Thursday, 31 October 2019
Wednesday, 30 October 2019
by Jim Bates
Hot Apple Cider
I'll never forget that Halloween when I was in fifth grade. The day started weird and just kept getting weirder. I woke up on my own, which was one thing. Mom didn't have to rattle my bones to get me to wake up like she normally did. Instead, I got up all by myself, excited for my favorite day of the year, Halloween. But my excitement was tempered by a strange ringing in my head, like a doorbell going Ding...Dong...Ding...Dong and it wasn't just one time, either. It lasted all day.
My clothes didn't fit right either - shirt and pants too tight and shoes too big.
Downstairs Mom fixed pancakes for breakfast instead of my normal bowl of milk and cheerios, something she only did on the weekend, if then. Like I said, weird.
Outside, the day was dark and foreboding, made even more so by a flock of blackbirds that followed me on my walk to school. An owl flew by with a mouse dangling from its beak. I even had to go by Old Man Jasperson's house by myself because neither of my friends, Tim or Jay, met me on the way like they normally did.
At school the weirdness continued because all of the teachers had dressed in costumes for Halloween. Mr. Stevens, my fifth grade teacher, was Dracula which was odd because he was a quiet and withdrawn type and should have dressed up like some poet I'd never heard of. Plus, Dracula was exactly what I'd planed to dress up as later that night. Big time weird.
Tim and Jay approached me in class wondering where I'd been. "Why didn't you meet us?" Tim asked, popping his bubble gum.
"Yeah," Jay added, running a comb through his curly hair. "We were both waiting outside and you never showed. What's up with that?"
Before I could answer and tell them that I'd walked by both of their houses and hadn't seen either of them, the bell rang and we had to sit down.
By the end of school I had pretty much forgotten about all the weirdness of the day, my excitement for Halloween taking the place over everything else. At the final bell my friends and I bolted from the building, agreeing to met at my house at five in the afternoon to start treat or treating. Which we did.
Tim showed up wearing a werewolf mask and an old fur coat of his grandmother's. Jay was dressed like a sorcerer in a light blue cape and wearing a pointed hat with sequenced stars and planets on it. I wore my Dracula outfit, complete with black cape, pointed teeth and slicked back hair.
"See you, Mom," I yelled as I ran out the door, clutching a pillow sack bag for my treats.
"Be home by nine o' clock," she called back.
I told her I would and Tim and Jay and I spent the rest of the evening running up and down the streets of our neighborhood collecting candy. We made a real haul.
At the end of the evening we decided to make one last stop at Mr. Jasperson's house.
Tim was not excited. "Hell, he'll just give us apples, like every other year. It's not worth it. Let's just head home." He pulled out a small bag of M&M's, ripped it open and started munching away.
Jay had a different thought. "I heard he was going to give out caramel apples this year. Those would be good. I like caramel."
I liked caramel too but was unsure about stopping. Mr. Jasperson always struck me as kind of gruff. His wife had died a few years earlier and my mom told me he was just lonely.
"You could talk to him, you know. He used to teach science at the University. You might learn something from him."
Right, I thought to myself. Me talk to a college professor? An academic I wasn't. I didn't even know how to spell the word, let alone talk to a smart person. My best conversations were with my calico kitty, Jessie, only because she didn't care what I said as long as I kept her fed.
But getting back to the suggestion of stopping at his house. I thought about it and finally said, "Sure, why not? What have we got to lose?"
Tim and Jay hung back while I walked up the brick walkway to the steps leading to the covered porch and then the front door. There was a single light on, barely illuminating the door knob. The rest of the lights were turned off. I turned and looked at my friends, who by now had stepped back to the sidewalk. I looked past them and noticed something strange; the street was empty and the neighborhood was deserted. Where were all the other trick or treaters?
A gust of wind blew leaves that swirled around my feet. The night had suddenly become cold and windy. Nearby trees swayed and a branch cracked and fell to the ground. I shuddered, glad it had missed me. I turned and faced the front of the house, not noticing until then all the vines that were entwined along the railing and the door. I took a deep breath, told myself to not be a sissy, climbed the two steps and crossed the porch. My hand started trembling as I reached out and rang the doorbell. Ding...Dong...Ding...Dong and it occurred to me at that moment it was a sound just like I'd been hearing in my head all day.
Behind me I thought I heard a voice and turned. I saw nothing out of the ordinary. Then I realized to my horror that Tim and Jay were gone. I was all by myself. My heart began beating faster and faster. Hey, guys...I was just about to call out into the darkness, when I heard a scraping sound behind me.
I turned around with the words trick or treat innocently forming on my lips. Then I saw the door swing wide open and, awestruck, I gazed at the entrance, not believing my eyes. There before me was a wall of caramel apples stacked one on top of the other and completely filling the entryway. I stood frozen in place unable to move as slowly they began falling, dropping one by one, until the entire lot of them cascaded down upon me like a caramelly waterfall, knocking me onto my back and burying me in a sticky, messy mass of apples.
I panicked and pushed them away and scrambled to my feet. It was then I felt a cold hand grip my arm. What now? I was afraid to look, but I steeled myself and did, then immediately wished I hadn't. There, latched onto me was Mr. Japserson. He was dressed in a black cape like mine. His face was white, he had pointed teeth, and thick red lips that were curled back in a sneer as he intoned, "What kind of a trick did you have in mind for me, young fella'?" Which was weird enough except for this: he was holding his head in the crook of his arm. He was a headless Dracula! The world started spinning and I began screaming. Then I fainted.
Mom woke me in the morning with a cheery, "Hi there, sleepyhead. All ready for your favorite day? Halloween? Tim and Jay are waiting in the kitchen to walk you to school. Better get a move on." She raised the window shade, letting bright sunlight in.
I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, confused."Wait, Mom. Hold on. It's Halloween? Today?"
"Yes, dear, it is. Your favorite day, remember?"
What was going on? I was major league confused. What about last night? What about Mr. Jasperson and the caramel apples? More to the point, what about the headless Dracula?
"What about yesterday, Mom?" I asked. "I thought yesterday was Halloween." I'll admit I was freaking out a little, on the verge of completely losing it.
"Oh, sweetie," Mom bent down and hugged me, calming me. "No, it's today." Then she looked at me, deep concern in her eyes. "But you were acting strangely all day yesterday. Don't you remember? I had to keep you home from school. You had a pretty high fever, but it broke overnight. You're lot's better now." She looked at me again and felt my forehead."You sure you're feeling okay or should I keep you home from school for another day?"
So I'd just had a high fever? Yesterday's weirdness really hadn't happened and I'd imagined it all? Better yet, today really was Halloween? Hot dog! It sounded good to me.
I swung my legs over the side of the bed, ready to embrace the day. "No, Mom. I'm good. Tell Tim and Jay I'll be right down."
"You sure, you're okay?"
"Yeah, Mom I'm better than okay. I'm great!"
She left my bedroom and I got dressed already picturing myself in my Dracula costume and heading out trick or treating later in that evening. It wasn't until I was combing my hair that I saw it - a bit of caramel stuck on my ear. I looked at myself closely and then saw some more on my neck. Then more caramel on my other ear. I got a wash rag and cleaned it all off glad Mom hadn't seen it. To be honest, I wasn't sure I could even explain it to myself, let alone to her.
Tim and Jay and I had a great time trick or treating that night. We made a real haul. Our last stop was at Mr. Jasperson's . He greeted us warmly and even asked me if I'd like a job raking leaves later that week. I told him sure.
He also gave out caramel apples for the first time that we could ever remember. They were pretty good, I have to say, even though there were kind of messy. Real sticky.
About the author
Jim's favorite holiday is Halloween and this story is dedicated to all those who enjoy the mystery and magic of that special day.
Monday, 28 October 2019
by Allison Symes
When going to work is an odd thing to do, you know you're in trouble or shortly will be. And when you are the chief tester of every imaginable practical joke going, trust me, the gags soon wear thin.
There really are only so many times you can sit on a whoopee cushion and find it funny. Children's humour may not change but I have.
I stopped telling people what I do a long time ago. I soon tired of forcing a Cheshire Cat grin every time people said 'oh that must be fun' or other similiar banalities. Trust me, there is no limit to crap like that.
But the bosses pay well, I still have a mortgage, and I tell people if I revealed anything, I would have to kill them. They laugh, subject gets changed, and I have a nice time at the pub before going home and watching a documentary on the curse of umbrella making or something like that.
What I don't watch is anything they call funny. Not now. Not anymore. That explains the salary. There should be a price for losing your sense of humour.
I sometimes wonder if I could kill someone with a deflated balloon. And yes I could... so if you know what's good for you, don't ask. They say once someone has killed, they get a taste for it. Best I don't start then.
About the auhtorAllison Symes, who loves writing and anything to do with books, is published by Chapeltown Books, Cafelit, and Bridge House Publishing. She is a member of the Society of Authors and Association of Christian Writers. A round-up of her writing is at http://allisonsymescollectedworks.wordpress.com and she blogs for Chandler’s Ford Today - http://chandlersfordtoday.co.uk/author/allison-symes/
Sunday, 27 October 2019
by Susan Willis
a cup of strong tea
Where is he, Sheila thought for the umpteenth time in the last two hours. She started to pace around the lounge wringing her hands. Her mind was in fast-forward and she didn’t know how to slow it down.
She’d heard on the news about the incident near the royal garden party at the palace and the whole of her insides had sunk with a worrying sickness.
Her husband, Jack, was one of the personal protection officers to the royal family and, although for security reasons she never knew exactly where he was, she remembered his words this morning.
“More tea and cakes this afternoon,” he’d grimaced struggling to fasten the button on the waistband of his trousers. “I’m going to have to go on a diet.”
She’d tutted and lovingly put her arms around him snuggling her face into his neck. “No, Jack, I love you just the way you are.”
Over the years, Jack had risen to Inspector working for The Metropolitan Police Service and then had been approached to train and successfully became one of the family’s bodyguards. He’d always said, “I don’t think of it as a job, Sheila. It’s an honour to look after them.”
And she’d agreed with him but the worry and concern that went with the job wasn’t easy to live with. She smiled now remembering when they were first married. And yes, she’d been extraordinarily proud of him, and still was, but the job had never been conducive to family life. However, she’d had her mum living close by which had been a blessing. She’d been on hand when the girls were young to do the school runs and after school activities. “Where’s Dad,” they’d often asked. Or, “Is Dad not coming to the zoo?”
She’d tried to explain that he couldn’t tell them because his work was a big secret, which had sufficed but as they grew into teenagers, she’d often seen disbelief and mistrust in their eyes.
It had been difficult because no one ever knew where he and the other bodyguards were because they were covertly dressed in ceremonial uniforms. Riding on the back of the carriages at the royal weddings, tours abroad, and even Scottish dancing up at Balmoral Castle. Maybe, she thought now, if she’d been able to point him out on TV to the girls, they’d have believed her more?
She recalled his stints up at Balmoral and how she’d teased him about the kilt he’d had to wear. But then sighed remembering his darker words. “Sheila,’ he’d often said. ‘The family are just as vulnerable, if not more so, to an attack in the Scottish Highlands as they are in any of the London palaces.”
She picked up her cup to sip the tea but realised it had gone cold and clattered it back into the saucer with trembling hands.
Oh, where is he, and why doesn’t he ring? She fretted and felt tears well-up in her eyes. She longed for her mobile to ring so she could hear his voice, but, at the same time dreaded a call on the landline to say he’d been injured, or worse?
He had a lovely voice. It was one of the things she’d loved about him when they’d first met. Deep and mannish with just a hint of his old North East accent. Now, with age it was gravellier and more authoritative, yet you could still hear his kind and considerate nature that was at the very core of him.
She slumped down onto the sofa and looked up at his photograph on the mantelpiece. It was taken last year, and he is surrounded by the young recruits he trained now-a-days. They are all looking at him with respect and adoration in their eyes. It’s what he instilled into them. Respect and diligence. And, although he was mainly office-based now, he did still fill-in when they were short-staffed. Hence today.
Their daughters were in a photograph next to his. Of course, they were young women now and seemed to regard their father as some type of super-hero? They thought it was a terribly exciting job to have and only last week had teased her, “When he was younger, was Dad like Richard Madden in the Bodyguard program, Mum?”
She’d smiled and because she’d always played down the danger of his job to stop them worrying, she’d nodded. “Yes, he was a handsome young devil and I fell for him hook-line-and sinker.”
However, she thought, on days like this there was nothing exciting or impressive about being concerned for his safety.
Only recently she’d tackled Jack and insisted they have the dreaded retirement discussion. She’d retired this year and wanted him home with her to do all the things they’d planned. “It’ll not be long now, Sheila,” he’d said. “I just need to finish this program I’m working on. Then I’m all yours!”
She’d known he was trying to pacify her. She’d seen the wary look in his eyes. The, please trust me look, that she’d seen countless times over the years. But now, she pulled her shoulders back, determined when he got home the retirement issue was going to be top of her agenda. She felt too weary to go through any more of these agonising days.
Suddenly, a text pinged onto her mobile and she snatched it up from the coffee table. She held her breath and pressed the read button.
“I’m okay, Sheila. Just sorting out a few things that have happened and will be home soon. XXX”
Sheila burst into tears as blessed relief surged through her body. She clutched the mobile to her chest and looked upwards.
“Thank you, God,” she whispered and grinned knowing he was safe once more.
Saturday, 26 October 2019
by James McMillan
a shot of brandyI asked the children to allow me to spend some of the last few minutes of their mother’s life alone with her. They agreed but very reluctantly.
I sat by her bed and held Kay’s hand and watched her children slowly leave her room. ‘We will just be next door mum, call if you need anything,’ said Jen. ‘She can’t hear you,’ said her brother William and pulled her arm. Jen shook off his hand and as the door closed a furious row began outside.
‘It’s started already,’ I said to Kay their mother but her eyes were closed and she made no response. Kay would never hear anything again. She had gone. I placed my hand on top of hers. To my surprise, I was angry. Why Kay of all people? And why now? But there were no answers.
I can’t remember much of the next twenty-four hours. I don’t really want to. Jen’s husband Tom came and comforted her before taking her home but William stuck around and just got in the way. When he left he asked if we could meet on the following evening at seven.
He was on time and Jen and Tom were with him. I offered coffee or something stronger but there were no takers. Jen seemed reluctant to look at me but I understood the situation. I guessed William was anxious to get something off his chest and she was embarrassed about it.
‘We have found Mother’s will’, William said. He held a crumpled envelope and showed it to me. I looked at him but said nothing. ‘It was in an envelope addressed to Jen and me so I opened it. You should know what it says’.
‘Do I get to read it?’ I asked and extended my hand.
He ignored it and said simply ‘She left everything to Jen and myself’.
He moved his hand that held the will as far away from me as he could. Did he think I would snatch it out of his hand and destroy it?
‘I would imagine her solicitor has a copy William,’ I said gently.
‘Perhaps,’ he said. 'I hope you will understand your situation is now very different?’
‘Yes, as your mother and I never married, I have no right to anything. I will move out tomorrow. You can call me when you have made the arrangements for the funeral. I would like to be there’.
‘Of course,’ he said but he hadn’t expected that. He paused briefly then looked at his sister and said, ‘I don’t expect there will be all that much in her estate after taxes and the funeral costs and so on, and we won’t bother with a wake. She didn’t many friends left. No, there won’t be much I expect.’
I couldn’t let that go. ‘Well, there’s this place,’ I looked around me. ‘A good-sized property in a nice area and this is London where even an old shed in the middle of a dung heap would be worth a million nowadays so my guess is that William and Jen you will do quite well.'
‘Where are you going?’ Jen asked.
‘My folks haven’t seen me for a while so I will visit them and then I might go travelling and see a bit more of the world.'
‘Your mum and dad are lovely.’ Jen said with a big smile. ‘Mum got on famously with them’.
‘Well, they were about the same age,’ said William. I was quick but Tom Jen’s husband was quicker and got between me and William.
‘Watch what you say William,’ I told him.
‘What? It’s true!’
‘I think we should go now,’ said Tom looking at his wife.
‘Yes,’ she agreed. ‘William and I will call you to let you know the funeral arrangements’.
‘Shove the keys back through the letterbox when you go.’ said William. He looked as if he was going to add and just take away what you brought with you two years ago. If he had Tom wouldn’t have been able to stop me again. But William didn’t say any more. He was a young fool in a hurry. I wondered if he had already been in contact with an estate agent.
After they had gone I needed a drink and poured myself a large brandy. It was time to finish what needed to be done. I knelt in front of the fireplace and tore up the envelope I had carried since Kay gave it to me and found some matches.
‘Do you mind if I watch? Jen said.
'I thought you left with the others.'
'I have a key, remember? And there’s things that still need to be said’
‘You can watch,’ I said as I lit a small fire.
‘I presume you have just destroyed her last will, and I presume that one she made in your favour? You didn’t have to. William would have got some nasty lawyers to grab a share, no matter what Mum said.'
‘But your mum and me was never about her money or this place. And if I had taken anything your brother and all those people who said it was, would have been able to look at each other and say I told you so’.
‘Why didn’t you get married?’
‘There was no need. Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to be on my own’. I pecked her on the cheek and this time Jen did leave.
I poured myself another large brandy and settled down in Kay’s favourite armchair. The brandy was helping and I finished the bottle. At some point I am convinced I heard Kay’s voice. ‘I still had lots of friends. If he had ever bothered to come around to see me, he would have known that. And I was a fair bit younger than your mother! He will buy a very fast car and will crash it. My son. He is not in a good place and probably never will be.’
Friday, 25 October 2019
by Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
Parisian red wine
I jumped a little and turned quickly to see Marius standing just behind my right shoulder. He then swiftly joined me at the edge of the balcony and looked down over the city with me and apologized for startling me.
“You mustn’t get upset over Camille. She’s just one of those people who loves people.” He smiled. I took a moment to this about what he meant by this; one of those people who loves people. Did he mean she actually loved Sylvester? She couldn’t possibly love him more than I did. “Don’t worry about her and Sylvester. I’ve heard all about all his romantic exploits he’s had since he was 13, he definitely never loved any of his lovers anywhere near as much as he loves you. But you have to understand about Sylvester that he’s just one of those people who loves people. He’s had so much suffering in his life because he likes to hand his heart out and share it with everyone but with you, you didn’t just take his heart, you kept it safe for him all this time and you will keep it safe until the end of time, ” he finished.
I looked him squarely in the eyes and realized he spoke truth. I had been keeping Sylvester’s heart safe all these long nine months and I would always keep his heart safe for he was never going to be allowed it back. I had stolen it and I would never return it. He was mine. And I felt like he was truly mine. He loved me; I truly believed he loved me. He loves me. Together we looked out over the city and I began to feel somewhat attracted to him. Not in the same sort of loving way I felt for Sylvester but in a much more passionate – perhaps – the way Sylvester felt about Camille. Marius told me about himself and all I wanted to do was kiss him. Maybe I should.
Thursday, 24 October 2019
by Bec Lewis
a glass of red wine
Martin Clarke re-read the e-mail, wondering how it had bypassed the spam filter. ‘Donate to Heart’s Desire Retirement Facility, and as a thank-you we’ll make your wish come true! Please be generous.’
Well, it was different. Most places sent you a free pen or a set of adhesive address labels.
Who lived at this facility? Aging lamp-less genies? Retired fairy godmothers? Did they really think he’d part with his hard-earned cash so some old biddies could laze around all day? He had all he could wish for, anyway, thanks very much: a million in the bank, a luxury mansion and cars, plenty of friends. Everything, except…
He typed inside the ‘wish’ box: ‘To be irresistible to women,’ and made his donation. No harm in having a go, he thought. Oh, girls threw themselves at him, of course, but he knew from their glazed looks in the bedroom that they craved his fortune, not his body. A twenty-something stunner wouldn’t normally look twice at a bloated fifty-something like him.
The front door slammed.
He rushed into the hall. Three scantily clad beauties stood there, and before he knew what was happening, they’d pushed him gently but firmly through an archway into the antique-strewn sitting room.
‘Steady on, ladies. We haven’t been introduced.’ He hoped he didn’t sound as nervous as he felt. ‘How did you all get past the security gate?’ They were a gang of girl-thieves; that was the answer. It couldn’t be that stupid wish thing; he didn’t really believe in that stuff.
‘We’ve been sent by Heart’s Desire,’ purred the tallest one, as she pushed him down onto a sofa and began unbuttoning his shirt. She leaned into him, so that her long dark hair tickled his chest. She smelled of vanilla and musk.
‘You wished us here,’ said another, stroking his thighs. Martin’s body started to respond. He’d remember this night forever, he thought. He was the luckiest man alive.
The third girl pressed Martin’s hand against her left breast and began licking his ear. ‘You really are irresistible,’ she whispered.
He groaned softly, and tipped his head back in pleasure. As he did, he caught a glimpse of the girl’s unusual dentition.
His last thought, just before feeling the sharp pain in his neck, was that he should probably have donated more than one lousy dollar.
About the author
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
by Laura Barnes
Brenda and Susan were roommates.
One day, Susan came home with a gaping stab wound in her stomach. She didn’t say where she got it, but presumably, she had been stabbed.
“Well, you really are making a mess!” Brenda huffed good-naturedly, taking Susan’s hand, and guiding her to the sofa. Brenda had actually been tending to her broken ankle before Susan came in, practising the exercises the doctor had given her, but she dropped it all without a second thought upon Susan’s arrival. Susan was Brenda’s roommate, after all, and one of her best friends to boot. It was the least she could do.
“Now, Susan,” Brenda began, her tone serious – but not too serious – as she stitched the wound closed with her First Aid Kit. “I don’t mean to pry, but would you like to tell me where you got this?”
Susan shook her head vigorously - she really really really didn’t want to tell Brenda where she had been stabbed.
“Well, then, okay,” Brenda smiled sadly, “But you know, I’m always here if you want to talk, right?”
Susan nodded – Brenda was always there whenever she wanted to talk.
Knowing that she had done all she could for Susan, and that it was best just to give her some space for now, Brenda pulled herself up from the sofa with a wince, just about ready for bed. Until she noticed the mess, that was...
Blood. So much blood. More blood than Brenda even though the human body could hold. A huge puddle of it dominated the living the living room, framed at either end by collections of slightly smaller, but no less gruesome, droplets. To make matters worse, the blood was dark and discoloured, and would most certainly stain the mahogany floorboards if it wasn’t mopped up pronto.
With another one of her good-natured huffs, Brenda hobbled into the kitchen to fetch the mop.
The next day, Susan was lying down on the sofa, poking at her stitches. Picking at them.
“Honestly!” Brenda said good-naturedly as she spun her ankle in a circle with a wince, “You keep on poking those stitches like that n’ it’ll just open right back up again!”
Susan rolled her eyes.
“It’ll be fine,” she mumbled. “You worry too much.”
“I suppose I do,” Brenda sighed, despite knowing full well she actually worried exactly the correct amount, thank-you-very-much, “Anyway, can I get you anything?”
“A cup of tea would be lovely, please, Brenda,” she looked up from her stomach just long enough to flash Brenda a brief smile, “I really appreciate this.”
“It’s what I’m – ouch - here for, Susan.”
And thus, she hobbled into the kitchen.
This excruciating trip proved to be futile, however; the moment Brenda stepped back into the living room, the steaming cup of tea slipped out of her grip and smashed into a thousand pieces. There, in the centre of the room, lay Susan, curled up in an almost foetal position. The wound had re-opened.
Freshly boiled tea seared her toes and shards of porcelain became lodged under her feet, but that didn’t stop Brenda from running towards her roommate.
“Susan!” Brenda cried as she grabbed her friend’s hand and gently pulled her back onto the sofa, “Why, oh why did you keep on…” she paused, looking for the right word, “…Fiddling with it?!”
“Was… Itchy…” Susan shrugged through the pain.
This time, Brenda’s huff was not good-natured, not good-natured at all. In fact, her huff was actually rather bad-natured, as she limped to fetch the First Aid Kit, the mop, and the dustpan.
Thankfully, Brenda’s short spell of grumpiness did not last long. After being patched up once again and given strict instructions not to pick at the wound, Susan became a model patient and eventually – like all things – the wound began to heal. Sure, she’d be left with a nasty scar on her belly, but it was hardly like Susan to go around wearing crop tops anyway. Soon enough, Susan returned to work, Brenda’s ankle healed, the mahogany floor was clean, and life resumed as normal.
It was a peaceful few weeks, filled with uneventful days.
Fifteen uneventful days after the ~incident~ - as Brenda and Susan referred to it – Brenda returned from work with a grin even wider than Susan’s scar, looking happier than anyone in a grey pantsuit ever should.
“Susan, Susan!” Brenda cried as she burst through the door, brandishing a letter, “You’ll never guess what!”
Which was true – Susan never did guess what. Or at least, if she did, Brenda never had the opportunity to hear the answer. You see, Brenda had not looked before running into the living room, and slipped on yet another, unnoticed puddle of blood. She cracked her head open and tragically died. Dancing in the air behind her was the letter she had been oh-so excited about back when she was amongst the living. As it hit the ground, the words ‘We Would Be Thrilled To Offer You The Promotion’ were quickly swallowed up by the blood.
“What’s happ- oh, no!” Susan exclaimed, raising her arms in exasperation before reaching down to check Brenda’s pulse, “Brenda, you’re dead!”
Brenda didn’t reply – she was too dead.
“Why, oh why didn’t I mop up that blood straight after I’d stop bleeding?!”
Brenda didn’t reply – still too dead.
“Why, oh why, did I keep on going to those “Who Can Survive The Most Stab Wounds?’ competitions she disapproved so much of?!”
With a long, drawn-out sigh – Susan was never really a ‘huff’ sort of person – Susan went to fetch the mop. It looked like she’d have to clean this mess up by herself.