Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Final story: Untitled

This was the third time she’d been scrubbing the bathroom floor. It was 6 in the morning and the toilet brush looked butchered as Mimpsy kept struggling to get the yellow stains out. But the smell still remained. She tried squeezing out the last drops of ‘Mr. John Clean: A clean John is a happy John’ as it read on the now-misshapen plastic bottle, hoping this would be enough to get rid of the stench of the intoxication and the intoxicated.
“Are ye done in there, ye little tramp?” came with the incessant banging on the bathroom door. In a flash Mimpsy gathered all her cleaning things, prayed silently for her and the loo and with a click of the door opening came face to face with her. She was enormous. Mimpsy was only five feet and having been treated like Quasimodo all her life also had a virtual hump making her even shorter. But Tiara was always the tallest, in any room. Even when her hair looked like it had gone through a mini nuclear explosion, when her eyes looked bloodier than the numerous Bloody Marys she had downed and when she looked puffed and bloated like a corn in hot oil, she still managed to look better than Mimpsy. And Tiara was very aware of it.
“Hogging’ the loo like it belongs to ye, are ye?” her breath smelled of the same stench Mimpsy was trying to get rid of for the past hour and a half. “You were always inconsiderate”, she said as she kneeled in front of the toilet bowl, “just like yer mum was. She was always...” but that was drowned by the sound of her throwing up the rest of last night’s party. Mimpsy’s day had just begun.
The rest of the day was spent in bed with the occasional calls for food and sometimes to remind Mimpsy that it was a pain and a burden to have a baboon in the household. It was only at 9.30 at night did they finally leave allowing Mimpsy a few hours of rest before it all began again. Yes, life was beautiful.
That Sunday seemed like every other Sunday in Mimpsy’s life. It began with Mr. D dropping the familiar cleaning kit on the floor where she had been vacuuming. “Clean,” he said and handed her the big brown mahogany box. Mr. D was never the kind to use many words. He was a lot more physical. He kicked the vacuum and left. Something was wrong. Tiara came two minutes later and confirmed what Mimpsy feared.
“A knife’s missing! Did ye sell it, you greedy rat?” Tiara pointed at the box, the box that once contained seven different kinds of knives, now had just the six. It was a family heirloom. Every Sunday it was Mimpsy’s job to clean, polish and at times to sharpen them. Apparently Mr. D’s ancestors were either butchers or were a part of some circus act. She never dared to clarify.
“Well, where is it?” and without waiting for an explanation picked Mimpsy up by her ragged shirt collar and banged her against the front door. This went on for a while, sometimes with her being pulled and dragged and finally being tossed at a corner of the living room. “Ye get no food tonight till ye tell us where it is ye sold it off to. Do you understand?” Mimpsy kept looking at the floor; she did not have much strength to look up and answer and hoped her silence would be understood as an affirmation. “Try not stealing another one. Now, get back to work!” with that the giant left leaving Jack to tend to his bean stalk.
At 3 a.m. Mimpsy did not wake up to her usual alarm clock ringing. It was a loud scream coming from the bedroom. She scrambled out of bed and ran into the room. There was something unusual about this scream, having been screamed at all her life she knew something was wrong. And then she saw it. Tiara was standing on the large bed with blood all over her and the purple bedcover. Those blood stains were the toughest spots to remove. Her hair was dishevelled and she looked like she had just woken up from a nightmare. But Mr. D looked peaceful lying on the bed, in spite of all that blood covering him like a thick blanket. They had found the missing knife; it was with Mr. D after all, lodged into his chest.
For a while Tiara and Mimpsy stared at each other. This kind of a mess never could fit into Mimpsy’s household chores. No, this required a bigger garbage bag and something much stronger than ‘Mr. John Clean’, the bathroom cleaner. So, she set of to work. Tiara stood silently as she watched Mimpsy as she put on her gardening gloves, take out the big needle and the thick thread and sow the garbage bags together. For the first time she realised how invaluable Mimpsy had been to their home. The trickiest past was separating the huge knife from its owner. Tiara with all her strength grabbed the knife with her bloody hands and pulled it out and Mimpsy held out a plastic bag for it. Mr. D, wrapped in the purple bedcover, was put into the garbage bag. All they had to do now is somehow dispose the body off somewhere, where no one would notice.
“I know what we can do,” Tiara looked like she had an epiphany. “There’s that lake, an hour’s drive from here. The uhm, it’s called..the uhm.. Windsor? Yeah, Lake Windsor!” So it was decided and at 5 a.m. Tiara dragged the bag out of her car and as she was about to dump it into the lake..
“Stop right there.” The voice from the microphone, the sound of the siren and that strange sound that almost sounded like a bark made Tiara drop the bag and put her hands in the air.
The Police Station was buzzing with activity. Fresh donuts had just been delivered and it was the survival of the fittest or possibly the fattest. Amidst all this, Inspector Terran had been examining the newest case. “It’s pretty simple. They partied a lot and she was wasted at the time. She was a bit drunk when we caught her with the body near the lake. ”
“We have a witness who saw how the murder happened?” asked Roy, Terran’s partner of four years.
Terran flipped through the case file. “It’s her step sister, Mimpsy Jones. She saw the whole thing. She’ll be coming down here any minute now.”
Roy placed a plastic bag on the table, “This was under the victim’s bed. It’s got the wife’s finger prints all over the knife in the bag. And the blood matched the victim.”
Terran smiled at Roy’s bored expression. “It’s okay buddy, we’ll get a better case soon.”
There was a knock and both looked up to find Mimpsy standing, small and insignificant like always. Sitting down she looked up at Terran as he asked, “Are you ready to testify against Mrs Tiara Jones D for the murder of her husband Mr. D?” Mimpsy already felt like she was in court.
“Don’t be afraid. I know she is your sister but you are doing the right thing”, Terran gave her an encouraging smile.
Roy read through the file, “You said you saw them leave for a party at 9.30 pm and then at 3 a.m. you woke up to find Mrs D take her husband’s antique knife and stab him in the chest. And then she sowed garbage bags together and stuffed the body in there and kept the knife in another plastic bag. She threatened to kill you if you told the police about this.” Roy looked up at Mimpsy, “But you did the right thing. No one will harm you anymore.”
Terran and Roy led Mimpsy towards the exit. “I didn’t do it! I swear I didn’t!” Tiara was being dragged to her new home, prison. She suddenly saw Mimpsy, “She did it! She stole the knife and stabbed my husband! She did it! Not me! Let me go!” Tiara struggled and screamed but in vain.
“I know it must be hard for you, especially after she took you in after your mother died.” Terran added as he watched Mimpsy get into the cab.
Mimpsy smiled for the first time in a long while and said, “Oh no, sir, you are mistaken. She didn’t take me after my mother’s death. She had taken me in after she had killed my mother.” And with that the cab sped off.

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