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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Just deserts

After The Christmas Party
By GC SMITH

“Ow, my fucking head,” Sandra heard Rafe mutter as he stumbled through the snow to the outdoor john. He’d partied last night. His boss took over Sonny’s honky-tonk for the Christmas party and Sandra just knew Rafe had himself a time there. No doubt he’d drunk a bucket of booze. Flirted with all the cooze. Had himself one bitchin’ good time. Served him right, he was sufferin’ now.

Sandra stood at the kitchen window watching Rafe flounder, She smiled, ~limp dick son-of-a-bitch, she thought. Coming on home drunk again and crawling on top of me. I thought I’d smother. Then him still on me and falling asleep. That was the last straw. He’ll never crawl into my bed again.

Sandra’s promise to herself was one she had made over and over again and one that she never kept. Rafe used her as he saw fit and she always gave in to him. He used her as a punching bag if she balked in the slightest at his demands. Slammed her around and took what he wanted. He didn’t give her needs a second’s thought. He didn’t care. She always caved in.

Sandra steeled herself. She was going to make her resolve stick this time. He wouldn’t ever ... Her thoughts were interrupted by Rafe’s hollering. “Sandy, Goddammit, there ain’t no ass wipe in here. What the fuck kind of woman don’t keep paper in the shit house.”

Sandra ignored Rafe’s bellowing. He threatened a beating. She stood fast, ignoring the threat. Rafe raged.

Finally, the outhouse door opened and the big man stood in its frame. Sandra set the telescopic crosshair of Rafe’s old 30-40 Krag on Rafe’s chest. She squeezed the trigger. A crimson flow opened on the big man’s chest. He crumpled to the snow. Sandra went outside and removed Rafe’s clothes. She left the body in the snow near the man's big red wood chipper.

In the morning Sandra sat at the kitchen table. She knew from her backwoods life experience that it would take the turkey vultures two or three days to complete their cleanup work, maybe a bit longer considering the cold air and the fact that vultures liked their meat rank. She dragged on her cigarette and smiled. Disposing of Rafe’s stripped bones would be easy.

Rafe had been a licensed plumber. If he’d ever honored his promise to build an indoor bathroom in Sandra’s old mountain cabin he’d likely still be alive. He’d still be beating on Sandra. Still be lord of the manor. Sandra lit another cigarette. Two weeks until Christmas. It would be the first time in years that Sandra would enjoy Christ's birthday. Sometimes broken promises are for the best.

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