Thursday, February 11, 2010

Janet Has a Gun, by Allen

Janet stamped on the accelerator. With the wind tossing her hair, she sped past the marketplace still thinking of that evil woman lying in her bed. Her husband surely knew better than to carry his secret rendezvous into their house. Each puff of wind fluttered another lock of hair across her face and added an additional layer of contempt for that tramp.

The gun sat beside her as a traveling companion. Each cylinder carried the revenge she so desperately deserved. Nothing was too morbid for this man, a cheater and a liar.

Janet stomped the brakes as the car slid into her driveway. The loud, crashing sounds traveled far past the crumpled trash cans bouncing against the garage. She wondered if the copulating cheaters upstairs had even heard it, or were they so engrossed in their own dalliance that mere thunder, lightning, nor careening trash cans could penetrate their frolicking minds.

The gun nestled nicely in her hand. It felt comfortable, like an old, worn out tennis shoe. Her palm surrounded the pearl grips as she slid her thumb across the hammer. Three solid clicks and the revolver stood cocked, ready for whatever Janet needed.

Janet stamped the cigarette out with her open-toed shoe. The last puff of smoke held in the air as she worked the key. The single ping from the alarm echoed through the hall. The clip clop of her heels on the hardwood floors traced her path through the den to the stairs in the back. Climbing the stairs, she waded through a maze of strewn clothes; a silk blouse in dark green, a black skirt too short to hide anything while climbing stairs, a black bra, and a pair of red panties inscribed with Tramp on the back.

She rolled her eyes. Fitting.

Janet stepped into her bedroom amid the smell of a lavender candle burning on the table, a gift from her mother just before she died. The sounds of sex reverberated in the corners of the vaulted ceiling. Framed by the poster bed’s posts and canopy that he bought to celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary, Janet stared at the whore astride her husband, still riding him as if he was the only steed left on earth. Their rhythm, accentuated by the squeaking bed, droned on as moans of pleasure escaped the petite young thing’s lips. Janet, fixated on the rocking motion and the visual of this woman’s hips gliding back and forth, playing peek-a-boo with the bunched covers of the bed, couldn’t divest her eyes from the sight.

Tramp stamp. Figures.

Janet firmed her grip on the revolver, rolling her head in their direction, craning her neck just enough to view the wall mirror’s image of the two humping away. She held the gun rigid, assured of her aim and determined to fire. She watched the couple begin to build the intensity of their endeavor. Still, the gun never wavered. When her husband began his final climb, one she had experienced through all the years and both of the children, she knew the time was right.

Janet slammed to the floor as bits of her brain and blood hung in the air. The spatter, clinging to the mirror, obscured the view of the couple, still entangled in their deceit. The crimson stains slid down the glass until the brain speckled goo plopped to the dresser. The burst of blood which covered the tramps back mingled with the green of her tattoo, a grotesque display of dancing Cherubs. Her screams ended their play.

The gun, oozing smoke from its barrel, lay beside its traveling partner as another jilted wife became silent. No gurgling sounds or twitching motions. The two lay in abject stillness.


Erica Orloff said...

Hi Allen:
NICE to see you join us this month!!!! :-)

I thought you did a brilliant job of depicting a woman scorned and angry and hurt. I also applaud your ability to write from the female perspective and nail it. I really liked Janet--felt her pain.

Another person with a surprise ending. Liked that . . . totally didn't expect it. I also loved your title (for me, it evoked Aerosmith . . . not sure if you intended that, but it worked for me, LOL!).

I didn't love the POV shift at the end. And coming after Jude's story's last line (about point-of-view), I think it jumped out more. Maybe had the whole thing been omniscient. It's tough to pull off.
And for me, I like less adjectives. My style . . . I think it has to do with pacing and maybe just too many . . . but that's a style thing. And in truth, you painted a great picture. My favorite descriptions? The clothing on the floor.

Anyway . . . welcome! I love seeing what everyone has done from Lurker's prompt.

Merry Monteleone said...

I thought you set the scene really well and I was hearing Janey's Got A Gun in my head, too, Erica :-)

I didn't see the ending coming, either. I was a little disappointed with the ending - this is just a subjective taste thing, though. I just was a little disappointed that after having built such a great feel for the character, she kills herself in the end. But that's me, I'd rather see her take him for every nickel and sell a sex tape of the cheaters on the internet :-)

LurkerMonkey said...


Thanks for participating this month! It's great to have new people writing. This is just for fun, so it's more fun the more people play along.

I was impressed with the ease of reading here. I prize readability, and your writing is smooth and blemish free. I thought, too, that you really captured this woman's anger and frustration over her husband's cheating. Some of the little touches—the names she calls them—felt very authentic.

I tend to agree with Erica about the adjectives, and I don't think the story would suffer from removing a few crumpled, careenings, and frolickings.

I thought the end was pretty sad, really, and so it totally worked in that regard. When it comes to surprise endings, I love it when you realize that the clues were there all along. In this case, I think it would have been cool to embed a few more "typically" suicidal clues in her thought process, without necessarily identifying her as suicidal. She enters the story thinking like a murderer and leaves it as a suicide. If you had tricked me into mistaking a suicide for a murderer from the beginning, I would have been doubly impressed.

But well done overall! Nicely written, solid character, and nice build ...

Jude Hardin said...

Nice job, Allen. I was totally surprised by the ending. The POV shift was jarring, for sure. I'm kind of ambivalent about it, though, because it did enhance the effect.

I could see this as a short film.

Allen said...

Lurker, thanks for the welcome.

Erica, thanks for the comments and taking the time to read through this.

Merry, a camera instead of a gun? interesting. I like that. Thanks for the suggestions.

Jude, thank you, too. It could be a short film someday. It seems I write more shorts than stories lately.

This has been a blast. I hope you had as much fun reading as I did writing this.
Again, thanks.

Melanie Avila said...

I'm late to the party but I, too, was surprised at the ending. Well done! And I was singing the Aerosmith song too. Aren't we a predictable lot? :)

Allen said...

Thank you Melanie. You know, it's funny. I hadn't realized what I did with the title until it was mentioned here. I really didn't title the piece until Lurker said he needed one. That's what popped in my head.

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