A Story for your Reading Pleasure

Crazy busy weekend, too many thoughts to share, none cohesive, so I’m cheating and sharing a story I wrote for The Prompt Club many years ago. The prompt was, “The First Time”. I hope you enjoy.

The First Time I Killed Someone

Well, technically the first time I killed someone, it was an accident. Even though I had no intentions of committing murder and I wasn’t directly responsible, he ended up dead all the same. And I really liked that. No, I loved that he was dead.

His death was the result of a compendium of circumstances that I couldn’t have planned, or repeated, even if I tried. Poor old Mr. Linter tripped over an untied shoelace and stumbled into a pothole the size of Wisconsin while distractedly screaming at me on the cell phone for not remembering to pick up his shoes from the shoe repair. When you spend twelve hundred dollars on imported Italian loafers, you don’t just replace them, you have them fixed.

The real kicker is that I had picked them up; he just hadn’t bothered to look at the foot of his coat rack before heading out of the office for the day. Mr. Linter was the worst boss ever and I’d simulated his demise a thousand times, no a million times, in my head. Day after day until, well, he died. I’m glad he’s dead.

I’m not heartless, in case that’s what you’re thinking. Absolutely not. The first thing I did after Mr. Linter’s funeral was to patch that pothole myself. I took a big orange bucket, filled it with quick dry cement, and gathered up the chunks of concrete in the vicinity. I put his twelve hundred dollar Italian loafers in the bottom, layered the debris, and then poured wet cement over it. Then I smoothed it with a trowel and put those plastic yellow signs around it, the ones shaped like men, Caution! Cuidado! until it dried. Heaven forbid anyone else suffer his same fate.

But I digress, you wanted to know about the first time I killed someone. Well, after the lucky passing of my horrible boss, the next time I came into a circumstance where I wished the person would die, I took it upon myself to rectify the situation.

Poison is really easy. Only on TV detective shows, CSI and Perry Mason and stuff like that, do they ever really do a tox screen. Most people with a heart condition keel over clutching their chest, must be a heart attack, you know? End of story. End of Jack.

Jack was truly my first. I revel in the death of Jack. Potassium poisoning takes time and planning. Of course it helped that Jack was constantly complaining about all of the work he couldn’t do due to his heart condition. We work in the accounts department of a major manufacturing company. There is no heavy lifting. There’s barely heavy thinking, but Jack would tell everyone every day how he couldn’t be expected to carry his work load—even though carrying was a metaphor.

When Jack outed me for falling behind on my paperwork while I was helping him with his, and I was given a formal reprimand, well, suffice it to say that Jack-ass had signed his own death warrant, figuratively the most paperwork he’d done in months.

Sure, I was pissed, obviously, duh, but I didn’t let on in the office. I buckled down and worked harder, stayed later and paid very close attention to Jack’s habits.

Jack snacked a lot. A lot. Which was good because I was able to slip the potassium chloride pills into his food and drinks. Never one to turn down free offerings, I prepped the brownies, cookies, and rice crispy treats at home, loading Jack with tummy upsetting sugar overload. I soon came to realize he was just as likely to fart it out than eat a Tums, so I wasn’t concerned he would deny himself my homemade hand-outs.

The tricky part was to set it all up and execute between doctor’s appointments. I mean, Jack really did have a heart condition and missed work at least once a month for a mandatory check-up.

The best part of the potassium overdosed failing heart? It happened at work, late one Friday night with lots of witnesses–those dedicated to crawling out from beneath the mounds of overtime-required paperwork. Sure, several people called 911, eventually. But the first mention of tingly arms and chest clutches were considered Jack being his regular dicky self. Why was he even still there? I mean, there was work to do.

Honestly, he couldn’t have put on a better performance for me. I was quite proud to have orchestrated the show. But like I said, I’m not a horrible person; I attend counseling with a couple of the office girls, the ones genuinely stricken by witnessing someone die. I guess it’s not for everyone.

It’s definitely for me. You asked about my first… interested in my second? Tenth?

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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