THE SCARLETT DAHLIA BY JESSE ORR EPISODE 5 BLEACH AND HEDGE CLIPPERS
“JACK!” Marcie screamed.
Her voice echoed in the still air before being swallowed by the trees. There was no answering call.
“Stupid motherfucker, probably in a bathroom doing the rest of that blow,” she muttered. Turning to go, she saw movement in the shadows of the largest tree at the edge of the house. Her nerves, jacked on white powder, jerked her heart into her throat and she froze. Her bulging eyes remained locked on the spot and the lump in the shadows which had moved. Just as she was about to dismiss it, it moved again, this time enough that she could make out the shape of a large burly man, apparently asleep next to a set of hedge clippers which leaned against the trunk of the tree which shaded him.
A landscaper, her mind informed her, and red alert was canceled. Her jaw relaxed at the familiar sight of an underlying, employed to complete menial tasks beneath her own station. She smiled. Calm down, Marcie.
She screamed and whirled, her hands clutched into involuntary fists. Jack raised a hand. “It’s just me,” he said.
“God damn it!” she snapped. “Didn’t you hear me yelling?”
“That’s why I came out.” His hand lowered.
“Thank you so much,” she said and thrust her hand out, open this time. “Gimme the bullet.”
Jack looked confused. “The what?”
“Oh God, did you do it all already?”
“I don’t know what–”
“Jesus fucking Christ,” Marcie snarled, and yanked Jack forward by his shirt, digging her hand into his pants pockets. “The fucking bullet, that holds the fucking coke you’ve been sniffing all day you fucking RETARD!” She yelled the last in his face as she dug the bullet out of his left pocket and waving it in his face. “See?”
Jack’s face showed dawning comprehension as Marcie unscrewed the business end and dumped a healthy pile onto the hollow between her thumb and forefinger. Jamming her nose into the pile, she inhaled and gasped.
“HOLY SHIT!” she screamed, dropping the pieces of the bullet and grabbing for her throat. “What the fuck was that?”
“I’m not sure what Tide is,” Jack said, a smile playing around his lips, “but the box also said powdered bleach.”
Marcie didn’t hear him. She had fallen to her knees and was both gasping for air and vomiting, her eyes streaming red. “Jack! Get me to a fucking–” she retched again “–doctor!”
“What’s going on?”
The commotion had finally roused Maurice, the landscaper Marcie had spied napping. He stood at the edge of the lawn, eyes wide as he stared at Marcie. “Oh my… is she okay?”
“Does she look okay?” Jack asked, smiling pleasantly. “I put bleach in her cocaine device, although I did not know it was called a ‘bullet.’” He stepped around his stricken fiancee. “You are going to put her out of her misery for me.”
Maurice’s brain, never his strongest muscle, was still struggling to comprehend what he was seeing. “You gave her… what? Misery?”
“That is correct,” Jack said, and grasped Maurice’s calloused hand.
The laborer’s body gave a mighty convulsion, his eyes rolling back and staring, unseeing at the sky. His wide open mouth gaped without a sound. Spittle dribbled from one corner. In Jack’s grip, the hand was vibrating as though an electric current were flowing through it. Maurice felt as though his brain had been whisked out of his skull and replaced with a large empty room. Inside that room a man and a woman were laughing while something screamed. The man’s laughter got louder and louder until it was all Maurice could hear, he wanted to die if that was what it took to stop this…
Maurice’s eyes rolled forward and his knees buckled. Jack was expecting it, and reached to catch him. He needn’t have worried; the being which now inhabited Maurice’s body was already rising back to his full height, taking in the world as it did so.
“Missus?” came the voice of Hans the slave master, looking doubtfully at Jack.
“Yes,” said Jack, and a ghost of a grin flitted across his face. “He was the best I could do on short notice.” He gestured at his body.
Hans grunted, flexing his arms and taking some breaths. “This one feels good, missus.” His gaze shifted to the prone figure on the ground. At some point, Marcie had passed out. “What ’bout that’n?”
Jack looked at her with disdain. “She’s dirty. So is this one, but she’s just disgusting. I can smell her. That’s why you’re going to put her out of her misery. You remember where the bodies go?”
“Then do it,” Jack said, “and go back to minding the yard. I’ll be back with some more after I slip into someone more comfortable.”
“It will be as you say, missus,” Hans said and grinned. “If you don’t mind me saying, I’m looking forward to you getting back to your old self.”
“So am I, Hans,” Jack said, his voice prim. “Be about your work now.” He turned and rounded the corner of the house toward the car.
Hans grinned, and after a little searching picked up the hedge clippers Maurice had left under the tree. He gave them an experimental snip, and his grin grew wider. He liked the sound they made. Maybe he would see if he could wake up the bitch on the ground so she could hear it before dispatching her.
It was nice to be back at the Manor.