It can get quite confusing doing a murder. No doubt some of the readers of this story will know what I’m talking about. Exactly which glass did I poison? Which is the handgun with the special bullet I had made out of the wedding ring? I especially sharpened the carving knife and now I’m not sure which one it was.
Melody had planned the murder of her husband in great detail. When husband Jack came out to his garden shed – he called it his “Man Den” – she would be behind the door and slash him to death with a machete. It would be (she would tell the judge) completely unplanned and in self-defence. “Spontaneous” is the word.
Jack came out to his Man Den immediately upon coming home from work. Melody went out ten minutes prior to that and waited behind the door. It was summer. It was still daylight. Melody could see the calendar pictures of scantily clad women hanging on the walls of his Man Den. It strengthened Melody’s resolve. Why he needed to still have the photo of February 2011 pinned there was anyone’s guess. Melody shivered. Ugh.
Melody heard Jack approach. He entered. She slashed wildly. There was blood everywhere; the February 2011 Calendar Girl was rightly splattered. The hacked body lay on the floor at the door. The deed was done!
Only it was the neighbour who came on Thursdays to mow the lawn.
Charlene was bitterly disappointed. She had spent months researching poisons. She had gone to the library. She had scanned the internet. She even asked a professional autopsy expert what the best way was to poison a man. The professional autopsy expert was at first reluctant to impart knowledge, but in the end Charlene seemed a nice enough and pretty harmless person. She was given a list of almost impossible to detect fatal poisons that could be used.
Charlene’s husband was no help. He was an ignorant, lazy spouse. Charlene never asked him anything, and in this scenario she simply smiled despairingly. She wasn’t going to waste time with his witlessness.
In the end she narrowed it down to two poisons. To be doubly sure Charlene made an appointment to see an industrial chemist at the local woollen factory. These industrial professionals are experts at all sorts of things, and their experience in practical chemistry seems to extend their ability to explain things simply. “Which of these two poisons will be most effective and lest detectable?”
The industrial chemist was very nice. He pointed out, however, that neither of the poisons would result in death. He said that one of them if used would require the imbibing of several large containers of liquid and the other would need the equivalent of having to eat seventeen to twenty indigestible potatoes in twenty-four hours.
It was indeed a disappointment – and after all those hours and hours of research.
Charlene had had enough. She went home and threw her uncompleted novel in the trash.
They claimed to be the biggest supplier of garden bulbs in the country. Floyd was just one in a million that used their services. Only online orders were taken.
Of course, bulbs don’t flower the minute they arrive in the mail. Red gladioli bulbs might arrive in September but wouldn’t flower until January (Southern Hemisphere times!)
That is how Floyd developed a system. He would email the bulb company in January to complain that the red gladioli bulbs he ordered in September were now flowering and they were yellow. “It is so disappointing,” wrote Floyd. “After all these months of anticipation and then this happens.”
The following season Floyd would get a little parcel in the mail. “We apologize for our error in fulfilling your order with the wrong coloured bulbs. Here are the correct bulbs.” Floyd now had twenty red gladioli bulbs, instead of the mere ten he had originally ordered.
Floyd had used this trick for seven years. Among his order “corrections” were Mixed Ruffled Begonias, Zantedeschia Amberjack, Hippeastrum Terracotta Star, and Tigridia Pavonia. What a picture his garden was!
This year he would try something different. He would attempt to grow garlic, because these days the cooking garlic imported from China was tasteless. Floyd’s package arrived in the mail with a note:
Dear Floyd – here are the bulbs you ordered. Since you have been such a regular customer over the years we have included six extra bulbs for you to try with your cooking. So there are half a dozen bulbs for you to use for planting and half a dozen bulbs for you to use for eating. It’s our way of thanking you by giving you an opportunity to try before you plant!
Floyd did indeed cook with some! Of course, Hyacinth bulbs can be lethal.
Some cultures eat cake with a fork; some with a spoon; some simply eat cake with their fingers.
Aileen had baked a cake for visitors. It wasn’t a fancy occasion. It wasn’t a particularly fancy cake. The cake was simply something to nibble on with a coffee or tea, or in Jackie Olwynn’s case, with a glass of water. The occasion was something that Aileen did every year, and that was to invite all the women who lived on the street in for a cuppa.
This was the eleventh year that Aileen had held such an occasion, but it was the first year since her husband had upped and left. He’d run off with a woman who lived two doors down the road. Penelope-Prue most certainly was not on the invitation list!
And then the worst happened: Jackie Olwynn arrived with Penelope-Prue in hand. “She wasn’t going to come,” said Jackie, “and I said, don’t be a silly-billy.”
Penelope-Prue was from overseas. She was not a typical foreigner; she was loud, obnoxious, and did everything that was totally, socially proper in an ostentatious way. AND – she ate her cake with a fork.
The little afternoon tea began. Aileen had already divided the cake and placed the slices on pretty plates of delicate flowers. “And would any like a fork to eat their cake?”
Penelope-Prue did. “An educated lady is one who eats cake with a fork even if she dines alone!” joked Penelope-Prue.
Aileen nearly sniggered. “Aha!” she thought, “it is indeed very proper for that frump to eat her poisoned slice with a fork.”
You see that single remaining apple on my apple tree? The apple tree is right next to my boundary fence. There used to be two apples but now there’s only one. I know perfectly well that the neighbour reached over with the help of a garden rake and pinched the second to last apple. The neighbour is obese in the extreme. I wish he’d fallen off the ladder and broken his neck. Not that I wish ill on anyone.
Those last two apples I was going to share. I was going to eat one myself and then by dividing the other into slices I was going to give bits of it to Perseus, my canary. Perseus is yellow, sings like a trooper, and loves apple.
Now that the neighbour has selfishly pinched the second-to-last apple and presumably scoffed it down I’m at a loss as to what to give Perseus for a treat. I’ve already injected weed killer into the remaining apple so if the neighbour tries any funny business on the ladder with the rake he’s going to be dead meat. But I can’t of course give any of it to the canary.
Then today I noticed the last apple was gone. I confronted the neighbour over the back fence. He still had the rake in his hand but I didn’t see an apple. He denied pinching my apple, so I said “You’re a liar and there’s weed killer in the apple so I hope you die.”
I always hang Perseus’ cage on a nail on the back porch if it’s sunny and later I noticed a slice of apple in his cage and Perseus was dead. I was pretty devastated, but fortunately the neighbour is inordinately proud of the watermelons he’s growing in his garden.
Anthea had always been a keen gardener. Now in her retirement, if the weather was fine, she was out pulling weeds, or planting seedlings, or watering the vegetables. Her garden was admired not only from the street but by the many neighbours who profited from Anthea’s generosity. Not only would neighbours benefit from boxes of fresh vegetables left on their doorstep, but bouquets of gorgeous flowers arrived if there was a happy or sad occasion.
Anthea knew fairly fast the tastes of neighbours. Charlene had pollen allergies so lilies in a posy were out. Gloria and Dick detested broccoli. And so on.
Now it so happened that one family of neighbours moved away. The house was bought by the nastiest couple imaginable. When Anthea welcomed them with a box of fresh vegetables, all they could say was “About time”. The husband (or the male in the relationship) had an obsession with drones. Anthea wasn’t the only one on the street to detest the invasion of her privacy with the neighbour’s wretched drones going here and there.
Enough is enough. Anthea whisked up a delightful salad from the greens in her garden. She included quite a few chopped up foxglove leaves – by mistake of course.
As Anthea said to Prue at the funeral, “Let’s hope any new neighbours are a lot lovelier.”
Giselle’s husband, Jeffrey, had said quite clearly thirty years ago that the Convolvulus (Morning Glory, Bindweed) growing wild in their garden should be exterminated. “It’s poisonous,” he said. “If you made a brew with it, it could kill you.”
“Who’s going to make a brew out of convolvulus?” asked Giselle. Still, she pulled out most of it from the garden and destroyed it; if only to keep her husband from going on about it.
Over the thirty years the convolvulus kept reappearing. It was impossible to eradicate every root and it sprouted up will-nilly. These days Jeffrey’s dislike of convolvulus grew into an eternal diatribe. Goodness knows why he didn’t go into the garden and pull the weeds himself. Quite frankly, Giselle had had enough. “It’s a dangerous plant. It’ll kill you.” On and on Jeffrey went. On and on. Giselle did all the work around the house.
That was when Giselle discovered that a brew made with convolvulus didn’t work.
Brenda’s husband, Colm, detested tripe; whereas Brenda loved it. It was Brenda who did most of the cooking, which is why Colm was subjected to a meal of tripe at least once a month.
Brenda hadn’t moved an inch in the fourteen years they had been married. At first, love overruled any tripe-dislike on Colm’s part. He heartily consumed it. But such action grows thin and now it was a massive monthly chore and had been that way for a dozen or so years. Indeed the marriage had grown decidedly rocky.
Brenda had always worked the night shift at the factory, which meant she would prepare a meal before leaving for work. From Colm’s point of view this was a blessing as he didn’t have to pretend to enjoy eating the tripe. However, he was a waste-not-want-not sort of guy so even though he detested tripe he forced himself to eat it. It wasn’t going to kill him and it was only once every four weeks or so.
It was Colm’s detestation of tripe that prompted Brenda to use the dish when she decided to poison her husband. He so disliked the taste that he would gulp it down, poison and all, with a grimace. The stage was set. Brenda went off to work.
Fourteen years of disgusting tripe is enough. Colm took his dish of tripe outside and buried it in the garden. As Anita from up the road said to Colm in the motel that evening: “Thank goodness you’ve at last taken a stand against that conniving, tripe-cooking lowlife. When tomorrow we begin to setup shop together I shall cook you a mean jellied eel.”
The trouble using poisonous berries to kill your mother-in-law is that the mixture of poisonous berries tastes awful. You can add strawberries and raspberries and blue berries, but the few poisonous berries tossed into the mix render the concoction unpalatable.
I even tried a strong tasting ice cream to go with it, but without luck. I made a berry pie with the most delectable pastry. Still no luck.
In the end I took the more expensive road; I hired someone to shoot her. Now my wife wants a divorce for my part in getting her mother murdered.
The trouble using poisonous berries to kill your wife is that the mixture of poisonous berries tastes awful…
The alien craft had left to return to its own planet. The aliens had fallen in love with New York and ended up staying for a month. What a time they had! They were treated and feasted; they were toasted and entertained. It wasn’t meant to happen like that. The alien craft simply needed repairs – it was quite a simple repair but the part had to be manufactured. It was because of this that the aliens had to reveal their identity.
“We love New York!” declared the head alien before taking off. “We only wish New York was ours. We would fill it with ten million of our kinsfolk! Sadly it does not belong to us!”
“By way of thanks to New Yorkers for their extraordinary hospitality we are leaving behind a special gift. It is an exceptional vaccine that will cure all known illnesses. If you have chronic heart disease it will cure that. If you have arthritis it will cure that. If you get migraine headaches it will cure that. Gone are all allergies, every sniffle, every cough. Sadly we cannot leave enough for the entire world, even for all of America. There is enough only for New York. On a return visit we shall bring more.”
The Governor of New York expressed his thanks. The aliens departed. The Governor first gave it to his old mother and a couple of his sisters. They died. He then gave it to all the old people in the city. Old people were less likely to vote for a progressive Governor so it was sensible to use them as guinea pigs. Word got out that the vaccine killed. The Governor refused to give it to anyone else. By doing so he saved New York!