The Writer’s Corner features poetry, essays, short stories, satire and various fiction and non-fiction from SCAD Atlanta students. To submit your own work for the Writer’s Corner, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gracie by Z Clonts.
He has underestimated me for the last time.
When I graduated, I promised myself that I would only use this job to do good for others. I told myself that I would endure the discrimination I got from strangers. What I can’t endure any longer is the discrimination I get from my partner. My friends say that I deserve to take a night off. They said that since I have such a high stress job I should take a night off and do something nice for myself. A self-care night they called it. I think they’re right. I’ve been doing good deeds for others for seven years. In the Bible, seven is the number of completion, so maybe it’s time for a new chapter of my life to start. One where I take care of myself first. One without a partner.
I have a lot of preparation to do, you know revenge party and all. I brought seven sheets of plastic, some duct tape and one of those paper jumpsuits. I don’t want the scene to get too messy. My victim, my so-called friend Roger, was always underestimating me. He’s my partner and we’ve been working together since the academy. He has always taken credit for my work and I just can’t stand it anymore.
I called Roger at 6:15 p.m. to see if he wanted to hang out before our shift in the morning. He reluctantly agreed. Any other day I never would have asked Roger to hang out — unless I was being tortured. So he should have known something was up. Maybe he would have if he did his own detective work instead of taking credit for mine — how disappointing. He’s the type of person to go to bed at 8:20 p.m. if he had to be up at 6:15 a.m. “A rested mind is a sharp mind,” he says every morning. Gosh, he irks my soul. I told Roger that I would meet him at his place if he went and picked up the take out I just ordered. My favorite Chinese food place doesn’t deliver, and it’s a forty-five minute drive from his home. Bad for him, great for me.
As soon as my beloved partner said he was leaving his apartment, I pulled my car to the back of his building. I was sitting across the street surveilling him, just in case I had to resort to Plan B. I’m glad I didn’t because Plan B was much messier. The back entrance to his building didn’t have any security cameras. I just walked in and used the stairs to get to Roger’s third floor apartment. I duct taped the plastic to the walls, floor and ceiling of his living room. I didn’t want to have to do too much cleaning up after myself. After I was done setting up, I left the same way I came inside so that I could move my car to the front of the building. But this time when I went inside, I used the front entrance and stopped to talk to the doorman. He’s a nice guy, an older man in his seventies, he just had his seventh grandchild. We had a chat about the snow outside and how it looked like it would never stop. He bid me goodnight and I rode the elevator up to Rodger’s apartment, used my key to unlock the door. And then, I waited.
When Roger returned, I was standing behind the door with a hammer in hand. I hit him on top of the skull before he knew anything was amiss. I was quick to knock him out. I didn’t have time to listen to him whine and plead for his pathetic life. I didn’t have time for him to ask me why I was killing him. It would only make me angrier that he found no fault in his actions. The plastic stopped the blood spatter and brain matter from hitting the walls and ceiling as I took seven years of frustration out on Roger. By the time I was done with him he was unrecognizable. His skull was concaved and you couldn’t tell the difference between his face and the back of his head. I thought this was justice because after everything Roger put me through these last couple of years, I didn’t recognize the person I had become either.
After I felt satisfied that all of my anger had dissipated, I looked around the room in wonder. The room looked like an abstract painting with a red, white and gray color scheme. Except the red was blood and the gray and white were brain matter. Nevertheless, I took a moment to admire the art I had created. The art that symbolizes my freedom from an ungrateful partner. After I was done looking at my greatest accomplishment, I went to the thermometer and turned the air up. I stepped over Roger’s body so that I could start the cleanup process. I wanted the authorities to think that he was missing. So I left the food on the floor and trashed his place, making it look like there had been a struggle. As I left his apartment, I made sure to leave the door unlocked and slightly ajar. I didn’t want anyone to know he was dead. Not just yet. I disposed of the plastic and the body through the back entrance. I took the murder weapon so that I could throw it down a storm drain on my way home. The trash gets picked up on Thursday, but police would be crawling around here by Tuesday, so I will come back on Monday night to take the body and the plastic to Silver Lake. I then retraced my steps back to the apartment making sure everything was in order. I used the elevator to get back to the lobby, said goodnight to the doorman and went home.
Later that night lying in bed, I think about what a great day it had been. I replay my self-care night over and over again in my head. I had cleaned my apartment, done my laundry, filled my gas tank and committed a murder. I think that was everything I had to do today. Gosh, tomorrow is going to be such an exhausting day. I have to pretend like I didn’t hate Roger and I have to pretend that I didn’t kill him. The last thought I have before I drift into unconsciousness is that I will have to send my friends a thank you card.
The next day at work when Roger didn’t show up, I played the role of a concerned partner perfectly. No one suspected anything. I think my acting was good enough to receive a standing ovation and an Oscar. I felt so much lighter than I did the day before. I felt like my self-care night was a huge success. Maybe I should do this more often. Killing Roger was therapeutic, and I told myself that it was good for my mental health that he was gone. I would make sure that his remains were found but only when I was ready to see him again and no sooner.
Since Roger didn’t have any living family, a missing person’s report was filed a week later by our boss. The investigators found no evidence pointing to murder in Roger’s apartment, people just assumed that he had been kidnapped. Of course, there wasn’t any evidence. I created the scene and then made it disappear like some twisted magician. You can’t blame me for what I did. Year after year, he loaded the gun with his comments and his mistrust in my decisions. I just pulled the metaphorical trigger.
No one knows who I am. Sure, they think they know who I am. The police think that they have the whole case figured out. But the most innocent faces are the ones that you should be wary of. They will find Roger, but only when I feel like I have healed enough for the world to see him again.
My name is Gracie Andrews and I’m a homicide detective for the Boston Police Department.