Sorry for the lack of a better title, but the guest blogger who wrote this did not title her entry. Nevertheless, we didn’t think her lack of a title should preclude her from being named runner up. The Halloween blog contest judges (myself and Dr. Candelaria) both liked her blog even though there was not title.
This entry was written by Meagan Baalman Wairama of New Zeland.
He walked in from the garage, dirty jeans that smelled like grease, took a beer from the fridge, stared at her and then walked into the living room. “You aren’t what you used to be,” he said.
She watched him while he turned on the TV. He was right. She had aged. Her hair was wiry from home dye jobs. Her stomach, once taught and slim, bulged a bit. Breast implants. Those would come in handy… what was the technical term?
Yes. That would make her just about perfect. She did have a few laugh lines. Isn’t that what they called them? That’s what she had. Ironic, she thought, since she couldn’t remember the last time she had smiled. She hated her life.
Maybe not her life. Maybe it was just him. The way he stared at other women and ground his rotting teeth made her sick. He stuck his hand down his pants and slouched as some football team took the field. He whistled at a cheerleader.
“She might give you the time of day if you drugged her,”Katherine thought as she stifled a laugh.
She was ready to move on. He’d left marks on her back from a whipping when she’d tried to leave once, but other than that, she was salvageable, she thought, young enough to get some new man if she decided that’s what she wanted. She’d stashed some cash.
“What are you staring at?”he asked.
Nothing she said. She thought about the day they’d met, how he had made her feel. She thought about how she would have been a great wife, maybe even a mother, how she had dreams once.
“It’s not too late, Katherine.”
The voice was back. It started again whenshe changed her kitchen calendar to October; and it had stayed the remainder of the month. Now, on Halloween night, she realized that it had easily become her most trusted friend. It wanted her to kill him, to kill the man she had married.
“And why not,” thought Katherine, as if anyone would miss him. “Sorry sack.”
“Kill the man. Take his money. Get that plastic surgery you’ve been wanting. Change your life, Katherine.”
“You know how.”
She did know how. Well she’d had ideas. Five years of abuse would be enough to make Mother Theresa think of murder, she reasoned.
“Take his money.”
Her husband kept a safe in his garage. Money he’d won from racing box cars. What a redneck. “I don’t know the combination,” she said to the voice.
“Of course you do.”
What? His birthday?His mother’s birthday?Our anniversary?
“Don’t be stupid.”
It’s that damn dog.
Of course. His hunting dog died last year. What day did that dog die?
“October 31, Katherine. 10/31/2010.”
“So are you just going to stand there, or are you going to get to town before the liquor store closes and get me some beer?” His voice seemed to come out of nowhere. Katherine jumped.
“I’ll get you some beer,” she said.
“Get him some acid and watch him burn,” said the voice.
They both laughed at that as Katherine took her keys and walked out to the car. It was an old car. Beat up. Hail dents in the roof.
“You will need a new look and a new car,” said the voice.
“I couldn’t agree with you more,” she said as she pulled out of the drive.
As she drove into town she smiled at the scare crows, skeletons, bright Halloween lights, and pumpkins carved and glowing in the dusk. She missed carving pumpkins, dressing in colorful costumes. She smiled as she watched Cinderella skip arm and arm with a skeleton down a well-lit street.
She never had children. This was once sad to her, a source of pain. Now, it was just another reason to walk clean away.
The trailer park was about four miles from town. No privacy there, plenty of dealers and users and nightlife, and plenty of unemployed that were always out at all hours.
She’d decided to paralyze him two years ago when he’d beat her so bad that she couldn’t move. There was nothing worse than being unable to move, she once told the voice.
He’d earned his death, no doubt about it. To do it, she just needed to get him good and drunk.
“Baby, I got you your favorite,” she said cheerfully as she walked in the door.
“I asked you to get me beer,” he replied as he stared at the Jack Daniels’ bottles, one in each of her hands.
“I know,” she said. “You’ve been working so hard on that racecar of yours, I thought you deserved the good stuff.”
“What are you playing at?” he eyed her.
She shrugged. “Nothing. Just took a chance. I can go get the beer if that’s what you want.”
He grabbed one of the bottles, walked to the kitchen, poured it into a glass and walked out into the garage.
“What about trick-or-treaters?” she asked the voice. “There are sure to be a few.”
“No need to worry about them. If they see anything they will see what they always see: You, sober and nervous. Him, drunk and disorderly.”
She smiled. This was almost too easy. As night began to fall and clouds began to cover what looked like a full moon, Katherine calmly walked into the bedroom and took her husband’s baseball bat out of the closet.
There were a few trick-or-treaters. They walked past the garage and up to the front porch. Their costumes were shabby, probably taken from the bottom of some dirty trailer’s closet or some dingy dresser.
Katherine was ecstatic. She smiled at the kids, gave them as much candy as they wanted.She was ready.
“Bring him in,” she thought. “Bring him in and I will show you want I can do.”
As if her wish was granted, her husband walked in from his garage, empty bottle in hand. “Want the second bottle, baby?” she asked.
Without responding, he took the bottle from the kitchen cabinet and sat down at table. He drank it without a glass.
“Have you been mixing that with anything?”she asked.
“Whatdo you care? Ain’t any of your business.”
She replied with silence; and she waited.
As a dark night settled, her husband started to slump over the table. She let him be.
“Drink.Just drink,” said the voice.
Soon, his head hit the table;he was snoring soundly. She pushed him out of the kitchen chair and let him fall onto the floor. He lay on his stomach. Calmly, she walked to the bedroom, took the bat in her hands, and walked to his unconscious body sprawled out on the kitchen floor.
“Swing hard, Katherine.”
She raised the bat and aimed it towards the small of his back. She swung the bat and listened as his backbone broke. She smiled.
“Will he wake up paralyzed?” she asked.
“Who cares if he does? You’ll be long gone.”
And she was.
When Michael woke up three days later in a pile of his own blood, his wife was well on her way to Colorado. “The Rocky Mountains,” said the voice. “That’s what we need.”
When he was well enough to talk about what had happened to him, he told his story to a police officer that had better things to do with his time than help out a two-time convicted wife beater. Once his case was buried in a pile of cases, his wife was fully recovered and working in Colorado.
She was a personal assistant to a successful plastic surgeon. Her new nose complimented her facial structure; and her breast implants(breasts thatthe voice jokingly called the “box car boobs”in honor her husband’s car racing cash), had given her the self-esteem and self-confidence that she had so sorely missed throughout her marriage.
Michael, it seemed, had simply never happened.