The Iron Writer Challenge #154
2016 Spring Open Challenge #2
500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements
D. Lee Cox, Richard Russell, Matthew Barron, Steven L. Bergeron
A truthful funeral attendee
Poisoned toilet paper
A specific M&M color bearing a private meaning
Sister Mary finished singing “In the Garden” and took her seat as Father Tim returned to the podium. “At this time, if anyone has something to say on the behalf of the deceased, come forward now.”
Then he stepped away. No one made a move.
As he was about to close, an inebriated man staggered up to the microphone.
“I didn’t know the guy, myself, but I just wanted to thank you all for bringing food. I can hardly wait to eat.” Then he staggered back to his seat.
The deceased’s six-year-old nephew, Danny, stood and made his way up.
“I liked Uncle George. We had fun going fishin’ a lot.” He reached in his pocket and held up a pocket knife. “He gave me this knife. Said it was his when he was my age, and I ought to have one… and don’t cut myself on it. Thank you, Uncle George.”
Now that “the ball was rolling”, a woman in a mini skirt hopped up. “Me an’ George was real close, we was. He was real fond of me. I know ‘cuz he was always comin’ over. Ol’ George was real friendly, but I think I killed him. His heart couldn’t take all the excitement. I mean, the last time we were rollin’ around doing the biker dude and cafe waitress thing, he …”
Another woman wearing a sweatshirt and leg warmers jumped up, cutting “mini skirt” off in mid- sentence; “Oh, you didn’t kill George! I did! I think it was the 5K walk-a-thon … We overdid it. That was on top of the gym, and the hiking, and me not letting him have anything but salads, and …”
A third woman, in high heels and a diamond necklace, stood up, interrupting “leg warmers”.
“I believe you ladies are mistaken. George killed himself after he discovered he’d spent all his savings giving me gifts and taking me out to expensive restaurants, plays, operas and fundraisers.
“Leg warmers” poked “mini skirt” in the ribs, laughing, “Like George would be caught dead with that crowd! Then she realized what she said and straightened up with a somber face.
A fourth woman, in flannel shirt and yoga pants, stood up with a loud sigh.
“I don’t know who you people are, but George and I grew up together. Yeah, we shared the bed together too. He used to offer me all green M&M’s; that was his invitation. I thought it was sweet.
But none of you killed him. It was an allergic reaction to this scented toilet paper… Something went systemic, and, before anyone knew what was what, he up and died.
I’m gonna miss him.”
In the doorway after the service, I mentioned to Father Tim as I shook his hand, “Well, I guess there are three things that tell the truth; small children, drunks, and ‘yoga pants’.”
He just laughed and shook his head.
I added, “She’s my sister …. I don’t know who those other women are.”
Then I turned to the drunk fella, “Come on, let’s go get some food.”
Martha Jean’s Eulogy
D. Lee. Cox
He rolled a yellow peanut M&M between his fingers as he pondered the eulogy. Various coughs and sniffs, hushed murmurs from the mourners. The director tapped him on the shoulder more than once.
He never heard the cue from his mind to stand and proceed – he just suddenly realized was he was walking toward the mic.
In front of him family, friends and acquaintances. Tom from the bank. Dark blue blazer over a yellow button down. Some smoking hot redhead up front. Electric blue silken blouse, black tights, gray leg warmers.
He looked up and out the stained glass window toward the ceiling above the balcony. Absentmindedly placed the yellow peanut M&M in his mouth and cracked it in half between his front teeth. Heads tilted in confusion. Whispers.
“This witch right here was the meanest, self-serving piece of garbage to ever cross my path.”
Blank stares from the audience.
“About twice a month she’d come home after a bender and beat the kids and kick my dog. She was cheating on me with Jim Bennett – yeah, you, Jim – didn’t think I knew about it, did you? That’s okay buddy, because she was cheating on you with Terry over there.”
“She lied and stole from just about every one of you to support her habit. Libby, it was this piece of trash that stole your brooch and hocked it, not our daughter Nadine. But Nadine was 15 and her good-for-nothing momma figured she could take the fall and get a light 2 month sentence in juvy.”
Wide eyes and murmurs.
He ate another yellow peanut M&M.
“And you people thought she was some sweet, kind but sad woman in an oppressive marriage.”
“I had an epiphany one night. In everyone’s life there’s someone that has to die. One particular person that holds your life up. Wont let you live and just drags you down to the deepest pits of depression or debauchery or ruin. And they wont stop unless, well, they’re dead.”
Heads bow. Sidelong looks.
“So I killed her.”
He ate another yellow peanut M&M.
“Figured I’d poison her. I have access to some pretty potent stuff down at the plant. Almost put the stuff in the toilet paper in her bathroom but then worried Nadine or Steph would use it.”
He coughed. Wiped his mouth.
“Then I remembered she always had a bag of peanut M&Ms in her purse. Never let the kids have any. I think she loaded that candy with her drugs. Only ever ate the yellow ones.”
He coughed harder. Blood on his hankerchief.
He held up a yellow peanut M&M.
The director was on his cell phone with the police.
“Nadine your uncle Shawn has instructions. There’s money for…”
He fell to a knee, but continued, “…. you and Stephanie. I love you, and now…. I’m out of your way…”
With that he doubled over, vomited, and collapsed.
Green as Treachery
Steven L Bergeron
I had finally made my way to the peak of copper mountain, I forgot how treacherous it could to be.
To Edward Randolph it was always an adventure. I suppose that is what brought me here. The call came in at 9 on the 2th. Being the top Constable of Denver state patrol, I received the summoned. One look at his frozen body I knew there was something wrong. There was no way he ever did the trip without his trusted leg warmers. In his right hand he clenched a green coloured M&M. He had a meaning for every M&M, green was for treachery.
“Hello Sarah is there a place we can speak in quiet?” Was my first request, as I set foot inside the resort.
“Lou I’m so glad you can made it. I didn’t know what to do. When I woke up this morning he was gone. His hiking gear was gone leg warmers and all.”
“Is that all?.”
“Whatever are you referring to. You know Ed better than anyone around here?” She responded in her usual seductive self.
“Nothing much, just looking around here it looks to me, you too were pretty chummy. As I recall he used to despise you.”
“That was years ago allot has changed since you left.”
“I can see. Do you mind if I look around?”
“Kill yourself. I need to get to the office. Lock up once you’re done.” She left popping green M&Ms into her mouth.
With that she was gone as I began snooping around. There must be answers, Ed and Sarah were getting too chummy for my liking. As I reached the bathroom the scent caught my attention, something was very odd. Ed was always a scent freak, anything not natural was poison to him. The scent of lavender certain surrounded the air from the soap to the toilet paper. The final piece of the puzzle came clear as I entered the kitchen. There in the garbage was no other than Edward’s special pair of soaked leg warmers.
The third of the month had finally arrived. Yesterday’s development was to be put to rest. Here I was back at the mountain peak among Edward’s close friends for his final resting place. In his final will be wishes to have his ashes scattered among the mountains. Being the soul person who knew him best I was called upon to share his life.
“Edwards Randolph was a great man who led a simple life. These mountains were his life and his dreams. He taught those who knew him to follow there dreams wherever they shall be.” There it was short and sweet , as the attendant sang his praise I empties his urn upon the mountains.
As they all left I completed my investigation by arresting the culprit of Edwards demise.
Sarah Mac Mahon is now serving ten to life.
One pink legwarmer rose proudly as she kicked. The fluorescent yarn matched her headband. Arms barely strained as she brought tiny barbells back. The smile frozen on Aunt Sally’s face was youthful, but she was in her forties when this photo, frozen behind glass on the wall of her den, was taken. This was when she founded Better Body Inc., the beginning of her fortune and legacy.
Ted nudged me, but I waved the jar of discarded yellow M&M’s away.
Rita took the jar. “You aren’t afraid of the yellow ones like old Sally was?”
I glared. Rita had made a scene at the funeral. With everyone saying how great Sally looked, Rita couldn’t help but claim she’d had work done.
Ted grabbed the jar back. “She was your sister. Show some respect.”
Rita cocked her head. “You truly believe the yellow ones are more fattening?”
Petting Fluffy would take my mind off these horrible people, but Sally’s cat was nowhere to be seen.
Ted grabbed his gut and swiveled in his chair. “Where’s that damn lawyer? He was to read the will at 10. It’s 11!”
I held my nose and stepped away. “What did you eat?”
“Indeed,” Rita said. “There’s a bathroom to the side of the den.”
Ted rose, but made for the door out. “There’s a perfectly good bathroom downstairs, away from you!” The door wouldn’t budge. Ted jerked the door and stood awkwardly with crossed legs.
“Use the bathroom here!” I said, but Ted continued to bang on the door. Tears dripped from his eyes and his face flushed red.
Rita grabbed her side. “Now you’ve got ME doing it!” She flung the door to the bathroom open, but staggered back, eyes wide.
My mouth hung open. “Aunt Sally? You’re alive!”
“Good morning, dear” Sally said, stepping by. Her face was tight and boobs high. Aunt Rita may have been right about having work done.
Sally threw a roll of toilet paper at Ted, who was on the floor with his back propped against the locked door. He rolled away from the tissue like it was a grenade.
Sally leered. “Did you enjoy your yellow candy-coated laxatives?
Rita spoke from behind the bathroom door. “Why did you do this, you hag?”
Sally continued, “Why so afraid of the bathroom here, Ted? Have any of you seen Fluffy today? Did you ever notice my dear Fluffy? If you did, maybe you’d know she liked to pull the toilet paper from the tube? I found Fluffy dead last week. Someone poisoned my toilet paper!”
“You’ll never prove I did it!” Ted insisted.
The door to the den pulled open and Ted’s head fell to the floor. A policemen stood over him. “We’ve got enough for a warrant. I hope you didn’t leave any traces of that poison lying around.”
Sally patted me on the back while they carted Ted away. “So good to see you, dear. Let’s get some fresh M&M’s. Stay away from the yellow ones.”
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