|Written for "Invalid Item"
Sandra’s day started out normal enough. She woke up, had a bowl of cereal… the official breakfast of champions and then exercise. That involved a five mile run to the park and back. It was when she returned home that her world took an odd twist. There was a blow-up doll in her tree. It stared down at her, its mouth open in a surprised O. On top of the dolls head was a witch’s hat and a broom stick lay at the bottom of the tree. Clearly a Halloween prank.
“This is what happens when a fraternity moves into the neighborhood.” With her hands on her hips, Sandra looked up at it and wondered how she was going to get it down? She glanced over at the fraternity house. She imagined them watching her from one of the windows, laughing at her predicament. There’d been a video she’d watched once involving a fraternity. She supposed she should be glad they hadn’t stuck a dead horse in her tree.
Sighing, she marched into the garage and grabbed the ladder. Then she went out and set it against the side of the tree. She was halfway up when a breeze began to blow. The branches began to sway, causing the doll to teeter on the edge of the bough, threatening to tip over. She held her breath, waiting. That would certainly solve the problem. Then a strong gust picked the doll up and carried it across the yard and onto her roof. The thing’s arms waved at passing motorists while Sandra covered her face with her hands, humiliated.
Climbing back down, she moved the ladder to the side of the house. When she reached the top she picked the doll. Now that she could see it close up, she was struck by the resemblance to her husband’s secretary. A surge if anger swept through her. She lifted the doll over her head and threw it. It spun around for a few seconds, twirling in the air with a couple of leaves and then landed. Sandra looked over the edge. The doll stared up at her, accusingly.
“Well I’ll just have to do with her like I did Hank’s secretary.” Sandra climbed back down to the ground and snatched the doll up. She then took it into the house and laid it on the kitchen counter. Turning her back on the doll, Sandra rummaged in one of the drawers, crying out with delight when she found what she was looking for. She turned back to the doll, brandishing the scissors she had found. The doll stared at her, the large O mocking her. That’s the first thing she cut out.
When she was done slashing the doll, she took it out to the trash. She was heading back into the house when she noticed something waving to her from the side of the house. She blinked, sure she was seeing things. The blow-up doll was tangled in some bushes, the damned O mocking her.
It had to be a different one. Grabbing it, she pulled the air valve and began squeezing the air out of the damned thing. Then she took it to the trash can so it could join the other doll. Except the can was empty except for the bag she’d put out the night before. It must have fallen to the bottom of the barrel. Sandra looked down inside. There was nothing there except for the trash bag. Then she noticed something gleaming in the corner. Bending down, she stretched her arm out, reaching for the object. She wrinkled her nose at the stench. It smelled like a rotting body. Her fingers brushed across the object. It felt like a ring. Retrieving it, she lifted it from the can and examined it. It was a ruby. Something about the ring jiggled at the memory. It was Meghan’s.
“How did this end up here?” Sandra knew it had been on Meghan’s finger when she’d caught her and Hank together. It had been on her finger when she’d buried them both in the rose garden. That was last month.
“It must have fallen off her finger, but who would have put this in the trash.” Sandra pocketed the ring and headed back to the house. Opening the door she headed for the kitchen and a glass of wine. She felt she’d earned it. Stepping into the kitchen, she froze. The doll was sitting lying on the counter. Hank’s rotting penis was sticking out of her mouth.
Sandra cut the doll into strips and fed it into the garbage disposal. With Hank’s worthless cock in her hand she went back to the garage and grabbed a shovel. The ground was muddy with all the rain they’d had lately. No matter how much mud she scooped out of the garden, more seemed to slide in, refusing to let her find the makeshift grave. Finally she felt the shovel hit something. She dropped to her knees and began to dig furiously with her hands until she found the bag she’d put their body parts into. She pulled it out and opened it. Inside there was nothing but some old rags.
“No, this isn’t right.” She began digging some more, they had to be there. She didn’t just dream killing her husband and his bitch lover. The wind began blowing again and she thought she heard someone laughing. She looked up… the doll was back on the roof. Then the wind picked her up and she soared into the air, swooping down towards Sandra.
“Her neighbors called, said they heard her screaming. We found her just like this, lying in the hole, babbling incoherently.”
“What’s inside the bag?”
“Her husband and his secretary. She reported him missing last month. Everyone knew they’d been having an affair, so it was assumed they’d run off.”
“What about the doll?”
The detective shrugged. “There’s a fraternity in the neighborhood, probably blew over here after their last party.”
Word Count: 1,000