Tag Archives: poison

1979. The passing of a spouse

Barbara closed Rodrigo’s eyes. It was always a bit scary when someone died with their eyes wide open. One lid kept opening slightly. She had read where the imprints of Ancient Roman coins were found on mummified bodies, and so she got two twenty cent coins and placed one on each eyelid to keep them shut.

For two days Barbara had sat next to her dying husband’s bed. Her kindly neighbour, Lynn, helped quite often during that time to give Barbara little breaks. Lynn hoped that when the time came for her to care for her own husband, if such a need occurred, then she would be as caring and gently calm as Barbara. And now the wait was over. Rodrigo had died. Peacefully.

How the two day watch had brought back memories for Barbara. She had met Rodrigo at the beach. He was from Bolivia. It was love at first sight! He was so handsome! So kind! Such fun! They had got married in the blink of an eye. They honey-mooned on an island resort. He wasn’t overly rich, but life was comfortable and secure. So many, many memories of their ten year marriage.

Such happiness rarely lasts; at least not often. Rodrigo was the third husband Barbara had poisoned.

1903. Vegan and non-vegan pies

Maia was between a rock and a hard place. She detested Luke, her brother-in-law, ever since he married her sister, and her sister and Luke had squandered the family inheritance. Now he was coming to stay – just for a few days. He said on the phone that it would be a helpful way to come to terms with the death of Maia’s sister, his wife.

Maia’s problem was this: all her murderous, noxious-filled, undetectable poisonous recipes involved meat, and her brother-in-law was vegan. This was a murder that Maia had wanted to accomplish for many a year and she wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip through her fingers. She was in need of a recipe that was undetectable, delectable, and kind to animals.

Usually Maia, when she had murderous intent, would make the most scrumptious looking steak and kidney pie. (For those not heavily into steak and kidney pie, I apologize). The offending poisonous recipe she had downloaded off the Net several years ago, and it worked a treat. Gradually Maia was able to clear inconvenient personages from her life and live free from nosy, noisome, niggly nerds. The most difficult victim was in fact her sister. She ate meat, but was a picky eater; in fact she picked out the pieces of kidney and ate only the chunks of steak. Thank goodness the downloaded recipe had specifically said to make sure both kidney and steak were to be carefully poisoned.

After quite extensive research, Maia settled on concocting a poisonous sweet potato and lentil shepherd’s pie for Luke. Maia had to admit that it smelled delicious, but of course she couldn’t taste it – not even a tiny sliver sliced surreptitiously from a corner. She didn’t want to poison herself!

Luke arrived. “I’ve made a sweet potato and lentil shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight,” said Maia.

“That’s lovely,” answered Luke. “I knew you weren’t vegan and would go to trouble, so I baked especially for you what looks to be a lovely steak and kidney pie. I downloaded the recipe off the Net.”

1798. Wild berry expert

Marcia was an expert at wild berries. Not just blackberries, and strawberries and raspberries, but berries with a difference; elderberries and huckleberries and chokeberries and saskatoon berries and muscadine berries. The list was endless. There were all sorts of wild berries that people ignored that were edible. Not all were harmless of course. Some were rather deadly, such as holly berries and pokeweed and ivy and yew tree berries.

Gathering wild blackberries was how Marcia met her husband, Michael. A group of youths had gone out blackberrying one summer, and Marcia and Michael got lost. They eventually found their way back, but it was the beginning of a romance. Two years later they married.

Michael loved the way that Marcia knew all the wild things to eat (and not to eat) and the recipes to use.

“If a famine strikes the land,” he used to say, “we’ll be the only couple to survive.”

But as the marriage wore on Michael became domineering and abusive. Marcia was at the end of her tether.

“Why don’t you make one of those wild berry pies you used to make?” said Michael. “Instead of moping around doing sweet nothing, you lazy cow.”

That gave Marcia an idea.

1796. Chocolates for grandparents

Now children, it’s a day to celebrate your grandparents. Grandparents Day! I never had a grandparent myself. They were all dead before I was born except for one grandmother and she was really nasty. In fact, she was in prison for poisoning my grandfather. She poisoned him by injecting weed-killer into homemade chocolates. I was always jealous of those who had proper grandparents. I hated it when other kids talked about their grandparents and how nice they were.

Anyway, I want those who have four grandparents living nearby to form a line here. And those with three grandparents living nearby to form a line here. Those with two grandparents living nearby to form a line here. Those with one grandparent living nearby to form a line here. And those with no grandparents can go outside and play.

I have a basket of chocolates and, depending on what line you are in, you are to take one, two, three, or four chocolates. After school today I want you to go and visit your grandparents and surprise them with a chocolate each for Grandparents’ Day.

I made the chocolates myself using a recipe my grandmother used.

1746. The kindness of strangers

A terrible tragedy has hit the country; some crazed idiot, for the past three weeks, has somehow poisoned some of the fruit and vegetables that can be purchased from the supermarket. Each week it has been a different fruit or vegetable sold in two shops each time. It seemed to cover the outlets throughout the country at random.

The first week it was Granny Smith apples from two outlets at opposite ends of the country. The second week it was cos lettuces. The third week it was cucumbers. Who knows what it will be for the fourth week. So far eleven people have died. No one is buying fresh fruit and vegetables the length and breadth of the country. Everyone is purchasing tinned fruit and tinned or frozen vegetables and meat. Thank goodness the meat is untouched.

But all that is not what this story is about. This story is about what happened to Freddie, and the story of the poisoned food is but the backdrop for Freddie’s yarn. It’s nice to have something positive to tell at a time when such a horror has taken over the news.

It was one of those weeks when Freddie didn’t have much money to go on. He’d been to the doctor and the dentist, and his car needed attention. Suddenly he discovered that there was very little left over for the groceries. He had a cat and a dog. Buying food for them was his first priority. He could always go without if needed, but a pet should never have to. The trouble was that Freddie could have bought food for the dog and cat as well as a little for himself if he’d been able to buy vegetables; but he had to buy some meat for himself to be safe. He placed a pork chop in his trolley and proceeded to the check-out.

Oh dear! As luck wouldn’t have it, Freddie had just enough for the cat and dog food, but not enough for his pork chop. The man in the line, directly behind Freddie interrupted, and said he’d pay for the pork chop. And he did!

Such kindness! It’s times of tragedy that brings people together. Freddie couldn’t believe the kindness of that stranger. Such a lovely man.

Did I mention he had the loveliest of smiles?

1683. Seventieth birthday toast

“Well,” said Ferdinand, “a toast to my dear wife on her seventieth birthday. She has always faithfully stood by my side. When I went into politics nearly forty years ago she bore the brunt of raising a large family on her own. Such were the calls of politics.”

“We were indeed saved by the fabulous commission we received when she published her first collection of poetry. Normally poetry books don’t sell particularly well, but in this case I was able to buy a largish property in Mount Hollydell and a yacht.”

“These days we are both retired and lead quiet and peaceful lives. To be honest, I can’t remember when we last argued. Rowena has always been compliant, considerate, and the epitome of what a spouse should be.”

“A toast therefore to Rowena on her seventieth birthday.”

Ferdinand raised his glass, finishing off in one glug half of the glass’s contents.

“Yuk!” said Ferdinand. “This wine tastes awful.”

Rowena smiled coyly. This, over the years, was her sixteenth and final attempt.

1667. The worst of rats

The thing that irked Iris wasn’t so much Harvey’s little eccentricities, but the fact that the poison hadn’t worked. They had been married for thirty-two years and for the last twenty-seven Harvey had driven Iris nuts. He’d squeeze the toothpaste tube, for example, at the top. It should be squeezed at the bottom. That way the paste would work its way up to the top. If you squeezed it at the top all you’re doing is driving half of the toothpaste downwards.

Then there was the way he’d spin the teapot before pouring. He’d turn the teapot three times to the left, then three times to the right, then once to the left; to aid the tea drawing process. Iris had been brought up the proper way, and she turned the teapot first to the right, then to the left, then to the right. Harvey was not going to compromise. He was stuck in the mud. He was what Iris called “a social embarrassment”.

Iris didn’t know how many times she told him, on a daily basis, when putting things into the dishwasher he should RINSE THEM FIRST. The dishes should be rinsed first; that’s what the instruction booklet said. RINSE THE DISHES FIRST. But no! In they went; straight into the dishwasher.

These were just a few of the things that riled Iris every day, all day, for twenty-seven out of the thirty-two years of wedded bliss. The solution to the problem lay in rat poison. If ever there was a rat, it was Harvey. Iris no longer cared about the consequences. Iris loved the irony of the possibility: rat poison for a rat. She put it in his food, in his coffee, even in the snuff he grotesquely sniffed about four times a day before sneezing loudly into a snuff-stained handkerchief.

It was all for nothing. Harvey seemed to have developed an immunity to rat poison. The worst rats sometimes do that.

Things came to an end when Iris, not Harvey, took ill and died. It was a slow, drawn out, painful death, in which she convulsed and writhed on the bedroom floor for a good half hour while Harvey meticulously filled the dishwasher in the kitchen, and poured himself a single cup of tea.

1648. Spray

Norman was a very tidy man. The lawn and garden around his house was a picture. He would spray quite a lot under the trees and under the fence railing. Always with Roundup.

“Nothing beats Roundup,” Norm would say. “The weeds see me coming with my back spray pack and they start running.”

That’s why he would spray very often, like once a week. Every Wednesday. It worked. As was said, his lawn and garden was a picture.

Anyway although at first he thought he was getting the flu he’s recently been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That means that these days his wife, Pearl, has to do the spraying.

1592. How best to murder a spouse

To poison someone by putting poison in their lemon curd or lacing a black currant pie with arsenic is highly uncreative. It’s very run-of-the-mill. Likewise to get a gun and shoot someone point blank is crass. Such gross behaviour is equally uncreative. Let it be made clear: to murder someone by shooting them with a pistol is the height of boring unsophistication. Only a yob would do something so dull and unrefined. Martin Werherall believed that if he was going to kill someone it was best to do it creatively. After all, he was a pharmacist and had all sorts of resources at his fingertips.

As a teenager Martin had developed wonderful, dexterous skills. His parents had sworn black and blue that no child of theirs should put sugar in their tea or coffee. Sugar was the scourge of the contemporary diet. One simply did not need to add sugar to a beverage. Drinking sweetened things was a matter of sugar addiction. But Martin knew a magician who taught him, with practice, how to conceal a sugar cube in the back of his hand and the palm of his hand and goodness knows where else. Then with a modest wave Martin could drop the sugar cube into his mug and his parents were none the wiser.

Now that he was all grown up with his own pharmacy and married and struggling to find happiness he decided to rid himself of all matrimonial encumbrances. The easiest way was to combine his pharmaceutical and magician abilities and drop a pill into his wife’s cup. It should be made clear, in the interests of creativity, that this pill was not a pill of poison; it was a pill that was intended to prolong life and happiness in the pill-taker. Martin frequently dispensed such pills to patients in this pharmacy. But it was for sick people. Healthy people would possibly discover that their heart would begin racing irregularly and they would drop dead, basically from too much health! Such was the brilliance of Martin’s plan.

One day, with a wave of the hand, he surreptitiously dropped a pill into his wife’s cup of Camomile and Spiced Apple Tea infusion. That should finish her off.

“I know what you’re trying to do,” said his wife of seven years, pulling out a pistol concealed in her breast. She shot Martin dead.

God! No wonder Martin wanted to be rid of her. That woman was so crass.

1548. Peanut butter jar

(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Yvonne of Hello World. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future closing sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Marica Peeperkoorn’s lover was an industrial chemist. He had most things her husband didn’t. Marica and her lover shared a common problem: how to get rid of Marica’s husband. The love-struck chemist came up with a syringe of poisonous concoctions.

“Somehow get your husband to swallow this stuff. He will die slowly and in agony, but he will die. And the perfect thing is, the stuff can never be detected.”

Marica knew exactly what she would do with it. She would mix it with the peanut butter. Her husband was the only one in the house who ate peanut butter. He loved it. Marica detested it.

Have you ever tried mixing peanut butter with poisonous fluid? The poison runs to the top and sticks out a mile. Marica had to go to a lot of trouble to mix the two properly. Even when she stirred both together the consistency wasn’t right. It was too runny. She ended up heating the mixture so that things evaporated a little. Next she put it in the blender. Then she returned everything to the peanut butter jar and placed it in the cupboard. What a lot of work! All she need do now was wait.

Just before her husband was due home from work, Marica got a phone call. Tragically her lover had had a heart attack. He had not survived. Marica didn’t know what to do. All her future security had disappeared in one medical event. She took the peanut butter jar and emptied its contents into the waste bin. Then she washed the jar and placed it back in the cupboard. Her husband was now safe and earning a salary and Marica’s short-term security at least was secured.

When Marica’s husband came home he had one thing to say: “I’ve been trying to say this for a long time so I’ll just tell it like it is. I want a divorce.”

Marica could’ve killed him. The problem was, the peanut butter jar was empty.