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Puffing on her cigarette, Jill peered at the moon, thinking of her plan of murder. After stifling Patricia’s foul voice permanently, she would have to exit through the bathroom window. The clothes hamper would have to make-do as a stepping stool to reach the overhead window. Girl, thank Jupiter you’re limber and athletic.
Open the window, swing it out of the way, then grab the sill with one hand, poke one leg through the opening, push off with the other leg, then squeeze through and drop to the ground.
No, Jill. Think! An open window would raise eyebrows? It had to be closed after jumping. Use a clothes hanger! Reach up and close the door with the hook and eliminate the possibility that an intruder exited through the window.
“I’ll watch Fitzgerald while you are gone,” Mary said.
In the kitchen, Jill wiped the darkened spot with a dishtowel. “Before we go back, let’s have our little talk in the bathroom.”
Patricia sighed. “Your begging won’t do any good. I’ve decided to expose you as the cheat you are.”
“Well then, even a condemned woman is allowed a last request.”
“I’ll tell you in a minute, in the bathroom where we can have privacy. You go on. I’ll tell the others we’ll be out shortly.”
There was a long moment of hesitation as Patricia deliberated the request. Jill sighed, thinking she would have to argue her petition.
Patricia sighed. “All right. This is the last time I will give in to your silliness.”
Jill held back a grim expression. You got that right.
Scowling, Patricia headed down the hallway toward the bathroom.
On Jill’s return to the living room, she said to the others, “Patricia’s in the bathroom, and she said for us to continue.” Waving her hand Jill added, “I figure about five minutes—at least. You know Patricia when she gets in front of a mirror. While we’re waiting, I’m going outside and have myself a quick smoke.” As she pranced toward the front door, she raised her voice. “Please, continue your discussion.” Jill sashayed out the front door and lit her cigarette. She knocked on the front window, waving to her fellow writers, then eased away from the window.
She brushed the lit end of the cigarette against the door until the fire was out, and quickly stuck it into the pocket of her blouse. Only the half-moon and perhaps a wandering animal noticed what happened next. As though endowed with acrobatic ability, the cigarette caught the pocket edge of Jill’s blouse and dropped to the porch floor.
Dashing around the side of the cabin, she entered through the kitchen door, showing some discomfort as she lugged her packed tote bag. Jill sidled along the hallway to the bathroom, being careful she wasn’t seen. Peeking around the alcove, she took note that the others were still in their chairs discussing the story. She opened the door and stepped inside, quickly closing it, gently. She locked it and set her tote bag beside her.
“Hurry up and deliver your solicitation,” Patricia said, while powdering her forehead.
Jill took off her high heels, then slipped on her loafers. “Did you bring your proof?” she asked, shoving her stilettos in the bag.
“Where is it?”
“The papers are in safekeeping, why?”
“Well, I want them in return for my offer.”
“Yes, I’m sure you would.” Patricia leaned closer to the mirror, her eyes scrutinizing a possible blemish on her chin. “I love it when I see you squirm,” she said over her shoulder. “No. I intend to keep the notes. I am serious about telling the others of your thievery, which I will do on my return to the table.”
Patricia’s nagging monologue clacked and clattered in Jill’s ears as she rummaged through her tote bag.
Smiling at the mirror, Patricia added contritely, “Case closed. Comprenez-vous?”
“You bitch! I expected as much.” The list of priorities flashed across her mind. Handkerchief out, chloroform Patricia, smother with pillow, attach recorder, out through the window.
Jill took out the chloroformed handkerchief from a plastic bag. During this moment of silence, Patricia turned just in time to see something white in her face. Swiftly pushing against the back of her comrade’s head with one hand, Jill slapped the handkerchief onto the gaping mouth. Patricia struggled, grasping Jill’s hand. Jill pressed harder. Soon Patricia’s hand went limp, and her body drooped.
Donald Higgins is a retired Aerospace Engineer who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. When not playing tennis or ping pong, he spends his leisure time writing fiction and drawing cartoons.
No. of Pages: 281
Paper Weight (lb): 11.8
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