Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Twenty Minutes and a Gun, Part I

"Where you going?" Moira asks.

Linda smiles in response, a smile that reassures Moira that, yes, the same conclusion was reached. Linda is going to kill him. It's only fair... Just desserts for all.

Moira nods and reaches into her purse, pulling out her cell phone. "What do you need? I'll make the arrangements."

Staring at the wall, Linda thinks about it for a brief moment, then stands up and heads for the bathroom door. "Twenty minutes and a gun."


Linda looks at herself in the mirror, surprised at the sudden bloodthirsty resolve. There is a momentary recollection of some Commandment she learned years ago in Sunday School, but she shakes it off. In that moment, she has her justification. There is another about coveting, after all. Somehow, in the cosmic lot of drawn straws, everything will remain in balance.

Blinking, she turns on the hot water and splashes her face.


Setting the face cloth down, she clears her eyes and stares at her reflection again. This time, with drops of water obscuring her view, there's the sensation of seeing a ghost. Herself, a few years ago. Like a peek through a soft lens on a camera.

Linda was in love with life those few years ago. Everything and everyone she touched seemed happy. College was wrapping up, her boyfriend just asked her to marry him, her favorite cat had a litter of five (of which she kept two). So simple, then.

She grits her teeth suddenly and smacks herself in the face. "Bullshit," she utters. The facade was simple then, a walled-up complication just waiting to crumble. Things are truly simple now... rubble notwithstanding.


Her favorite three-color toothpaste glides onto a pink toothbrush. She remembers advice her college roommate - a dental student - gave her: "Floss before you brush, Linda. It lets the toothpaste get in the cracks." She has no idea why that popped into her head, but she sets the toothbrush down carefully and grabs a plastic flosser out of a ziploc bag. Flecks of last meal hit the mirror and bathroom counter as she quickly counts to 30, one for each flossed gap.

Throwing the plastic tool in the trash can, she picks up her toothbrush and begins brushing her teeth. He often told her that her smile was the most beautiful smiles in the world. She's going to be damned sure it's the last thing he sees.


Before she's even done brushing, she turns the hot water on to the shower. No time for a bath, unfortunately. Exhaustion creeps through anger for a moment and reminds her how tired she is. She really could use a soak... but that will have to come later. Time is of the essence, as they say, and there's only one essence to her time: she wants to be dressed to kill.

She rinses the toothbrush and sets it in its holder. Mouthwash is poured into lips and she jumps into the shower. There are a few seconds of introspection - and appreciation of the water - before she grabs the facial cleanse. Her hair does not need washing... it shines when it's a little bit dirty, after all... and she's going to be doing something just a little bit dirty.


The apricot exfoliate feels good on her face. She lets it set while she lathers up a washcloth with shower gel. She wants very much to enjoy the shower, but she's well-aware that she's on the clock. It's a self-imposed time limit, to be sure, but a time limit nonetheless. This needs to get done, and she needs to do it. Beginning with her neck, she quickly scrubs her skin down to her breasts - there's a brief recollection of his hands doing the same - then her stomach, legs, and feet.

She considers rubbing her feet with the pumice stone, but decides against it. She'll save that for the soak. After the murder.

*Continued in Twenty Minutes and a Gun, Part II


  1. I like apricot exfoliate as well. Other than that, meh. It doesn't grab me. How about some dialogue?

  2. Moira? No. Right now the oldest Moiras in this country are like, eight.

  3. Well she's a very clean murderer facial cleanse, apricot scrub, shower gel . . throw in a littke turps and she'll schparke. Quite familiar with female ablutions there young man , .

  4. The counterpoint between the ablutions and the intended murder work wonderfully - I'm tempted to say a symphony of suspense.

  5. in light of the email you sent...this is a great example...i like it...

  6. Moira would be doing herself a favour by telling the intended victim to scram. But she won't. The accessory will provide the accessories. Intriguing story building here. 06.00 please.

  7. I like a woman who enjoys taking care of herself with such precision. More than that I like the fact she shakes off the Sunday School lessons to get a job done ;). I hope she isn't wearing open toed shoes to do this though, because her dry feet will not only make her look careless, but they will absorb any splattered blood! HAHA

  8. Dressed to kill ... hair a little dirty ~ I liked the way you used these phrases ~ the entire piece is well written. Can't wait for more.

  9. Ah, yes, after the murder....ho-hum. Love the quintessential pink toothbrush! You know, Moira is just fun to say. But not three times fast.

  10. Baino said it: you're awfully familiar with female ablutions. And "momentary recollection of some Commandment..."? My brainwashing was much more thorough than that.

    I really like the title and following minute-by-minute format.

    Tick, tick, tick.

  11. she should have taken the extra minute to do her feet..just think if she were to get caught and they photographed them...seriously nice writing here..!

  12. A fun start - looking for part 2.

  13. This is just so ... getting ready to go to the theater or, rather, be up on the stage. Working up. Working it out. -J

  14. guest. house. for. rent.

  15. What outfit will she wear? Looking forward to Part 2.

  16. i don't remember this one--must have been out of town..did you ever finish it up?

  17. Interesting psychological approach to the killer which I am sure an analyst would have a field day with! Very much a Lady MacBeth type of character. I await subsequent episodes.

  18. hmm...i dont remember if there was a second part...i like the freshening you have done around here jeff...and over at 10dom...

  19. I like the moment by moment thoughts in the bathroom. Can't wait for the rest