Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where to Squat

As a writer, one of the hardest things I have to decide is where my muse's words belong. Are they mild and for the general population, or here, where one must go through some extra layer of screening....I hope I have chosen right for this short...VERY short story.

L.J. Holmes

With a flick of her wrist, she opened the barrel. Carefully she removed the spent cartridges, letting them drop to the floor where they ricocheted off in all directions. The box of new bullets was on the table to her right. She reached for a handful, lining them up, sentinels of power, destruction, and release, on the coffee table in front of her.

For a long minute she stared at them, her tummy fluttering, her heart beat thundering inside her chest, her resolve, supreme. Taking a deep, steady, methodical breath into her lungs, she picked up the first bullet and slid it into one of the six chambers.

The sound of metal scraping against metal seemed loud in the deafening silence surrounding her. Her mind was empty. She did not think. All thinking had been exhausted hours, days, weeks, months ago.

The second bullet penetrated the waiting chamber in the barrel.

She’d already dispensed with six of the lethal projectiles, but was confident no one would learn of her perfidy until she had completed her mission. Her stomach muscles contracted and fluttered.

She spread her hand across the slight curve; wishing things could have been different, but accepting the reality of what was.

Her fingers shook ever so slightly as she placed the third bullet.

She would not think! She could not undo what had already been done. Retreating now was not a possibility because she could never again be the woman she’d been just a few short months ago.

The fifth bullet slid in with a bit more decisiveness than had the one before it.

The clock on the mantle bonged the half-hour. Thirty more minutes to go. She had to be ready.

Bullet six filled the barrel. She closed it with a soft, but final snick, placed the loaded gun onto the coffee table, rose to her feet and headed for the bathroom.

She stripped the bloody clothes from her body, leaving them in a careless pile on the tiled floor.

The shower cleaned her, leaving her body scented, not in spattered metallic blood, but in the rich perfume of her favorite liquid soap.

This was the part she had not planned for because she had not meant to get blood on the clothes she’d worn for the first phase of her mission.

What would she wear for the final confrontation?

Her closet was not huge, but it held an ample wardrobe to choose from. Should she dress in silk and satin, or appear as usual when at home, denim and fleece?

Comfort won out over elegance.

She brushed her long golden brown hair until it crackled. Laying the brush back on her vanity, she surveyed herself in the triple mirror. She looked peaceful as she pushed the pale blue studs into her earlobes. How deceptive, she thought, rising to her feet with practiced grace.

She looked around her bedroom, not allowing herself to see anything but her possessions and effects.

For the last four months she’d forced herself to continue living here, but hadn’t been able to feel at home here. That feeling had been ruthlessly taken from her, and nothing would ever give it back to her.

Flipping off the light she returned to the living room. In the corner sat her computer. She went to it, booted it up and then called her last word processing file to the screen. She needed to check it for spelling and grammar errors.

There were none.

Her eyes went to the clock above the mantle. She had five more minutes to go. She knew she should be nervous, scared even, but she wasn’t. All she felt was relief. Soon she’d be able to put it all behind her.

She went to the couch, settled herself so she was looking directly at her front door. Her belly fluttered. She ignored it, reaching for the gun. The metal felt cool against the palm of her hand. She removed the safety and waited.

The clock struck the hour. She lifted the gun, aimed the sight at the target, and pulled the trigger.

A 911 call by a neighbor had the police there within twenty minutes. The suicide and confession note she’d typed using her word processor was found blinking on the screen of her computer.

The note read:

In my bathroom are the clothes I wore when
I shot and killed John Latham earlier tonight.
Scattered on the floor of my apartment are the
spent cartridges from that murder.

Four months ago, John Latham broke into
my apartment and savagely beat and raped me.
Now I’m pregnant.

John Latham, a known and repeat sex offender,
was caught and admitted his crime, but the
District Attorney’s office reduced his charges.
He served EIGHT weeks for destroying my life,
and the lives of the other women he raped before

Something HAD to be done.

This child growing in my stomach carries
Latham’s seed. Living with the memory and
emotional death of what John Latham did to
me is more than I can handle. A child conceived
in that violence and Latham’s light sentence
were the final straws.

To that end, I determined that the best thing for
the three of us, John Latham, the habitual
predator, myself, changed forever by what he
did to me, and this child, who very well might
grow up to be the next generation of John
Latham, was to take our lives.

I feel no remorse for killing John Latham.
He was and always would be an animal
feeding off of the fear and harm of others.
I did what the law refused to do. I
PERMANENTLY ended the crime spree of
this sadistic beast!

I chose not to be found wearing the clothes
I wore when I killed John Latham because
I did not want to die with his blood tainting
my body.

I wish the Law had done its job, but since it
refused to, I had no choice.

Senator Elizabeth Ann Morrow
Fifth District.


Paul and Karen said...

Excellent story Lin. I kept thinking no one will care that she kills herself, it won't make a difference to anyone cause there are so many victims until the last few words and signature. Great job!


Lin said...

Thanks. And you're right. She had to be someone they couldn't ignore.

MuseItUp Publishing said...

Great stuff, Lin. Where have you been hiding them?

Glenn Kleier said...

So few words, yet they speak volumes. Congratulations.

Lin said...

Thank you Glenn, and Lea. I will carry your words of praise in my heart forever.