Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No Parking

By Gail Farrelly

Her corpse has been wheeled out to the mortuary van, but the chalk outline of the literary critic’s tortured body remains on the blue rug as a creepy reminder for the ten members of my writing club.

She had always ripped apart my mystery stories, saying that they lacked realism. Motive, means, and opportunity, she had reminded me. All three were needed to make a good mystery. Tonight when I decided to do the deed, I remembered that she was allergic to peanuts, and I just happened to have a bag of them in my purse. And oops! A few peanut crumbs had landed in her drink when she left it unattended on the piano for a few minutes.

She would have liked today’s story. Except for the ending.

At many meetings I had quietly seethed at her ruthless criticism. She had taken my dignity, my reputation, and my pride as she had torn apart my work. But today she had stepped over the line and taken something more valuable.

It happened downstairs a few hours ago. Just as I was about to back my Cadillac into a nice big parking space down the block, she sneaked up from the rear in her mini Cooper and maneuvered herself into the space.

I stare at the chalk outline and feel no guilt. This time she had gone too far. As a native New Yorker, she should have known better. Stealing a parking space is punishable by death.

And there’s no appeal.

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