Below is the last part of the short story (4k word count) I submitted to the Writers Digest contest. They’ll announce the winners in October and even if I’m not one of them I have to admit this was a fun story to write and a great experience to go through and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I’ve put my husband to work creating a “book cover” for Entombments Incorporated and I hope to have a link added to my blog in the next few weeks for you to download the story in its entirety.
Legal mumbo-jumbo: This is a work of fiction. The people, events, circumstances, and institutions depicted are fictitious and the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance of any character to any actual person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Enticing mumbo-jumbo: Contains Mature Subject Matter…you’ve been warned
Part 1 posted on 4/15/2012, Part 2 posted on 4/22/2012, Part 3 posted on 4/29/2012
Entombments Incorporated Part 4 by Shannon O’Brien (Copyright 2012)
“Toga! Toga! Toga!” George jumped up and down doing his John Belushi imitation. The floor of our living room reverberated and my porcelain figurines rattled across the mantle.
I laughed and clapped my hands, but only after I placed my jar on the coffee table. I had gotten lots of oohs and ahhs over my “very realistic” heart which was now bobbing in formaldehyde.
Stephen and I smiled at each other from across the room. Our house and our lawns were filled with our friends and neighbors. They were well fed and their glasses were never empty. Stephen slipped up the stairs with a female guest. He was a sucker for a blonde in a sexy Alice in Wonderland costume.
George, his usual sweaty self, bumped my shoulder and asked, “Where’s Cleopatra?”
I swallowed my wine. “Tina. I saw her earlier. She came with one of her girlfriends.”
His face lit up like a fat man at a Vegas buffet. “What’s her costume?”
“She’s a flapper with a black bobbed wig. Make sure you tell her you’re stinkin’ rich.”
“I always do,” he drawled and turned to search Tina out.
As I mingled, I came upon people who we liked and people who we did not like. But we agreed to be careful about our selection of guests for the well now. Offing sleazebags and degenerates was one thing, but killing prominent members of society or our neighbors had become risky and dumb.
Glancing around, the party was in full swing. The band outside was loud and through the window dozens of couples were dancing and having fun in the garden. No one would miss me if I joined my husband for a little bit.
I stopped in front of the guest bedroom door and gave the secret knock. I could hear muffled moaning and feet stomping across the floor. Stephen’s drunken voice came through the door. “Whatz the pass-sword?”
“Good ship lollypop you ‘tard. Let me in.”
He opened the door, turned and flew across the room, landing on the bed. There were two half naked women, the blonde Alice and the brunette Tina, George’s dream girl.
I stepped in to the room and stopped. The girls remained statue still as they reclined across the bed. Tina was on her back, her head thrown over the edge near Stephen, her bronze throat extended and exposed. They were clearly dazed and beyond intoxicated. On the nightstand near Tina lay a leather pouch, unrolled with various silver instruments tucked in to their designated pockets. The tools glistened and shimmered as if they had a life of their own.
“W-what did you do?” I asked quietly.
“Just gave them some happy pills,” Stephen said and gently ran a slim knife along Tina’s jaw, leaving a thin line of blood in its wake.
This wasn’t what we did. We only hooked up with consenting, lucid adults, and we only harmed the evil ones. Tina was my friend and she didn’t deserve this treatment. Before I could shut the door behind me and stop him, someone barreled through it and knocked me off balance. I fell to the side, hitting my head against wardrobe. Bright, sparkling lights shot off in front of my eyes.
Blinking, I was able to make out a white blur. And a strategically placed fig leaf. George threw Stephen off the bed where he landed on the floor. George cradled Tina’s face in his beefy hands, inspecting her wound. Stephen shook his head and used the dresser to pull himself upright. He stumbled to the door, closed and locked it, not even bothering to glance down at me.
Something silver caught the light as Stephen slogged across the room. My dark husband tackled the fair cherub. But Stephen’s inebriation was not in his favor and George smacked the knife away, grabbed hold of Stephen’s waist and flung him around until his head became pinned under George’s arm.
Stephen’s face turned red as his fists beat against the fat man. I sat on the floor and watched until his tongue protruded, blue and swollen. I was numb, only not with fear. Sometimes fate was just. When Stephen became limp George let go of him. He slipped to the floor and rolled to one side, his brown eyes staring straight through me. I wasn’t stirred to see my beloved killed before my eyes; he had become a worse liability than me.
George, now truly the Greek God Hermes, strode over and lifted me up. “Come on Sarah, you need to help me.”
Changing in to my sweats and grabbing my purse, I led a wobbly Tina and a rubbery Alice down the stairs. My guests looked at me with sympathy when we passed, but continued on with their frivolity. I plopped them in the rear seat of Stephen’s car and ran up the back stairs. George and I loaded the corpse in to the dumbwaiter, lowering him to the laundry room. I kept the back hallway clear while George quickly carried it to the garage.
With three lolling figures in the car, I followed George’s Land Rover to his mansion, parked behind him and helped get the dead one out.
“I’m sorry. But it was self defense.” For the first time ever, I witnessed George’s mouth turned down in a frown.
Nodding, I refused to look at the lump on the blue tarp in his garage. “You did the right thing. And just to show I’m in this with you, I’ll give you some insurance.”
His eyes widened at the sight of the bonus body in the trunk, but didn’t say a word as we folded the plastic sheeting around it and threw it on the tarp like the garbage it was.
I dug through my purse while George stood in the middle of the driveway, staring up at his massive brick Colonial. The crickets’ earsplitting trill filled the air and the frogs’ baritone croaks joined in; prey and hunter in beautiful harmony.
George glanced down at the business card I handed him, squinting in the dim lamplight. “Let the professionals rid you of your…corpses?”
I gave his arm a gentle squeeze. “Tell them I sent you. And ask if they can make the BMW disappear.”
Arms hanging loose at his side, my friend slowly nodded.
The engine purred as I passed the cherry trees and exited my elite neighborhood. Heading to Tina’s D.C. apartment, I envisioned the Christmas party I would soon throw. My lifestyle would recommence, only with more care because…life was so good.
The End…or is it?