Pricilla was an expert at tasseography, and she made a pretty penny at the trade. Of course, she did it for fun although some people took it seriously. To read tea leaves in cups brightened everyone’s day. Occasionally a group of friends would come along together and after drinking their tea would insist on a communal reading. It was good for a laugh!
Sometimes however Priscilla took things more seriously. Reading teacups could be more of an opportunity to listen and help people who were at a loss. They had come to the tasseographer because they were reaching out for help. Pricilla was an expert at divining those who were distraught and bringing out the best in people. Telling fortunes by reading tea leaves was simply a vehicle. In fact, once in a very long while, a friendship would form “over the teacups”.
Once a woman had come along to have her tea leaves read (although it should be noted that Pricilla also read coffee dregs if that was the client’s preference). Pricilla could tell she was distressed. It turned out that the woman had murdered her husband. It had been all over the papers and the police had been at a loss as to who had done the dastardly deed. And here was Mavis A. Clenovavitch of 29 Hartford Lane (sorry, I shouldn’t have used her name) telling Pricilla what the police had spent weeks trying to find out.
Now things had reached a pretty pass for Pricilla. Should she, or should she not, tell the police? I mean, was she under any obligation to report such things or should she regard confidentiality as sacred?
In the end Pricilla decided not to tell a soul. That is why to this day Mavis A. Clenovavitch of 29 Hartford Lane walks scot free, and both she and Pricilla enjoy the substantial fortune Mavis’ late husband left in his will.
I thought if I heaved his body into the dumpster before I threw in all the squashed cardboard boxes and plastic bags from the warehouse then no one would find the body. The dumpster would be taken away, emptied in some landfill, and we could all get on with our lives.
He’d only been working here for about three weeks and was as lazy as sin. He could get away with it, being the boss’s nephew. He would answer back real smart too, and it made me angry. That’s why I got one of the large untearable plastic bags from the packing cartons and threw it over his head. He struggled a bit before suffocating; more than a bit actually. Then I had the unenviable task of disposing of the body. I had all the time in the world. The boss was away. I was working alone and would lock up at the end of the day. The dumpster was out the back of the warehouse. I left the body in the plastic bag. Sometimes things like that work out nicely.
Then his mother came looking for him. “Have you seen my darling son?”
“No,” I said. “Not for a while.” That bit was at least true. “I haven’t seen him for an hour or so.”
I nearly laughed because we were standing out the back right next to the dumpster. I could see where he had got his horribleness from. His mother was twice as bad; rude, lazy, and full of herself.
And then she took out her phone. “I’ll just dial his number,” she said. “He always keeps his phone in his jean’s pocket and we’re sure to hear it ring.”
The judge asked “Did you mean to kill her?” What a stupid question. Of course I meant to. Why else would I have sharpened the knife to the finesse of a razor? Why else did I have on hand a big sack that they use on the farm for pressing wool into? Why else did I dig a big hole down the back of the property? Why else did I borrow the neighbour’s truck?
Some people are just straight-out thick and this judge was one of them. Did I mean to kill her? Bah!
I didn’t know it was the neighbour’s pet goat. I thought she was just a stray that kept wandering onto my property these past few months.
My husband left me just over two years ago. He simply disappeared. Perhaps “disappeared” is not the right word because he left a note saying he was going. He never said where to. He’d had enough. To all intents and purposes I might as well have been a widow. Except a widow has a dead body and can start the grieving process. I was still waiting for him to come back months later.
Now I realize I have to face the cold truth. I grasped the future with both hands and booked a two week vacation to an island resort. Imagine that! Golden sands, palm trees, coral reefs! I can relax for the first time in ages. Besides, now that I am up to facing reality, who knows if I might meet Mr Right? Wouldn’t that be fun? As they used to say before it became a cliché – “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!”
Now at last I’m here. It’s not raining! It’s warm, sunny, and beautiful. There is the pool just out the French doors of the apartment I rent. One can get meals delivered to the door, but at present I prefer to go to the communal refectory. It’s an opportunity to meet new people. Every time I go – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – I say to myself “I wonder if I shall meet Mr Right this time!”
But now I’ve just come back from the refectory. I’m packing. I’m leaving this tropical paradise. I know it was him. It was my husband. He was helping himself to a generous spoonful of scrambled eggs plopped on lashings of butter on toast. I don’t think he saw me; he was too intent on his food. It was definitely my husband. Unquestionably.
So on the day he left me who the heck did I shoot in the back?
We didn’t even tell our wives. In fact we told them a little fib. Arnie, Tom and I told our wives that we were driving into the country to a farm where they brewed malt beer and we wanted to learn how to do it. We wouldn’t be back until evening.
But that wasn’t our plan at all. We had just bought a small boat in common and apparently it was meant to get inspected and registered. We were dying to try the boat out but our wives hadn’t been told as yet. We thought, unregistered or not, we’d take the boat for a little secret spin to the island. It was an uninhabited island full of nesting sea birds and seals.
To cut to the chase we tied our boat up at the island – there was an old rickety wharf there from a bygone era – and went exploring a bit. When we returned our tied-up boat had sunk and there was another boat moored behind it.
At least we should be able to hitch a ride. There was no one there that we could see. The next thing we had three rifles pointing at us, with three masked men, and we were taken to a cave on the island – about 100 yards from the shore. We were hand cuffed. I’ve never seen so many guns in my life. Stacks and stacks of guns. Stashes of ammunition and grenades. And so on.
We said we wouldn’t tell anyone if we were taken back to the main land. And they said they would take us back and we’d get shot if we ever spilt the beans. Then half way on the return trip Arnie and Tom got into an argument with one of the pirates – or whatever they were. Arnie and Tom were shot dead just like that in the head and I was shitting myself. When we were about 200 yards from shore they threw me overboard and start firing a gun at me. So I lay there like I was dead and they moved away.
I drifted to the shore – sort of. I’m only an average swimmer but got lucky this time.
The police have never been able to ascertain whose boat it was and who those men were. When the police went to the cave there were no guns there. The place had been cleared out. The police chief reckons I was probably lying about the guns. He said I was nuts. He said he’s watching me.
I’m not saying anything, I’m not saying a damn thing to anyone, but the police chief looks remarkably like one of the men.
Don’t take this the wrong way but I’m not after sympathy. My wife died unexpectedly two days ago. We had planned to go on a seven week luxury cruise around the Pacific Islands. There she was starting to pack our things for the experience of a lifetime and the next thing she was dead.
This is starting to sound like I’m more shocked with missing out on the cruise than I am about my wife’s sudden departure. We had been married for fifteen years. There were no children; that was from choice and not from the vagaries of Nature. So we were quite free to go on a seven week cruise without too much responsibility for what was left behind at home.
We were both in the bedroom when it happened. The luggage lay open on the bed. Suddenly she couldn’t breathe like she was being strangled. She was flaying her arms about and making a horrible screeching noise. And the next thing she was on the floor dead.
I honestly didn’t know what to do next. In events such as this one plays things by ear. I didn’t call for an ambulance. Instead I took the luggage off the bed, picked her up, and lay her down. I know when a corpse can’t be resuscitated.
The problem now is how to get rid of the body before Betsy-Sabrina and I leave to go on a seven week luxury cruise around the Pacific Islands.
Blackberry pie was Patricia’s thing. It wasn’t really blackberry pie; it was more a custard pie with a handful of blackberries scattered on top. She had made it for years, and for every occasion. Only once, when fresh or frozen blackberries were not available, had she resorted to blueberries. It was not the same. She vowed to make blackberry pie or nothing.
Patricia’s husband Herb wasn’t overly fond of blackberry pie. He used to like it, especially in the first flushes of love, but now after quite a few years the novelty had worn thin and he craved variety. He would still eat a slice when the occasion called for it. And he knew how to pretend delight.
It was this attribute of Herb’s that Patricia was relying on. He was sure to devour with fake enthusiasm the slice she had poisoned.
Sometimes, Your Honour, one gets up in the morning and one has no idea of the dramatic events that will unfold even before one has a mid-morning coffee.
Honestly, I had no idea when I got out of bed on that Thursday that I would stab my wife to death with the kitchen carving knife even before we had breakfast. Usually we do the dishes in the evening after dinner, but on this occasion the dishes weren’t done. We had had a little disagreement the night before and my wife had stormed off to the sitting room to watch some facile television program which is what she usually does. I went to the computer and looked up things about nothing. If we hadn’t had the disagreement we wouldn’t have been doing the dishes the next morning and I wouldn’t have been drying the carving knife and spontaneously plunging it into her bosom.
I’m not telling you this to get off the charge that my wife is dead, but I have no idea why such an event happened. I was going to spend the morning in the garden. She was going to town to buy a knitting pattern to make gloves for the grandchildren. And suddenly, WHAM, I had stabbed her. So it wasn’t at all premeditated. It is an unexplainable action for which I would plead leniency.
I believe the claims made by the detectives are false. Someone must have planted something. I certainly wouldn’t have typed into the search engine: What is the most effective place to stab someone dead with a carving knife?
Mrs Irene Rodgers didn’t exactly regard it as murder. Husband Perry’s death was more of a duty on her part. He had been bleeding off the government all his life. If it wasn’t a sickness benefit it was unemployment. If it wasn’t unemployment it was travel expenses. If it wasn’t this, it was that. After fourteen years of dependence upon the government, Irene had had enough. She did away with him. Surely the government would thank her – if they knew.
Perry’s demise had been well planned. In preparation she had dug dozens of little holes all around her substantial flower garden. After the killing, efficiently done with the pull of a trigger, she had used some fuming nitric acid to diminish the remains as much as possible, and then “planted” bits around the flowers. It took her a good week.
When all was done it was time to shop. But first things first: she had to apply for the widow’s benefit.
The coroner said it was death by drowning. Things hadn’t been going too well for Janelle and Melville. They had been living together for fourteen years in a rather nice villa in the south of France. It had a swimming pool for summer and a sauna for the cold. Around about the eleventh year of their relationship they began to argue big time. They had often argued, but not at the level the eleventh year ushered in.
Janelle wanted to heat the pool. “How lovely to take a dip in the winter.” They could well afford it. But Melville thought it nice to do seasonal things in a seasonal time. “Why swim in the winter?”
The argument had intensified over three years. It was now winter, and Janelle was harping, harping, harping.
“Ok,” said Melville, “if it’s a winter swim you want it’s a winter swim you’ll get.”