I was staying with my friend, Brenda until I found a place of my own. We were getting the daylights pounded out of us with a lake-effect snow storm coming in off Lake Ontario. The snow was falling an inch an hour and the high winds had turned it into a blizzard. Everything was shut down in and around Syracuse and Brenda had the next day off from the library. So, I asked her to help me with research on getting even with the people who had treated me so badly, Tom, Marcia, Rick, and I added Ned Wesson, simply because I didn't like him.
“Brenda, I’m sorry to be dragging you into my nasty game of revenge. You don’t have to get involved, really. I appreciate you doing research for me though.”
“Tanya, I’m forty-three years old. Never married, no kids. I work in a library where nothing vaguely exciting happens. All I have are my cats. Let me have a little fun. Maybe I can become a master criminal. This is exciting for me.”
“Okay, but what happens when I ask you how to clean blood stains out of a trunk carpet?” I joked.
“I doubt it will come to all that. These people have dug their own graves, figuratively. All we have to do is watch them take each other down. Relax, and let’s have a little fun with them,” She assured me as she tapped away on her keyboard. “Okay, apparently bleach is not a good way to get rid of blood stains on fabric. Who knew? They say to use salt instead. Well, there you go.”
“You’re getting way too enthusiastic about murder, Brenda,” I said drily.
She just grinned up at me like a lunatic and rubbed her palms together like a proper villain.
In the morning we woke up to no electricity. Thank Goodness for her gas stove, which did a swell job of heating up the small apartment if we kept the bedroom doors shut. The snow was still coming down and the winds had picked up to turn the storm into a raging blizzard. Brenda made pancakes and we brewed coffee by pouring hot water into cups through a coffee filter.
It was like being on a campout. Fun, but with no electricity we couldn’t do any meaningful research on our evil plans. As we were sipping our coffee, Brenda grabbed her memo pad off the table and said, “We’re going to have to rough it, girl. Let’s write a bunch of ideas down and see what we come up with.”
She took one sheet of paper and a pen and passed them to me, taking the same for herself. We both sat there silently chewing on the pens and thinking. If it was up to me, I’d make them all pay, Tom, Marcia, Rick, and even Ned. Brenda had made a good point the night before, though, when she said they would all destroy each other without our help. Just the same, it would be polite of us to give them all a shove in the right direction.
There was no question in my mind who should get the most attention in this game of revenge. I set the pen to paper and began:
‘Tom. Talk to Ned about the storage locker with all the new toys Tom had purchased with money from Ned's company. If the DA wants me to press charges for the rape, I would do it gladly.
‘Marcia. Find someone to plant a wedge between her and Ned. Scare her into turning on Tom.
‘Rick. Keep him waiting for messages from me. Promise to meet him and keep finding reasons not to. Play with him the way he played with me. Torture him.
‘Ned. Tell him about Tom and Marcia’s thievery. Wreck his affair with Marcia. Make him turn on her.'
When Brenda finished her list, we compared them. She held her hand over the last two entries I nudged her fingers, “ Just keep an open mind. It may be the easiest way to trip up two of the people on our list.”
“Okay, give. Which two and why am I going to be pissed,” I demanded.
“You know what a horn dog Rick is?” She prodded.
“Yeah_,” I answered slowly.
“You also are aware of how slutty Marcia is. Why don’t we put them together in a place where they are forced to meet?” She suggested slyly.
“Noo!” I cried, “Rick is mine. I don’t wanna share! You can’t make me,” I yelled, being the mature adult that I am.
“Take one for the team, Tanya. Wouldn’t it be great if you invited Tom to dinner, as an act of reconciliation, while across the room, unbeknown to you, Marcia and Rick are canoodling?”
My heart wasn’t buying into this plan. First, Marcia took Tom from me and now I’m supposed to let her steal Rick out from under me? Or from on top of me, or whatever.
“Ouch, Brenda. I don’t know. Even though Rick is an asshole, I’m not sure I can stand to see him pawing Marcia right in front of me.”
“I know, just think on it, because that is the most efficient use of the people we have on hand,” she explained like a mad scientist about to transfer brains from one cadaver to another. God help the one she switches Marcia’s brain with.
I knew in my mind that Rick was a disaster, but I couldn’t seem to get him out of my head.
“Okay, what have you got for the other two?” I asked.
“Well, part of Tom and Ned’s punishment is seeing a young guy hanging all over Marcia,” she explained.
“Then, the other part is you telling Ned that Tom and Marcia have been stealing from the company,” she explained.
“How are we getting both of them together at the same time with Rick and Marcia?” I asked.
“Here’s the tricky part. We may have to do this twice if it doesn’t work the first time. I have a plan,” she smiled and held out her darkened phone, “Last night I did a deep dive into Ned Wesson’s social accounts. It seems as though Lover Boy is on Plenty of Fish. I dressed up sexy, did my hair and makeup, then searched on narrow parameters for his profile and messaged him.”
“Did he reply?” I asked, breathless.
“With bells on, dear. With bells on. Get this, he’s a widower who is just getting back into the dating world after losing his dear wife of thirty-five years.”
“What a creep. He deserves everything we do to him and more,” I said almost spitting out my coffee.
“You say the word and we can go on a double date,” she said, eyes twinkling. “I must admit it was fun being a secret agent last night.”
“All right, Mata Hari, that can be arranged. But can’t we find another guy for Marcia?” I pleaded. “I mean, all we have to do is plunk her down in any old bar and she’ll get swarmed.”
“Stop. Just. Stop. You’re obsessing, aren’t you, Tanya? I can tell when you get that look on your face. Rick is a jerk. You know it. I know it. The only people in the world who don’t don’t know it are his next victims.”
I want to stop. I really do. It was like someone really saw me for the first time in a long time. I wasn’t invisible any longer. He saw me,” I insisted.
“Do you think I don’t get it? I’m that frumpy, middle-aged library lady. I’m so used to being ignored that I wouldn’t know what to do with attention if I got any,” she joked.
“Brenda, you don’t give yourself enough credit. You are pretty and have a great figure, that you keep trying to cover up. When this storm clears up, we will have a girls’ day at the mall and we’re both getting a makeover and new clothes. It will do you a world of good.”
“We should do it right before our double date to get the most bang for our buck. Geez, I hope old Ned doesn’t fall in love,” she joked.
The rest of the morning we pored over our lists, adding adjustments to the plans here and there. Brenda was right. We needed to pit everyone against each other, and then make ourselves scarce, so we could watch the fireworks from a safe distance.
Just in case that didn’t do the trick, I asked Brenda to do more research on body disposal and blood removal in case we needed a backup plan. I also had her check for countries we could escape to with no extradition treaties with the United States.
The electricity was restored by around two o’clock, and Brenda got back online to flirt shamelessly with Ned, who was stuck at home without Dottie. She was still being held pending charges for shooting him in the ass.
I was scrubbing up dishes and cooking utensils at the sink when Brenda Shrieked, “Oh, my God! Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Ned just sent me a dick pic. What the fuck?”
“Are you kidding?” I asked.
“Nope, ew. Yuck. Dick pic complete with overhanging flabby, hairy stomach. It’s crooked and weird-looking!” She said, sounding like she was about to retch.
“No, silly, his dick,” she said, revolted.
“Brenda, when’s the last time you saw a dick close up?” I asked, laughing.
“I’ll never tell. Honestly, he’s disgusting,” she groaned.
“Good thing you only have to eat dinner with the guy,” I giggled, “unless, of course.”
“Ew. No. Stop. I’m going to have nightmares,” she said, getting up and dumping her coffee down the drain with a shudder.
“I couldn’t stop giggling. If Brenda was going to take a fat, hairy one for the team, the least I could do was let go of Rick for the greater good. But, not without one last roll in the hay. He owed me that much. I pulled out my freshly charged phone to see if he had left me any messages. Hell, I’d be thrilled with a dick pic from him right about now. Of course, his dick pic was probably much nicer than Ned’s.
Brenda kept up her Mara Hari impersonation with Ned for most of the afternoon. He wasn’t shy, that’s for sure. Dick profile, dick from the front, dick from the back, Sir Dick with a rooster comb French tickler, dick in hand, dick waving hello, dick waving bye-bye, dick next to objects to show off its size, you know, like tic tacs, and then, my favorite, the “here’s lookin’ at you, kid,” eyeball dick pic. I can certainly see why Dottie shot him. I also can see now why she missed his dick and hit his ass.
I hadn’t laughed that hard in ages. At least not that I could remember since the whole nightmare began.
About the Creator
G-Is for String is now available in Ebook, paperback and audiobook by Audible!
G-Is for String: Oh, Canada! and Save One Bullet are also available on Amazon in Ebook and Paperback.