Monday, June 26, 2006

Entry #38

"The Death Penalty"
by Deborah Woehr


Lightning flashes. Telephone poles whip by. I can't feel my fingers against the steering wheel anymore.

Just get away.

I've driven a mile so far. How soon until the neighbors find out what I did? I'm sure they heard the screaming, but that was normal.

Did it sound normal this time? Don't worry about it. Just get away.

He was a mean bastard when he was sober, and he was sober tonight. God, was he ever. I check the rearview mirror, then the sideview mirror. Nobody's following me, except my paranoia.

I've never killed anybody before tonight. If I had thought to plan it, I would've poisoned him. This wasn't planned. He's still sitting in his recliner with his throat slit ear-to-ear.

The police will find the knife in the dishwasher, along with the dishes we'd used for supper. They'd see the shackles and the studded whip and the fresh blood spatters from tonight's Penalty, which happened because I'd given him the wrong salad dressing. Will they still consider him a victim after seeing all that?

Another mile passes on my odometer. Lightning flashes in the distance. Small fingers tap against my shoulder.

"Mama?"

17 comments:

Scott said...

Sweet. Sisters are doing it for themselves.

Jaye Wells said...

The last line made my heart leap to my throat. Talk about going for the jugular.

cesarcarlos said...

Fast-paced and gripping. Very nice.

Flood said...

Nobody's following me, except my paranoia.

I can relate to that. Not for the same reasons though. Nice work.

Bhaswati said...

The voice is strong--unapologetic yet appealing. Made me sympathise for her immediately. Nice ending, too.

Deborah said...

Thank you, everyone. :) I was originally going to give this a brutal ending, but figured this woman had been through enough.

k l gilbert said...

So "pulp fiction-y". (the knife in the dishwasher...nice touch) The ending tore my heart out.

Melly said...

The ending! Oh, the ending!
Way to go Deborah, another winner!
Great stuff!
(Too many exclamation marks?)

Deborah said...

kl: The knife in the dishwasher was something I picked up from CSI (I think.)

Melly: Glad you enjoyed it. :) I knew the ending would get to everyone!

JLB said...

This was great - knife in the dishwasher with the supper dishes had me smiling, and as for "Nobody's following me, except my paranoia."... know that feeling! :)

Amra Pajalic said...

I like the voice. It's very pacey and and a very individual voice.

Deborah said...

jlb: I think everybody can relate to the paranoia, lol. The old saying, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." definitely applies here.

amra: Thank you. :)

michaelm said...

You had me from the first word.
Concise and powerful, Deb.

~m

Fred Charles said...

Great story Deb! I really liked the ending. The story had great tension throughout.

Fran Piper said...

Particularly liked the way you wove descriptions of what she had done with the immediate present. And like everyone else, loved the way you ended it.

Deborah said...

Thank you, Michael, Fred and Fran. :) This exercise was a lot of fun.

jason evans said...

Deborah, great use of close third person POV! We feel that we're in her skin. Perfect pacing, and the end punched me in the gut. For me, the implication is that the Penalty was against the child. That would've driven her to kill if her own abuse would not.

Very high scorer in all areas. Bravo!