Hector had always been fastidious. There was not an ounce of spontaneity in his genes (nor in his jeans for that matter). When he was approaching his sixtieth birthday he made a list of the names of his parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Next to each name he wrote their exact age when they died.
Aunt Peggy, for example, died when she was sixty-one years and eleven days. Uncle Sylvester died aged seventy-two and ninety-six days. His maternal grandmother died aged eighty-three and two hundred and seventeen days. He would mark off each person when he passed their age. He would beat them all! He would draw a great big happy face next to each name the day he passed their death age! Ha! Ha! Ha! A happy face to celebrate!
Hector pinned his plan to the back of his kitchen door.
That was one hundred and twenty-four years ago. Not a single happy face was ever added to the list.
Claudia and Johnnie had been married for a good number of years. Over time, things that Johnnie did, little mannerisms and habits, began to annoy Claudia. Why, for example, did he always have to brush down the seat of the sofa before sitting down? The same for getting into the car. It was driving Claudia nuts.
There were other things too. The big annoyance was that he was older than she was. He had retired and stayed at home all day, while she still went to work. Talk about lazy. She almost pined for the day when he would pass away and she could live an independent life the way she wanted it. His fastidiousness was a constant aggravation.
Claudia thought Johnnie was eating unhealthily at lunch time when she wasn’t there. She began to prepare and leave healthy food for him to eat; organic fillings with gluten-free bread rolls, supplementary vitamin pills, non-fatty meats, and so on. No salt of course; never any salt.
After several months, Claudia discovered that Johnnie wasn’t eating the stuff she had prepared. He was eating junk food and hiding her preparations in the trash. No wonder the poison hadn’t worked.