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DROP DEAD GORGEOUS by Leeza Sevsko
Mary Scwhall was sitting on her bed, looking at her reflection in the ten foot mirror that was adjacent to where she was seated. She absently ran her fingers through her hair, which was in dire need of a dye job. The long strip of graying hair could clearly be seen even with her thick black headband covering part of it. Mary was not a bad looking woman; neither was she an exceptional looking one. She had been average looking in her day, a plain-Jane one might say. Once she married and had two children, she let everything go by the wayside. Her body which used to be her pride and joy, her only strength feature wise, had lost its allure. Like a large portion of married women with children, she gained 15 pounds or so. She cooked like any traditional Italian would, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and homemade bread. It would be nearly impossible for her to resist these temptations after spending a day in the kitchen making them. One of Mary's favorite sayings was "Just one little bite." Unfortunately, one little bite became one little meal became "I'll just diet tomorrow." Could you really blame her, though? Mary had a lot on her plate, with keeping house, taking care of the children and managing the finances. Mary’s husband was a defense attorney, so they did fairly well with money. Saying the Schwall family lived comfortably would be a fair statement. John was every bit as grateful as he should have been, with his wife keeping the family's life in order and all, but Mary was well aware that he was grateful more for a routine than for her actual contributions. All was good though, or at least that was how it seemed to be. Mary got up from the bed and stood directly in front of the mirror. 38 years old and already fine wrinkles were visible when she smiled. She
0/0/3 tried to tell herself that these were from a lifetime of laughs, that joy caused the tired droop of her mouth, the sagging of her shoulders, but somewhere deep inside she knew she was making excuses for the obvious - Mary had invested all her time, energy and life into pleasing the family, and not a single moment on herself or her own needs. Sacrifices needed to be made to achieve some level of stability, she used to say. She would often create little aphorisms that would become her basic rules for life. Something to follow, something that never changed. She despised the very thought of relying on others, so by creating her own rules she was able to feel independent. Mary didn’t want to ask John to help with chores. He didn't deserve to be burdened with housework after he came home from a long day's work. The children, Harry and Louisa, scored a minimum of A on their exams and overall school-work. They didn't need the extra pressure as well. Besides, Mary wanted to be liked by her children. What was imperative to her was that she was liked by everyone. That could compensate for her lack of beauty. As long as everyone had the impression that Mary was the humorous, kind lady in Bethany, New York, that was all that mattered. Mary continued to gaze at her reflection in the mirror. She stifled a laugh. If she lost weight, colored her hair, introduced herself to makeup and took to more attractive apparel, she still wouldn't improve her look in the least bit. Mary was one of those women who just could never be anything more than average looking. Her mediocrity did influence her self esteem, however, but Mary tried to tell herself looks were just one factor, and luckily for her, aesthetics had never and would never take up too much thought in her mind. Or so she thought.
Chapter 2 Something hadbeen bothering Mary for years. Behind this act of being content with her life, Mary was not satisfied. She loved her family fiercely, but she felt as though her adventurous side had yet to be awakened. People with families tend to grow more complacent as the years progress. This applied to Mary. John had given up organizing family vacations long ago, but Mary didn’t question his motives. John was sensible, reliable, a stable man, she thought. He was the steady one, always sure of himself and so Mary felt whatever John did was right. After all, he did marry her, with knowledge of all her flaws. Mary knew that her being completely average looking was a good thing, and as long as she wasn't extraordinary in any way that was good too. She was completely normal. She just didn't quite know what purpose was of gorgeous people. Were they here to make life harder for the unattractive? Perhaps their purpose was to overshadow the average looking. Or, she thought, maybe they were God’s way of making life furthermore challenging for the “regular people.” "Beautiful people shouldn't be superior to others." Mary said to the empty room. As soon as this train of thought came to her, it evaded her. She had to finish the housework, and housework couldn't be delayed. Mary left her ocean themed bedroom and crossed the hallway. She descended the stairs and greeted her children that were arriving home from school. Glancing down at her watch she noticed that at the fat black numbers read. 3:42 PM. Time really escaped you when you were in the privacy of your own room, unaccompanied by
0/0/5 others, she thought to herself. She entered the kitchen, and starting preparing the necessary ingredients to make one of her most favored dishes, homemade macaroni and cheese.
Mary was in the basement, collecting laundry that needed tobe folded. She could have been done with this if she hadn't spent so much damn time letting her thoughts get the best of her. "Easy now, Mary. You aren't that far behind, there isn’t a need to worry." Mary didn't usually think it a bit odd that she often talked to herself, moreover, that she addressed herself by her own name, as though she were conversing with someone was was actually there, besides herself. It didn't faze her in the least bit. In fact, Mary thought it normal. If she needed to speak out loud to get her through the chores, she would sure as hell speak out loud. She was especially agitated that she let herself be distracted today and her perfectly ordered schedule had been altered. Holding the laundry basket close to her chest, Mary ascended the stairs of the basement. Everything was in check. The family was fed, the clothes were ready for the following day, and the house was immaculate, as always. Finally, the sweet escape of sleep would come. Mary headed up to the bedroom. John, who was one to stay up late at night to watch "Law and Order" had already been in a deep slumber by the time Mary slipped into bed. Once again, she glanced at her Timex watch and saw that the numbers read 11:47 PM. Indeed she had taken extra time with the chores that night. Being too exhausted to change into her pajamas, Mary laid her head against her seafoam colored pillow and drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
0/0/8 Chapter 5
The next morning arrived earlier than Mary would have liked it to. Rays of sun glared through the window in the bedroom, and once the birds started singing their happy melody she knew it was going to be nearly impossible to return to sleep. The time was 6:12 AM, and Mary's face brightened a little. She had some time to herself, before the children awoke. She descended the stairs as quietly as she could, yet they still managed to creak slightly on certain steps, but not nearly enough to disturb John who had still been snoring before Mary exited their room. Mary went into the kitchen, washed her hands with some Dial soap and took a glazed coffee pastry into the living room, along with her Stephen King novel. Before heading into the other room she turned on the coffee maker. Nothing could calm Mary more that straight up black coffee. As she ate the pastry she began reading King's latest thriller, "The House on Maple Street." Mary placed a bookmark on page 32 of the novel, and went inside to retrieve her favorite mug, navy colored, the words "World's Best Mother" engraved in elegant script across the length of the cup. Mary smiled to herself. She remembered the time Harry and Louisa, who were 9 and 12 at the time had fervently insisted on going into the "Personalize Tees N' Mugs" shop with only their father during their vacation in Florida. Mary had waited patiently in her Jeep, wondering whether the children would opt for the shirt or the mug. Secretly she hoped for the mug, as she had no need for an extra tees-shirt. The ones she had already was all that she needed. Later that night in the hotel room, wrapped in sparkly red tissue paper was the mug. Louisa had started chattering about the shop and how next time they would get a shirt for their mother. Mary began to reject that idea, but Harry had interjected with "Mom, I told them you wouldn't have any use for a shirt, that you would appreciate the mug more." Harry wasn't an outspoken child, and the
0/0/9 people he talked to were select and few. Mary remembered being so flabbergasted that he would pick up on something that like that. It was important to her. She was elated that her son would know a little detail like that about her, when he rarely paid attention to the rest of the family's preferences. Mary brought herself back into the present. Sometimes when she reminisced of memories from the past she would often lose herself in them. It was as though she was actually there, watching them replay over and over again. When they were good memories, Mary would welcome them. Most of the time they were good.
0 / 0 / 10 Mary chugged down the rest of the coffee, relishing the satisfying taste of the steaming beverage, and headed upstairs to wash up for the day. The rustle of the children readying for school could be heard from the floor below. When she reached the top of the stairs she said "Don't be so loud, you'll wake your father!" John wasn't due in work till noon, and Mary wanted everything to be just as it always was on Wednesday, the day John would sleep late. "Hurry up, Harry, Louisa! You don't want to be late." Mary said while preparing the sibling's lunches for school. Not more than three minutes had passed were Louisa and Harry ready with their backpacks slung over their shoulders. The children piled into the cherry red car. Mary saw that Susan Sarso was jogging along pavement. "Hey Mary, how is everything?" Susan said through labored breaths. She was leaning forward and her hands were resting against her thighs for support, after one of her strenuous jogs. A sharp pang of envy passed through Mary. Even sweaty and her thick blonde locks being restricted by a hair band Susan still was exquisite looking. Her cornflower blue eyes were catlike, quite exotic looking. Her mouth curved into the most perfect smile, and her creamy ivory skin was luminous against her white running outfit. She could easily pass for an angel, or better yet, the goddess Aphrodite. Susan was tall and had been bestowed long limbs, with the body of a lithe ballerina. Mary found herself exceedingly envious of what Susan had, and what she herself clearly lacked. Everything about Susan was repulsive, she thought. Some people were plagued with disabilities and disorders while Susan stood here in perfect health, with a face countless women would die for. "Hello Susan. Everything is fine, thanks." Mary said icily. Mary had never in fourteen years of living in Bethany, New York spoken coldly to any of its residents. Susan was obviously taken aback by the tone of Mary's response, and her smile vanished. Her slanted eyes were still naturally smiling, as they always were, which annoyed Mary immensely. "Did I do
0 / 0 / 11 something to offend you?" She innocently questioned. Mary, not wanting to destroy her reputation, replied with "Oh no, nothing at all Susan, I'm sorry if I sounded rude, I'm just a little behind schedule. Need to drop the kids off at school." Susan's face relaxed. "Oh, tell me about it. Once I get home I have to get Gretal ready for school and take Chris to the doctor." Susan noticed that Mary looked tense, perhaps she was running late. She did not want to keep her. "Well, I'll talk to you later." Susan said. "Goodbye." Too formal, a little voice in Mary's head murmured. "Have a nice day, Sue." Mary said in a voice that sounded warm, but which really shrouded acrimony. Susan smiled her flawlessly perfect smile and started jogging again. She was too beautiful. How could someone that stunning be as equally nice? Mary wondered to herself. Even though Susan Sarso had the looks and the attitude that enabled her to be the most liked woman in Bethany, Mary couldn't help but welcome this newly found hatred for her. And she did not know why.
Chapter 7 The day passed rather swiftly. After dropping the kids off at their high school, (Harry was 14 and Louisa 13) Mary set out on cleaning the attic. This consisted of a full dusting, sweeping, and reorganization of the massive room, and since Mary was a meticulous person, she would not do
0 / 0 / 12 these things hastily. Cobwebs clung to corners of the attic and small spiders ran up and down their length. The plain looking pallid fan hung from the ceiling was home to a variety of insects to which Mary would prefer not knowing their identities. Books were stacked precariously atop one another in various piles. Many years ago when Mary initiated Harry and Louisa into how to properly clean the attic, she had assigned them the job of stacking the books, from largest to smallest. The children took more delight in stacking them according to the attractiveness of their color, rather than their size. Mary hadn't the heart to tell them to redo what they were so proud of accomplishing, so for perhaps the one and only time in her life, she disregarded her impulsive need for order. Just for them. It wasn't as endearing 7 years later when the room was in disarray, though. She felt overwhelmed for a brief moment, not knowing quite where to start, but she exhaled and to steady herself she said "Oh Mary, just pick one area, any will do." The first thing she did was dust the entire room, not missing a single square inch. "Tidiness is essential if you want to keep stability in the house". She said. There was some modicum of privacy in the attic. She had the entire day to get the attic looking spiffy, and the kids weren’t here to distract her. Her thoughts began to drift, and she found herself fixated on this morning's encounter with Susan Sarso. Why had she behaved like such a snob? And why had she embraced this new fierce loathe for this woman? It wasn't like she provoked her. There were many questions that were still left unanswered, but Mary told herself not to dwell on them. But dwelling on them is precisely what she did. This hatred for Sue was like some sort of beast; the more she thought about it, the moreshe fed it, the more it grew. What would happen when it reached its max growing capacity? This was one question that Mary would never want to learn the answer to. She involuntarily shivered. Goosebumps had appeared on her arms. "You sure know how to spook yourself, Mary." She said to herself with a chuckle.
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She took her time sweeping; there was no rush, no rush at all. Alas, Mary had across to the one item that ever held any measure of importance to her. Under mounds of boxes was her wicker rocking chair. During her pregnancy, John was busy working twelve hour days. At the time he couldn't afford to ask for more time off. The only company that Mary had was that of her wicker rocking chair. "I have some fond memories of you, you know... Through all the turmoil
0 / 0 / 14 and scares of my pregnancies, you were there. It sounds as though I'm talking to my one true love. If anyone saw me talking to a chair up in this dingy little room they would question if I was either drunk or they would assume I must have a screw loose somewhere.“ She laughed. She cleaned the wicker chair as best she could, given she needed to be as gentle as possible about the job in fear of ruining the chair's fine detailing. When she was done, she surveyed the room. What a nice job she had done. The wicker chair was especially attractive. It looked exactly the way it had the day she had purchased it so long ago. She removed the plastic covering from the cushion. Good thing she had been preserving it in the plastic seal, it would have been such a shame if it suffered wear or tear over the years of its neglection. Mary lifted the chair and placed it in the middle of the room. "There." She murmured. Now everything was good. As it was, and as it always would be. Mary went downstairs and began watching the female morning talk show "The View." Laundry could be fun, she told herself. As long as the TV was playing during the folding of it. A wave of nausea caught Mary by surprise. It didn't fade; in fact, it intensified to the point that Mary had to cover her mouth and run to the bathroom as fast as it was humanly possible to. By sheer luck, she made it to the toilet without spewing out vomit that was apparently this morning's breakfast every which way. Even with thoroughly brushing her teeth, she still couldn't rid herself of the putrid taste. One hand held her stomach while the other the clutched the hand-railing of the stairs. Once she was on the second floor she went into the refrigerator and removed a miniature bottle of ginger ale. There were no more chores left to do besides making dinner and flipping the load of laundry later that night, so she settled herself on the couch and went back to watching The View, as though she had never gotten sick in the first place. The ginger ale soothed her
0 / 0 / 15 stomach, and by the end of the show, she found herself extremely tired. As though she hadn't a choice, she succumbed to sleep. "Mary, Mary, wake up. Kids are home." John was standing above Mary, his jacket slung over his shoulder. Perspiration had soaked through the underarms of his white cotton Oxford shirt. "I threw up." Mary stated blatantly. "Well are you okay?" John said, sounding slightly concerned. "Yes, I think I am fine. I fell asleep and I pretty much feel alright now." "It was probably something you ate." John said knowingly. Mary knew it couldn't have been that because she had only time for breakfast that day, and that meal was ritual, a glazed pastry and coffee, but she didn't feel like contradicting him. Mary got up, stretched her taut muscles, and yawned deeply. She was still a bit stiff from the uncomfortable sleeping position she was in, but she went into the kitchen and began yet another three course meal. She had promised the kids fudge cookies.
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When Mary slept that night she dreamed about both the arrival of new life and the death of old. Even if it was just a dream, the images were so vivid they were disturbing. Traces of crimson blood had been smeared everywhere on a once clean white wall. There looked to be bloodied handprints on the wall as well, wet and fresh. In her dream she was on the outside looking in. Her body floated suspended in midair, circling the room again and again. The salty smell of blood was so powerful she had a brief urge to drift over to the stained walls and place her own hand atop the scarlet surface. Just as she was about to cross the room to further examine the red walls she heard a blood curdling scream, a scream so wretched, so tortured she awoke with sweat dripping down her forehead, and her heart beating a mile a minute. She lay in bed,
0 / 0 / 17 beside John and turned the TV on; keeping the volume at such a low level it could not be heard. All that was necessary was the glare of the TV that made her feel the room was safe. Nothing could ever happen to such a sane, rational woman. The next morning wasn't much better. At a quarter after 5 the same wave of nausea passed over Mary, this time more insistent than yesterday's. For about fifteen minutes Mary sat up in bed, trying to to not think about it. It worsened though, so she went into the bathroom and fell to the floor. Holding her thin chestnut colored hair with one hand, she leaned over the bowl and disposed of the vile liquid. The same morning, after dropping the kids off at school, she went to the nearest CVS Store and bought herself an at-home pregnancy kit. At the age of 38, she was unsure at how probable the chances of her being pregnant were, but she needed to find out. For the rest of the day she continued keeping house, with the exception of doing laundry. She knew she was vulnerable to miscarriages; she had two in the past. If she was pregnant, she was not losing this baby. If she was pregnant, and the pregnancy went smoothly, she could have a new friend, a little baby. She had a feeling it would be a baby boy. The next day, after throwing up a third time in the past 3 days, she waited for the results of the pregnancy test. She looked down at the little stick, and as she expected, it read "Positive." Her tears were unleashed. Not because she was melancholy, but because she was overjoyed. A baby, the shining beacon of hope for her and John. A little baby. A baby boy. She went over to the cordless phone and dialed John's number.
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John’s reaction was nothing that Mary had thought it would be. He answered with "Hello, this is John Scwhall, how can I assist you?" "John, hunny, it's Mary. I have something to tell you. I'm pregnant!” Mary said through choked sobs. "What are you saying Mary? I can't understand you." He said. The spell was broken. Even if his reply once he knew what she had said was one of happiness, it just wouldn't be the same. "John, I said I'm pregnant." Mary said a little more sternly. "Oh Mary, that’s great and all, but this couldn't have been at a worse time! I just quit."
0 / 0 / 19 Mary's heart sank. The baby that she already fiercely loved had not filled John with any joy, only a sense of obligation. Mary vowed to herself, no matter what, this baby would never hunger for love. If John wasn't entirely committed to him, Mary would be. When John came home he explained why he left the job he had invested countless years into. "You see, Mary, there was this raise. I didn’t want to let you know till after I was positive it was mine. I’ve been working to get there for years, and finally it was on the table. Between me and this new guy Kimpk who didn’t even deserve to be hired in the first place. Guess what? The economy is tough and apparently I’ve been losing “one too many cases.” But as a lawyer I’m really appreciated. Appreciated my ass. He is here for not 8 months and he gets a raise and what do I get? Nothing. So I quit. Simple as that.” Mary didn't really have anything to say. Doctor Steinstin had specific instructions that she not get herself stressed in the least bit, so Mary, in the hopes of getting John in a better mood, subtly changed the subject "John, think on the bright side. You will be here all the way to watch our baby grow. I'm three months along, John." Mary said in an even tone. "Well as long as everything is fine and dandy in your life Mary, that’s all that matters! Doesn't seem to resonate with you that mine is falling to pieces! All that matters is the darn baby. Baby this, baby that. Don't you care about me? I've watched you become one of those God awful overweight boring women that I absolutely despise over the years, and what do I do about that? Nothing. Of course, nothing. As long as I look to be content and everything’s written on a little schedule that’s all that matters. Aren't I correct, Mary? Even when I need the support the most you bring it back to you. This can't go on."
0 / 0 / 20 Mary was speechless. Her heart began to race. After 14 years of marriage the tide was changing. John had changed. Mary showed no fear and her voice did not waver when she spoke the word that made her cringe in the past. "Do you want a divorce?" "I think that would be best. I'll pack my suitcase. I'm leaving tonight. I really hope you won't put the children through too much. Don't make me the enemy here." John said defensively. Mary was boiling with anger, and the pot was just about to go over when John left the room and then the house. He went into his Mercedes Benz and drove off. She watched him through the window as he left. Her tears now were tears of sadness. Her heart felt like it was shriveling away. Though her anger had dissipated, and what took its place was a deep sense of loss. Tonight, the first night in 14 years she was going to be sleeping in a bed alone.
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The following weeks were predictable. She was ordered by Doctor Steinstin to take it easy. This meant cutting her chores in half, which both worried and relieved Mary. "We'll both help you Mom, you just sit and eat and take care of our baby brother" Louisa said. Even though the exact gender of the baby was not determined yet, Mary and the kids spoke as though it was a boy. The kids weren't their normal selves ever since John left. They wore perpetual frowns nearly all the time, even when Mary allowed them to take a few days off of school, which was unheard of if you had Mary as a mother. Mary and the children agreed on keeping the pregnancy private for awhile, for during her last pregnancy with Louisa she was subject to nosey neighbors dropping by unannounced. John had called to inform Mary which hotel he was staying in, a Holiday Inn. Mary was surprised how every passing day grew easier to deal with. It felt as though John had been
0 / 0 / 22 absent for six weeks rather than six days. There were a lot less chores to tend to now that the children were contributing, and she subsequently had a lot more time on her hands. While the kids were watching a comedy she went for a walk to the Ice Cream Shop. Her latest craving had been strawberry ice cream, and once Mary had a craving, no matter how extravagant it was, she couldn't shake it. Upon entering the ice cream shop she saw a line winding all the way around the counter. She decided to sit down for a bit, and wait for the place to clear out. At the table beside her, Susan Sarso was seated. She happily licked away at a plain vanilla cone. Something about the way she ate it made Mary grit her teeth. "Oh, hello Mary! I'm so sorry about John. This must be really tough for you. I know we haven't exactly been close but I'm here for you. I just want you to know that. However bad it gets or doesn't, you have a friend in me." Sue said, smiling to show her full mouth of perfectly aligned snow-white teeth. Even though what Sue said wasn't said maliciously, Mary's hatred for Susan Sarso had exacerbated. Mary could not stand it anymore. That stupid Barbie was begging for it. Sue's high pitched voice went right through Mary, like nails on a chalk-board. Visions of Sue being murdered flashed through Mary's mind. Susan didn't deserve to live, Mary thought. How could everything be okay if Beautiful-Barbie Susan Sarso continued to live? Day after day, year after year, Mary told herself beauty was in the eye of the beholder, aesthetics did not matter. Well maybe they did, Mary thought to herself. Maybe looks did matter, or else why would John have left her? If looks didn't matter, than how come Susan was the most favored woman in the community? Abruptly, as though she had been contemplating this for quite awhile, Mary said, "Sue, I think that is exactly what I need. What I need is a friend. Would you mind if I came over one of these days? I'd love it if it could just be us girls, without the kids...” Mary said. It sounded believable enough. Susan beamed at her. "Sure! Do you know
0 / 0 / 23 what? Tim took the kids to Six Flags this afternoon, so I have the house to myself. I'd love some company. After you get your ice cream why don't you come on over?" "I think I will, Sue. I think I'll do just that. I don't want ice cream anymore." Mary said. Susan drove Mary to her place, and the two women entered the house, chattering away. Sue hadn't the faintest idea just what she had gotten herself into.
Chapter 13 Inside the house, Sue made little cheese sandwiches and set them up on a platter, for Mary. "Mary, you've got to keep you and your baby strong. Here, this makes up for the ice cream. At least you are getting the calcium. Mary laughed a fake laughed and thanked her. Sue was genuinely a kind soul, and probably one of the best looking women ever to walk the planet Earth. This wasn't how it was supposed to be though. Normalcy would be easier to achieve if Susan weren't around. If she just vanished. Mary noticed a hammer on the counter of Susan's kitchen. It was tempting her to do it. It was beckoning her. It said in a seductive voice Come on Mary, don't be a coward. Like you said everything needs to be balanced. Then more ardently Come on, just do it. You know you want to; you're just itching to do it, come on Mary, come on! Mary slammed her hand against the wooden table and winced. Sue turned around from what she was doing and said, "Why Mary, are you sure you're alright?" Concern was written all over her face, and her eyes grew wider. "Everything is going to be alright now, Beautiful-Barbie." Before Susan knew what was coming, Mary swung the hammer that she was concealing behind her back at her. It hit Sue right in the
0 / 0 / 24 face. Susan was screaming like a chicken without a head. Mary reveled in the feeling of power. For once she was the one controlling things, manipulating situations that were just "Too much for a woman to handle" as John put it. Mary kept swinging the hammer into Susan's face. Blood was spurting out of Susan's nose, her mouth, and her ears. Her screams were piercing, giving Mary the adrenaline to strike her with even more power. Beautiful-Barbie's pretty blonde curls were soaked in blood the color of rubies, but oddly enough, there was something evermore beautiful about that. About the way the blood seemed to shimmer, as though an artist had painted over her face rather than Mary bashing it. "Beautiful-Barbie, the more you scream the harder I hit!" Mary shrieked in a voice that barely resembled her own. All Mary knew in the thrill of the moment was that she had to go on, go on till Sue's face was unrecognizable and until Sue breathed no more. Mary discovered a different angle of the hammer that would result in more destruction to her victim. She knew that time was of the essence, and she would have to end Sue's life once and for all. There was no option of letting Susan live. Even if Mary had wanted her to, which she didn't, Mary would be caught and thrown in jail for a good many years. No, that wouldn't happen. Susan began crawling out of the kitchen. Mary caught her attempt to do this though and her rage consumed her. Mary yelled over Susan's anguished cries. She came up from behind and hit her victim in the head. Susan fell unconscious. This was Mary's chance... Mary noticed a spool of ribbon lying on the counter beside some wrapped presents earlier. This would come in handy. She uncoiled the ribbon and tied it around Susan's feet. By the time she had finished, all of the ribbon had been used. It proved to be sufficient though, as when Mary fidgeted with the ribbon that was binding her ankles together, it wouldn't loosen. Mary noticed nearly all of Susan's front teeth had been smashed out. Some stuck to her clothes while the rest fell into a pool of crimson liquid on the white marble floor. Mary took one swing at her victim's ankles, and as
0 / 0 / 25 expected, a sharp crack sounded. Both of them had been broken as well. At this point Mary was oblivious that Susan had come around. There was no chance of escape or survival for Susan now. She was completely weak, in every way. How much more could this woman endure until she could hold onto life no longer? Mary reached over and grabbed a knife from a shelf on the counter. "Big Butchers knife for Beautiful-Barbie!" she said, laughing maniacally. Mary discovered Susan was conscious. She was now well aware of Susan's relentless screams, as they became louder and more tortured with every passing minute. Mary realized Susan hadn't been yelling to express her pain from the torture, she was trying to say something, but it repeatedly came out gargled. Finally, Mary understood her. "Please stop!" Susan cried. But stopping wouldn't do any good. Mary wouldn't feel at ease until she rid the Earth of this unsightly creature writhing on the floor. Writhing was apparently all she could do; she couldn't even look her murderess in the eyes when the final blow came. With both hands firmly clutching the handle, Mary lifted her hands behind her head and brought the knife down, stabbing Susan in the heart, and ultimately killing her.
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The marble floor was now fully enveloped in a pool of Susan's blood. Once she came down from her adrenaline rush, Mary began disposing of the body and evidence. She would hide the body in her trunk till the next day and throw it in the ocean. She frantically searched for a bottle of Pine Sol and when she found it she dumped the entire contents of the gallon on the marble floor, after soaking the blood up with some paper towels. She worked expeditiously as she scrubbed the floor. In less than ten minutes no trace of blood was visible. She took the garbage bag that hid Barbie's body and walked out the door. She hid it in one of Susan's garbage cans, walked home, retrieved her car and drove it over. Thankfully Tim and Sue's kids hadn't arrived home yet. As for Mary’s kids, she hoped they were too absorbed in watching the movie that they hadn’t noticed she went home only to leave with her car shortly after. Mary piled the body into her truck, and drove back to her house. She sat in her car for a while, thinking about what she had done. What if someone had seen her? What if someone knew what she had done? “Forget about it, what’s done is done” She said confidently. Instinctively Mary put a hand on her stomach and said "Don’t worry baby, Momma's going to be alright. No one will ever know about Beautiful-Barbie. Never never never." Mary looked at her reflection through the mirror in her Jeep. "Dear Lord, Mary. You can't walk into the house
0 / 0 / 27 looking as though you've participated in a slaughtering; however true that might be." There was a box of baby wipes in the car, so she scrubbed off Barbie's blood as best she could. Her hair was frizzy, but that was nothing a ponytail couldn't fix. She stripped herself down to her tank which was without blood. Mary thought to herself what the best time to get rid of the body once and for all without witnesses watching her do it. "Tommarow morning, early morning, I'll sneak out, the kids will still be asleep. All is well, all is well. I'll just dump her in the ocean. Dump it all in the ocean. I can't be traced then, now could I?" Mary clasped her hands together to prevent them from shaking. She couldn't walk into the house looking distressed, she had to put up a good front. Once she reigned in her emotions, Mary unlocked her front door and went into the house.
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"Hey Mom" Harry said without looking up. The kids seemed to be transfixed by a different movie, so they didn't notice Mary fail to answer Harry's greeting. They continued to watch what was on TV. That was perfectly fine, it was best if they didn't see her for the time being. "I'm going go upstairs for a little while." Mary said. Her voice had a slight edge of hysteria in it. Not good, Mary thought. "I'll come down to make dinner in a little bit." Once she was out of sight, Louisa said "Do you think Mom's okay? It sounded as though she was crying." "You know how she’s been since Dad left. I think she needs time to herself." Louisa shrugged. After Mary showered, she went up to the attic. She sat on her wicker rocking chair, and spoke to herself. "Mary, oh Mary, what have you gotten yourself into? While her thoughts were racing, a little voice in her head said You, my friend, are a murderess. A merciless, torturous, relentless murderess. And you know you like it. Well, she couldn't dispute these thoughts; besides, the word murderess had a sort of ring to it. It wasn't an overly-feminine word, it was a strong word, a dignified word. It made her feel like Wonder-Woman without the skin tight rubber outfit. "I know she deserved it, but why do I still not feel satisfied? I thought killing Susan would take care of this impulse, but it hasn't, really. Why do I still feel the need the strike again? I'm not a monster. She had it coming, she really did. Gorgeous people do not deserve to live." Mary said aloud. Suddenly, Mary's sense of accomplishment evaporated. It disappeared as swiftly as if a balloon were to deflate. She was infuriated. "Mary, you've done it once, you can do it again.
0 / 0 / 30 You're just doubting yourself. You think you would be too afraid to do it again. I'll tell you, this is not a one time thing. Others will feel your wrath. Let’s think… Who is most deserving of it? Polly Olhey. Yes, she would be perfect. Polly the Dolly…" Polly Olhey lived a few blocks away from Susan, in a small yellow house, partially concealed by hunter green shrubbery. Although she was definitely not as stunning as Susan Sarso was, Polly was gorgeous in her own way. She was a soft-spoken woman in her 30's, with chocolate brown hair and unusually large hazel eyes. Her lashes were naturally thick. Although Polly's lips weren't in proportion, her bottom lip large while her upper lip thin, this did not minimize her beauty in the least bit. Her skin could have been made of porcelain china, the color alabaster. But just like porcelain, Polly was sensitive and susceptible to breaking. She had a tendency to wear her heart on her sleeve. Although she was the owner of an agile body, stealthy and strong, her face showed her true vulnerability, the quivering of her lower lip whenever she failed, the somber droop of her eyes when she cried. She was in an abusive relationship with a ruthless man in the past. Her friend rescued her once she found out she had been enduring the abuse for over two years. Polly was a very fragile woman, a woman who was so unsure of herself she might never acquire the self confidence essential in the survival of a world so brutal, so harsh. There was something about Polly's deer-caught-in-the-headlights attitude that aggravated Mary. For some reason, a reason that Mary would never understand, she knew that killing Polly would satiate her. It would satisfy her biting need to make the beautiful suffer. Mary took no pleasure in feeling this compulsion, this craving to destruct and destroy. When she actually killed Susan, her hesitance didn't matter anymore. Mary delighted in that feeling. Just knowing she could take life away from a gorgeous person made Mary excited. The feeling was indescribable. The best Mary could compare it to would be riding a rollercoaster, but that thrill
0 / 0 / 31 wasn't nearly as electrifying as this. The suspense was another feeling which Mary could not resist. The feeling the killers in the many novels felt, that liberating, totally reckless feeling was irrisistable. After about an hour of sitting in the rocking chair, Mary went downstairs and started cooking dinner for the kids. She was planning on making pasta with red sauce, but that didn't seem so appealing anymore. The next morning Mary awoke at four AM and tip toed down the stairs. She grabbed her car keys which she had placed on the living room table and left to do away with the body. When she arrived at the ocean, she took a moment to breathe in the air, and calm herself in the stillness of the place. Not a single other person was there beside’s herself, which made it all the more easy to dump Susan's corpse into the black waters, hopefully, never to resurface. First, she put Susan’s corpse in a heavy duty garbage bag. She worked methodically while tying the bag closed with thick braided rope. Just because time was dwindling away did not give her the excuseof going skimpy. If she needed an extra few minutes to make sure the rope was securely fastened around the bag, so be it. Mary wished she could stay at the beach forever; the serenity it brought to her was inspirational. Her eyes went go glance at her watch, only to discover it wasn’t around her wrist. Immediately Mary tensed, and her heartbeat accelerated. Where had the watch gone? In her rage had she lost it at Susan's place? If she did, if she had been that precarious as to leave such an important piece of evidence at the house, she would beyond a shadow of a doubt be held accountable for the murder of Susan Sarso. Now there was no more time to be meticulous about the dumping of the corpse. Looking to make sure no one had arrived at the beach yet, Mary went to the dock and searched for Pete Opel’s boat “The Mermaids.” Pete Opel was a man in his late sixties with shoulder length white hair and a tangled beard who was never seen not wearing histraditional sailor hat. Luckily for her, Pete was more of the drunk-type and often forgot to
0 / 0 / 32 lock the ignition switches of his boat. He also didn’t believe in installing an alarm system. Although the boat looked to be dilapidated; the paint that spelled out “The Mermaids” once a vibrant aquamarine now a faded blue, the long periods of time which it was ignored did not seem to affect the engine itself. It revved and rumbled loudly, reminding her of the throaty laugh of Pete Opel himself as he guzzled down brandy after brandy. Mary’s father had had experience with boats. For seven years he was obsessed with them, until one awful day when lightening striked. Poor Will had been so taken aback by the abruptness of the storm he lost his balance and unintentionally plunged into the formidable abyss. Mary, who was just twelve at the time was petrified to move, and so she watched as he desperately tried to latch onto life. The flailing of his arms and the thrashing of his head took a few minutes before ceasing. She stayed in the cockpit of the boat, waiting out the storm. When it became nothing more than a light drizzle she guided the boat to shore. When questioned by a popular news Channel how she did it she replied “My Dad taught me everything I need to know. I will never be more grateful.” Mary dragged the body over to where The Mermaids resided and hoisted it inside the boat. She guided the boat through the water and decided on the location to which she would do away with the body once and for all. She watched as Susan Sarso’s corpse began the slow descent into the sea. Mary felt as though a weight was lifted off her shoulders, only to be dropped moments later at the realization that her watch was still missing. After steering the boat back to the dock, exactly where it was left initially, Mary ran to her car, and hastily began the hunt for her Timex. She prayed with all the faith she could muster that it would be lying between a crevace in the seats, or on the floor. After nearly five minutes of searching, wedged underneath the foot mat lay the watch; blood had crusted on the band part
0 / 0 / 33 which she wiped away with her bare hands. Mary could feel her tension and anxiety dissipate, as her heart's erratic beating reverted back to normal. She hopped into her Jeep, feeling much more relaxed than she had been in a long time. Now the only thing that worried Mary was returning home without her children already discovering her abscence. Mary discovered that Louisa and Harry were sound asleep. Even on Christmas the children would sleep late. This was an attribute they acquired from John. Mary would have never guessed how much it would come in handy.
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Mary tip-toed into the kitchen and let the stream of water from the faucet wash away the grime. Despite washing her hands with antibacterial soap until they were raw, Mary felt as though the blood stilllingered on them. She turned the TV on to Channel 2. Susan's disappearance was already being investigated. "We really want her back. Money is no problem, I can assure you of that." Tim, (Susan's husband) said. A person in the community went on to speak about "This just wasn't the kind of neighborhood that people vanished in. Makes you think, we aren't all safe, as much as we'd like to believe it." Mary's nerves were rattled. She turned off the television. Her hands clenched into fists. So they had started investigating. Well, she was prepared for this. It wasn't as if Susan's family wasn't going to notice her disappearance. All the evidence had been taken care of, and there would be no reason for detectives to search the kitchen for traces of DNA. Mary, in fact, was one of the least likeliest of suspects in this case of 1st degree manslaughter. Of course no one knew it was that specific type of murder, people still clung on to hope, the hope that sustained the idea that Susan would be found. Mary was a devoted woman with two children, went to church every Sunday, helped little old ladies across the street; not the type to commit anything as sinful as murder. And thanks to Mary's kind demeanor no one would suspect a thing. Not one damn thing.
0 / 0 / 35 The rest of the day progressed rather slowly. Throughout the day news stations would continue to repeat their same repetitive messages. "If you have any information about the wherabouts of Susan Sarso, please call this number. $20,000 reward for her safe return." Mary was sick of hearing about Susan. "The darn woman is dead and she still gets this much publicity! What does everyone see in her? If I died no one would be plastering my face on every news channel." She said aloud. Even though Mary was exasperated after hearing about Susan's murder hour after hour, she couldn't seem to pull herself away from the TV. It amazed her just how many people were contributing their time and efforts into searching for Susan. She truly was a loved member of the community. Unfortunately, Susan was one of the types of people who's memory "lived on," regardless of her being alive, or dead. There was one thought that was on the edge of Mary's mind, the entire day, whether she even was aware of it, or not, was Polly Olhey. Mary's desire to kill Polly was like a doctor's desire to save a patient from death- Undying and all consuming. No matter how much she delayed this, Mary knew that it would continue to eat away at her, until she could not wait any longer, until Polly the Dolly was murdered. Two weeks went by, but to Mary Schwall it felt like an eternity. She was 10 weeks along, and she already had acquired a little baby bump. There had been no clues in the case of Susan Sorso's disappearance, and the news hadn't reported anything about her in days. In two weeks it would be the one month anniversary since Susan was last seen alive. The perfect time to strike again. The residents of Bethany, New York would be unsuspecting and unprepared. Mary pondered which method of killing she would use, and decided on strangulation. There would be no blood to clean up, the easiest and most sufficient way to murder someone, Mary thought. If you had a victim like Polly who was 5'0… When Mary was twelve weeks into her pregnancy, John had contacted her via phone.
0 / 0 / 36 "Hi Mary… I really hope you've been doing well. I just wanted to say that I've put out some job applications, and due to my references it sounds as though I won't be unemployed come the end of the month. I know that things haven't been the most pleasant between the two of us, but I want to be a part of this baby's life. It wouldn't be fair to deny him or her of their own father." Mary spoke in a clear voice, with no venom in her tone. It was important for him to think her indifferent. "That’s fine, John. You don't need to be here for the pregnancy, though. I'm quite capable of caring for myself and my baby. When he or she is born we will work out something that will work for the both of us. As for Harry and Louisa, I expect they will stay with me until the papers are drawn up for the divorce." Her voice wavered when she got to the word divorce but remained steady throughout the rest of the conversation. "And I honestly hope you won't fight for the children. You know as well as I do that once you are employed you won't need the job of taking care of two kids. Maybe on the weekends you can have them." Mary's voice became assertive. John was sure good at swaying people's choices, and he especially knew how to alter Mary's view of things. He wasn't going to take the kids from Mary, though, Mary was positive about that. "Our kids, Mary. And Mary, I'm sorry for all the pain I have caused you, I truly am." John said. He sounded humble enough for Mary to believe he might be telling the truth, but she still didn't trust he was. Something in the way he said pain sounded as though his guilt was nothing more than an attempt to gain forgiveness, resulting in Mary not fighting for extra money when they officially split. "Fine John. Fine. I have to go now. I expect you'll be taking the kids Saturday." "Yes, I’ve missed them more than I thought I would. I'll talk to you tommorow,
0 / 0 / 37 Mary." She hung up the phone. Her eyes fell to her hands. They were balled into fists. "Now now, Mary, save your anger for Polly. We all know she is the most deserving of it." Mary couldn't delay this much longer. Saturday a little voice in Mary's head said. Saturday is the day… with that, Mary phoned Polly Olhey's house, and told her she really needed a friend, she felt so very alone. For a few days after confirming her coming over Polly's house on Saturday, July 24th, 2008, Mary devised a plan exactly how she was to approach Polly. At first, she contemplated knocking her unconscious with any item she could find that would be sufficient, but that wouldn't be interesting enough, Mary thought. Mary wanted her to put up a fight. She wanted to feel as though she was dominating someone, leaving them defenseless. She then knew exactly what she was going to do. Saturday came around much faster than she had anticipated. Just as Mary was expecting John to arrive at the house to pick up the kids, she received a visit from two police officers. Her heart pounded in her chest. They must have learned that she had murdered Susan Sorso. They had to have. What other reason would there be for them to come? Mary knew it was the end of the road, there would be no killing Polly. She would be a pregnant woman in jail. "Are you Mrs. Schwall?" One of the police officers said, breaking her from her reverie. "Yes, I am.. What is this about?" Mary said in an even tone. "I'm sorry, but your husband John Schwall was found dead in his hotel room last night." Mary gasped. She felt herself stiffen. It was as though the ground below her was slipping away, and she was falling head first into a place she never wanted to visit. It was just too much to absorb, for Mary. John was dead. The father of her children, the father of her unborn baby was
0 / 0 / 38 dead. Mary steadied herself, for she began to wobble from side to side. Scwall?" The other police officer said, sounding concerned. "Maybe you ought to sit down, you don't look so good." Mary hadn't said uttered a single word to the police officers since they had told her of her husband's death. She couldn't. Thoughts were swirling through her head, First she felt relief, but then she grew despondent. Mary finally spoke up. "I didn't want him to die! I really didn't! He was my husband, the father of my children! How could he leave them? How could he leave us?" Mary cried. The police officer that broke the news to her seemed to be at a loss for words. "I, I don't know Mrs. Schwall. We think we have a lead, whoever did this to John won't go by unpunished, I can assure you that. Criminals may think they are safe, but the law always catches up with them, at some point or another" The law always catches up with them, at some point or another. Those words sent a chill through Mary. For a fraction of a second she thought there was a hidden message in the officer's words. Wer'e on to you Mary. You can't run or hide, we'll find you. There is no escaping us. Mary knew it was foolish for her to let her mind wander into such dark places, but she couldn't help it. Steady Mary, you don't want them to suspect anything she thought. “He was murdered, in an odd way.. We don't even know what weapon was used." “I will do anything I can to help you put John’s murderer where he belongs." Mary said, her words spoken with passion. "I'm sure you will, Mrs. Schwall, I'm sure you will." Said the other officer. "Do you know of any enemies your husband may have had?" The officer asked. "No, John was liked by many. "Well, thats fine, Mrs. Schwall. Once again, our condolences go out to you and your family." After the police officers had left, telling her they would phone her "as soon as they found anything else out." Mary paced the room, up and down. How was she to tell her "Are you alright Mrs.
0 / 0 / 39 children that their father had been murdered? And Polly! Today was the day that Polly was supposed to suffer. She had been waiting so long already, she would hate to postpone this any further. "What must be done, must be done" Mary said regretfully for what she was about to do. "Hi, Polly? It's Mary. I've just heard the most devastating news. John was murdered. Oh, I am beside myself with grief. The children? I haven't told them yet, they are still sleeping. I hope it’s alright if I come over Monday, I now need a friend more than ever." Mary purposely made her voice crack on the word "friend." "Oh sure, definitely, Mary. And I am so sorry, so very sorry." Polly said. Miranda called Lousia and Harry down from upstairs. "What’s the big idea, Mom?"
0 / 0 / 40 Lousia said, rubbing her eyes that were still adjusting to the light. Harry nodded, in agreement with what his sister had said. "Listen, Harry, Louisa, give me your hands." Mary said, softly. For as irratible as Louisa was, she didn't hesitate to do what was asked of her. "You too, Harry." Mary said. Harry, being one year older than Louisa was a little more insightful. Not to mention his advanced maturity for a person of his age, his ability to see through people was uncanny. He knew at once that something was wrong. Before placing his hand in his mother's, he said, "Whats wrong, Mom? I know something is.." "I'm going to tell both of you now, Harry." "Guys, the other night, your father was killed. We don't know who did it." Harry became distant, while Louisa began to bawl. While Mary's arm around her children was gentle, her hand was firmly clutching both Harry and Louisa’s. The three of their hands became one. Harry bent his head low; and although he would never admit it, tears streamed down his face. They cried with abandon. The three of them were closer than ever now, they were inseperable. They would get through this together. Polly called later that night. "Mary? I'm so sorry, I totally forgot that I had a doctor's appointment on Monday. Can we reschedule for Tuesday? I hope this won’t be a problem." Mary hadn't even thought of the funeral. She remembered something that the less talkative police officer had said. He was murdered, in an odd way.. We don't even know what weapon was used. We will tell you when the body is done being investigated. The funeral would have to wait. That was good. It wouldn't interfere with her plans… “Polly the funeral is not going to be Tuesday, so yes we can meet then. Thanks.” She said. The couple of days following John's death were spent on the couch. Mary, Harry and Louisa watched comedy's and ate all varities of junk food. Mary had contacted her mother by e-mail, asking her to come down to New York; that John was dead and the kids
0 / 0 / 41 needed her. On Sunday night, Marian, Mary's mother boarded a flight that would take her from Florida to New York in a matter of hours. When Monday came around, the kids were doing considerably better, but they were finding it difficult to adjust to the abscence of their Father. Mary's mother had arrived. She was the only grandparent left that was alive. Marian was a woman of 62, with short grey hair and a jolly face. No matter who the person, she was always welcome to hugging them if they were feeling down. She was forever youthful because she did not act like a 62 year old. She went to amusement parks and had visited the Grand Canyon just last year. Marian refused to grow up, which is why children had always liked her. "Grandma Marian!" Louisa said. This was the first time she had sounded gleeful since before John's death. "Mom, I'm going to run upstairs for a bit, can you occupy the kids until I come down?" Mary said. "Oh sure, sure, Mary. My pleasure." Marian said, with a smile. When Mary opened the door to the attic she no longer thought the eerie creaking noise of the door opening and closing was anything to be frightened of. When once it seemed ominous and spooky it now only appeared to be just what is was, a creaking door. Mary sat on her wicker rocking chair, but this morning she didn't feel the need to rock. She wondered what was wrong with her. Was she bipolar? That seemed like a plausible explanation for her physchotic behavior. Maybe she wasn't crazy. Not all killers were crazy. Some had motives and reasons behind their actions. Maybe, Mary was a murderer who was neither crazy nor in denial. "I enjoyed killing Susan. I would like to feel that way again. I will feel at peace once and for all when another beautiful person, who happens to be Polly the Dolly is murdered tommorow." Mary said steadily. Somewhere deep
inside she knew it was not normal to feel compelled the kill gorgeous females that had done nothing to her. That did not stop her, though. Nothing could hinder what Mary had to do. Mary
0 / 0 / 42 knew completion was what she desired. She wanted to know that normal women, average looking women could be the victors. Women just like her could succeed in anything. It didn't matter that her reasoning only made sense to her, only that she did what she had to. What no one would ever expect of her to do. Mary headed down the stairs, and asked to speak to her mother in private for a few minutes. "Mom, tomorrow I need to go out to get some groceries. It’s not good to sit around the couch all day, my body must be atrophying by now." Mary said. "I understand, hunny. Don't worry about the kids, I'll keep them entertained. You could even go now if you’d like" Marian said. “No no, I think it would be best to spend another night with them. But thanks Mom for offering.” Mary counted down the hours. While the family engaged in boardgames like Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit Mary thought about Polly. Right now, she could call up a phychiatrist and set up an appointment. He would reason with her and tell her killing people is not the answer, the void in her heart could only be filled with love and positive thinking. He wouldn’t truly understand her, or her process of thought. It would be entirely pointless to ask for help, because the only person who could help her was herself. Choosing not to seek out professional help was her only option. Marian made canned chicken noodle soup on the stove and popped a roll of pre-maid bread into the oven. Mary could not remember the last time when she was treated to a meal, she was accustomed to being the one making them. This was the first night that the children had not cried themselves to sleep, which she thought a major feet. This erased any bit of guilt she might have been feeling for leaving them the next day to shop for “groceries.”
0 / 0 / 43 Tuesday morning had arrived. Mary’s impatience reached it’s climax. It was 8 AM and besides herself no one else was awake yet. Just four more hours to endure, she told herself. The day she had lost countless hours of sleep for, the day she had jeopardized her family for had now come. Things better go as they were supposed to. If they didn’t all her sacrifices will have been in vain.
"I'll be back in a couple of hours, guys. Grocery shopping. I'll buy enough food to last us a week." Harry and Louisa smiled. "Love you, Mom!" Louisa said, before Mary departed. She hopped into her Jeep, and drove to Polly's house. Her excitement started to grow. Her hands were shaking while she held onto the steering wheel. She pulled up to Polly's house, and seeing that Polly hadn't a car, she parked in her driveway. Mary had a flashback, of her and Polly singing in Church, laughing at the harmony of their voices. Mary had always liked Polly, it was a shame that she had to die, Mary thought to herself. Mary pressed the button that sounded the doorbell to Polly's home. When Polly opened the door, the first thing she did was wrap her arms around Mary. Mary cried. These were
0 / 0 / 44 actual tears, not fake ones. She truly was mourning the loss of her husband. Upon entering the house, Mary asked Polly "Does anyone know I am here?" "No no. No one knows." Polly thought maybe Mary was embarrassed that she was displaying her emotion, and didn't want people knowing she showed weakness. She could surely empathize with her. While Polly was pouring some coffee, Mary was watching her intently. Age seemed to just improve Polly's looks, Mary thought bitterly. When Polly noticed that Mary was looking at her, she smiled at her. Mary returned the smile with equal kindness in her eyes. Little did Polly know it was all a con. Poor Polly the Dolly wouldn't be smiling for much longer. The chicken Polly had prepared was so elegantly arranged that Mary began chattering about food and cooking. She found herself actually enjoying talking to Polly. Stop it, Mary. You can't like her. I guess it really was a one time thing.. Mary stiffened. She would prove herself wrong. She couldn't rush this though. Polly was a paranoid person, if she thought anything was out of the ordinary she knew to follow her gut instinct. She had learned that from the ladies at church. Mary talked about John's murder, and about her feeling of emptiness. Polly put a comforting hand on Mary's shoulder. Mary actually felt like telling Polly that she was pregnant, but decided not too. She had to be the least personal she could with Polly. Killing her was like a job. Even though her compulsion to kill was enormous, Mary would not revel in her murder as she had Susan Sarso's. Polly had already taken enough
0 / 0 / 45 beatings in her lifetime, more than any woman should have. No, Polly's murder would be quick. Quick and easy, but riveting all the same. "Thanks for coming, Mary. I know things are tough for you right now, but believe me, they will get better. Although it is hard to believe it, with time comes solace. And closure." Just as Polly opened the door to the staircase that would lead Mary outside, Mary came up from behind and wrapped her hands around Polly's neck. She squeezed as hard as she could. Polly began clawing at her assailer's face, but her attempts to escape were futile, Mary's hands didn't loosen their grip. The victim's eyes began to bulge. She was trying to say something but all that came out was a soft hissing sound. The same excitement that had stirred in Mary while murdering Susan returned. The rush of power that filled Mary was almost too much to handle. Something happened that was not part of the plan. Polly brought her knee up and hurled it into Mary's stomach. Mary let go of her victim's bruised neck and went toppling down the stairs. Mary landed at the foot of the stairs, unconscious. Polly had fallen to the floor, trying to catch her breath. With her remaining strength she crawled her way into the kitchen and retrieved the phone. Her fingers frantically searched for the numbers 911. "911. What's your emergency?" the operator said. "Someone is trying to kill me. She strangled me. I kicked her in the stomach and she fell down a flight of stairs." Polly said in a petrified voice. "Please come quick, my name is Polly Olhey, my address is-" The phone went dead. Immediately Polly's heart started to pound. She grabbed a knife from the silverware drawer and slowly turned around.
0 / 0 / 46 Standing not five feet away from her was Mary Schwall, her face contorted in the most ugly way. She looked like an animal. One of her hands was rubbing in a circular motion around her stomach. "You killed him. He's gone. I know it. I know you did it." Mary said in a voice that seemed to rumble. "What do you mean?" Polly said. The more she kept Mary talking the better her chances were of survival. She was praying the police officers would come in time. "You killed him. You killed my baby. You murdered my child." Mary said, and she took one step closer to Polly. Polly knew she was being cornered. There was no other way to run, unless she wanted to have it out with Mary. They would have been equally matched if Mary wasn't 5 inches taller than Polly. "Polly the Dolly, my child is dead because of you. You just couldn't stand that I was having a baby and you weren't, you jealous freak! Couldn't stand that had a chance a happiness, now could you? How pathetic. No wonder Andy beat you!" That was the final straw. Polly was sick of being the frightened rabbit. While everyone lived their lives in spontaneoty and adventure Polly was in the comforts of her home, every day. It seemed safe, it seemed familihave me.thats all she ever thought she needed since she left Andy. She was wrong. There was only so much abuse, both physical and verbal that someone could endure till they reacted. Mary was now just six inches away from Polly. Here was Polly chance. She wouldn't let anyone hurt her ever again. Polly pulled out knife from behind her back, and led in mere
0 / 0 / 47 inches away fom Mary's face. Pieces of a an unsolved puzzle seemed to click together, and now everything made sense. "You killed Susan Sarso, but you can't have me. I won't let you. Mary, you may think I am weak but you have no idea what I capable of. I am not kniving like you, I won't kill you for the sheer sake committing murder.But you get any closer I'll do what I have to do. If it saves my life, I'll do anything. Mary's expression turblank. Her face became impassive. Tears that were shaped like rain-drops slid down Mary's face. It was all over. She had been discovered. The law always catches up with them, at some point or another. That same line kept on repeating over and over again in her mind. The loud insistent ringing of police sirens brought Mary out of her reverie. She sank to the floor and started making the most anguished sounds. Her hand traveled to her stomach and she held herself. Polly pitied her. Although she nearly killed her, Polly could not find hate in her heart for Mary. She couldn't see herself ever forgiving her for what she had done, but she didn't want her dead. Everyone expected her to do everything. She just snapped. I have to feel bad for her, there is nothing else I can feel. She needs help. Polly thought. A loud thumping could be heard on the staircase, the police were making their way up to the kitchen. Polly dropped the knife; it made a clatter while hitting the tile floor. Somehow she knew Mary wouldn't attack her. It was over, it was all over. Mary was put into handcuffs. She did not try to resist. Red welts were forming around Polly's neck. Even though it was difficult to speak, she still made the effort to do so. She told the police how Mary had assaulted her, how she defended herself and Mary fell down a flight of stairs, that she unaware that Mary was
0 / 0 / 48 pregnant and she most likely had lost the baby, and of her suspicions that Mary was the cause of Susan's disappearance. Before the ambulance doors had shut with Mary inside, Polly caught a glimpse of Mary on a stretcher. She was swaying back and forth, both arms wrapped protectively around her stomach, whispering something only only she could probably hear. A single tear slid down Polly's face. She too then entered her ambulance truck. A day after being admitted, Mary was informed she had a brain tumor. This could have been the cause for her physchtic behavior. It was confirmed that Mary had suffered a miscarriage. Upon hearing it from Dr. Steinstin himself, Mary cried herself to sleep. She missed her unborn child immeasurably. Even more than John. No evidence was ever found proving she had killed Susan Sarso, but Mary confessed to it. What was the point in lying when your life was already in shambles? Mary underwent surgery that removed the tumor. Before going under, she was asked, "Why did you murder Susan Sarso, and attempt to do the same to Polly Olhey?"She replied "Thats simple. Because it was time for the gorgeous to suffer. There comes a time for everything, don't you think?" Polly Olhey did not press charges against Mary Schwall. While being questioned by CBS news why she did not seek justice for what had been done to her, she said "Mary Schwall is a loving woman. She is not a monster. I cannot hold her accountable for something she very well might have not done if it weren't for the tumor. I believe it was the tumor that caused her behavior. I truly do. I couldn't live with myself if she was punished for something that was out of her power.For the 8 years I have known her she has only been friendly and respectful. I choose to believe her innocent." Mary was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Before she began her sentence, Marian, who
0 / 0 / 49 was awarded full custody of Harry and Louisa, (being the only family member besides Mary that was not deceased) brought them to see their mother. Mary seemed to be exactly like her ordinary self. She smiled and told her children that she was "happy again." Despite her efforts to prove her sanity, she knew that her children would never feel the same way about her again. John's murder, which had taken place 7 months ago, still was nowhere near being solved. Police believed Mary might have been responsible for it, but they could not prove it. Of course Mary knew she had in no way assisted to the murder of her husband. Mary spent the first few years in jail learning French. She became fluent in it, and could speak as well in French than she could English . One of her pastimes included knitting sweaters and scarves. Perhaps what she did the most was read. Her hunger for reading never ceased. She favored romance novels and science, but steered clear of thrillers. Each passing year went by quicker. 2 years no longer seemed as daunting as 10. Mary had renewed hope for a better life. Her faith in God was restored. Her faith in herself and her ability to do good was restored. After 10 years of jail, on August 8th, 2018 Mary Scwall was released from prison. Her mother provided her with enough money to get back on her feet, and move into an apartment. Thereafter Mary did community work. She was not obligated to do so, she wanted to. She took pleasure from helping others. Mary was a changed woman. Changed for the better. Harry and Louisa met her in Manhattan for lunch, and Harry told her "You are you again." 3 months later Mary browsed through the isles of a local supermarket. If there was anything she
0 / 0 / 50 learned from her past, it was to take your time. Stop and smell the roses. There was no need to rush. Mary, who was 48 was far from being in her prime. She suffered from fibromyalgia, and gained some additional weight. She was as joyful as ever, regardless of her health and physical appearance. She had let her hair go gray, and decided to give up dying it. Some things were just too much a bother to keep up with. Mary's mother had booked a cruise to Barbados the following month. Life was very good. After paying for her groceries, Mary walked to where her car was in the parking lot. The sun was setting rapidly, and soon enough the winter's sky would be black. The place looked to be deserted. Most families would be home on Christmas Eve. Mary specifically shopped that night because of the holiday's. While packing the last of the groceries into her old Jeep, Mary caught sight of beautiful woman. Her eyes were a striking shade of emerald, and her creamy apricot colored skin seemed to glow. Her mouth was soft and expressive. The woman smiled at Mary before walking to her car that was some yards away from Mary's. Mary smiled a friendly smile, a smile of a kind woman, for she had mellowed over the years and thought nothing negative of pretty women. After all, everyone was the same. When Mary arrived at her apartment, she parked her car a few blocks away. Some of her neighbors stared at her quizzically for a few moments, but Mary didn't care. She brought the food bags into the apartment in one trip. Before putting the groceries away, she sat down on her beige couch for a couple of minutes . Her thoughts drifted to her vacation the following month. It would be good for her to spend time with her mother;
0 / 0 / 51 she had to face it, Marian wasn't getting any younger. Mary's gaze dropped to her hands, and she froze. Fresh, wet blood glistened off the palm's of them.. They seemed to be covered in it....
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