She was looking ahead, eyes parallel with the ground.
She was looking ahead, eyes perpendicular with the ground.
Parallel. Perpendicular. Parallel. Perpen... parallel.
The car came to rest. Her weight pressed her into the seatbelt. Gravity pressed her really, but she thought of her weight first. Gene had made her borderline bulimic. Speaking of: she wretched onto the ceiling of the car.
Gene's eyes, perpendicular, winced. "Lovely," he said.
Her eyes closed. "Just one last puke, to cap off a year of puke together."
"A year of memorable voms. Remember the first one?"
In her rear-view mirror, she saw Gene turn. He looked at the bush, at her, at the bush again, and then felt his pockets. Phone, wallet, ke...
He bolted for the bush. Heather slammed her hand against the ignition and turned the key. Grinding metal. The car was already on. She floored it and turned for the bush. No clear plan had formed in her mind but she could see Gene sprinting. The bush arrived and the car rose up to meet it, bouncing over the rockery and screeching up the hill. Grinding metal again. The wheels were spinning. Smoke...
Heather didn't like being out in the rain. She was going to get even with that bastard Gene - how dare he dump her in such a manner, in the middle of nowhere. She eased the strap of her high heel shoe where it was rubbing, and turned to look back up the street. The road glistened black in the wet night, and the streetlights merged into the puddles. She began to walk, planning what she would do. For a start, she had his key, she realised suddenly with a gleeful grin. He wouldn't be able to get into his...
"I'm gonna kick your butt!" Heather yelled from the other side of the playground. She dangled on the monkey bars, high enough to break an arm if she fell. Gene's lips curled upward at the thought.
"What? Little prissy Heather is gonna actually do something for once?" This sort of drama wasn't uncommon at Lakewood Elementary School among the fourth- and fifth-graders.
"As a matter of fact, yes." Heather dropped down from the bars and marched across the wood chips to where I stood at the top of the slide. She looked up at me and added, "And I'm gonna...
Of course, Heather was twisted. Everybody knew this except Gene, so of course he was the only one who ever professed his love to her. Except Heather wanted to leave him for just this reason; who would act unabashedly and intentionally weird if she did not want to be loved for it? Heather, certainly, wanted to be loved for who she was.
The two of them were watching TV. Good-natured, his loopy grin a chipper wave at the world, Gene turned to Heather and said, "Darling, I will make you a sandwich! Stay put, don't move a finger." She looked...
"Who are you?" Gene didn't want to know the answer, but hurled at the woman sitting across the cafe table regardless. It was because of her that he was alone, it was her fault his wife no longer slept at his side.
She sucked at her cigarette, delivering her answer on a ribbon of viscous blue smoke. "Heather. Who're you?"
Gene, ever the copywriter, bit his tongue as his mind snatched the apostrophe from her words. 'Whore' he wanted to scream at the girl who shared the bed of the only woman he'd ever fucked.
'Liar,' the little voice in...
Gene loved the smell of leather. He loved the smell of Heather wearing leather. He loved Heather in leather and the smell and the idea of the smell and the smell of the smell always left him crazed and wanting. He couldn't help himself. He didn't know how.
Heather hated Gene. She hated the idea of Gene and the smell of Gene and the smell of the smell of the leather Gene always wore. She had hated him forever. She always would. She could never forgive him for that one thing, years ago. She couldn't even remember anymore. She knew...
Snip snip snip.
He squinted into the test tube. The stems of heather floated in the solution of sodium dodecyl sulfate, suspended, waiting.
Laughing at him.
Gene closed his eyes. No, he thought, not now. Not after all this. Not when I'm so close.
Flashback to the grimy street where he was born, eleventh child to a drunk and a slattern. When he dared say that he would grow up to be a scientist one day, oh how the neighborhood toughs had loved it. Another reason to pound him, day after day. "Gene, Gene the gene-machine, work...
Gene quickened his pace. All the way from the pub, he had felt the presence of someone following him. He daren't look around, you read all sorts of things in the newspapers, God only knew who, or what, was behind him.
He was nearly home now anyway, another five minutes and he would be safely tucked up behind closed doors. Away from harm. He never usually walked home alone, but he was feeling a bit under the weather today, so had set off before the others. Truth be told, they were annoying him a bit with their curmudgeonly ways.
As he wandered through the countryside, he couldn't quite believe he'd done it. He'd done it. Gene Black had actually done it. Finally. And although it had been something he had been planning for months, years, maybe his whole life, he didn't feel quite as good as he thought he would.
He had dreamed of being a murderer for as long as he could remember. He had wanted to feel life draining away in his hands, to watch as the soul departed the body. If it did. It was all about experimentation and, perhaps understandably, there was nothing he could...