Posts Tagged ‘short story’

new, very unfinished, short story

Posted: October 10, 2011 in fiction
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there are still some things about this bothering me, but i can’t quite put my finger on them. constructive criticism is always welcome (:

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The Beige Man 

Every weekday I see him on the subway. The beige man. We get out at the same stop. This a very small town, yet I never see him anywhere else. He’s always dressed entirely in beige, shapeless raincoat, pants, shoes, baseball cap hung low over his bespectacled eyes. I’ve caught a whiff of his smell and even that, beige. Old beige to be specific. He’s rather tall, pale, always hunched over, never looking at anyone. He carries nothing but a dirty beige tote bag. No one else ever seems to notice him. To me he’s remarkable in how absolutely unremarkable he looks. I have never seen anyone with such determination to be invisible. He could be a ninja. Or rather, he could be educating ninjas.
Only once did I glimpse his face, tucked away under that baseball cap. He has a particular shade of light grey hair, like some of the beige had melted into it, with a matching mustache. You’d think he was really old, but if you managed to get a good look at him you’d be surprised. His face was barely lined, like he’d never smiled or worried. He couldn’t have been older than 35.
He always got up right after the stop before ours, swiftly positioning himself in front of the door that would be closest to the stairs, finger already on the button. I was usually the second or third person behind him. As soon as the doors opened he flew out like the devil was on his heels, not stopping for anyone or anything. We have to walk in the same direction and sometimes I’ll try to keep up with him for fun. I never succeed. By the time I’ve gotten through the gates he’d already be a couple of hundred meters further, his head sticking out like a turtles from his beige shell.
More and more I wondered who the man underneath all that beige was. So much that it was turning into an obsession. Every time I saw anything beige I imagined he was near. I could barely eat or sleep. My schoolwork was a mess. Never mind my friends. I even got pulled aside in class by our mentor. He was around the same age as the beige man, very nice, the think-of-me-as-your-friend-not-a-stuffy-old-teacher type. He didn’t say anything about my low grades, my complete lack of participation during the lessons, the circles under my eyes or new habit of wearing the same clothes days in a row. He only asked if there was something I wanted to talk about. I saw some of my friends shooting furtive glances at us from the other side. For a moment I considered telling him. I’ve seen him reading ‘The Stranger Beside Me.’ Maybe he’d have understand somewhat. Maybe he could help. Maybe he’d talk me out of my obsession.
“No, there’s nothing.”
The logical solution seemed to be to give in to my curiosity. Once I had some answers surely I would be disinterested. A plan started to formulate in my head.
The day after my resolution I stayed home from school. It was the only way this was going to work. The whole day I was restless, thinking only of what I would do later that day. A quarter past five I couldn’t wait anymore. I raced to the subway station on my yellow bicycle. I waited at the corner past the entrance. Those twenty minutes seemed the longest of my life. Finally, after the third subway stopped, there he was. I watched him fly down the stairs through the glass window. I wasted no time in mounting my bicycle. I had only averted my eyes for a second and he was already through. I didn’t give myself time to be surprised, I immediately went in pursuit. Even on a bicycle I still had some trouble keeping up with him. I followed him past the elementary school, through the park, past the lake, the first couple of apartment buildings, through a shopping center. In the shopping center someone yelled at me that I couldn’t cycle in here, young lady. The beige man didn’t seem to notice. At least, he didn’t look back for any fraction. He just kept on striding. With every stride my curiosity deepened. How far did this man actually live? I was getting out of breath.
Then, after another couple of apartment buildings, a highway and a golf club, he made a sharp turn left. We were in a neighborhood of dilapidated townhouses. He walked right up to one of those houses at the end of the lane. Like him it looked utterly unremarkable. Beige, unclean, rectangular, unkempt little garden. I ditched my bike, hurrying to some semblance of cover. I found it in a hedge on the side of his garden. I impressed myself by how quiet I could be.
The beige man was slowly sliding a key into the lock. I wished I had a better view of the door. He turned the key even slower. My heart was pounding. I never noticed anything strange about the slow, deliberate way he was opening his door. Then he sighed. I almost fell through the hedge. It was the first time ever I heard him make a sound.
“I wish you hadn’t followed me,” the beige man said softly and turned his head to the very spot where I was hiding. Blind panic. How had he known? No, that was not the disturbing part. How had he not let anything on? I decided that he must be a ninja after all. Or a Buddhist. .
He kept on staring. I really didn’t want to, but I rose from my spot. Sheepishly, might I add. The sky had already darkened and I could not make out his face at all. “I’m so sorry. I just–” I had no idea how to finish that sentence. My gaze fell to the ground.
“I understand. Eventually there’s always someone who follows me.” He sighed again. I was confused. What was this? Was he disappointed that he wasn’t completely invisible? I heard the door open. “Come have tea with me.” My head snapped back up. He was standing in the doorway, framed by a faint light from inside.
“That’s okay, I really should be off. My mother-”
“I insist.” I could feel his eyes bore into me. Something felt wrong. Still, my curiosity was as powerful as ever. So I accepted his invitation.
Once inside I felt a powerful sense of anticlimax. It looked just like any old male’s bachelor pad. There weren’t even cobwebs. The beige man didn’t pay me much attention. He just went along to the kitchen and put the kettle on like he did this every day. Thoroughly disappointed I sank down on the nearest couch. A puff of dust rose out of it. It was something, I suppose.
I scanned the stack of DVD’s on the coffee table. The Phantom Of The Opera, Judgment At Nuremberg, Kabinett Des Doktor Calligari, Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde… All perfectly ordinary and legally purchased.
Something brushed against my leg. I yelped and quickly raised my feet. A faint miauw answered me. A cat. He had a cat. It was also beige.
There was a faint whistle in the distance. Shortly thereafter the beige man appeared, carrying an old tray with all the necessities for tea. I noticed that he was still wearing his raincoat and baseball cap. I vaguely wondered if he slept in them too. He poured me a cup.
“Thanks.” I quietly added sugar and stirred unnecessarily long. The beige man didn’t say anything. I was still very confused. “Why did you invite me in?” I blurted.
“To give you the opportunity to ask me anything you wish,” he said casually and took a gulp from his black, fresh off the kettle tea without a flinch.
“Why?”
“Because you deserve it.” It sounded so ominous, especially in that toneless way he spoke. “Very few people notice deliberately invisible men like me. There is something very special in those people.”
I wasn’t quite sure how to reply to that. I took a sip from my tea, instantly regretting it.
“What did you mean when you said ‘there are always people who follow you’?” I asked thickly.
“Exactly what I said.”
“Huh. How many people have?”
“About twelve, thirteen.”
“Why?”
“They were driven by the same curiosity as you.”
“Why are you deliberately invisible?”
“It suits my interests.”
I took another sip from my tea. More pain. “What about friends?”
“What about them?”
“Do you have any?”
“I prefer solitude.”
“What kind of work do you do?”
“I work for a boxing company.”
My legs started itching. “Really? A boxing company?”
“Yes, it makes boxes.” I’d say that it looked like he was getting bored, but he was as expressionless as ever.
“You haven’t always lived here, have you?”
“No, I just moved here a couple of months ago.”
“Where did you live before?”
“The U.S., France, Poland, Russia, Spain.” His lips might have twitched.
“So you move around a lot. Why?”
“To avoid questions from people who make it their business to control the world.”
“What did you put in my tea?” The itching had crept all the way to my neck by now.
“The kind of muscle relaxant they use for major surgeries. Effective, isn’t it?”
“I’d say so.” I fell sideways on the couch, unable to control my muscles any longer. The cup I had been holding in my hand shattered on the floor. The hot tea seeped through my Converse. Darn.
I could only move my eyes now. The beige man drained his own tea and stood up. He carried me to the back of the house in his arms like a rag doll. I looked up at his face. He looked exactly the same as he always had. Expressionless, slightly shifty, utterly unremarkable. His old beige smell filled my nostrils. It was as lovely as it was repugnant.
He laid me down on the cold stone floor. Then he turned on the light.
“This is why I move around a lot.”
Here it was. Everything you wouldn’t find in any old male’s bachelor pad. A chandelier made of human bones, intestines preserved in glass jars, skulls used as bowls, chairs made from human skin, a table full of metal instruments. And in the corner… I would have smiled if my lips had allowed it. In the corner was a large metal box, kind of like a coffin, thrown open to reveal the spikes in it.
Right before he stuffed me in the metal box he said, “I hope your curiosity is satisfied.”

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thanks so much for reading!

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i’ve also been writing again.

Posted: September 12, 2011 in fiction
Tags: , ,

here’s the one thing i finished. at least, i think it’s finished.

The 21st Century Dream
(or, all Maraluce’s pessimism in 794 words)

I’ve always been socially anxious, but the internet makes it so nice and easy to stay inside and avoid those anxiety-inducing situations altogether. My mother often told me to be weary of things that seem too easy. There’s always a catch and it’s never worth it, she said. I don’t share that opinion.

I haven’t seen or talked to another human being in months. I’ve been living on the internet in the most extreme sense. By now just the thought of another human being actually seeing me is crippling. I order all my groceries, clothes and entertainment on the internet. When the packages arrive the mailman will simply leave them on my doorstep after ringing, because he knows I’m always home. Before that I would stutter at him through the door to just leave the damn thing on the doorstep. I shudder to think about what he thinks of me. So I don’t think about it. I don’t think much about anything nowadays. What’s the point? There’s Google.

Even this one time when some neighborhood kids stole one of my packages, I still didn’t venture outside my door. I had been in the shower and hadn’t heard the bell. The mailman had been ridiculously early that day. When I spied through the peephole, I saw the kids in question on the other side of the road. They seemed to be waiting for something. I could have easily caught them. I slid the flap back. It wasn’t like that package contained anything particularly valuable or rare. It was no problem to simply place my order again.

All my communication goes digital. I’m a completely different person on the internet. It’s so easy to lie through a keyboard. While I do fearlessly upload pictures of myself, even they’re as fake as a wedding cake. You know how it is, good angle, convenient lighting, all dressed up like you never do otherwise, Photoshop for the rest. Yeah, I’m a rockstar on the internet. Not at all the ugly fat loser who doesn’t even dare go out their own house anymore. But, I mean, it’s not like there’s any real reason to go out anymore in this day and age. My feelings toward that are irrelevant. I’ve got everything I need right here.

Facebook, ebay, youtube, my xbox, food delivered right to my doorstep. I earn my money through online poker. Isn’t it amazing how much can come out of a metal box and a satellite?

I never again have to deal with the likes of old schoolmates, shopkeepers, job interviews. Dealing with people is so much more agreeable through a screen. I haven’t had a single panic attack since I stopped going outside completely. What bliss. I can’t recommend this way of life enough. Especially if you have the same kind of disorder as me.

Sure, sometimes I’ll get inexplicable suicidal urges, but I always ignore them. I know they’ll pass eventually. Valium is also nice. Why ever would I want to commit suicide? Like I said, I have everything I need or want. This is the 21st century dream.

Then my throat started to ache. Whatever, I thought. I just went about browsing tumblr. Suddenly I was flayed by a terrible fever. I permanently retired to my bed, dragging all my electronics along. Not that I even had the energy to turn my laptop on. It’ll pass in a few days, I thought. I vaguely wished I had someone to take care of me. I remembered a time when I was still in high school and had caught pneumonia. That was when I still had a scattering of real life friends, even a girlfriend. They’d visit me with all kinds of things to cheer me up and feed me soup. Being deathly ill had never felt so good. For the first time in years, I found myself missing them. Where’s my valium?

By the fourth day I thought that I ought to call a doctor. But that would require talking through a telephone and eventually face another person. Maybe more than one! My sickness didn’t look so bad compared to that. No, I’ll just stay in bed. Meanwhile I can research my symptoms on the internet and get black market medicine. I don’t need a real doctor, I scoffed.

The medicine I ordered did help, for a while. I had enough strength to play my poker. Just when I thought I was getting better, I got worse again. The fleeting thought of calling a doctor returned. No, I’d rather die than face real people again at this point. And die I did. Quietly, alone, without anyone else having a clue. I didn’t think it was so bad, yet for some reason I cried until the end.

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thanks so much for reading! constructive criticism is always welcome.

Photobucket watering the plants when I saw the little note discreetly slipped under the door. It was one week after the funeral. I had done my best to keep any thoughts of Cynthia out of my mind. Thinking about her would just be opening up a can of worms, which I could not deal with right now. I had really loved her. I still did. If I wasn’t already an atheist, I would certainly have become one after she died. How could any god have let someone so young and beautiful and plain good die? Any god we would want to worship anyway.

I should’ve thrown it away without looking at it. It would have saved me, not to mention everyone left in my life, so much grief. Of course, we can never tell what something so seemingly insignificant could all lead to. So I picked it up. In that familiar tiny scribble, it said “I’m not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido’s Pizzeria. Tell no one.” It was signed C. Like a rock hit my heart. I sank down on the couch with my head in my hands, crushing the note in the hand I had picked it up with. What asshole would play a sick joke like this? I forgot all about the withered plants. You had to be absolutely heartless… Or it could really be Cynthia. A part of me was certain it was. But that was impossible. I had seen her in the coffin! I had seen the priest close it and commit it to the ground! I had stayed by her grave for so long after the burial that she would have suffocated inside, were she alive. And if her death had been staged for whatever reason, why would she ruin it by revealing that she was alive to anyone? No, it was just some asshole toying with me. It couldn’t be anything else.

That night I was at Guido’s at 8 PM sharp. I had to know. I wasn’t hungry, but ordered a slice of cheese pizza and a glass of vodka to have a reason to be there. I had the feeling that I was holding my breath the whole time. I anxiously watched the people going in and out. Every time I saw someone with orange hair my heart skipped a beat. It was Friday and very crowded. I didn’t mind. The more crowded it was, the less noticeable was I. Time dragged on and on. I had only been here for 20 minutes, but it seemed more like 20 years. Why was I torturing myself like this? She wasn’t coming. She couldn’t. She was dead. I should just leave. Pretend this never happened.

I was already getting up to leave when I felt a cold, small hand on my arm. I turned around. It was her. It was really her. Orange hair, freckles, nearly black eyes, misleading frailty and all. But there was something wrong. She seemed older somehow. Tears welled up in my eyes. She smiled at me. “Don’t cry,” she said softly, wiping a tear away with her thumb. She was so very cold.

“What happened to you?”

She sat down next to me. She was completely scentless. “That’s a very long story and we don’t have much time. He only gave me half an hour above.”

“What? Who only gave you half an hour above?”

“Hush,” she said, putting a finger to my lips, “I told you it’s a long story. I can explain it all to you later, if you come with me,” she intertwined her fingers with mine, “Please come with me.” She looked me straight in the eyes, in a way that broke my heart. “I can’t stand this shallow, solitary existence. I need you. I love you. I know you love me too. If you come with me we can be together forever. And you’ll never have to worry about people disapproving of us again.”

It was very tempting. So much that I already made the decision. I only needed to know “Where will we go?”

She suggestively looked down.

“Down there? What’s down there?”

“Something you never believed in. Because of the bet, I’ll have to spend the rest of my life there. You have no idea how slowly time passes below. Please come with me?” She had only said that word twice and it was already more than I’d heard her say it alive. She had never been one to plead. I couldn’t abandon her.

“Of course I’ll come with you.” I kissed her. It was like plunging headfirst into a mound of snow. I wondered what it would’ve been like to kiss her before this happened to her. I never had the courage to do it before. And here we were, in such a very public place. I’m sure there were people looking, but I couldn’t bring myself to care.

After we broke apart she wasted no time in dragging me outside. She looked nymph-like darting before me in her pale green dress. Silently, she brought me to her grave. It was open. Inside I saw the flickering of flames. I stopped for a moment. “If I do this, I’ll never be able to get back, will I?”

“No, you won’t,” she said without looking at me.

I thought of my homophobic parents, my awful little sister, the fickle friends I had. There was nothing or no one I wasn’t prepared to give up for a lifetime with Cynthia. I turned my back to the only world I knew and led her back down. With her hand in mine I didn’t even feel the flames licking at my sides.

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thank you so much if you read it all the way through! i know most of you that follow my blog aren’t very big on reading.
like the title says, i wrote this for the sake of writing a finished story. i used a writing prompt from writer’s digest. it was: One week after attending the funeral of a close friend, you receive a postcard in the mail with the words, “I’m not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido’s Pizzeria. Tell no one.” only i substituted postcard with a note. it was also supposed to be less than 750 words, but i went a few hundred over that.
i-person is a girl, in case you didn’t notice.
i’ve been working on two other stories (one about vampires, another about merpeople & pirates), but those are so far from being finished & i don’t like posting things i’ve written until they’re edited & i usually don’t edit until they’re finished, which isn’t often.

short story

Posted: February 3, 2010 in fiction
Tags: ,

okay, i couldn’t resist. i’m a very impatient person, you know. so here it is, not fully edited or proof-read or anything. it’s even capitalized!
this is one of those stories that’s more about the characters than the plot. it’s also one of my incredibly rare stories without a hint of anything supernatural. oh, & i should probably warn you that it’s rather, well, evil. & what america would consider profane.

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The Mistress

I met him at one of my seminars. He was a very successful business man himself and didn’t actually need to attend such a seminar, but one of his close friends who was interested in starting his own business had dragged him along. Later he told me that he usually would’ve ignored his friend’s pleas, as he was a very busy man. Yet for some reason, he didn’t.
During the little recess he happened to bump into me and couldn’t help but voice his opinion on the seminar. He had started criticizing the hell out of it, but I stopped him with a raise of my eyebrow. I asked him what he knew about running a business. I knew who he was of course, I had seen him in the papers several times. He was rumored to be one of the richest men in the country. I could smell the wealth on him, buried beneath the overdose of aftershave. I had to have him.
He puffed up his chest and started: “What do I know about running a business? Well, let me tell you lady–”
I barely listened to what he said. I was busy observing him in detail. He had small, blue eyes, a pointy nose, an arrogant mouth crowned by a graying mustache and a receding, equally gray, hairline. He was rather large, both vertically and horizontally, and badly dressed, though his clothes were of impeccable quality. I recognized his shoes as Italian and the gold Rolex sparkling on his wrist made my mouth water. Slowly a plan formed in my head.
I was so distracted that I didn’t even notice that I was being called back on stage until Jimmy, who came up from behind me, tapped my shoulder and remarked that I was being called back on stage.
“Well, Mr. Fleming, I suppose we’ll have to continue this conversation another time. Here’s my card,” I kissed him on the cheeks and suggestively added “And don’t hesitate to call my home number.” Winking at him, I walked back to the stage. His expression rapidly changed from surprised to flattered and at last, guilty. I had seen the wedding ring on his finger. It would make what I wanted to do a little trickier, but it wouldn’t stop me. I felt sorry for his wife.
He called me the next day. We arranged a casual business meeting over dinner. It didn’t take long for him to give in. I barely had to bat my false eyelashes twice. What has this world gone to, I ask you?
He’s very twitchy about our affair however, so we usually meet at my house. He couldn’t stomach going out together again now that we had non-platonic relationship. He was very paranoid too, often he went to his workplace first and switched cars and took several detours before he came to me. When he finally showed up, it was in some sort of disguise. He had built up quite an impressive collection of dramatic hats and sunglasses. He had made sure that all the windows of all his cars were blinded a long time ago, so his many efforts to avoid detection seemed a grand waste of time to me, but hey, whatever made him feel safe.
The first time I took him there, I wasted no time in telling him of every fault I could think of, highly exaggerated or completely made-up, that my modest little house had. He was appalled and insisted that I move to a better place as soon as possible.
“But I can’t afford anything better!”
“Don’t be ridiculous, I’ll pay for it. You can’t live like this.”
“I can’t let you do that! Besides, what would people think?”
“Nobody else needs to know about it. And don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with my own damn money.”
We hadn’t even been together for two weeks before he bought me a wonderful villa at the beach. It was all too easy. Someone once told me that my charm was as effective as hitting someone over the head with a large, cartoon-sized hammer with all the strength you could muster. And just as destructive too.
It was good to be me.
The house soon filled up with decadent furniture and original artworks and hand-woven carpets and imported plants and all manner of things. Even though I had quite a bit of money of my own, which he knew nothing about, I got such immense joy from spending money from others. It was very addicting.
My walk-in closet filled up the fastest. He bought me the most magnificent designer dresses and high heels and accessories and jewelry when he was abroad. He had to go abroad a lot for his work. I didn’t mind. The less I actually see of him, the better. I kind of despised him. Always going on and on about his many achievements, full of sexism and self-righteousness. He never said anything about his wife and kids. He had never even officially told me he had them, but I knew he did have them. Did he even care what he was doing to them? Did he have any morals at all?
It made my skin crawl when he touched me. But he was so very, very rich… Besides that, I also loved being able to control someone like this.
He reminded me of my own late husband at times. Charming when he needed to be, but under that facade absolutely despicable. Immoral, treacherous, power-hungry. I killed him in his sleep. The women he thought I didn’t know about followed soon after. One of the spiteful servants was blamed for his death and the other deaths were never linked to me, as he had kept his dark secrets well. I inherited all of his money and belongings.
Meanwhile I kept working, wearing a very convincing mask of innocence. My employees were confused about my sudden increase of luxurious attire, but they roughly knew how much I earned and probably figured that I had decided to reward all my hard work with new things or something, since none of them pried. Most of them didn’t seem to like me very much, said I worked them too hard and paid them too little. They’re such whiners.
An acquaintance held a gala for all the important people in business, which I was one of of course. And so was he. I knew we would run into each other there, in that very public place, but I neglected to say anything. I wanted to see him squeal. He sure didn’t disappoint.
He was there with his wife and had spotted me as soon as he entered the room. I had never seen him so neurotic. He seemed to try to make every excuse in the world to leave. His wife seemed to make every effort to not only calm him down, but keep calm herself. She was really very pretty, in her own way. She looked very homely, but about 10 years younger than I knew she was. Honestly, what was wrong with him?
I stood my ground and amused myself with nonchalantly watching him. He kept snapping at everyone, wiping his forehead with his handkerchief. Finally his wife got few up with his behavior and they left. I wanted to scream at her about what an awful man she was married to, but I didn’t say a thing. It would’ve just messed up my plans.
He called me later that night.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were going to be at that gala?!” he bellowed.
“Why do you have to yell at me like that? I didn’t know you were going to be there as well,” I replied innocently. It was his own damn fault that he was in such a compromising situation. Mostly.
“You’re right. I’m sorry, you couldn’t have known,” he hesitated before adding “Can I come over tomorrow?”
After that our affair continued without any other significant incidents. Since the gala he became even more paranoid and about three times as careful. It was rather annoying. On top of that, guilt finally started kicking in.
He had just returned from a vacation with his family. He didn’t feel guilty enough to break it off at once, but became much too evasive for my taste. It worried me. I decided that I needed to bind him to me for life. So I stopped taking the pill.
Less than a month later I announced that I was pregnant. He was dumbfounded.
“But how could this have happened?”
“I don’t know. I did forget my pill that one time, maybe– Oh, what does it matter? We’re going to have a baby! I’ve always wanted children.” I’m such a liar. “Now, stop worrying so much. Don’t you see what a blessing this is?”
“But… I already have a family. I can’t just—”
“I know you can’t. But this must have happened for a reason. Maybe this is God trying to show us that we should be together forever….” Ha, I crack myself up. I don’t even believe in God. But he ate it all up. Soon his shock and guilt turned into joy. I had him neatly wrapped around my finger. It was only a matter of time before we walked down the aisle together. Only a matter of time…
I quit my job. I had never really liked it anyway and now I was well taken care of. If everything went according to plan, I would never have to work again. I knew my man had a savings account with a massive amount of money, next to his huge monthly income. Not to mention his generous pension plan. That added to my own small fortune… It was very hard to contain myself.
You know how people are always going on about how powerful a mother’s love is? I didn’t feel a thing when my baby boy was born. Except mind-numbing pain, but that’s besides the point. That brat was merely a tool to get me what I want. Besides, I could never love a child that looked so much like its pig of a father. Speaking of its pig of a father, he was overjoyed with his new-born son. He bought me a new car he knew I wanted, which was no less than I expected. I hoped I wouldn’t have to be stuck with that child for too long. It was exhausting and unrewarding.
Unfortunately the months stretched into years and I still hadn’t gotten much further. I was utterly worn out from playing the housewife and taking care of that damn child. But its father absolutely adored us. He would do anything for us. Except leave his wife thus far. Bastard.
His wife had family in Germany. She barely saw them and decided to go on a three-week vacation there, along with her children. I seized the opportunity to accelerate my plan. I had quite enough of sitting back and slowly letting it unfold.
I hinted to him that I would really like to see where he lived for once. It had been years and I had no idea where he lived, as far as he knew. It made him nervous, but he didn’t like going against my wishes. So, the same day his other family departed, he took me there, along with our own brat. We were only supposed to stay there for an afternoon, but somehow that afternoon became the full three weeks. I was just so charmed by his house and simply couldn’t get enough of the pool he had and I didn’t. It was the kind of house I would like to live in someday. Or so I told him. I was actually quite satisfied with my own villa. And I much prefer the sea over chlorinated water.
When we stayed there I naturally slept with him in the bed he usually shared with his wife. Our little boy took the room of his other son. He was so delighted with all the toys his big half-brother had collected over the years. His wife would have a fit if she knew all this. Which I made sure she would. She had a right to know what went on in her own house, after all.
Right before we left, I left behind some little presents for his wife. Just little things of mine, to let her know that her one and only wasn’t hers anymore. I wanted her to know that I owned him. And to enlighten her that he was a treacherous pig. Somehow I just can’t stand the sight of happy women in ignorance of the nasty things their men regularly do behind their backs. It’s so unfair. And disgusting. Their men, I mean. I would much rather be “the other woman” than one of them.
When his wife came back, all hell broke loose. Which was exactly what I had intended. I had kept excellent track of when precisely she would come back and had arranged for Randy the Rat to drive by around that time. He was one of the shifty types who often helped me with questionable things if I paid them. He would conveniently get a flat tire right in front of their house and ask their gardener to help him. Once he was back on his way, he would call me to tell what he had observed. What? I was dying of curiosity. I tensely waited near my phone for Randy to call all morning. When he finally did, he didn’t waste any time greeting me or asking how I was, but got straight down to business. That’s what I loved about people like him. He said he heard a lot of shouting and things breaking and a kid crying. Their gardener was so terrified he took the rest of the day off. He had told Randy that hearing them fighting was nothing new to him, but he had never heard anything that bad. I thanked Randy for his excellent work and rushed out to buy my man’s favourite foods as soon as I hung up. I needed to be prepared for when he came to me for solace.
It was already past midnight when he called. He was in a frenzy. I couldn’t get a coherent sentence out of him, but listened patiently. What I could gather from his heated babble was that his wife found some woman’s products and a perfume scent she didn’t recognize all over the house (how could I be so careless?), and he ended up confessing everything in his panic and his wife destroyed half the house and took the kids and went right back to Germany with them, with one-way tickets. She had just left for the airport, ignoring his pleas and apologies. Nothing about a divorce. I grinded my teeth. She hadn’t immediately demanded a divorce? That wasn’t part of my plan. Tricky, tricky, tricky.
He didn’t want to come over at this hour and scare our little boy, but was it alright to see me first thing tomorrow? Of course it was. I promised I’d come over to him as early as I could the next day. He shouldn’t strain himself so much if he was that upset.
He was still a complete mess when I saw him the next day. He just couldn’t believe his wife of seventeen years had left him. I put on my concerned face and comforted him as best as I could. I had brought some of the food, which he was very grateful for. I told him everything would be alright when he cried in my arms like a large, balding baby. I was here now.
It was such a drag. I couldn’t wait to be rid of him.
He didn’t go to work that day. He had never missed a day of work before. Whenever I, and probably his wife too, had suggested that he should stay home when he was really sick, he just muttered about the incompetence of his staff and that they couldn’t do anything right without him breathing down their necks. I knew this was not the time to convince him that this was a good thing for us, because we could openly be together.
It took him about a week, but he came round again. He was so lucky to have such an amazing woman to take care of him in a time like this.
His wife still hadn’t filed a divorce. I really hoped she wouldn’t want to “work on their marriage” instead. He had tried calling her dozens of times, but she never answered and the one time someone picked up, it was her sister to tell him to “fucking stop calling” and that his wife didn’t want anything to do with him.
So I bided my time. And bided. And bided. I was ready to snap from all the inaction. But I got him so far to make our relationship public, eventually. I started introducing myself as Mrs. Fleming everywhere we went together. He pretended not to notice. Our son was also out in the open. After a while he even got invited to birthday parties of children of his friends and acquaintances. I had made myself well-liked among them, what with my irresistible charm, even the ones who thought this whole affair highly inappropriate. Only some of the women who had been friends with his wife shunned me.
I got cramps in my face from smiling so much.
After three years I was fed up with this nonsense. That wife just wouldn’t budge. I had hinted about marriage to him millions of times, but he couldn’t bring himself to file a divorce. He still loved her, in a way.
I think she only wanted to legally stay married to him to spite me. She never made any attempts to salvage their relationship anyway. So I got Corey Corrupted, the greediest, most flexible lawyer I knew to send him divorce papers in the name of his wife. For the right amount of money, he made no qualms about forging her signature. In those papers she said that she didn’t want anything from him, just for him to completely be out of her life.
He was devastated when he received those papers. That silly man. Surely it wasn’t such a big surprise? His wife had been living in Europe for three years, ceasing all contact with him. He hadn’t seen his other children for just as long. In the beginning he had gone to see them when his work forced him to go to Europe. Or he tried. His wife had absolutely refused to talk to him and kept his children out of his sight. I had to admire her strength and determination. Most women are so easily swayed by old lovers.
After that he left her alone, never giving up hope that she’d come around. Except that she never came around. He reluctantly signed the papers and went away for a couple of days. He had a cabin in the woods. It was the only place in the world that was completely his own. He liked going there when he just wanted to get away from the world. I was annoyed that he didn’t rely on me to get him through this difficult time, but it didn’t really matter. He was all mine now.
I proposed to him as soon as he got back. He was a little shocked that I asked him that soon, but he didn’t hesitate to accept. I promised that I would never ever leave him like that other woman we won’t call by name. He was very glad to hear that and, with a little help from me, came to the realization that his divorce had actually been a blessing in disguise. He was so fortunate to have met a woman like me. We made love all night. It was unpleasant to say the least, but as long as it made him happy, it was worth it for the time being.
I arranged for us to get married the next week. I didn’t need to have one of those ridiculously big weddings with a lot of fuss, that would just be a waste of good money. My money. We would only invite our closest friends (needless to say that my part of the guest list was rather short), we would have the ceremony in the local church, have prerecorded music, I would wear a simple, red, dangerously low-cut evening gown, he would wear his old tux… No fuss at all. I just wanted it over with.
The week before the wedding seemed like the longest week of my life. I kept imagining all the things that could go wrong before that day and distracted myself by taking every precaution. He of course thought it was adorable that I was so nervous. He really had no idea what he was in for. Oh, he was so very naive.
I was so relieved when that day finally came. It went without a single hiccup. He was so happy to be there with me. So awed that he had managed to snag a woman like me. Some of his friends had protested that I was only interested in him because of his money, but those protests fell on deaf ears. I marveled at my own manipulation abilities. It felt like the whole world was mine to do with as I pleased. That rush of power truly was, amazing.
The next day I already got in touch with good old Corey. He had also covered up my other husband’s death back in the day. He was a real expert at these iniquitous matters. He had already heard about my hasty marriage and had assumed that I would be needing his services again soon. He had a plan ready. I knew I could count on him.
He would get one of his lackeys to rob the house while we were both at home and tragically kill my poor husband in the process. I would only get wounded. It was such a simple, brilliant plan that would keep all suspicion off me. The robber would keep about a third of the stolen goods and split that with his boss, so everybody was a winner. He recommended to wait a few months though. Now was much too soon to make it believable. With all these years of scheming and manipulating, what was a few more months? It would all be mine soon. Until then I’ll just keep biding my time. It won’t be long now… Not long at all…

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thank you so much for reading! let me know what you think! any criticism (writing style related) would be deeply appreciated.