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Best Week Ever

Best Week Ever

A young woman deals with life's frustrations in a unique way.

1

Crime / Suspense / Mystery / Thriller


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Tia Ichele (United States)


I will end him.
I may have failed at many things in life, but if I am to succeed in one thing let this be it, let me end him, so when I am finally standing over his motionless body, he will look into my eyes and know exactly why he is there.
Monday
I decide to kick everything off slowly, take the subtle route and opt to make him squirm; play with him the same way I would food.
All it takes is one phone call.
He answers on the first ring. “Hello?”
“You’ve ruined me,” I say.
A pause and then, “Excuse me?”
“Do you know? Do you know how you’ve managed to ruin me, ruin everything?”
“I think you have the wrong the number—”
“You’ll know soon. I promise.”
He falls silent as my last statement hangs in the air. Is he trying to figure out who I am? I hadn’t bothered to disguise my voice. I didn’t think it was a precaution I needed to take. People like him rarely recognized the ants at the bottom of the hill.
He proves me right. There is no outrage, or a sound of recognition, just the quick and final sound of a click and the dial tone.
Did he just hang up on me? I take my switchblade and bury it into the armrest of my car outside his lavish home.
How rude.
Tuesday
It’s an ugly morning, the sky is gray and cloudy, threatening rain. I call him again, same time as the day before, just before he is getting ready to lock up the house and leave for work.
I call, but He doesn’t answer on the first ring like yesterday.
Hmm, someone has been thinking about me; am in his head already? He eventually picks up.
“Hello?”
I wait, let the silence sink into him, make him feel crazy or paranoid and then, “You should be careful driving down Grizzly Peak. Slick roads and sharp turns do not a safe trip make.”
I hang up and watch.
He’s standing there in front of the bay window staring at the phone in his hand. He slams it down in the dock, eyes darting around, looking out of the window, scanning his front yard and roving over his 7-series BMW. He examines what seems like an empty street. He doesn’t see me, he never does.
He leaves his house, closing and locking the door, wearing what looks like another designer suit. He walks up to his car, and pauses, his hand on the handle. He pulls his hand away and backs up slowly, surveying his car. He gives it a walk around, tapping each tire with the toe of his shiny black shoes. He pauses again but doesn’t look satisfied. Brows furrowing, he hitches his pants up and drops into a crouch checking under his car.
I fight the urge to giggle and settle for a tight grin. Even if I did know anything about cars, I wouldn’t have gone that route.
That would be too easy.
Wednesday
Hump day, also known as fun day, for me at least.
The man I am following probably wouldn’t agree.
“How you doing there, Bud?”
“Don’t call me that,” he hisses.
I follow him through busy morning crowd. People rush in every direction on their way to work. I let a few of these weary travelers float in between me and my target, but I can still see him. He’s walking fast, hunched, head swiveling around, keeping a death grip on his briefcase.
“Aw, what’s wrong, Bud. Ain’t been getting much sleep lately?”
“Don’t--! Stop calling me that! What do you want?”
“Three and half years, Bud. Three and a half years of my life wasted and you have the nerve to act like you don’t know? These have been the busiest years for you, Bud, but you don’t know?”
Calm. I need to stay calm, but his ignorance, it pisses me off.
I sigh, breathe in and out. “You’ll find out soon enough, Bud—”
“Wait, wait, please.”
"— but until then I'd be careful if I were you. Buses around here tend to fly blind, and I need you in one piece." I hang up.
The phone falls away from his head as his eyes sweep over the crowd searching for the face of his tormentor. He looks right at me, steel gray eyes full of fear and anxiety, but he doesn’t see me. He never does.
Distracted he starts to step off the curb to cross the street. A loud horn blares at him, and he hops backward just as a bus barrels around the corner, just barely catching the light.
My timing, couldn’t have been more perfect. One second later and medics would have had to scrape him off the front of the bus like the scum-sucking leech he was.

Thursday
I didn’t call him this morning. Instead, I sit back and enjoy the show. I watch as he lets his paranoia do the work for me. He jumps slightly at every phone call, snaps at anyone who surprises him. He looks around nervously, watching people a little more carefully.
What is he thinking? Is he wondering if the mousey secretary in front of him has been calling him at all times of the day? Or no, what if it’s the overworked salesman? But no that can’t be, the voice on the phone was a woman’s wasn’t it?
I’ve been told my voice teeters on both sides of the spectrum, works to my advantage.
Who am I to complain?
Thursday Night
He doesn’t feel me standing here behind him, watching him. How oblivious can someone be?
I glance around his plush corner office. I spot one of his top businessman awards and nudge it off the edge of the shelf it sits on. It shatters on impact.
Bud jumps out of his chair and whips around. I feel a smile pull at my skin, he winces as he looks at me. He slowly walks around the desk, gaze boring into me. Does he know me? Is the slow widening of his eyes a sign of recognition?
“Who are you? What do you want?” he asks, voice trembling.
I sigh and shoot him.
He drops to the ground, convulsing violently. I look at the Taser in my hands with a new sense of appreciation. I walk toward him, kneel down next to his jerking body and look him the eyes as he watches me. His mouth gaped open and closed like a fish stolen from the water.
He’s so focused on the Taser he doesn’t notice the syringe I pull from my jacket pocket. He’s so terrified, adrenaline pumping as he recovers from the electric shock to his system, that he doesn’t feel the prick of the needle.
I press the plunger, watch him fall unconscious.
Now the fun part. How am I going to move the body?
I stand, gathering my strength when the lights shut off, drowning me in darkness.
Not now! I groan internally.
“All participants should make their way toward the decompression room. Today’s session has been completed.”
A flood of lights buzzed to life and brightened what now looked like the piece of a set from a movie studio. I glare at the cameras hanging from the corners of the ceiling.
“Shouldn’t I have the final say on whether or not the session has ended? I was just getting to point of relief.” I snap.
A polite, yet strict voice answers back, “Studies have shown that too many stimuli will complicate matters and confuse the patient as they venture back into the real world. This is only meant as an outlet, should you deviate from what was agreed upon we will be forced to—”
“Yeah, yeah I remember from the last time you told me.” I sigh and drop the Taser and syringe to the floor. Sometime during my discussion with the session leader, the paid actor had slipped out of the room through one of the many hidden passages meant for the actors to quickly get to their marks.
As I make my way to the decompression room, I think back to the day a strange figure first approached me after having secretly listened to my rant while I was at work. I would never have imagined that I would be in a place like this, but stress and anger and the innocent bystanders in one’s life can make a person try things they usually wouldn’t.
To think it had taken one simple question.
The stranger had sidled up to me, got a little too close for comfort and asked in a raspy voice, “If your job were a person, what would you do?”
Like a rapid-fire volley from a machine gun I had answered, “stalk it, torment it, torture it, and kill it,” and clapped my hands to my mouth in surprise.
His eyes had glittered and he handed me a business card, as he wheezed. “I think I can help you with that.”


Competition: The Pen Factor 2016, Round 1

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