By Jennifer Jordan
Jennifer Jordan is the fiction and special features editor of Crimespree Magazine. Her work has appeared in January Magazine, Plots with Guns, and is forthcoming in the erotica anthology Stirring up a Storm (Thunder's Mouth Press, November 2005.) She lives in Wisconsin and can often be found blogging at Human Under Construction (http://humanunderconstruction.blogspot.com)
My name is Bijou Coe. I have been informed of my rights and I don’t want a lawyer. All I want to do is get this all over with. I know what I did is wrong, okay, and I feel real bad. Detective Lynch told me if write down everything that happened I can maybe have a shower and get some sleep. So, here it is. This is how I killed my best friend.
This is all real weird for me and I’m not sure where to start. I’ve never been a violent person. It isn’t like I was voted most psycho in my graduating class or anything.
Hope you’re not looking for any great yarn here. I’m no Willie Shakespeare under the best conditions and I’m real tired. But, you guys want the whole story. “All the gory details.” Isn’t that what you said Detective Lynch? I’ll try to remember as best I can. Some of it is still kinda blurry, though. And hey, sorry about the coffee spills.
Well, with everything on the office security camera, it would be dumb not to own up to what I did today. I guess you guys’ just want to know how and why. You want the hows, look at the tape. As for why well, I hope you have a little time on your hands.
It really started a while ago. Lynn Ann and I were friends, real good friends. We went out most Fridays, ate lunch together almost every day. We even went to the same hairdresser.
Our birthdays were only five days, three hours apart. Libras. Not good at decisions and kind of relationship hungry. But cute, you know?
We both dated, but not as much as we’d like. We’re both getting a little old to be on the market, as my Mom says. I guess we both thought we’d be married with a bunch of kids by now. But, no such luck. I mean, we’re both turning forty next month. We’re a couple of Old maids!
Now, that’s not that big a deal to some people, but Lynn Ann and I were freaked out. Forty years old and we’re not married, affianced, going steady. Nothing. I hadn’t had a date in over a month. Lynn Ann just broke up with an asshole from accounting. He called her a dried up old wench. Man, that got to her! She was real hurt.
So, we’ve both been looking big time. Looking for love or, I guess, just someone nice. With any luck he wouldn’t live with his parents and he’d have his own car.
When Neil started working in the copy room, we both got pretty excited. Lynn Ann and I both liked him. He’s not the cutest guy but he’s funny and nice. He has this weird laugh that kind of gets on your nerves after a while, though. Well, anyway, Neil wasn’t perfect but he was a man and he was available.
Anyway, we both liked him and he kinda liked both of us. Lynn Ann and I kind of joked about it at first. But things kinda got ugly. I mean, we’ve been friends for a while, you know? And all of a sudden, there’s this guy and its like bam! We’re not friends anymore.
She was like, “I saw him first!”
So I said, “I talked to him first!”
We were both pretty worked up. So, I thought, “OK, fine. I’m just not going to talk to her for a while.”
I totally ignored her and she totally ignored me.
Meanwhile, I kept finding stupid reasons to go to the copy room so I could flirt with Neil. I went in there once and Lynn Ann was already there. We just stared darts at each other. Then I noticed she was wearing one of my best skirts. Silk. She looked good in it and I knew that wouldn’t help my chances any.
So I said to her, “Hey, nice skirt. Too bad it’s not yours.”
She gave me this glare and snubbed me.
“You plan on returning it any time soon?”
She just smacked her gum, rolled her eyes and kept snubbing me. I was pissed.
“You can drop it off when you come over to pick up your Vaniqua cream. Which better be soon. It looks like your moustache is starting to come in pretty heavy.”
Her jaw dropped about a foot and the gum feel right outta her mouth. I was kind of laughing. It was pretty funny, you know? But, then she got this mean expression on her face. I mean, we’re talking Joan Collins, here. She turned around and picked up a bottle of correction fluid and dumped it on my skirt.
“Whoops,” she said, like it was an accident.
“Don’t worry, Bijou. That’ll come out in the wash,” Neil said. He was trying to help. It made things worse.
Lynn Ann smirked and grabbed a permanent marker. She scribbled all over the front of the skirt.
“That won’t come out,” Lynn Ann snapped. Then she just swept out of the room like she was the Queen of Sheba or something.
I almost cried. I loved that skirt, you know?
I waited until she went to lunch and drew huge moustaches on all the pictures of herself she has all around her desk. I drew one on a picture of her Mom, too. She got the moustache from somewhere, right?
Lynn Ann got me back real quick.
She super glued the nozzle on my hair spray so it wouldn’t stop spraying when I used it. I came out of the lady’s room looking like I’d been dipped in shellac. Just in time for a meeting. Man, I wanted revenge and I wanted it fast! Wow, did I get it!
So, the whole department was getting together in the boardroom. Let me tell you, they’re called boardrooms for a reason. We all went to these meetings with as much coffee as our mugs could carry. Everyone knew Lynn Ann liked her coffee with about an inch of powdered creamer in the bottom. So disgusting… Anyway, we’re all huddled around the table listening to the blah blah blah from the conference phone. It was almost hypnotic.
Lynn Ann goes to take a big swig out of her mug. Little did she know that her inch of powered creamer was actually an inch of baking powder. It was so funny! Her face kind of screwed up and her cheeks puffed out. Then she spit coffee out all over the table! And our boss, Mike! Oh, was he pissed His wife Trish had just got him that tie.
I was laughing so hard. Mascara was running all down my face. Oh . Anyway, if she didn’t know before, she knew then that who’d done it. And she got majorly chewed out by Mike. She was so upset she left work early. And she never does that. I was happy as hell.
So, that was the beginning. By the end of that day, that creep Neil was flirting with the UPS guy, so I guess it was all for nothing. But, we’d already gone too far to forgive each other.
The next morning Lynn Ann shows up armed for bear. She had on her power suit, you know, the one with the shoulder pads and the buckle-cinched waist. Her hair was pulled back and she had her blood red “talon” nails on. If I’d had a lick of sense, I’d have packed up and gone home right then and there. But, I stayed put.
She and I scowled at each other for a while before anything happened. Then she got up and started to walk past me. Somehow, she “accidentally” knocked my bottle of water onto my keyboard. My keyboard was instantly fried. It took someone from Tech Services over an hour for to bring me a new one. All my deadlines for the day were screwed.
I could feel my face burning. I felt hot all over and I started to sweat. Well, that had been happening a lot lately. Maybe the hot flashes or something. But, this time it was because I was mondo pissed. I could feel my blood pumping and my hands were shaking I wanted to go over there and bust her in the chops! If I had a gun on me she’d have gotten a lead kiss between the eyes!
I looked around for something to throw at her but just then the tech guy shows up. He starts yelling at me about taking better care of my stuff. I just started yelling back. Who does he think he his? My dad or something? Anyway, when my computer was fixed, I looked around and saw her standing by the customer files. She was paging through them and just whistling a happy tune. She seemed pretty damned pleased with herself. That just pushed me over the edge all over again! I stomped up to her and grabbed the papers right out of her hand. She cried out, like “Oh!” You know, like all girly and stupid.
When I looked down I could see I’d given her a dandy paper cut on the webbing between her thumb and index finger. She stood there looking at it and then she looked up at me. Her eyes got cold as hell. I remember thinking, “You’re in such deep shit now, girl.” Thinking never did do me much good.
Lynn Ann grabbed a piece of letterhead and ran the edge along the back of my left hand. I stood there like an idiot, staring at her. I couldn’t believe it, really. That she was so vindictive, I mean.
Next, she got me between my ring finger and pinkie, splitting the skin wide open. I grabbed for some paper and we stood there, face to face, armed with letterhead and attitude. I got her first.
I darted out real fast and ran an edge on her face. Got her right along the cheekbone. She was furious! Like, eye bulging, sputtering mad. I’m surprised there wasn’t steam coming out of her ears, like in the cartoons, you know? But, man, her next weapon was a wicked one.
I backed right off. Those things could really mess me up. I just paid major bucks to have my hair done and it was finally the way I liked it. I wasn’t going to let the Raging Cow mess it up. I knew I had to find something to fend her off.
The only thing I could find without taking my eyes off her was in my hands in seconds. My boss’s “Showing Up is Half The Battle” coffee mug. I splashed the cold coffee on Lynn Ann and took off. I heard her roar behind me. There was only on place I could go.
I headed for the supply closet.
I was praying as I ran. “Please, God, don’t let the supply closet be locked, please don’t let the supply closet be locked.”
Lynn Ann was just a few cubicles behind me. I knew whatever ended up in my hands when I got to that closet better not be a freaking box of rubber bands.
Lucky me the supply closet was wide open. I flew in and just reached for whatever was on the nearest shelf. It was one of those drawing compass things. There was a noise so I whipped around and Lynn Ann was right in the doorway.
There was a small crowd behind her. They all seemed to think this was pretty funny. I saw some money changing hands. Assholes.
Anyway, Lynn Ann walked into the closet and shut the door. It locked behind her. When she held up her left hand, I saw it.
She had the key.
She put it down her bra and smiled at me. A bad smile. She looked nuts.
We stood there for what felt like hours. I was staring at this vein in her forehead it was going throbbing, blump, blump, blump. It was pretty creepy.
She must’ve figured then that I was distracted ‘cause she launched herself at me. The scissors were shining. I remember that. She brought them down on my right shoulder when I was stabbing up with the sharp end of the compass. I could feel the scissors went in.
But, I was lucky. Most of it got my shoulder pad. When Lynn Ann tried to pull away, the scissors got snagged and they fell. I threw the compass then. I kinda hoped she’d just call it quits if she saw me back off.
The only thing she could reach was one of those huge toner cartridges. Lynn Ann grabbed it and swung it at me. It hit my left arm then the steel shelves. I fell hard into the office Christmas tree. I was laying there, swearing, with all this black toner dust in the air. It landed on everything. All I could see was black. I looked up at her. She was laughing. I remember how her teeth looked so white against her black face. Those cleaning strips worked real well, I thought. Then I started to cry.
“Please, Lynn Ann,” I begged. “Please stop.”
She just stood there with her hands on her hips, bending over me. She reminded me of Sister Theresa that time she caught me smoking behind the bandstand. Except, Sister Theresa didn’t wear spike heels and she didn’t have black stuff all over her face.
“Should I stop because my lying, man stealing best friend asked me to stop?”
She moved closer. Powder shook off her like black snow. Tears ran these clear lines down her cheeks.
“You bitch! You’ve got five days and three hours more of your thirties left than I do. You should’ve let me have him!”
“But, nothing! He was mine! Fair and square!”
Lynn Ann grabbed at the stuff on the shelves next to her without looking. She came back with a box cutter.
I grabbed for anything. I ended up with this old threehole punch.
Lynn Ann came at me with the box cutter.
I swung that three-hole punch as hard as I could.
The next thing I know, my boss Mike is staring down at me. He’s got that fat security guard guy with him.
He looked down and whispered, “Oh, my God.”
Lynn Ann just lay there, with blood streaming down her black face. There was this big lump on her forehead with this gash in the middle. Little paper chads stuck to her nose and her cheeks. Her pretty blue eyes were just staring. She was way dead.
Well, you know the rest. The security guard grabbed me with one hand as he started shouting into his radio thingy. All around everybody was dialing into their cell phones.
Mike stood there for a minute. Then he looked at me.
“What the hell were you two fighting about?”
“A guy? Which one?”
“Neil? Neil’s gay!”
“I know.” I started to cry.
“There ain’t no guys where you’re going.” The security guard was shaking his head at me. He grabbed me. My left arm hurt like hell and I cried harder. Then, what he just said made its way to my brain.
“What to you mean, no guys?”
“Women’s prisons. Share a cell with women, eat with women, get told what to do by women, be guarded by women. All women where you’re going.”
“Is that true?” I asked Mike. He shrugged and left the room.
And so I ended up here.
So there it is, folks. All the gory details. That’s how I killed my best friend with a three-hole punch over a gay guy with a stupid laugh.
So, can I have that shower now?
Jennifer Jordan ©2005
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