The International Writers Magazine
Dreamscapes: A Deadly Monday

A Deadly Monday
Richard Corwin

David shifted uneasily in the old recliner, sadly staring out of his living room window at the empty, quiet front yard.

Sunday was his least favorite day of the week and this one was especially bad because it was one month to the day when he and his wife, Theresa, separated. They had been married for almost three years before it all fell apart and she ran home to her mother. It was his fault and he admitted it. Tomorrow she would return to their small rented house to take more things and, for added embarrassment, take the cat too. But the most humiliating thing is she would do this in front of all the neighbors and the landlord. He wondered who would come with her to add insult to injury and wished he could go to work tomorrow and forget about what was going to happen; ignore it like a bad dream. But he had been subpoenaed and had to be there. He would lose what little pay he would have made that day, besides the humiliation of watching helplessly while she collected anything she wanted.

David and Theresa had started to date shortly after they first met while attending a social economics night class at Cleveland’s Fenn College. The college was convenient because it was in the city, not far from the department store where they worked, that allowed them to go to night school without interfering with their jobs.
They were surprised to discover they worked in the same department store but on different floors. He told her that he worked in the first floor ladies shoe department and admitted that he was not a particularly good shoe salesman; seldom meeting his required weekly sales and never making anything but his base salary of fifty-five dollars a week. He had yet to make a commission in the time he had been working there. But the manager liked him anyway and respected the fact he was in school at night to try and better himself.

Theresa said she worked as a garment fitter in the second floor ladies lingerie department. Besides selling sexy lingerie she devoted a lot of time fitting clients with undergarments for raising sagging anatomies, or adding substance to missing or underdeveloped parts. They both laughed at the women who were trying to change their shapes for their weddings and wondering what the poor groom would think afterwards on the honeymoon.

David and Theresa scheduled their dates when they had time between classes and work. Both agreed that it was best, for the time being, that their going out together be kept secret because store policy discouraged store employees from dating each other.

After nearly a year of secretly dating they were married and settled into a routine of work and school as two very happy people. Their employer was more tolerant of married employees because they tended to be more reliable, responsible, and supportive of each other at work while being dedicated to the store. David’s sales began to show marked improvements and he was promoted to assistant manager in charge of the children’s shoe department, on the second floor next to the woman’s lingerie department.

It wasn’t long before he found that selling second floor children’s shoes was not an activity that fully occupied his time or his mind nor did it inspire him to wish for a full time career as a manager of the children’s shoe department. What he did discover, however, was the lingerie department was behind his stock room. Theresa was just around the corner and they could see each other between customers or when time allowed during the day. He also discovered there were fewer kids looking for shoes than women. The shoes were cheaper and that forced him to sell twice as many as in the women’s shoe department, just to make his draw.

Often he would bring a book to read but then boredom forced him to look for something else to pass the time, besides the occasional customer with noisy kids.
It seemed only natural that he make a game of rearranging shoe boxes in the stock room; shuffling them from shelf to shelf to simplify taking inventory or finding styles and sizes. He would rearrange them from display case to display racks, then to the show room floor and back to the stock room. He was always looking for the perfect balance, between display and stock room, to pass the time. Shoe shuffling became his game to curb boredom.

David arranged his coin collection, his father’s gold watch, two hundred eighteen dollars in cash, and other prized possessions, in a special basement hiding place. He didn’t know why but it seemed like a good idea to keep his only treasures a secret from Theresa’s visit. Maybe she wouldn’t find them or maybe forget he had them. As he went about hiding his treasure he thought about his job. He thought about how boring it had been; how it all went to hell in a hand basket in one afternoon and despite being tedious, he would like to have his old job back.

When he was satisfied his valuables were safe, he returned to the living room, removed a newly purchased gun from the desk, went to the kitchen, loaded the pistol then placed it on the kitchen counter beneath a dish towel. Here he planned to surprise Theresa when she least expected it; grinned when he imagined the surprised look on her face as he pulled the trigger. Then he decided he would shoot her in the nipples first. That would really shock her.

The store’s second floor ceilings were twenty feet high and the children’s tiny shoes filled the stock room shelves. The wall of little boxes was ten feet high with two feet of shoe boxes piled on the top of the highest shelf. This formed a barrier that looked like a well laid brick wall between the lingerie department and shoe department. The six foot stock room ladder was just tall enough to allow David to retrieve the upper most shoe boxes without too much trouble.

It wasn’t long, however, that during his rearranging of shoe boxes, that he discovered a ladies mirrored fitting room, where Theresa worked, on the other side of this cardboard box wall. Standing on the top most rung of the ladder he carefully adjusted the rows of small cartons of baby shoes to give him a clear look at the unwary, scantily clad, and sometimes naked, women in the fitting room. Long, boring days in the children’s shoe department soon became days filled with peeks at scantily dressed ladies painfully struggling into their new figures; into lingerie that seemed impossible. The view was more entertaining because of the many mirrors around the dressing room walls. All angles of the feminine anatomy could be seen as they grotesquely twisted and turned; groaned and grunted into their new shapes. But it was the younger more attractive customers that boosted his moral as well as his testosterone.

As Sunday passed he thought of how much he still loved Theresa; how he wished he could turn the clock back to that split second that changed their lives. He deeply regretted the moment when he lost his balance on the stock room ladder falling, through a hail of baby shoes and boxes, head first into the ladies dressing room landing at the feet of a hysterical, bare breasted young woman. She was being helped into exotic night-gowns, brassieres, and corsets by an equally hysterical Theresa. It wasn’t just any customer. It was Theresa’s sister who was there getting fitted for her wedding and honeymoon wardrobe.

David wormed his way out of any reprimands, or losing his job, by explaining he had no idea there was a ladies dressing room behind those shoe boxes. He was just rearranging the inventory. Deep inside, though, he was thrilled at seeing Theresa’s sister almost naked. She was almost as beautiful as Theresa but her breasts were a little larger and worming his way out of a tight spot with his wife was a whole different matter.

But despite all his pleadings he was reassigned to the harmless bargain basement men’s wear until a full investigation could be completed and a new stock room ceiling constructed. David felt like he was in a Goodwill drop-off store room. The piles and smell of outdated, musty, overstocked and returned merchandise and rowdy customers depressed him. Now he had to sell three times what he needed in children’s shoes to make his draw. He fell back into deficit sales and into deep depression.

Despite his insistent begging Theresa didn’t believe him and after tearful nights, and accusations of being unfaithful, she left him. Now she was coming back to take more things she said she forgot in her hasty departure. He would show her that she couldn’t get away with thinking about divorcing him; leaving him broken hearted and broke.

Sunday was gone. Before turning in for the night, David nervously paced the kitchen floor, walked over to where he hid the loaded gun and looked nervously under the napkin several times to make sure it was still there. He picked it up again, checked the trigger; checked to be sure it was fully loaded and ready to fire. When he finished he carefully covered it again with the dish towel. He turned out the lights, went upstairs and went to bed. Sleep wouldn’t come easily so he read from his favorite book, ‘Getting Even’. After a few minutes his eyes tired, he laid the book to one side, sobbed a few times; thinking of his love for his estranged wife, and her sister’s full breasts, then fell asleep.

The following morning he called the bargain basement floor manager and explained he would not be in until later. Then he showered, dressed, drove to McDonalds for an egg biscuit and coffee. He returned home to wait for Theresa and whoever else she felt necessary to bring with her; maybe her sister.

He went to the kitchen, picked up the corner of the dish towel, looked at the gun again then sat down nervously in the living room, ate the egg biscuit, sipped on the hot coffee and waited; the back of his neck and hands were wet with perspiration.
As he was finishing his last sip of coffee he heard the distinctive sound of her sports car. He stood, peered through the closed blinds and watched as Theresa’s small green car stopped in the driveway. He hoped she would be alone and waited for a few minutes to see if she had been followed. He saw no other car. For effect he would go to the kitchen, look sad and wait.

Theresa was a beautiful woman and he watched her as she walked slowly and deliberately up the sidewalk to the house. He was relieved to see she was alone. He didn’t need any complications. Apparently she didn’t feel the need to have anyone with her to add to his humiliation. David was relieved. That really simplified things.

He rushed through the last of his coffee, threw the empty container across the room into the trash can, sitting next to the desk, went to the kitchen and stood near the towel covered gun. He felt lucky. There would be no witnesses. He put on a sad face then splashed cold water in his eyes to make them red.

The door bell rang and he waited a few seconds, before he yelled for her to come in, so she wouldn’t think he had been watching her. When she opened the door she saw him in the kitchen, back to her and standing near the sink. Apparently, she thought, he has just finished dishes. David turned his head slightly and asked her not to say anything making sure she saw his gloomy face. Then he turned around to face her and motioned her into the kitchen without saying anything. Theresa closed the front door softly and went into the kitchen. Maybe he was going to offer her some coffee, she thought.

God, she’s so beautiful; I wished I didn’t love her so much. Those were his thoughts as he yanked the gun from under the dish towel quickly and raised it level with her chest.

The first shot was well aimed. It got her just above her left nipple as planned. Before she could say anything, the second shot hit the right one. She gasped in astonishment; yelled as he continued to shoot. The gun was finally empty and her ‘T’ shirt was fully soaked exposing both breasts through the flimsy cotton material. She gasped, he ran to her and she fell into his arms. He threw her over his shoulder, carried her upstairs to the bedroom, undressed her, threw her onto the unmade bed, hurriedly ripped off his own clothes then rolled on top of her. They both laughed uncontrollably; the water pistol had done its job.

© Richard Corwin May 2006

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