“Dead,” he read aloud as he paced the floor. “It says I am dead, killed in some horrific way too terrible to mention.”
The paper in Johnathan Stridewell’s hand was anything but ordinary that morning as he sat at the dining room table.
“Oh whatever do you mean?” declared the misses of the manor, Tabitha Stridewell.
“It says I have died, and as of yesterday am residing in the Monroe County morgue.” Tabitha shifted nervously as John spoke.
“Well, that’s odd,” Tabitha said quickly, as if she was expected to say so.
“Maybe I oughta call those boys down at the Monroe Monthly.” John stood, heading for the telephone.
“Not so fast, maybe it’s a joke. Get it, a joke?” Tabitha laughed nervously and pulled John back to his seat at the dining room table. “Now how about we just finish our breakfast and worry about those silly boys down at the paper later?”
“But this is serious, Diane. I have got to get this thing straightened out,” John said, standing up once more, this time heading for his keys.
“Wait, did you just call me Diane? Why would you call me that whore’s name?!” Diane was John’s first wife; he ended up divorcing her when he caught her in bed with another man. After the divorce, Diane had stolen John’s money and run off with his neighbor. “Me?! That whore?!”
“Now just calm down, honey. I didn’t mean anything by it,” John said, trying to calm his now enraged wife.
“No, ever since she left, that’s all you think about is her. I have had enough of it.”
“Look, it’s early,” John said, turning around to walk out of the horrendous situation his slip up had caused. “I just got names confused, that’s all. Let’s just cal-”
Before he could get the rest of his sentence out, his lovely maddened wife had met the back of his skull with the closet item. Unfortunately for him, that was a cast iron skillet. She continued to batter his skull with the frying pan until all that was left was shattered pieces and blood with chunks of brain all over.
“I will never be that whore, damnit!” she screamed as the rage seemed to lessen and she started to realize what she had done.
“Shit, I-I, fuck, he’s dead. I –I killed him.” She dropped the frying pain and began to weep loudly. “I just meant to knock him out, not to kill him. I can’t go to jail. I can’t.” She began to panic and scream hysterically. “I gotta call the cops, I have to say there was a robbery, that someone broke in and killed my husband. But the blood, it’s all over me. I can’t call the cops.” She ran upstairs and grabbed a change of clothes.
“I will just run away, that’s what I will do. I can’t leave a trace though.” She cleaned off the skillet the best she could and threw her clothes in a trash bag. “I can’t just leave his body here, can I? I will have to hide it.” She picked up the now horrifying remains of John and dragged them into the basement.
As she looked around, she figured the best place to put the body would be in the farthest corner where it was darkest. “Damn!” she tripped over a nearby gas can.
“That gives me an idea.” Tabitha and John had planned on taking their yearly camping trip together only a few days from now and were stockpiled on all the essentials. “Ah yes, the matches.” Tabitha grinned wickedly and quickly ran for the gas can. “Perfect,” she said as she slowly poured gasoline as she walked. “Just gotta grab the keys and finish this hellhole off.” She quickly grabbed the keys and poured the remaining gasoline as she walked out the front door. “Sayonara,” she said as she lit a match, tossing it behind her. The house became quickly enflamed like hell itself.
She ran to the car and got in as fast as she could, quickly jamming it in reverse and mashing the accelerator as she sped off in search of new beginnings. “Life won’t be easy, but this sure does beat being called that whore’s name. That stupid fuck had it coming.” She softly spoke to herself in almost too calm of a voice. “I can’t wait to see just what I will be, maybe a waitress? A trucker? I just need a new name.” She sped towards the interstate, signs gliding past her eyes.
A well placed billboard for the morgue caught her eye. “Livingston, eh?” It was the man who ran the morgue’s name, and she pondered the name for a bit and chewed on it as she sped down the interstate to a presently unknown place. “Tonya Livingston, yeah, I like that.” She nodded to herself and cracked a morbid grin. “Let’s see someone call me Diane again.” She laughed like a witch who met Lucifer on stand up night. She saw the sign for North Carolina and quickly sped up.
“That’s where that bitch Diane lives. Let’s pay her a visit.” She smiled and turned towards the exit. She felt a surge of joy overcome her, thinking of just how many different ways she would kill her self-proclaimed nemesis. “This is the li-”
At that moment she realized way too late she was in the wrong lane and a semi was heading straight her way. Before she could even think to swerve, she was hit straight on. Next thing Tabitha knew, she was stuck in some weird box.
“What the hell?” She kicked and maneuvered until she could feel the lid moving. Slowly the object opened to reveal her surroundings hidden in darkness. “Where the hell am I? I gotta find a light switch.” Tabitha fumbled her way through the pitch black room until she hit a wall. “Gotcha!” she exclaimed as her hand hit a light switch. Piercing light shot forth from the ceiling “Damn,” she mumbled in her momentary blindness. As she opened her eyes, her jaw dropped. She was in the morgue, the same one that was on the billboard.
“Oh my god am I dea-” She began to frantically say louder with each word only to be interrupted by her jaw actually dropping and falling to floor. She heard a laugh come from a corner as she fumbled to pick up her jaw.
“Ironic, isn’t it? Kill your husband just to wind up dead?” said a male voice almost too recognizable.
“No, It can’t be, you– you are supposed to be dead,” Tabitha stuttered as this disfigured once human approached her.
“It’s me, Tabitha. Don’t act like you don’t know it is.” The figure now held her by her hair. “It is me,” the figure screamed at her.
“No, no, no , I killed you, John. Leave me the fuck alone. You are supposed to be dead,” Tabitha screamed back through cries unfollowed by tears.
“Well so are you and look where the fuck we are, alive and rotting at each word we scream.” John spat these words like bullets at her. “We are dead.”
“Why, why me? It’s your fault. It’s your damn fault,” Tabitha cried.
“You killed me, for your own petty doubts. You deserved death,” John menacingly growled at her.
Tabitha now broke down screaming. “Not me! Not me!”
“Yes you, you deserve this. Now suffer.”
Tabitha cried and screamed, and everything went black.
John approached the breakfast table. “Dead, it says I am dead. It says I died in some way too terrible to mention.”
“Well that’s odd,” said Tabitha.
“You should call the boys down at the paper,” Tabitha interrupted.
“How did you know that?” inquired John.
“I don’t know,” mumbled Tabitha. “It’s just all too familiar,” Tabitha lightly laughed.