Sunday 24 October 2010

THE RIGHT MOMENT by Michael J. Solender

The Right Moment

At the precise moment Wayne would be there to unleash the rage that had built up inside him. Tightening like the coiled spring of a wind-up doll, the fury within became increasingly taut with every memory of her humiliating rejection.

It wouldn’t be long now. The right moment. Just the right moment when she would realize with certainty what her transgression had been. She’d acknowledge him then. She would have to!

She’d undoubtedly recoil at the sight and then the crushing grip of his powerful forearms. They resembled thick clubs having been worked daily in preparation for the encounter he would soon embark upon.

Wayne would know the moment. It would present him with opportunity. He knew there was no luck in the world, only the oft missed intersection of preparation and opportunity. He was at the ready. He would not miss his only chance. The rush of retribution fuels the vanquished like the rushing tide overwhelming the shore. With conviction it would replace his lost dignity with something far more tangible, much more pleasurable and immanently more satisfying her complete and abject suffering at his hand.


“Bye Hon! See you at dinner.” Minerva grabbed her keys and briefcase from their resting spot on the bench by the backdoor. Neither had moved since Friday from when she threw them down upon her return from work.

Weekends were for lazing around, not for more work and running all over God’s green acre. She and Trey had been married for two year but they still had plenty of spark between them, and neither had as much as changed out of their PJ’s or left the bedroom for more than a bowl of cereal all weekend. Minerva was sore, but a good sore.

”Ok Hon,” Trey hollered, “Will you pick up some Chinese on the way home? I got a late meeting and we have absolutely no food in the house.”

“Ok sweetie, I will. Moo Goo Gai Pan, Twice Cooked Pork and Steamed Dumplings. All your favorites See you later.” With that Minerva was off. She slipped into her sleek Mercedes SL and shot out of the garage.


Wayne didn’t need to follow her. He knew her routine. Ever since he found her six months ago, a fluke sighting at the gym, he’d followed her.

He had to confirm it was the same girl. Ten years out from high-school people change. Not Minerva, she still was a stunner, and from all he could see, she was still indifferent to him. He’d deliberately crossed her path no less than a dozen times in the last six months just to see if she’d remember. She didn’t as much as give him a second look. Women like Minerva didn’t have time for guys like Wayne. He should have never asked her to the prom. He should have never mistaken her small kindness in Biology class for anything other than it was. She lent him a pencil for Christ sakes, why the hell did he think she liked him? Why the hell did he think a girl like that would date him, a zit faced, overweight loser.

She didn’t have to laugh, she didn’t have to make that face when he asked her, she could have just politely declined but she had to make him feel like he was so far beneath her, that she was so very cool, that he didn’t even have a right to ask her. She may have forgotten that episode, but he never would.

For ten years he pumped iron and worked out. That humiliation is what motivated him every day. Wayne became obsessed with Minerva and swore to himself that one day she would pay. That day was nearing, that day became reality when he found her six months ago. It was her time for humiliation now. Humiliation, Wayne thought, and so much more. She’d beg him to stop before he was through.

Wayne sat parked opposite Minerva and Trey’s house. No one notice the nondescript minivan on the street. He watched her leave that Monday morning and began to gather the rope, knives, duct tape and razor from his van that would serve as his tools for his late afternoon task.

He knew just where she was headed in her Mercedes. Uptown via the interstate in thirty-five minutes. The express elevator to the Fifty-second floor at Fraser, Chew and Poe. Nine or ten hours and home by 6:30. Trey was usually at least a half hour behind her and most nights more.

He’d be waiting for her. Tonight would be her night to pay.

Trey followed Minerva out within twenty minutes and Wayne slipped in through the back door. The half inch deadbolt easily yielded to his Discover card pressed between the bolt and the jamb.

He had the entire day to plan it out and to see what type of life had eluded him all these years. He found Minerva’s panties, all powder blue and lacy balled up next to the wash, they were still moist and he couldn’t help but inhale their aroma of sex. He wouldn’t be denied tonight, he’d get some of that before Trey got home, He’d also make sure Trey would never want a taste of her ever again, the razor blades would see to that.

He found her annual and the resentment turned to rage in an instant. A cheerleader and immensely popular in high school, Minerva’s annual had dozens of signings and best wishes, all from the most popular kids. Wayne didn’t even bother with an annual, he couldn't wait to be out of high school and away from those that tormented him for three straight years.

He’d show them. They’d see. Wayne’s name would be on their lips with respect by tomorrow. They’d see.


Minerva pulled into the garage at precisely 6:15. She was proud of herself that she remembered to stop at Peking Palace and was happy to pop a beer and watch the news unwinding until Trey came home. He had phoned and said it would be close to eight, a big merger deal he said.

When she came into the kitchen through the garage she caught sight of something or somebody out of the corner of her eye. She initially started to return to her car, but then, reaching into her purse she stepped into the house.

When Wayne saw her and saw instantly that she remembered him, he knew he had picked the exact right moment.


Trey was held back by the police as he tried to enter his drive. No less than six black and whites had surrounded his house along the end of their quiet cul-de-sac and yellow crime scene tape criss-crossed his driveway, front door and garage. He was panicked and when the duty officer realized who he was he led Trey personally inside, warning him gently that there was a lot of blood and he should brace himself.

The victim laid face up, eyes open with a bullet between the eyes. Blood had seeped into the floor boards, making the glossy hardwood slick and magenta hued. Deep cuts across the victim’s hands were evidence of the sharp razor blades intended for even more nefarious use.

Minerva was on the sofa, softly answering questions for the detective when she looked up and saw Trey.

“Oh Honey!” She sobbed. “And to think I fought you about getting a gun!”

Minerva wept and shuddered as Trey held her in his arms, Wayne’s open and cold dead eyes staring at both of them.

Michael J. Solender is a recent corporate refugee whose opinion and satire has been featured in The Richmond Times Dispatch, The Winston-Salem Journal, and Richmond Style Weekly. He writes a weekly Neighborhoods column for The Charlotte Observer and is a contributor to Charlotte ViewPoint. His micro-fiction has been featured online at A Twist of Noir, Bull Men’s Fiction, Calliope Nerve, Danse Macabre, Dogzplot, Gloom Cupboard, Full of Crow, Pangur Ban Party Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers and others. He blogs here:


  1. The ending I was hoping for.
    Good write, Mikey.

  2. A temporary empathy for Wayne disappeared as his lunacy burst through. Always love a stalker tale, and this really is a good 'un.

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  4. Stories about rejected nasty losers always make me pause. Why do they think women owe them anything? I think you sum his resentment up perfectly with "She didn’t as much as give him a second look. Women like Minerva didn’t have time for guys like Wayne." His failure to see her as a human, rather than an icon, with the right to choose is the root of his dementia. Well told.

  5. Diabolical madness! Great dive into the darkness of lies and bitter emotions - everyone gets it in the end, at the right moment!

  6. This story had a great sense of dread throughout. You did a skillful job of leading us to believe the killer would succeed with his plan right up until the reveal at the end. With all the recent attention on the effects of bullying on victims, I read this story with an analytical eye. Every case is unique of course, but I'm still of a mind that no matter how a person became twisted, no matter how painful their past experiences, once they start acting out on others they deserve what they get.

  7. Mikey, this had my heart pumping. You always serve us up a fantastic yarn. Loved the twist at the end. Stupid Jerk!!! Got what he deserved.

  8. Nice twist. She had him pegged from the beginning.

  9. Michael, this was a great story. I wasn't sure, right up until the end, which way it was going to go - that's how well you laid on the suspense. Contrasting the happy reality of Minerva's life with the self-destructive dream-world of Wayne was powerful stuff.

  10. Brilliant work, Michael. Great details and perfectly sculpted characters. Good twist there, too.

  11. Perfectly nasty. Perfectly tense. Perfect.(oh, perfect ending,too).

  12. A bitterness that can eat you alive, and eventually get you a bullet to the head. Sweet twist.

  13. This is as mad as a boxed snake. Relevant and brilliantly told.

  14. If you can call a crime story 'lovely' this was lovely. Great writing, Michael. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  15. Michael, you sly bastard.

    You had me thinking what everyone else above was thinking, too. Namely that Minerva was pretty stupid for entering her house and that Whacko Wayne had gotten his way.

    And then Trey gets led into the house and the tip of the hand comes just before we see Minerva on the sofa with this line:

    Deep cuts across the victim’s hands were evidence of the sharp razor blades intended for even more nefarious use.

    But right up to that point, there's no telegraphing and I was thinking and then saying under my breath, "He's not going to actually do this, is he?", meaning you.

    And you didn't.

    And it makes the story, as Anna says, lovely.

    Simply excellent, sir.

  16. Michael, I can't add anything more than has already been said. A fantastic twisty, turny story. Thank you!

  17. Sorry I'm late to the party, as usual, but I figured better late than never to give props on a good write.

  18. Not a roller coaster ride. More like a Wild Mouse trip. Short, tight turns and bumpety bumpety bump bumps then a final fast, straight trip right off the tracks that clinches you so tight there's buttonholes in the seat cover and then, somehow, you're gliding, breathless, safe and slow to a stop. That's one tight story, Michael.Cool.

  19. Thanx to all me mates for the kind words and to matt and col for featuring me stuff..