Friday, 16 April 2010
CUSTARD PIE By Vallon Jackson
The times I’ve wanted to smash the sanctimonious prick over the head with the heaviest thing to come to hand...
But, the problem is, I know that Robert will swat me like a fly, so I always bite my lip, let it go, then continue plotting to do away with the wife-dabbling son of a bitch in a more elaborate scheme than indenting his skull with my laptop. All my previous attempts had failed, but how long could it go on?
Derailing a train, smashing a delivery truck through a building, cutting the ropes on a sandbag, pushing him off a cliff, tampering with his parachute during a charity jump...all had failed miserably to kill him. Mind you, I hadn’t enough fingers or toes to count on to tally up the others that had died. Good job I worked at an accountancy firm, where the spreadsheets allowed me to keep up.
I’d made my own Pie Chart to record my failures. Jeez, it was a big pie, with not a sliver missing where I’d had any success. I’d need an awful lot of custard to serve that beast up with, but I supposed I’d enough of the yellow stuff trickling through my veins to do the trick.
I had to stop being so cowardly. I had to man-up to Robert The Red, tell him what I knew – that he’d been dipping his dongle into my wife’s input slot – and that I was going to kill him for it. Of course, doing that would also mean manning up to everything that I’d done in the meantime. I wouldn’t get another chance at him if I was locked up in prison for mass murder.
There’s always a get-out isn’t there? That’s what I told myself. I couldn’t have at him the way I wanted to, because then I’d have to own up to killing my wife, as well as all the others. So...I wasn’t a coward; just being a pragmatist.
I once told Robert that.
Hey, Robert, I’d said, are you a pragmatist like I am?
Dunno about that, he’d replied. Me...I’m more the grabmoretits type.
He had that right, the arsehole.
Lately he’d been pawing the breasts of the latest temp, a skinny little thing with silicone–augmented assets and she seemed taken with the fiery-haired Lothario. She was sensible enough to recognise him for the creep he was, but also dumb enough to think it would get her a permanent position. The only permanent things that Becky would get from a dalliance with Robert were a tick on his conquest list and a dose of Chlamydia.
I thought about warning her, but knew that she’d mention it to Robert. If he thought I’d spoiled his fun he’d likely kick my butt from one end of the office to the other. So I let it go. Decided instead to try something different. I’d tried all the inventively-violent ways of killing him I could come up with, now for something a little more...not cowardly... sneaky. My Pie Chart had got me thinking. That afternoon I Googled certain sites, making sure that all trace of my surfing was hidden just in case anyone pried later. It’s surprising what you can purchase over the internet. Seems the buyers market extends somewhat to those who wish someone dead.
My stuff came in an anonymous package to an anonymous PO Box I’d set up. Mr Anonymous, that’s me.
The next day I put my scheme in place.
Robert was bent over Becky, supposedly checking her work for the purposes of a job appraisal, but I could see his gaze was down her top, and there was a lot of injudicious guiding of her hand on the mouse going on. The old elbow-titting trick Robert had perfected over the years. Sick perverted git that he was.
The delivery bloke walked right into the office.
Package for someone called Robert, he called out.
The red-headed stud perked up. That’ll be me, he announced, Robert with the huge package. He smirked at the looks we all gave him, then eyed the package like maybe the guy was delivering a decree nici and Robert had been named as co-respondent.
You’ve a secret admirer, mate, said the delivery bloke, handing over the beautifully-packaged custard tart I’d slaved over.
You got that right, matey, Robert said with a wink towards Becky. Becky flushed red, but didn’t deny it. I hid my shark’s smile behind my palm as I ducked down to my own work. One thing I did know: almost as much as he liked filling wives’ holes, he also had a penchant for stuffing his own pie hole. He bragged to the girls that his huge muscles required the sustenance, as did his stamina. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Greedy git would eat the lot and not offer a slice around.
I left the office on my lunch hour, grinning like a maniac, knowing full well that Robert wouldn’t be there when I returned.
True enough, when I got back there were a few white faces, and a hush over the office. It was a bit like the reaction that seeped through our work-place when poor Jim Bunk jumped from the plane with his chute strings undone. They were a sensitive lot at our firm.
What’s happened? I asked.
Ben Butler – who Robert called Ben Butt-wipe to his face – leaned over from his desk to whisper conspiratorially. Looks like there’s been a little problem for our pal, Robert, he said.
Oh? I hope he’s OK, I said, feigning concern.
You know that pie that was delivered...?
Yes. YES. YES.
Ben said: Well, Robert has this nut allergy, you see.
Shit...I hadn’t known that.
What about it? I demanded.
Well, Ben whispered, Robert said it smelled like almonds and wouldn’t touch it. He gave it to Becky, said she needed to get her strength back after they spent an hour in the stationery cupboard.
He gave it to her...
Yeah, apparently she was gagging for it, Ben leered.
Not that! The pie?
Yeah. Ben shook his head sadly. But Becky must’ve had a nut allergy as well. Or she was severely Bulimic or something. We could hear her puking all the way out here! By the time Rob got an ambulance here it was too late for her. Poor girl was dead.
How is Robert? I kept the expectation out of my voice. But I already knew: my wonderful pie scheme had failed to kill him ‘cause it friggin’ smelled like almonds. That’s the downside of arsenic, the internet had warned.
He’s fine, Ben said. He didn’t touch a crumb, remember. In fact, he followed Becky to hospital ‘cause he got his eye on a pretty paramedic. Knowing him, he’ll come back with another story for the boys, eh?
Yeah, and we’d have to listen to it. Over and over and over...till I went even more nuts.
Vallon Jackson is the alter-ego of a published thriller author who sometimes also goes nuts and comes up with another entry in his PIE saga.