Nancy Clark looked down at the dirty, earthen hole that contained the casketized remains of her husband. Bastard. He left her alone with all the expenses of the funerals, not to mention the death of her best friend. She could very easily afford it, but that wasn't the point. It was his fault. If she hadn't come home early to surprise him on his birthday, she would have never caught them in bed together. She wouldn't have done what she did. It was all his fault. Becka wasn't entirely innocent, either. She deserved what she got. Nancy had helped her through a rough divorce, and let her stay with them. She knew they were fucking, now it didn't much matter. Nancy took care of everything. The bodies, the bloodstains...the gun. Hell, she even had an airtight alibi. And when the cops showed up, she gave them a good show...a perfect show. Tears, uncontrollable shaking...you name it. She gave them the whole god damn bit. And why not? She knew something was going on between them. Too many coincidences. After a while she began to resent the both of them. That resentment soon grew to pure hatred. She couldn't stand the sight of them. All that sneaking around, laughing behind her back. They constantly, reeked of each others body soil. The distant glances they gave each other, like two children with a hideous secret. Did they think she was that stupid? Like she would never find out? Well, she did. And she took care of it.
She smiled and faced the wind as it blew across the cemetery, lightly brushing the soft hair from her face. A crimson rose was delicately poised between her gloved fingers. She held the flower up to her nose and inhaled it's mystifying scent. What a perfect plan. No witnesses. She got away clean. That whole day was still fresh in her mind...
Nancy drove down the long stretch of highway, toward her home. She had left work early, giving the Stevens's account to her partner. It was an important account, but she had better things in mind. It was her husband's fortieth birthday, and she had a swell plan for the evening. First, she would surprise him by arriving home early, with his favorite bottle of bourdeax. Next, she knew the hired help had the day off, so she would prepare a fabulous candlelit dinner, herself. Then, after dinner she would take him upstairs and make passionate love to him, in front of the raging fireplace. They would drink glasses of wine and celebrate like a husband and wife should. She broke a sweat just thinking about it. Finally, she would confront him. He would admit his affair to her. She would forgive him, and give him another chance. Then kick that bitch, Becka, to the curb.
Becka Kessler, was her long time best friend for many years. Her husband used to beat her, and Nancy would always try to convince her to leave him. "Dump his ass", she would beg. "Come live with me and Paul. We have plenty of room at our house. You don't deserve that shit. Nobody does."
One day, Becka came to the house with a modest black eye, and blood trickled from her swollen nose. Nancy called the police and Becka moved in straight away. Things were fine at first. Becka was helpful around the house, and kept mostly to herself. Paul didn't like the idea, but he warmed up soon enough. Slowly, her behavior began to change.
She began to walk around the house with next to nothing on. Every time Paul was around she seemed to make a conscience effort to show more cleavage, or bend over a little too far, in those short tight skirts, to see if he would notice. Paul noticed, all right. Needless to say, she didn't wear any underwear. One time, Nancy walked into the laundry room to locate a favorite blouse, when she saw the both of them standing face to face, not more than ten inches apart. When she confronted them, Paul said he was just fixing her necklace and their was no need to be so paranoid. The beads of sweat on his reddened forehead screamed outright lies, but she kept it to herself. She noticed other things, too. Paul started to smell different. And he didn't want to have sex anymore. This was not like him. Nancy knew what was going on, but could never prove it. Day by day her hatred grew towards Becka, and eventually, spilled over into her husband.
Maybe tonight could change things...make him love her like he used to...maybe...set things right.
Nancy drove up to tall set of wrought iron gates and pressed a clicker to open them. They slid apart effortlessly, and closed behind her. She coasted up the winding driveway to the massive twelve bedroom, mansion home. Giant, white columns staggered the threshold and was led by a solid, white, stone staircase. Emerald landscape covered the grounds as far as the eye could see. Acres of privacy. And she owned it all. Nancy turned off her green Mercedes, grabbed the wine, and carefully shut the door. Walking up the staircase, she did not want to make any noise to spoil her surprise. Keying the awesome door she pushed it aside and entered her home.
Nobody seemed to be home. Nancy looked around the richly decorated foyer. Tapestries and oriental paintings furnished the extensive room. All the flooring was made of the finest Italian marble, and shined to perfection. A maroon lined stairwell encased the sides and top of the main room, and a magnificent crystal chandelier, was suspended in the middle. Nancy figured she had time for a fast shower, to freshen up. Up the stairs she went, with wine in hand. Thinking that it might just work out, got her hopes up a bit and she let out a little squeal of delight. She approached her bedroom door and opened it rather hastily. What she saw set fate in motion.
Becka was bobbing up and down on her bed, completely naked. Underneath her, covering her breasts, were a pair of man's hands. It took her half a second to realize they belonged to Paul. She watched in shock, as the two embraced each other with deep thrusts of forbidden lust. They were so involved, they didn't hear Nancy open the door. She hurried to close it, so they wouldn't see her. Nancy sank to the floor and cried. Nothing could get that image from her mind. It was confirmed. This was all the proof she needed to see. One word seared into her mind, as hatred scorched her soul.
Nancy sprung to her feet and ran down the hall to an unused linen closet. She tore through a shelf of old rags, and pulled out a small, grey shoebox. Inside the box were a bunch of newspaper clippings, with some other junk, which she dumped out on the floor. A loaded .38 caliber pistol rolled out and spun in concentric circles. She kept this neat surprise for burglars, but this would be the greatest surprise of all. She grasped the cold steel tight in her hands and stormed down the hall. With a single blow she kicked the door wide open, holding the gun out in front of her. Becka's large breasts bounced wildly as she jumped off of Paul and scrambled to cover herself. Paul also rolled out and grabbed a sheet, trying to cover his swollen manhood. Nancy stood trance-like and waived the gun in their faces.
"I knew it you bastard!" she muttered in disgust as tears streaked down her reddened face. Paul had no time to answer as Nancy fired molten slugs of searing lead into his body. He dropped to the floor and clutched his chest. Becka screamed.
"And you..." Icy cold burned in Nancy's voice as she pointed the gun at Becka.
"...dirty whore! No wonder Daniel beat the shit outta you! You ain't nothing but a filthy whore!"
Becka bawled and begged her not to shoot. Nancy gave her no satisfaction. Two rage driven shots pierced her head, shattered her skull, silencing her instantly. Paul was still gasping for air, when Nancy walked over to him. She tenderly pushed a lock of hair away from his sweaty face. She bent down and got real close, lightly kissing his brow, looked him straight in the eye, and whispered...
"Ain't life a bitch!" and emptied two more slugs into his pale flesh. Nancy then opened a dresser drawer, and pulled out a hidden cigarette, lit it with the hot barrel of the still smoking gun, and contemplated her next move.
The bodies lay in rivers of red gore and she knew she had to act fast. A devilish idea unfolded in her twisted brain and she sprung to action. First, the bodies needed to be clothed. Dressing Becka proved more difficult than Paul, mostly, because of her bra. She didn't realize how difficult it was to put one on someone else. It was undoubtedly, way too small, and kept twisting under the weight of her hefty breasts. It had to be perfect, otherwise, the police would question Nancy on why Becka dressed herself like a rag doll. She managed to stuff them in, then proceeded to put a plastic garbage bag over what was left of the head, and dragged her lifeless body near the entrance of the bedroom door. Next, it was Paul's turn. She left him in pretty much the same position as he had died in, save for his clothing. She burned a small hole in his shirt with a cigarette butt, and soaked it in blood, to make it look authentic. Finally, Nancy cleaned up any and all of the blood droplets that looked out of place, removed the bag from Becka's head, and wrapped it all in the sheet that Paul had shielded himself with. It looked perfect. It was perfect.
Nancy disposed of the claret covered garment, in the far regions of the attic. When this was done, she ran to Becka's room and found her diary.( She had been reading it for a while, now.) In it she kept some juicy secrets, but above all else, she left all her phone numbers on the inside cover. Nancy quickly found what she was looking for, sat on the bed and grabbed the phone. At first she dialed too fast and screwed up the numbers. Slamming the receiver down, she took a deep breath and dialed again. It rang twice. A gruff male answered the call.
"Yes, this is Becka's friend, Nancy."
"I'm calling you because Becka is here and she wants to see you. She's sorry for all the trouble she caused and would like to make up."
"Uh-huh. And I want to apologize for being such a jerk, myself. Can you come over?"
"Yes. Right now. She's waiting for you..."
" You can? Great! See you soon. Bye bye."
Nancy hung up the phone and smiled. This was perfect. Now all she had to do was wait.
It didn't take long for Daniel to arrive. He rang the gate and she buzzed him in. He drove up the red brick pressed, concrete driveway in a sputtering, old Chevy van. She watched from the window as he stepped out of the truck and checked his thinning hair in the side mirror. She frowned in disgust. A heavy sloth of a man, not attractive in the least. His greasy, shabby jeans were full of holes and his shirt was a lived in, worn out, white once upon a time, T shirt. His arms were sleeved in tattoos and covered in thick black hair. With a rap sheet as long as Interstate 95, he made the ideal scapegoat. He wasn't a very bright man, and Nancy knew that. Besides, he was an abuser; a woman beating scum of the earth. No one would miss him. He walked up and rang the bell and she ran downstairs to greet him. The gun tucked safely in her pants pocket.
She opened the door and he stood all of six feet tall. She leaped out an gave him a big, fake hug and welcomed him inside. He smelled of booze and B.O, making her wretch. She wondered what Becka saw in this guy. Nancy invited him in, and walked him upstairs, close to her bedroom door, which was now closed.
" I will be right back." she said. " You wait here, and I'll get Becka."
Daniel nodded. Nancy went down the hall to an empty bedroom. Closing the door behind her, at once she began slapping and punching herself in the face. She did the best she could to make her face bleed and bruise. She smacked herself with the butt end of a candlestick, giving herself quite a gash on her forehead, and tore voraciously at her clothes. By this time, she was panting and out of breath. Wearily she picked up the phone and dialed.
"Hello, 9-11. What is your emergency?"
"Th-There's a man in my house," she huffed, in her best victim's voice.
"He shot Paul and Becka and I think their dead!! He's coming after me! He's gonna kill me!! Help me, pleease!"
Then she hung up the phone. She waited by the window until she heard the faint wail of sirens in the distance, then peeked out around the corner.
" You can go into that bedroom and wait if you like. Becka will be there in just a moment."
Daniel opened the door and saw the bodies on the floor.
" What the--?"
Nancy ran down the hall and pushed him into the room, throwing the gun at him. She knew he would catch it, and get his greasy fingerprints all over the weapon, and he did. She jumped on top of him and started punching and kicking. She opened herself, in hopes he would get a good swing in. That would make it look better. A single, perfect elbow got the result she was looking for. A fountain of blood poured from her nose. Daniel yelled and gasped as Nancy choked him with all her might. Nancy heard the front door crash in, and her body went limp. All of a sudden she began to scream for help.
The police entered the room and wrestled Daniel to the ground. They secured the gun and Nancy put on an act so convincing, Brando himself would be proud. The police bought it. Hook, line, and sinker. The whole god damn bit. The bodies were removed from the house and Daniel was arrested on two counts of murder in the first degree. After she gave her statement and the police left late in the evening, Nancy took a long, hot shower and made a cup of tea.
I can't wait for the funerals, she thought. And drifted off to sleep.
Three days later came the funerals and again Nancy pulled out all the stops. She barely wept over Becka's corpse at the wake, but poured it on a little too thick at Paul's. It had to look convincing. So what if she overacted. She was the grieving widow, right? Nancy stayed at Paul's grave until everyone left and the sun just began to set, exploding the sky into deep reds, purples and vibrant blue hues of twilight.
She sniffed the rose a final time and threw it into the casket filled hollow. Just before it reached the top of the casket, a strong gust of wind blew, picking up the rose in it's tailspin. It flew completely out of the grave and slapped her directly on her face, sticking to her cheek. The thorns dug deep like angry yellow jackets as she winced in pain, swatting it off.
"Shit!" she snapped.
Blood oozed from three scratches, ripped open by it's needle sharp talons, as she held her face in utter surprise. She inspected her hand and saw a blood drop on her glove. Removing it so as to not get any in her purse, she fished out a Kleenex and daubed the cuts. The wind picked up again in a mighty sweep. It had a familiar tone. Sounded like...no...maybe...her name. Dismissing this to her own paranoia, she sheathed the tissue in her hand and turned to leave. Again she heard the wind howl. It was her name. She was sure of it. A little faint and quite whispery. Far off, but definitely there.
"Hello?" she bellowed. "Who's out there?"
She paused, scanning the rows of weathered tombstones. She saw nobody and shook her head. Take it easy, nobody knows. I was careful! Perfect! The sad victim routine bit, fooled them. Fooled them all!
Whatever was left of the sun, faded behind a sheet of billowy clouds, leaving the air cool, sprinkling night dust throughout the cemetery. She had stayed here too long she thought.
There it was again. Closer this time. Louder. A chill walked straight up her spine, and settled on the back of her neck. This place was starting to creep her out. Nancy headed for the exit. Along the broken, segmented patches of grey stone, her high heels click clacked and echoed in her ears. Down the winding walkway she stepped, in a hurried tread, to leave the cemetery. She thought of that warm fireplace and the coziness of her million dollar mansion. Just need to get home. Everything will be fine. Need to get out of here. Not far, now. Almost there. She reassured herself and hastened her pace.
The walkway ended abruptly, stopping at a solid, stone wall that lined the graveyard. This startled her. Had she gone the wrong way? Most definitely not...maybe. She turned around and back tracked the way she came, and made a right at the next intersection. She walked for a few minutes until she came to another dead end, like before.
The wind called to her. Her name rode the flowing breezes and whispered around her head in circles. Nancy's heart began to pump at a spectacular rate. Darkness had fallen and she was lost inside the cemetery. The well stacked stones greeted her at the end of each connected walkway.
"This is impossible." she whimpered. Her eyes bulged, straining to grasp some familiarity, some landmark that would lead her the hell out of there. But all she saw were the perfect lines of tombstones, shining in the moonlight, edged out by darkened earth. Suddenly, she heard a tiny peal of laughter coming from behind her. It was a woman's voice. Sounded like...a young woman. She heard it again. This time, in front of her, then once more hidden in the fields of dead to her left.
"Who's there?" Nancy yelled. " I'm lost and I can't find my way out. Can you help me?"
The response came as a faint giggling that grew louder.
"Hello?" cried Nancy. Tears began to stream down her face.
"Don't worry N-a-n-c-ceee," the voice wailed in an eerie echo. " I'm coming... coming to get you!"
And the voice exploded into maniacal laughter. Nancy recognized the voice. White hot fear coursed through her veins, as the image of her best friend's bludgeoned corpse, flooded her brain. Nancy kicked off her heels and ran.
Nancy ran as fast as she could down the moonlit walkway. Small pebbles embedded themselves in her feet and tore her pantyhose open to the ankles. She turned around as she fled, and saw a numbing, blue cloud coming up behind her--and fast. Her legs produced sizzling stabs of pain, as she ran to the point of cramping. Nancy's plea for help fell on deaf ears, as the blue mist swiftly gained ground. She turned again to examine the distance between them, and screamed in horror, when her worst fears were realized. The mist had caught up substantially, taking form from the waist up, and there was just enough luminescence to project plenty of detail. Becka's face was gaunt and transparent in the pale moonlight. Her hair flowed long behind her and the left eye was hollowed out from the gun shot, as was most of the skull. The other eye, still intact, held fire, as red as Hades's grill. She wailed terribly as she reached out for Nancy...clawing at her...screaming for vengeance. Nancy didn't see what was in front of her and slammed into something hard, knocking her to the ground.
"Are you alright, Miss?"
The man's voice sounded forgiving. Nancy screamed and sat up from her position, breathing heavy and sobbing just the same.
"Omigod!! Please help me...get me out of here! I'm lost...and...being chased by something, I'm really scared an' just want to go home!"
She buried her head in her hands and sobbed loudly.
"There, there," said the stranger. " Take it easy. We'll get you home."
This comforted her and her crying ceased to a sniffling whimper. She looked up at the man, but couldn't see his face. He stretched out a hand to help her up, and she pulled herself to her bloody, bruised feet. Nancy, at last, felt safe. As they walked, she began to question what she thought she had seen. Just her mind playing games. So she dismissed it. After tonight, she would never have to come here again, and could start a brand new life. The stranger was quiet as they walked. Something about him plagued her interest.
"I'm sorry I ran into you like that."
The man said nothing.
"Thanks for saving me out here. I just lost my husband. Poor dear was shot to death by some lunatic. I miss him terribly"
Nancy didn't for one second believe this lie, but she still needed to play the part. The man stopped, snickered, and continued walking. As they walked, Nancy felt a little queasy. Something the man said earlier didn't sit quite right with her. She thought for a minute.
Did he say, We?
All of a sudden, the man stopped in his tracks.
"Here we are." He said.
"What do you mean?" Nancy asked.
Nancy was a little irritated by the man's joke.
"We most certainly are not home! What the hell do you think your doing?
The man lifted his arm and pointed.
Nancy took a step forward in front of the man and squinted her eyes. In front of her, lay an open grave. The hole was dark and the dank smell of fresh, wet earth filled the air.
"I don't see anything." she said.
The man remained silent. Nancy turned to face him.
" Please. Why won't you take me home?"
"I have." said the man.
Nancy glanced back at the grave and saw blue mist rising out of the open hole. The mist swirled into a ghastly face--it was Becka. Nancy felt the cold touch of Paul's dead hands on her shoulders, and started to shiver. Her puzzled expression melted away, as despair filled the void, and her body went limp. Paul's corpse pushed her into the hole. She landed on her back forcefully, sinking deep into the mud laden cavity. She tried to move, but the earth packed tight around her petite frame. At the surface she could see the ghastly images of Paul and Becka, as they peered down into the hole. Dirt began to seep in from all sides. Nancy tried to scream, but became muffled, as the soil filled her mouth and nostrils, entering the lungs. She swallowed in a desperate attempt to clear her throat, but it just kept coming. Clumped masses of brown filth and rock clogged her airway, as more and more dirt filled the grave. The last thing she heard, was a haunting wail of the spirit that she used to call her friend. The forlorn echo floated in the air, and drifted throughout eternity.
Ain't life a Bitch?