"Going Back to Basics"
By Jaye Wells
At midnight, the transformer on the road next to my house blew. The sound was indescribable, but the image burned itself in my brain. White sparks rained down on the asphalt, which steamed from the August heat wave. The moon hid behind clouds, as if shy. Or frightened.
I watched the scene from my bedroom window, adrenaline coursing through me. As people spilled from their houses, I wondered what the old time settlers did without electricity—their nights dark and silent as death.
Neighbors chatted in their yards as the utility truck pulled onto the street. I pretended they were discussing me and why I never left the house. If they only knew.
In the next room, the muffled sounds of thrashing let me know she was awake. The explosion probably scared her.
I thought about the frontier natives. How they used simple things to elicit fear from their victims. Scalping sent a clear message, unhindered by the unnecessary flourishes so common in our modern times.
With one last look outside, I closed the curtain. I had been going about this all wrong. The electric knife and frayed lamp wires were too elaborate. It was time to go back to basics. All I really needed was a good, sharp knife and a candle to see by. A pioneer of pain.
Tonight, I decided, she would experience true terror—Old West style.
[Jaye Wells swears she's never scalped anyone. But check out her blog to see how she poisoned Fabio.]