Wednesday 30 September 2015

Your Midweek Update for 09/30/15

I had my first kill since Daniel. Well, my first two, actually. On Sunday I was picking up some bread from the local convenience store at some ungodly hour – because I forgot to pick some up earlier when some bitch swerved into my spot without any signal or indication that she was turning. Naturally I was pissed off. With clenched fists I kindly asked the woman to signal next time or wait her god damn turn. She flipped me off so I slammed her head into the brick wall. A few kicks to the skull and she was dead. I felt such a sense of relief wash over me that I didn’t think when I saw they figure approach me, I just pounced.

Well, pounced might not have been the right word.

Apparently the bitch’s brother was sitting in the passenger seat and saw the whole thing. He circled me like I was some caged animal instead of the refined woman that I obviously am. So instead of attacking him – because obviously I’d win – I took a breath and started panicking. I stared at the man, frightened out of my mind, apologizing profusely, unsure what exactly came over me, begging him not to call the police – maybe she was just unconscious. He refused in a loud, shaky voice like the man could move mountains but his heart was broken. I think that’s the best way to describe him: A large, boisterous man who was visibly moved by the idea of his sister’s death. He explained his situation (re: “I was sitting in the passenger seat and saw you attack my sister”). That’s when I started crying. A sure-fire way to make a man bring down his guard is to cry. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it would work but just like that, he was rushing toward me in an attempt to startle me into stopping. He told me I was crazy so as he turned to call the police, I tripped him and slammed his head into the pavement. Over . And over. And over again.

I hate getting blood or dirt on myself but I’ll make an exception for some. Like the ones who call me crazy while I have their life in my hands. Idiots.

So I killed the brother and sister, picked up some bread, and went home. Overall a very productive half hour. But as I was lying in bed that night , I kept thinking about that goliath of a man, so distraught over the death of his sister that it cost him his life. Would that happen to Jason? I spent the next few hours sort of obsessing over Jason and his relationship with Sandra.

Yes, that’s the first time I’ve written her name since her death. It’s time.

I wondered what Jason thought of his sister? Did he love her? Was it some obligatory affection that comes with sharing blood or were they genuine friends, bonded over loss. I thought about asking him but the fear of shutting him out at the mention of his sister was too great to risk anything. Again.

Man, that kid terrifies me sometimes.

In other, unrelated news: Heather’s husband found out about the affair. I have no idea how. She just walked into my office this morning and announced that she needed Friday off because her husband found out she had been cheating on him for the past two years…

And he wants to join.

What the fuck?

I have no words, absolutely no words.

But that sort of thing doesn’t really appeal to me. I mean, we’ve talked about threesomes and other sexual positions but if he ever cheated on me, that’d be it.

Not that he ever would; loyal as a bulldog, that one. Despite any resentment he may still harbor towards me. We had an exhaustingly long talk over the weekend – before the forgotten bread.

We talked about Sandra and the technicalities of losing a child – we were both too exhausted to discuss the emotional impact.

We talked about Jason and his lack of communication and therefore our lack of knowledge on how to deal with him.

We talked about Daniel and my mishandling of the situation last year – he’s adamant that I had some romantic feelings for Daniel and nothing I did convinced him otherwise.

We talked about our relationship, where we’ve found ourselves from the last few months; we stopped talking about where we’re headed.

We talked about me and my selfish actions, virtually destroying our family unit.

He’s staying with friends for a bit.

He thinks separation may be good for us.

Yeah, I don’t believe that either.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Monday 28 September 2015

Review of Me Without You by Mindy Hayes

I read book one in the Willowhaven series last year and fell in love with the characters in this town so of course when Mindy Hayes came out with the second book (admittedly several months ago, I can’t believe it took me this long) I had to do a review.

Since her father's abandonment eight years ago, Alix Fink has done everything in her power to keep her family's affairs private. She’s as closed off as they come, but Aiden Ballard wants to remedy that. Though it’s been a losing battle, Aiden has been desperate to win Alix’s heart for years.

Everyone knows Aiden Ballard’s parent’s lives were lost in a fatal car accident when he was sixteen, but only Aiden knows what really happened that fateful night; something he’s been desperate to hide from everyone for the last nine years—especially from Alix.

In the small town of Willowhaven, secrets have a way of revealing themselves. Alix and Aiden couldn’t be farther from perfect, but they couldn’t be more perfect for each other. When their secrets rise to the surface, they must overcome them or face a lifetime of loneliness.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Your Midweek Update for 09/23/15

I feel like I can finally breathe. I returned to work on Monday and I’m kind of playing catch up but everyone is still handling me with kid gloves so they’re not going to get mad at me if I miss a few deadlines. Heather is really the only one who’s treated me like normal but I think that’s because she forgot I was gone. I must admit that having that small bit of normalcy (aka Heather being a fairly productive bitch) has been a blessing.

Jason is heading back to school next week – so he promises. James and I had a long talk about how to handle Jason’s absence and we agreed that pushing him to go back to school will not further our relationship in any way. We did give him a bit of a deadline but we all agree that the longer he stays away from school the harder it will be for him to return so he’s arranged to get caught up on his lessons in anticipation.

The girl who dropped off his schoolwork last week – who we’re calling Sara – has been coming by every day after school and going through all of the things he’s missed. She’s sweet and has a crush on Jason with such obvious fashion that I can’t help but tease him. He just blushes and tells me to stop which just makes me think that he likes her back. Apparently he’s known her since Junior High and they take the majority of their classes together. Since he and his girlfriend split a few months ago, they’ve become closer. I think he’s afraid to ask her out. I’d make fun of his flair for angsty drama but I remember being his age: liking someone and having no idea how to handle those feelings.
Obviously I found a method for venting my feelings but that’s not a solution. That’s not a comfort to Jason. Being someone he can talk to is the closest thing I have to comfort for him. I just hope that the time we spent together last week has helped both of us.

On Sunday I got a call from Charlotte. Apparently Daniel has been pronounced “missing and assumed dead”. The local police are looking at any and all suspects and want to speak with anyone who had any sort of serious connection with him.

She gave them my name.

As his former client, turned friend, turned acquaintance. Not his lover or killer.

Oh god, I can’t believe I’d forgotten: trying to seduce Daniel to keep him from finding out my secret. How poorly that plan turned out.

I haven’t been paying much attention to James lately; I’ve just been letting him do his own thing. We haven’t talked about the separation though I know it’s something that needs to be dealt with. We were doing better – we were healing – and then everything happened. Now that I can at least feel hope, I’ve started wondering, just in moments of weakness, if James is staying with me out of some sense of duty – a need to protect me, or maybe out of pity. I shouldn’t think about those things. I cannot allow myself to feel insecure. It won’t help.

Yesterday, I went down to the precinct to talk to a scraggly looking detective about my relationship with Daniel. It involved a lot of lying around the truth and an amount of memory recall that I never knew I possessed. I had to think back to our first meeting a year and a half ago.

A young co-worker and an obsessive P.I.

The detective (Gordon, we’ll call him) was old and tired, and wanted to go home. I clearly wasn’t a suspect in his eyes, but simply a character witness. It made things a little easier. I could talk about Daniel as he was with his wife – not with me. From what I observed, he once loved her very much. But it was clear that Charlotte and Daniel had different feelings about their marriage and I did nothing to help matters.

I also might have accidentally implied that Charlotte was a suspect in her husband’s disappearance. I didn’t mean to, honestly. She doesn’t deserve any of this. I’ll have to find a way to make it up to her – if she’s exonerated.

That’s what friends do.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Your Midweek Update for 09/16/15

I may have become a little too overprotective of Jason this week. I kind of jumped the gun, so to speak.

I hate when I unintentionally rhyme.

After I had that big revelation about being there for the family I have and bringing my life back to normalcy, I took the rest of the week off of work to stay home with Jason. He had been emailed many assignments and one of his female classmates brought over her notes and lent her textbook for the weekend. I teased him about the crush the girl obviously has on him but I didn’t even get a smile out of him. He didn’t speak at all on that first afternoon but he read the notes and studied the text book; he was more focused than I’ve ever seen him. It was frightening – that was also a joke, I am incredibly proud that my son is taking responsibility for his education despite the circumstances which forced him here. After a few hours of just sitting and watching him work, I let him be. That first afternoon was incredibly boring but I came back the next day with a cup of coffee, determined to be a part of my son’s life. 7am, I woke up, let James sleep – he was on the night shift all last week, poor guy – and woke Jason up with probably too much cheerfulness. But he didn’t fight me. He woke up when I asked him to, he got dressed, ate breakfast, and sat down at his desk, all without uttering a word.

There is nothing so unnerving as a silent child.

But I kept talking, I kept asking him questions – staying on the subject of his school work, of course. I knew better than to bring up other subjects, the things I really wanted to ask. How was he feeling about his sister? Did he want justice, or to forget? Does he blame his parents? Does he blame himself? Questions I’d love to ask – or love to know were being asked by someone – but I’d never dare at this moment. Not when he was so silent. So terrifyingly silent. I don’t know why it bothered me so much that he wouldn’t speak but I have never felt so much relief as on that Thursday afternoon when he finally told me that the answer to Question 2 was x=13.75a

I still don’t know what that means: that wasn’t the right answer. Maybe it was a metaphor? I think he just wanted me to shut up. But in any case, he spoke, and he kept speaking: walking me through his answers, responding to my corrections, rolling his eyes when I teased him about Textbook Girl. I spent the next two days with him, helping him get caught up, keeping him talking.

On Saturday night he came downstairs – which is a feat in itself – and told me “mom, I’ll be fine” Before grabbing a bowl of leftover spaghetti and returning to his room. My heart pounded through my skin and I got chills – the hairs on my arm stood up. The first time we’ve come close to discussing something akin to his feelings in a month and a half and it’s over a bowl of spaghetti. It couldn’t be any other way.

Jason went back to school on Monday, still barely smiling but communicating as best he can. James is back on a daytime shift this week so I’ll get to see him more often. I’m back at work, trying to catch up as quickly as possible: doing the best I can.

It sounds corny but that’s the theme of the week.

Doing the best we can.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Your Midweek Update for 09/09/15

My grandmother died three weeks before I turned 20. I wasn’t particularly close to her but being at her funeral, surrounded by all that sadness, it made me feel unfocused. I couldn’t get any traction on why I was so overwhelmed with emotion. My solution was to kill. I skipped class, ignored my family, and  I killed. Longest murder streak of my life to date. I found a sort of rhythm in the way I stabbed and bludgeoned as much as I could. I even ventured outside of the city to find a new victim pool. The day after my twentieth birthday, I went to visit my grandmother’s grave. Then I continued to kill because it made me feel better.

Yes, talking also helps. That’s part of why I started the blog. Mostly to document my life – let people know that they aren’t alone and that I’m awesome – but it also gave me an opportunity to talk through things in my life that I couldn’t bring up to anyone else. After I met James I just kept going. It felt nice to have a place to get everything out in the open without the fear of consequences.

He picked his own name, you know. With everyone else on this blog, I picked arbitrary names to protect my identity but he asked to choose his own. He said he always felt like a “James”.  The Supplanter. I had to look that up, admittedly; it means to replace by force or oust someone.

He’s been my rock this past month. He’s fielded every phone call, paid every bill. He even took last weekend off so he could help me dispose of Daniel. He’s been so stoic – we’ve barely spoken. Don’t think I don’t know what he’s doing. He’s letting me fall apart, get it all out of my system.

Well it’s out. I did everything I needed to do to put my daughter to rest. I said goodbye at her funeral, I disposed of her killer.

I don’t know what to do next. I’ve just been going to work every day. I don’t talk to people unless I have to, I go home, I eat dinner, and I go to bed. All week. Over and over. I didn’t even notice that Jason hasn’t been going to school. I overheard a call between James and the secretary at the school. He was supposed to go back last week but he hasn’t left the house. James explained the situation and they agreed to send over his homework.

I have two children. I dealt with one and now I have one left. He needs someone and I don’t think I can help him right now.

I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what comes next. And I hate not knowing. James seems to know. There’s this tingling in my fingers. Like I need to be doing something right now. Like I need to be doing something, I need to be moving. I had that feeling when I was 19. Three weeks before I turned 20. But things are so much different now. I have a son who needs a family and my daughter was going to walk in my footsteps. The way I see it, I have two options: I can focus on my family, take time to rebuild; or I can continue the journey that I was on with my daughter, kill on her behalf.

Why not both?

Take lives that she would have taken, then come home to my family and heal. I think I can do it. I can be both.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Friday 4 September 2015

Review of Confessions of a Fat Girl

Confessions of a Fat Girl is a story that hit me emotionally – more than I was expecting so you’ll have to forgive if my review Is less than coherent.

Smart and ambitious Season Minett was homeschooled, got accepted into college at 16, graduated with a B.A. in English at 20, got a job at a prestigious magazine at 21, and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Twenty-two-year-old Season has it made and everyone knows it. Except Season herself.

People can gush over her all day long, but Season knows they’re just being nice. In reality, she’s accomplished nothing. She doesn’t work hard enough, can’t get her book published, and worst of all at 5’6, 180 pounds with a thirty-two inch waist, a forty-four inch hip, and arms too big for her body, she’s fat and ugly. She's such a disappointment that after her mother divorced Season's dad, she went to live with her new, younger boyfriend and left Season to mother the rest of her siblings. So Season is quite bewildered when the guy she sees every weekend at the bookstore shows serious interest in her. And she ends up liking him. A lot.

Season's not naive enough to think love will solve all her problems though. In fact, love seems to be making everything worse because her food obsession is growing more and more out of her control. But that's impossible. There's nothing wrong with counting calories and wanting to be thin. There's nothing wrong with trying to be as perfect as everyone thinks she is. A fat girl can't develop an eating disorder, let alone have one. Right?


Wednesday 2 September 2015

Your Midweek Update for 09/02/15

On Friday August 28th Daniel Westburn was reported missing by his co-workers. According to the police statement, he had been acting strangely for the last few months; erratic and uncharacteristic. When he didn’t show up to work that Monday, no one thought anything of it. His wife left him, his co-workers weren’t worried, his family is gone or moved away; no one cared.

Two Saturdays ago I knocked on his door with two cups of coffee in hand; I asked to talk – to clear the air. It took twenty minutes for him to fall asleep.

When Sandra was six she would have night terrors. I babysat the kids a lot. When I realized what was happening, her mother’s solution was drugs. And it worked, for once. All it took was one pill from an over the counter container. That’s why I knew it would work on Daniel.  

He never got around to finishing his basement. Charlotte once told me that it was their newly wed project and when they both let it go, she knew it was the beginning of the end – a little too poetic if you ask me but I get where she’s coming from. Renovations take communication and teamwork and if it doesn’t last then there’s something wrong.

Without the finished basement there was a lot of exposed pipe. Perfect for tying a man up with wires and a rope I commandeered from his shed. I told James to look after Jason and then I moved forward.
I awoke the victim at 6:37am on Sunday morning with scalding coffee down the front of his button-up shirt. The coffee burned his flesh on slightly but the pain was enough to shock him awake. After that, a low voltage shock to his abdomen every twenty minutes kept him screamingly conscious. I tried to think of something clever to say to him as he pled for his life on that first day. I couldn’t find the words. I just cried and burnt. I didn’t speak to him for twelve hours. At the end of it, he had 39 marks on his body, and it wasn’t enough.

I made him dinner. Nothing fancy but I made rice with chunks of chicken in it and I fed it to him slowly; mostly because he spit the first few bites in my face. A few more shocks to his system forced him to eat properly. Can’t have him dying before I decide he’s ready. Of that entire first day, dinner was by far the strangest. He didn’t fight me after that. He was silent. And he took his punishment – 9 more lashes.

I slammed the door as I walked out. I would not let him enjoy a moment of this.
As I sat at my desk on Monday morning I could focus on nothing but him. The look in his eyes after I force fed him dinner.  So blank, so unfeeling. He didn’t understand why this was happening.
So that night after work, I grabbed a hammer from the shed and I smashed his pelvis in. He screamed and the sock shoved down his throat didn’t help much. I just saw red. So when his fingers reached out to me, the wire cutting through the skin of his meaty wrists, I didn’t think. I struck the knuckles of his right hand and it flattened against the wall. His hand became swollen and purple. I loved the shade so much I did it to his left hand.

He wouldn’t stop crying and thrashing. His hands were so big. I made them bigger. This time I watched his eyes as I broke his fingers one by one. He blinked but he never hid. His eyes were so red, so puffy and swollen, like his hands. His jaw barely moved but that was when the whimpers started. With each crack of bone, his eyes grew sad with fear.

Supper was a combination of mushroom soup (which he ate without any fuss) and bread – because I couldn’t be bothered to toast it. That supper was thick and heavy. I had nothing clever to say to him and he remained silent. Only the whimpers.

I don’t think he slept that night.

When I found him on Tuesday, his whimpers had grown to cries – moans of what I assume to be agony. He stared at me, pleading. Eyes wide and unrecognizable. He was…submissive. Whatever had come to him in the night had changed him, made him weak.

I found a lighter upstairs, some rubbing alcohol in the bathroom, I pulled a sewing needle from my purse (yes, I carry a travel sewing kit with me everywhere) and I pulled out the skin beneath his fingernails. One by one. It didn’t hurt as much as it could have; he’d lost a lot of feeling in his fingers by then.  But the whimpering didn’t stop. He-he wouldn’t stop.  

The middle finger of his left hand: that’s when he stopped whimpering. He said “please”.  He kept saying “please” over and over again as I pulled pieces of flesh from his body. The first words I spoke to him were “stop”. But he didn’t. He just kept repeating, over and over.

Please. Please. Please. Please.

So I cut his tongue out. He cried out and he whimpered but he didn’t speak.

I left early that night. Neither of us had supper. I’m pretty sure his tongue is still tucked behind the boiler. It must reek.

That night, I threw up, I curled up on top of the covers, James wrapped his arms around me, and I cried myself to sleep. I resolved to maintain my focus, to make him suffer.

So come Wednesday night, I found myself in a much more playful mood. I told Daniel to use all of his senses. So I started by cutting tiny slits in his eyeballs. He almost passed out form the pain but a quick jolt kept him in the game.

I think Wednesday was the best day of all. He didn’t talk, he didn’t whimper- he didn’t make a sound. He sat there, his swollen hands dangling in the air. His eyeballs bleeding onto his shattered lap. I had all the freedom in the world. I sat and I told him about my day while I carved shapes into his flesh. I didn’t talk about Sandra or all the things he’d done to deserve this. Instead I drew hearts into the soles of his feet while I told him about how insensitive Heather had been yesterday. About the woman who cut me off on the highway last week and I resisted the urge to kill her. I made basic shapes on any exposed flesh, crawling over him like the doll he was. Like I was a child, drawing on an easel. I hadn’t been that relaxed and I probably won’t be for some time. We ate hamburgers with cheese and tomato. Well, I did. He sat. My ragdoll.

Thursday was a bit…messy.

My poor rag doll had slumped down too far so I used the rope to pull him up. Unfortunately I pulled too hard and the pipe it was attached to collapsed down on us. It was the sewage pipe. It didn’t think that was still a thing that could happen but parts of the basement flooded with contaminated water; particularly around our little setup. I left right away and took a nice hot shower.

I did a lot of thinking that night.

I thought about what had led me here. About the seventeen year old with her first crush, murdering the football star. About the girl who had sex with her co-worker and blamed everyone but herself. About the private investigator who couldn’t let it go.

By Thursday night, Daniel had spent six nights in my care. He’d pleaded, he’d cried – but not once had he apologized or shown any sign of remorse for what he did to my family. I may never get it. He was just wasting my time.

Friday morning before work, I took a bottle of bleach and I poured it down Daniel’s throat. He vomited on himself so I poured more. Then I left him there, to die however he chose. By the time I had finished work, Daniel Westburn had died.

And I felt nothing.

I called James and he brought over garbage bags and a mop. Jason was home alone but he never left his room. Between the two of us, it took two days to completely cut up the body and prepare it for transport. Then we took separate vehicles, drove in different directions and disposed of the pieces in secret. Parts of Daniel are scattered in the river while others went through the sewage treatment plant – fitting, I thought.

Daniel is dead.

Sandra is dead.

And right now, I feel…