Sometimes, despite all the pleasant thoughts of the day, we find ourselves contemplating
some dark and dangerous ones. I was so intrigued at work, watching my good friend and
coworker, Mark C. emptying the combustibles into certain designated large metal barrels.
These containers are sometimes full of gasoline type liquids, never to be mixed with other
ones. He wears a rather strange goggles contraption (a mask with a filter in place), helping
protect his lungs from gaseous vapors. Other containers have fluids taken from a variety of
damaged containers. Liquids that remove dirt and stains, flammable cleaning components,
along with others which are oil based. I have written a rather awful, atrocious story here.
In all fairness, “Sweeney Todd” and “The Little Shop of Horrors,” along with many other
gruesome tales have rumbled around my mind. Setting my story partially in the warehouse
where I daily work, along with the rural country areas, is what textbooks for writing say,
“Use what you know.”
I used to travel down roads to remote homes, with my teaching assistant, Karen, for our
bi-annual visits with families. I hope these elements help to make my story seem ‘real.’
One eerie and chilling day, we went to a one-main-street (if it had been out West, you
could have called it a “one horse”) town. This was a small blink of a place, where no one
appeared to be home.
On her home visit form, the mother had suggested if she and her child weren’t in their
trailer, to venture down the lane to another location. When a hound dog howled, into the
soundless air, just as we both noticed someone peeking out from behind their curtains,
we both jumped! We each exclaimed the feeling of the town being “haunted” (her reaction)
or “This could be a Stephen King setting” (my reaction).
This may be the ‘seed’ that was planted, as part of my ‘inspiration’ which germinated into
the following macabre story.
By pressing “Publish,” this holds my own original thoughts and I would appreciate if you
would contact me, before you re-blog this. Here is a piece of my own wicked mind.
“Murder with No Remains”
Weary from working with the various poisonous smells, pouring different liquids into
the huge funnel, Mark got into his truck. He had a lot of responsibility facing him upon
his return to his home. He turned on the radio station to Mansfield’s 93.3 which plays
mostly ‘easy listening’ music.
He was trying to drown out the demons in his head. He was slightly irritated by the
incessant chattering of the girl that works above him in the Aerosol Room. The Bomb
Shelter was a dark and cold dungeon of a place, where there was little warmth to comfort
him. Mark was trying to figure out why that woman even bothered to talk to him.
His train of thoughts had been keeping him company all day,
“I mean, she gave me her phone number almost a year ago. When I didn’t use it to call
her, couldn’t she get the hint?”
She was not his type. . . Too talkative and self-centered.
” I think she should just walk out on me, like the other women in my life. I just wish she
would walk on by me, like the people usually do.”
His further thoughts remembered her recent comment to him,
“‘You represent the Gold Standard for me to hold men up to.'”
“Ha! I am sure this is not what most people would think if they were to read my mind. . .
Strange, but most people thought he gave off such a trusting ‘vibe.’ It has not gotten me
very far in this world, me with the boy next door look,” his thoughts smoldering in embers.
Then, his thoughts transferred to another subject. A regular occurrence that may have
come today; the wonderful Schwan truck. Oh, how he loved entering the freezing cold
garage to find his designated location for Schwan food products to be stored- filled with
his favorite foods. On the cooler he left a check taped to the top, to cover the amount for
the products that he and Mother would consume.
“I hope they had enough of the Peanut Butter Crackle ice cream and did I order two or
three boxes with fried chicken breast strips? I will get the fire started in the fireplace,
go get my shower and hopefully, Mother will hold off on her wanting something. That is
what I hate about going home. The first bell I bought for her. It should have been ‘good
enough’ for her. But, no, she insisted that it was too ‘tinkly-sounding’ and ‘more like one
rung in children’s church school.’ So, she made me go purchase a large cow bell, which is
most annoying. I feel like she overdoes her bell ringing and wish she would realize how
hard my days are.”
“I have the edges of a migraine headache coming on,” Mark thought. He turned the silly
song with Tony Orlando and Dawn singing, “Knock Three Times on the Ceiling,” off.
“Ah-h-h! Peace and quiet.”
Suddenly, a deer ran out in front of Mark’s truck, which caused him to squeal his
skidding tires, along with sliding on the icy road. Dodging the path of the deer, he
stopped on the precipice of a large ditch. Mark watched the deer gracefully bound
over the snow fence that ran along the other side of the ditch.
“Good thing I got those new tires at Goodyear,” Mark sighed in relief.
Then his mind wandered off to Mother again. He smiled a kind of sickly smile, he
was a little amused with the thought of ‘poor helpless Mother,’ lying there ringing
her big, old cow bell and no one to answer her frantically, desperate clangs.
“Wonder how long it would have taken for someone to go to the house, after
my death, if the deer had impaled me, through the truck’s windshield?”
Sometimes, after four hours of having to run up the stairs to help her, getting her
things, Mark felt like he could strangle her.
Mark’s guilty conscience brought him up short, out of the gloomy thoughts that
often accompanied any thoughts of work or home. The migraine’s pain throbbed
his head and he was nearly nauseous,
“Not sure if I am about to throw up because of the near death experience or
because of the thoughts of Mother being left alone. . . no one to bring her food,
no one to change her Depends, no one to clean her body and turn her in the
middle of the night so she would not have any bed sores.”
It would be days before his sister would come by, since she had given up helping,
never able to fulfill Mother’s request to the perfection that Mark had gotten her
If there were a song playing and his head didn’t hurt too much, he felt that the
one which encompassed his caregiving skills would be,
“Nobody Does It Better.”
“Hmm… what is that James Bond song?” As Mark drove down the country lane,
with the rocks making abrupt bumps pounding into his brain, he pondered on
what the movie where James Bond had had this in the beginning.
Later, while he had completed all of his household duties, Mark sat by the fire and
opened up the last book of a trilogy he was reading. When the first clang of the cow
bell of the night came, he knew what it meant. He went into the kitchen and scooped
up one scoop of ice cream into a bowl. He grabbed the little spoon he used to feed
Mother. This was one he had bought for his nephew who used to visit. Then, later,
his grandnephew had used it. This was the best one to feed his Mother. Nothing
fell out of her mouth this way. Mark hated to have to change her clothes again, so he
grabbed a new bib to put on her.
“Like a little bird,” Mark thought of the way her old, wrinkled and puckered mouth
opened up for her bites.
By the time the migraine pain pills were working on his headache, he had heard
the bell’s ring 8 times. Something shifted in Mark’s mind, something creeped into
his thoughts. The fire had made him think of the leaves piled up outside, where
he could add a few pieces of lumber to them. He could make a huge bonfire.
As he walked up the steps, Mark plodded slowly.
“If someone could read my mind now, they would not believe what this quiet
man holds inside himself. I have thought of times where I could use the rat
poison from the barn in Mother’s food. I have thought of an easier way, I could
let her slide down under the water, looking away and ‘accidentally’ she might
drown. I imagine a phone call diverting my attention from her, explaining this
was all an accident.”
Oh, there is one other way I contemplate all day long. It would be the best way.
I have this planned out in details.”
Mark felt a lift in his mood, jubilant that the release would be in less than an
Mark’s step was lighter and he started to almost run up the stairs to Mother’s
bedroom. The time flew quickly by, as he smothered her with the pillow. He
counted the allotted time which he had studied and practiced in his mind. He
wrapped her up in the blanket. Such a tiny package and light weight to carry. Then,
once again he made sure she was not moving, unrolled the bundle to check. He
decided to kiss her one more time on her cool, papery cheek.
The body was light as a feather, as he ran down the stairs.
When he got to the bottom, he unwrapped her one more time, took her dental
plate out of her mouth. He stopped to think about what he could do with it.
He scolded himself for not figuring out this detail ahead of time,
“Would it melt?”
Then, Mark got his coat, gloves, hat and scarf on. He was ready for this, it was
He picked her up roughly, “After all, she can’t feel a thing now.”
As he hurried out the door, he started to whistle. It was strange but not one bit
of guilt slipped through his mind. His mood was lifting, part of his daily torture
Mark built the bonfire, stacking tinder under the logs, since he was uncertain if
the leaves were dry enough to ignite.
Everything fell into place, not one bad move. The rest was a ‘piece of cake.’
In the later hours of the night, he would get up. Mark had set his alarm clock. He
knew how long the fire would rage, how long it would take till the bones would
snap and become mere splinters, ashes and soot.
He had ‘cremated’ his dog, when Buddy had passed away. He remembered how
long it had taken him to get over the death of his faithful hunting hound dog.
Somehow, he didn’t feel he would have any problems getting over the death of
Sifting through the ashes, he found little bits of bones, he put these into the first
large freezer ziplock bag. The burnt chips were easily gathered, using his gardening
spade and put into bags. He had barely one and a half bags full of her remains.
He laid down to sleep a restful couple of hours more, jumping up when the alarm
went off. Made his toast and coffee, packed his lunch box and left on time. There
was blissful silence in the house.
Mark turned on the rock and roll station while he drove into work, tapping his hand
to the driving beat of AC/DC and feeling quite rejuvenated.
At the security check point, he opened his lunch box to show Len, the Security Guard,
the top layer of his lunch box. He did not bother lifting the sandwich, apple and chips.
Instead of his food items lying upon his usual blue freezer pack, they rested on top of
When the Aerosol Girl went to her first break, he walked over to his lunch box, took
out his drink and opened it. He rustled around his lunch box to find his straw. He took
a long draw through the straw of Coca Cola. He then took the can, along with the two
ziplock bags over to the large drum of most toxic chemicals. He had left the large
funnel set carefully on top. He put the pop down and opened the first bag, the ashes
drained easily through the funnel, siphoning down smoothly. When the little brittle
pieces of bones came, he grabbed the straw and poked them through the hole in the
funnel. He had chosen the barrel with full contents, took the lid and screwed it shut.
He hammered it a bit to make it ‘secure.’
Mark went over to his desk, grabbed the labels that indicated both “Toxic” and
“Flammable” with its skull and crossbones image.
Mark plastered the two large stickers on the blue metal barrel.
“All that is left of Mother is ‘goo,’ he thought.
He went back to work in his small area of the warehouse, whistling.
Tomorrow, since it was a longer day. . .
He would come home and report Mother wandering and missing.
He imagined his sincere, most innocent expression on his face as he would
pronounce the words,
“I don’t have a clue where she may have gone off to.”
From his pocket, as an after thought, he went to a second big container,
unscrewed the lid and shoved her dental plate into it.
After that, he dumped a few extra jugs of the oily solution into it.
With a resounding thump of his hand, not unlike a pat on the top of his coon
dog’s head after he chewed up one of Mother’s slippers, he finally went back
to his daily procedures.