her hands. Her sobs filled the silence between us. The gun caused me a slight, unexpected discomfort from its weight in my hand. Finally, a new, uglier thought found a home in her frenzied mind.

    She raised her head up. Her makeup was smudged and swirled in grotesque spirals and dobs across her swollen face. Her hair was wild, flying ribbons of curls and spikes. Her voice became small and square. “Why isn’t Tom here?”.

    I said nothing, stuck on the thought that the moment had come to pull the trigger.

    My hesitation allowed an anger to boil from the middle of her body out to her hands. Like a mother chiding a wayward child, her words were stern and staccato. “Tell me. Why isn’t my husband here to kill me?”.

    Unable to wait for an answer, she came at me, her shoulders hunched forward, fingers flared, eyes alight. I edged off the bar stool and took a couple of steps back.

    “Natalie, stop right there-“, I said, raising my palm like a well-meaning crossing guard.

    “Or what?”, she screamed, “you’ll shoot me?”.

    I had never fired this pistol before. The action of its trigger was heavy and a bit sticky. By the time the hammer fell, Natalie was within a foot of me.

    The bullet struck her just below the throat and a thick, red spout pulsed from the black hole. She stumbled into me and together we fell to the floor. In her final desperation, Natalie made a mess of my perfect, sterile murder scene, painting it- and me -in a river of guilty, incriminating blood. At last, my anger flared.

    I grabbed the back of her hair and rolled on top of her. Her eyes were wide with horror. Air gurgled into her mouth and hissed back at me in bloody spittle.

    “Listen Natalie,” I said, my teeth bared.”You’ve always known this was going to happen, you had to. Every time I saw you, I knew that you knew and it has driven me crazy.”

    I threw her head down and watched with delight as it bounced twice off of her beloved walnut floor. Her eyes rolled back, simultaneously fighting consciousness and death. Blood continued to spurt with each heartbeat. She could say nothing.

    I leaned into her and placed the barrel of the gun under her jaw. “I hate you for knowing”. Her eyes grasped mine in a final, mortal stare, broken only by the slow, justified fall of the hammer.

      1. Egg

        I really liked your descriptions and word choice. The only criticism would be that perhaps a few of the adjectives (eg. stainless steel refrigerator and granite-topped bar) do not add anything to the story and might even distract the reader with unnecessary detail. (I’m learning myself that there’s a fine line between painting a complete picture and robbing the reader of their imagination). Hope this helps. Enjoyed the read – keep it up.

  25. Rene Parker

    I had to help him with the murder. I had considered it long before he shouted about wishing she were dead in a long tirade. After all, he was my best friend; we had done everything together since junior high. When he first approached me at Sadie Hawkins I thought he would ask Jessica to dance; she and I had been wall flowers all night. But once he and I got out on the dance floor, fate made its mark, we were inseparable from that moment on.
    I didn’t need to confront her before I prepared her death. She always knew I hated her. The day it was to happen, I loaded up the pistol and made sure she was home alone. I took one last look at their wedding photo. He wore a handsome perfectly tailored suit, I wore white and we both smiled brightly. I should have done this year’s ago. I put the pistol to my head; there you go my life long best friend, now your wife is dead.

  26. writer80

    It had to be done. No matter how foolish it may sound to most people, the truth is—it had to be done. I went over the conversation in my head since yesterday evening. My close friend, Dan, came by my place to ask for a favor. I rarely turn down his favors; I would do anything for him. But, that evening he asked for a bizarre request. He was amazed that I answered yes with hesitation.
    “Are you sure you want to go through with this, Robert?” he asked me again, still uncertain that I heard him right.
    “Of course, I’m sure,” I replied while sipping decaffeinated coffee.
    “But, it’s not like I came over to ask for five dollars,” he said. “I want you to help me kill my wife.”
    I stopped sipping my coffee and looked at him. My poor friend looked desperate sitting in the recliner. He hadn’t shaved in at least four days, yet he managed to comb his hair. His green eyes bulged as if it were so full of fear that it would burst at any moment. The last time I’ve seen him this way was when we shared a secret. A secret that motivated his reason for coming here. A secret that allowed me to answer him without hesitation.
    I sipped my coffee again and placed it on the coffee table. “Dan,” I started. “We both have an interest in this. If I don’t help you kill her, then the secret would get out and ruin us forever. You know this town doesn’t look too kindly on these kinds of secrets.”
    He nodded and looked out the window across the vast backyard that overlooked the Rockies.
    “Do you think it’ll bring us peace?” I then asked. There’s that word again—us. Who would have known that a two-letter word could bring complications? At that time, “us” sounded pleasing, wonderful, and happy. Honestly, I still want it to be those things. The secret I shared with him was my best kept secret. I just wished she hadn’t found out. I wished he had done a better job of hiding his journal. I wished he would have left her first before she found out. About us. That we have shared a secret for two years. We didn’t know what to make of it. We were afraid, yet fear drew us closer instead of apart. Unfortunately, we were forced to take action. She threatened him before about seeing me. He didn’t stop. Now, she threatened extreme measures. She was going to the media to present this famed businessman’s scandal.
    “It would bring us great peace,” he said finally.
    “How should we do it, and when?”
    He looked at me for minute as if pulling all of the details out of me. His eyes looked more confident. “Today, you will ask to come over her house tomorrow evening while I’m gone to discuss our relationship. Tell her that you’re sorry for causing her so much grief, and that you don’t want to see me again. Tell her that you’ve found someone else.”
    “That sounds nice, but how would I kill her?”
    “You will take a bottle of Dom Perignon, her favorite, as a gift. I would have already injected the poison inside. You will pour yourselves a glass so she doesn’t raise questions…”
    “But, the champagne has a wrapper—“
    “Let me handle that part.”
    I fell silent. Dan, the great businessman, thought of it all. I wondered how long he had planned this. One question remained. “Where will you be in the meantime?”
    “Watching our backs and purchasing two tickets out of the country,” he said immediately, “to our favorite destination.”
    “New Zealand?”
    “Yes, New Zealand.”
    My heart fluttered. A new life together in another country. Where no one knew us; where no one cared what we did. The perfect getaway. I smiled, unknowingly. Dan smiled too.
    I called Melissa on the phone. To my surprise, she wanted to hear what I had to say. We agreed to see each other tomorrow night.

    It’s the evening that I’m supposed to see Melissa. Dan brought over the Dom Perignon and left. I showered, shaved, dressed, and went out the door. I skipped to the Mercedes he bought me for my birthday. The drive to the Hilltop Mansion wasn’t long; it took twenty minutes to get there. She waited for me on the porch—a tall, beautiful, red-headed woman with an uninvited look. I think she could have killed me first if she had the nerve.
    I got out of the car and walked towards her, unsure of what to do next. “Good evening, Mrs. Somers.”
    She didn’t answer. She just looked at me and grimaced. Finally, she managed to conjure up a sentence. “Evening, and this better be good.” She walked into the house before I could respond.
    She offered me a sofa in the living room. The room was just how I remembered it two years ago. Statures of Dan’s idols– Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and J.T. Rockefeller–stood proudly on the mantle above the fireplace. Dan was a billionaire, but I don’t think he got close to being as wealthy as those men were. The room lavished in black and gold trimmings and other intricate designs. I felt Melissa’s stare on me, so I hastened to the point.
    I gave her my rehearsed spiel. “Melissa, I want to say that I’m sorry for causing you so much pain. I didn’t mean for anything of this to happen. I want you to know that I’ve moved on with my life. I let Robert go and found someone else.”
    “Single, I hope?” she snapped.
    “Yes, single, indeed.” I responded. “I ask that you don’t release this scandal to the media. Please don’t devastate us all.”
    “Us?” she raised a penciled eyebrow. “I’m not the one sneaking around fucking another person, and not just any person, a person of the same sex!”
    That stung me; nevertheless, I kept my composure. I presented the bottle of wine. “Here is a gift to let you know that I meant ever word.”
    She looked at the bottle, and then to me. “How did you know what kind to bring?”
    “I didn’t. It’s my favorite champagne.”
    She took the bottle from me as if it was a fragile newborn. “You really meant what you said?”
    “Every word.”
    “And you promise to stay away?”
    “Yes.”
    “And I can go to the media if this happens again.”
    “Yes, you can.”
    She looked at the bottle cradled in her arms. “I suppose you would want a drink?”
    “Yes, of course.”
    She went to the bar behind the sitting area to grab two goblets. I sat on the sofa, nervous and excited. “This is it,” I thought to myself. “It’s really going to happen. Soon, we will leave this place forever.”
    I heard a loud thud at the bar. I jumped from the sofa and looked behind me. Melissa was on the floor, unresponsive. I retrieved a latex glove from my pocket, and went over to check her pulse. I didn’t feel anything. I checked her breathing. Nothing. I ran out of the house, got into the car, and sped away.

    1. tlcall01

      I liked the way your story unfolded, particularly the beginning and this sentence: “But, it’s not like I came over to ask for five dollars,” he said. “I want you to help me kill my wife.” It flowed with no hiccups. I was kind of hoping that in the end Melissa duped him. I thought that was where you were going when you wrote, “I think she could have killed me first if she had the nerve,” as she seemed like a strong woman. I think she not only would have had the nerve, but the shrewdness as well.

      Maybe I just hate to see a story end, but I would have liked to have seen either more drama, not just a thud. I don’t see Melissa as the type to have drank alone. I think she would have poured the drinks then offered a toast, a toast to finally getting her life back on track. Maybe as they started to toast, we would see Robert peering over the rim of his glass watching as the drink touched Melissa’s lips. It really could have ended there.

      Again, I liked the way your story unfolded and read. Cheers! 🙂

    2. tlcall01

      I keep thinking about your story.. that’s a good thing. Again, I like the way it unfolded, the way you told your story. I guess I’m wondering still about the ending. If killing Melissa was finally going to set Robert and Dan free, freeing them of their secrets, then why would they run off, out of the country together? It seems like they need to lay low, not sped or jet away. Anyway, just a thought. I know it’s hard given word constraints and all.

      Happy writing!

  27. Chilo

    Harry is not the kind of close friend one lets down. His idea of a good time is playing chess with the boss’s daughter with frosting in mind. His wife, on the other hand, is as innocent as a fawn on green pasture.
    To Victor’s surprise, Harry wants his help in killing her.
    To Harry’s expectation, Victor agrees without hesitation- not because he dislikes his wife, but because she’s the only person who knows his one deep, dark secret that could ruin his life forever. The truth of him committing credit card fraud, hijacking cars, and being part of a business computer hacking doesn’t amount to that particular secret: participating in her best friend’s suicide attempt.
    Harry got all of the materials ready for the big day. He had it all figured out, too. Victor is to pick his wife up from the airport, since she travelled to visit her mother out of state, and he is to deliver a demise to which she would not return from.
    When the big day arrives, Victor did not hurry to his destination. He tried to picture her face when she figures out they would stop at a deserted gasoline station in the middle of nowhere, instead of heading to Palmdale.
    “Hi, Victor,” she put her bags down and gave Victor a quick hug. Little did she know it was her last attempt to save herself.
    “Hi, Patty,” Victor reaches down to grab hold of her bags and place them in the trunk of the car. “Sorry your husband couldn’t make it.”
    “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure he is far too busy at the office.”
    Throughout the trip, Patty does most of the talking, probably due to nervousness. Victor pulls into the deserted gas station; he locks her side of the door, and begins to place gloves on.
    Tears begin to come down Patty’s eyes as she clutches her mother’s necklace. Victor places some drops on a handkerchief and smothers her mouth with it. Patty struggles to break free, but Victor is too strong for her petite body. She shrieks and suddenly becomes motionless.
    Victor caresses her face and brushes her fine brown hair away from her face.
    “Won’t Harry be proud?”

  28. JeanNicole Rivers

    Julie Gladmore was sitting in bed in a violet silk robe smoking a cigarette when I walked into her bedroom. I was covered in black, head to toe, from the cap on my head down to the combat boots that I wore on my feet. She finished off her nightly bedtime routine by spraying herself with an expensive fragrance that I immediately recognized. Her heart was pumping thru her chest and I could tell that she was momentarily startled but not at all surprised by my sudden presence when she looked up.

    “Tsk, tsk, tsk, Julie, you do know that smoking can cause death, don’t you?” I warned her.

    “Jessica.” She spoke my name solemnly.

    “My daughter loves that perfume. She has been begging me for it for the past couple of months, but I keep telling her that I cannot justify a 13 year old owning a $200.00 bottle of perfume.” I laughed to myself with exhilaration. Only once in my past had I felt this surging of power through my body as it pumped my relentless blood. On an every day basis I was a mild mannered soccer…well actually baseball mom whose biggest care was which detergent to use to get the stains out of my daughter’s and husband’s clothes but there were times when I was wild, an uncontrollable lusty beast with a blood thirst to fulfil my desires at any cost.

    “Jessica, I have not told anyone, I swear.” Julie pleaded and the desperation inched out of her eyes more with every passing moment. Her shaking hand rested the cigarette in the ashtray on her night stand next to an empty wine glass.

    “…but you know…” I whispered longingly.

    “No, no, I don’t!” She backtracked in vein as I pulled out the gun.

    “Oh, Julie! I really hate to do this. It’s not your fault…really it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I told her so that she would know that there were no hard feelings.

    “Over the years you would always comment that Gretchen looked nothing like her father or I and everyone would laugh it off because that is common and no one would have ever suspected that Gretchen was not my daughter. It was all just a big joke, until a week ago, isn’t that right Julie? When we were watching that crime show on television and they re-aired her case with a picture of what she would look like today. It didn’t really even look like her.” I laughed.

    “…but you knew. Right, then and there you put the pieces together and you knew and you tried to hide it, but I could see it all over your face and I knew that it would just be a matter of time before you told.” I finished.

    “Why?” Julie asked moving slowly trying to inconspicuously place herself in a position to run while distracting me with her ridiculous question.

    “BECAUSE I WANTED A BABY!!!!!! And I couldn’t have one so I took one. I set a fire in her nursery and I just walked out the back door with her snuggled in my arms. Everyone assumed her little newborn body had just been lost in the massive fire.” I explained neatly.

    “You won’t get away with this. I won’t go down without a fight.” Julie protested just as I could tell that she was beginning to feel woozy.

    “Oh, yes you will darling, that is what the sleeping pills are for.” I smiled. An “O” of surprise formed on her mouth as she felt her body weaken and melt back into the bed.

    “My husband…” Julie spoke weakly. “I told him and he will figure this out! He won’t let you get away with it.”

    At that point, I walked up to her when I realized that she was too faint to put up much of a fight and I got close enough to look directly into her eyes.

    “No you didn’t, Julie! How do you think that I got in here?” I asked. “You’re husband came to me and he made no mention of our little secret.”

    Her eyes widened in despair.

    “Oh yes! I got so caught up in my own agenda that I forgot to tell you that your husband no longer loves you and he wants you dead too. This is just not your week, darling! He came to me and as far as he is concerned I am doing him a huge favor for which he will forever be indebted.”

    Her body was incredibly limp now, but she was still conscious so I went on, considering that she was going to die for all of the this, the least that I could do was explain what was going on.

    “Your husband is at my home right now. Gerald came over and gave me his key, I rode my bike over here and used his key to come in. My husband is out of town and Gretchen staying over at a friends. We will say that he came over to hang out for a while, after all, we are old friends. He is my alibi and I am his. No one will suspect a thing.” I could see her eyes shift toward the gun.

    “I don’t plan to use this. It’s just a prop.” I pointed the gun at her face and fired which caused the toy to make a inconsequential clicking sound.

    “I just brought this to keep you in line. What do you think, I’m a monster or something? I could never shoot anyone. You are going to drop your lit cigarette on this hideous rug and it is going to catch fire which will spread to these thick drapes and burn this house like a paper plane, I am sure of it. I’ve done this before. Similar to the way you fell asleep last year with a cigarette in your hand…after a few drinks I might add.” I snickered at how her previous folly was aiding in my crime.

    “What a disaster!” I reminisced.

    By this time she was completely unable to speak, but her eyes said it all; they were frozen in fear.

    “Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing!” I assured her as I picked up the oversized thick pillow that lay next to her and placed it tightly upon her face. Her body moved slightly but the drugs that Gerald had put into her wine had rendered her almost completely powerless by this time and suffocating her could not have been easier. When I removed the pillow from her face her eyes were still wide open, frozen with that same fear and for a moment I thought that maybe she was still alive, but she wasn’t. She was dead. I took her cigarette from the ashtray on the night stand and placed it unto the plush rug where I lit a fire. Next, I went to the heavy drapes and I began another fire there and finally on her bedspread I started the last fire and I headed for the door confident that my secret was secure once again.

    I turned and walked back to the night stand where I picked up the clear ornate bottle.

    “There is no reason why Gretchen shouldn’t have the perfume.” I told Julie before I walked out of her room, out of her home, locked the door behind me and set off triumphantly on my bike with her home burning brightly behind me.

    JeanNicole Rivers
    @JeanNicole19 (Twitter)

    1. Eureka

      I like the story and the flow.

      From a technical perspective (this is not intended to be negative – if helpful, great, if not, ignore, especially as it is only my opinion): I found your word choice puzzling in places, eg. ‘prancing’, ‘fugue’; sentence length and structure similar at the start of the second paragraph (which means less than great rhythm); a mixture of ‘low’ and ‘high’ language at times (eg. ‘I went into’ vs ‘the earth was awash’); and I think I missed the logic behind some of the more cryptic parts of the story (which is probably just me. Eg. “He wanted my opinion and I gave it to him,” “..convinced her to go camping to prove that she was safe,” “..hadn’t left the campsite like we discussed…” (I’m thinking this last one would be explored later in the story??)).

      (I know it’s terrible when anyone says anything but “wow, that’s great!” but I’ve only bothered writing this because I like your stories. It’s entirely your choice whether you read it or not).

      1. jmiff328

        Thank you for your comment. It means alot that you took the time. I will look at what you said for next time. especially the high, and low language that you mentioned. I didnt realize I was doing that until you said something. Thanks!

  29. jmiff328

    It’s not that I didn’t like her. I did, really. The problem was that she knew too much about me. The things that happened that night were not for anyone else to see. I have a secret and I have kept it well for years. My parents knew of course, they have the same condition. I didn’t choose to be like I am but I can’t let my true nature to go public either. It happened purely by chance. The full moon was coming that night and I had made sure to tell everyone that I was ill. No phone calls or visits. I needed alone time to recover which wasn’t a lie. She showed up at 9:30 when the moon was just breaching the July skyline. I was in the living room watching the fire, letting it speak to me the way it does. She came in unseen and remained silent around the couch prancing on the mahogany floors. Until she put her hand on my shoulder I had no idea she was there. I turned and she saw my eyes, and my teeth. She screamed and ran. The fire told me to stay still. I would have another chance with this one.
    Joey called me three days before the next full moon. He was distraught with indecision. I asked him to come over and discuss what was wrong. He told me about his wife’s new neurotic behavior. She was infatuated with a demon figure that had red eyes and razor-sharp teeth she has seen, but she wouldn’t tell him where. He was convinced she had lost her mind and couldn’t stand the thought of having to take care of her ceaselessly. He wanted my opinion and I gave it to him.
    He convinced her to go camping to prove that she was safe. I made my way to the campground and set up in the woods directly behind the campfire that had been built to my specifications by Joey. I went into my fugue state and began letting the fire speak to me. The moon was directly overhead. The earth was awash with the dead light. The fire screamed at me to do it now. The part of me that still was human was concerned that Joey hadn’t left the campsite like we had discussed but the other part of me was already galloping through the woods.
    I awoke several hours later with the taste of copper strong on my tongue. My gag reflex kicked in and almost lost last night’s spread. I studied the scene and realized that there was far more carnage that one body could produce and I knew instantly what had happened. My fears intensified when I found a message taped to the hood of Joeys Lexus. The note read, “I saw what happened here and I am willing to forget for the right price. Bring a half million dollars to the sidekick café at five pm and we can put this behind us.” I didn’t know who had left the note but I knew that no one forgets the real me. Gooseflesh started to appear on my arms as I heard the other part of me laugh loudly in my head. I still had two more nights of the full moon left.

  30. tjmuta

    Whether apathy or hate is the opposite of love is and has been a hotly debated theory; no matter which my friend Alex felt, the love for his wife was gone, which I discovered when he posed this question: “Hey —, I understand this is going to sound strange, but I need a favor of you.” I asked him to continue.
    “We’ve been friends for a long time, and I need someone I can trust—a lot.”
    I began to grow concerned, and I know my countenance described how I felt as I inquired, “What’s going on?”
    “My wife—I can’t stand her anymore: You know how things have been going between us. I can’t take it anymore! I want her gone, dead—and I need your help.”
    “Of course,” I replied, blurted. I immediately realized my error, but I daren’t say anything of it. I knew he caught my rapidity, but he was gladdened and eased by my response, so he said nothing of it either. I’m glad, because if he had, I may have had to expose my secret.
    The secret is a story of its own. His wife and I knew each other well; we were childhood friends and had managed to stay in contact over the years. With friendship comes trust, with trust comes comfort, and with comfort comes sin; for those relaxed feelings permit walls to fall. Between the two of us, there had been many, but there was one outstanding. It was incriminating and largely life-ending for me. Though our friendship was long, I preferred it ended: is it not true that a dead man/woman tells no tales?
    When I was young, my family had some financial issues, and in order to break free of them, I broke free of the rules. I found a society that found success in disarray, and in my youth it was attractive; so I joined. However, little did I know that the illicit business crossed the boundaries of Heaven as much as it did society; my sins, frankly, were that there was blood upon my hands. Primarily, there was a man, one whose family I was on friendly terms with, that was a fast-growing politician; and he had gravely insulted one of the members of the clan I belonged to. It became my responsibility to dispatch of him.
    The assassination became incredibly famed over the city, and the family I had known grieved over it intensely. Alex’s wife belonged to this family, and she found out it was me. She never told anyone, but she could, and she surely knew it would be to grievous results. I never discovered how she knew, but she knew—I wanted the secret to die with her.
    It was long since I had been involved in those things: I left it all after a certain tenure and trust. But here I was now, being called upon by a man that begged his wife dead, the woman I shared the feeling for. So we planned it: he was the informant, and I the reaper.

    On the decided night, he slipped a sleeping pill into her nightly drink so that it would make it incredibly easier to complete the job. He then let me in, the moon so high in the sky that it created light that burned through me, from the body straight to the soul, exposing the sins of the past, the present, and the future. We moved surreptitiously, careful to not make sounds that would be loud for a rodent. At last we made it to the bedroom, and I positioned myself in a place where I could finish the deed.
    Guns were loud matters, and even silencers could be traced too easily. Injections were too hard to get on such short notice, so I carried a simple weapon: a kitchen knife. It was personal and guaranteed to work, but it scared me just enough so that my hand began to shake. As we stood before the door, we found that the bed where she had been laying was empty, the sheets pushed aside. There was the eerie glow of nocturnal lights to the side covered by the heavy door—she had awakened and gone to the bathroom. The sleeping pills did not have a lasting effect.
    Alex and I froze. A shadow could be seen from the light as a feminine silhouette left its glow and began to return to her dreamy sanctuary of white sheets and blankets. But it was not meant to be: she saw me, and caught glimpse of the blade in the light of the moon that flowed through a window.
    She screamed. I could not have a scream. I hurriedly advanced and I thrust the dagger hard into her soft flesh, and she fell lifeless to the floor.
    I turned back and found Alex passed out from fear or something of that sort behind me in the doorway. Sanguinity poured from his wife’s corpse on the floor, bent in that unnatural manner that only death can figure. But now, this was a new secret that has wife had caused, and with the man that knew of a new sin of mine, I was forced to converse with the devil on whether to let this one pry at my heart for another eternity; the excitement of my hand steadying as the blade glowed hot in the moon’s rays.

      1. Egg

        Note – this is intended as constructive (ie encouraging and honest) criticism:

        I agree that it was a bit long. Personally, I think it would flow much better with a bit of editing – look at ineffective adjectives and phrases (eg. you’ve used ‘incredibly famed’ and ‘incredibly easier’ – I don’t think either ‘incredibly’s’ are necessary).

        Also, I found some of your sentences awkward, eg. “my sins..were that there was blood upon my hands,” and “…Alex passed out from fear or something of that sort behind me in the doorway.”

        I, too, love using cool words, adverbs/adjectives and trying to twist the English language, but sometimes, I think this detracts from the story-telling and rhythm (I am sooo guilty of this…..). Eg “I hurriedly advanced..” may not feel as urgent as “I sprang…” or “sanguinity poured from his wife’s corpse” might flow better using a simple “his wife’s bloody corpse.” But hey, that’s just a style thing, I guess.

        Having said all that, I did enjoy reading your story very much – keep it up!

        1. tjmuta

          Constructive criticism is good, and I thank you for it. Even as the headstrong writer, I have to admit you’re right: “incredibly” can be overdone, action verbs are lacking, and some sentences could make you dizzy; these are things I’ll be sure to look for next time. This is exemplar of why it’s always good to write more than one draft. At any rate, I appreciate the criticism and compliments.

    1. jmiff328

      I like the story. For some feedback I would say that the story is about 900 words but the prompt only asks for 500. My story directly below had to have three major sentences taken out to get close to the limit. It’s not a big deal but just something to think about if you ever want to enter contests. As far as the story, it flows well and has great detail. It has a soap opera feel to it. It was overall very good.

      1. tjmuta

        Honestly, I didn’t see the limit, so I just let the story go and finish wherever it did; it didn’t get cut when I posted it, so I didn’t question it. Certainly I’ll keep my eyes open for that with future contests — I’d prefer to not get disqualified. Thanks for the comments (especially the compliments!); I appreciate every bit of wisdom I can get.

  31. tjmuta

    Whether apathy or hate is the opposite of love is and has been a hotly debated theory; no matter which my friend Alex felt, the love for his wife was gone, which I discovered when he posed this question: “–, I understand this is going to sound strange, but I need a favor of you.”

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