The following exchange occurred during a car ride.
Husband: “What are you thinking about?”
Me: “If I wanted to kill a hooker, how would I meet her and how would I kill her?”
Husband: “Um, ok.” (laughs)
Sometimes you just have no idea what project occupies a writer’s mind.
Little Amy was given her brother’s Talking View-Master as he had outgrown it. To her it was a new toy, something else to occupy her time. It seemed harmless enough, but once it came alive, it was terrifying.
It looked like a normal View-Master except it had a speaker beneath the area where the reels were viewed. She didn’t mind looking through it, but Amy really didn’t care for the audio that accompanied the pictures. There was something scary about it, and sometimes it made her cry. It was a machine, why did it talk? She put it in her closet, never to be seen again; it could live among the monsters that lived in there.
Adult Amy wondered if this toy may have influenced her dislike of robots today. She pondered this as she held the Talking View-Master in her parents’ basement. Her mother had found it in the closet years after Amy had moved from home, and Amy had always managed to forget to claim it. Today was her mother’s yard sale, and Amy came over to help. She was carrying items for sale from the basement, and she decided to bring the toy. As she climbed the stairs, her foot slipped on the wood, and as she grabbed the handrail to keep from falling, the Talking View-Master tumbled from her grasp. She watched it bounce down the stairs, its plastic body shattering into tiny pieces, a yard sale item no more.
Amy couldn’t help but smile at the mess. She thought it was a better fate than it deserved, as she took the dustpan and brush hanging off a peg on the wall.
Casey worked in a stuffy office building. She was slightly built and had no tolerance for the cold. She so hated air conditioning that she preferred to swelter on the way home from work, even before her Chevy’s climate control stopped working. After a tedious work day, Casey enjoyed the fresh air on the commute, finally able to shed the bulky sweater that was as much a part of her work costume as her tailored pants. Free to enjoy sleeveless shirts and open windows, she inhaled deeply the fresh air lightly scented with lavender and lilies. Her bliss was interrupted by the most putrid odor—cigarette smoke. She loathed smokers. How dare the chunky woman in the undersized car spread her stench to the unsuspecting? So vile must it have been that the driver kept her pudgy hand out the window to avoid her own cancer cloud, flicking ashes without care. Through narrowed eyes, Casey fantasized about slicing off the offender’s hand with a hatchet. In her warped thinking, she would be doing the woman a favor. It would be difficult to smoke one handed, reducing her health risks, and it would also address the woman’s weight issue. One less hand to feed the pig, thought Casey. Her daydream quickly ended when the driver flicked the butt into the street. Fortunately for both parties, Casey turned at the next corner. She resumed enjoying her fresh air while the smoker would continue to enjoy the use of both hands.
The prisoner was visibly terrified, as he should be. The most heinous of crimes received the most heinous of punishments. The state was now working in conjunction with animal rescue groups to recycle pitbulls. No longer were the unfit for adoption euthanized. Those dogs forever scarred by humans, forced to fight, were now able to exact their revenge. Death by Dog, the state called it. Lethal injection was deemed too lenient for the more violent offenders. A contest was held to choose a new method to carry out the death penalty, and this was the overwhelming winner. Not only were the worst of the worst eradicated, but dogs ruined through no fault of their own were allowed to live.
What was this particular prisoner’s offense? Serial child murder. He preyed upon the innocent and the weak. Now tied to a pole and unable to move in an arena reminiscent of gladiator days, the inmate knew the fear his victims must have felt as he took their young lives. In a moment the executioner would signal the release of the dogs, and give the kill command. They would rip flesh from bones, his screams of agony only encouraging their attack. When the prisoner eventually succumbed to his injuries, the pitbulls would cease their rampage and retreat to their kennels to be rewarded for another job well done. Dog spelled backward is God, and one could only imagine His thoughts on the spectacle.