Flash fiction = 90 minutes from the reveal of the theme (“the conversation”) until the posting of the finished product online at Absolute Write.
I struggled mightily with this one so it’s not one of my better ones because I didn’t trip up Juliet as well as I’d have liked. But it’s a practice exercise and I wanted something fast paced with a twist. I’ve changed it slightly from the AW version. I’m still not happy with it but c’est la vie.
“Hear ye, hear ye, case number 477295, the state versus Elaine Beasley will come to order and resume,” bellowed the voice of the bailiff.
I watched as the District Attorney stood and said, “The state calls Juliet Calhoun to the stand.”
Juliet Calhoun. The woman responsible for my being in this predicament and the bitch who seduced my husband. I should have killed her when I had the chance.
“Miss Calhoun, can you tell us the nature of your relationship with the deceased?” the DA began.
“Mr. Beasley was my employer.”
“How were you employed and for how long?”
“I worked as Mr. Beasley’s executive assistant for five years up until his death.”
“Did you know the defendant, Mrs. Beasley?”
She looked so smug up on that stand, trying her best to play the bereaved but clueless employee. She tried to hide the fact that she and Alex had been messing around. I’d found all the classic signs–the mysterious charges on his credit cards, the late nights working at the office, the increase in out of town business trips, the smell of perfume on his clothes, the coy glances at the office parties. I had suspected for a long time that she was sleeping with my husband but it wasn’t until I overheard their conversation and did a redial that I knew for a fact that it was her.
“Where were you the night that Alex Beasley was murdered?”
“I was at my apartment.”
“Were you with anyone?”
“Yes, I was with Alex…the deceased.”
“Why was Mr. Beasley at your apartment that night?”
“He was having an affair with my daughter.”
Play the victim now, you monster!
“Was your daughter there too?”
“Yes. I…discovered the affair that night by accident…walked in on them.”
Shocking to learn such a thing, wasn’t it, Juliet?
“What happened next?”
“Well, I was quite upset, as you can imagine. My daughter was only nineteen and Mr. Beasley was forty. Plus he was married and my employer.”
“I told Mr. Beasley that he had to stop seeing my daughter or I’d tell his wife. He grew angry with me for threatening him and said he’d fire me if I told Elaine. But I didn’t care. It wasn’t right. I ran into my bedroom and called Elaine and told her.”
You lying piece of trash! Tell them everything you said to me that night, how our conversation really went.
“What did Mrs. Beasley say when you told her?”
“She was nearly hysterical with anger. She said she was coming over to my apartment to confront her husband. About ten minutes later, she knocked on the door. I let her in and she shot and killed her husband and my daughter right in front of me.”
Oh, cry those crocodile tears, Juliet. May your way to hell be greased with them.
“Where were Mr. Beasley and your daughter while you were calling and waiting for the defendant?”
“They were still in my daughter’s room.”
The DA raised his eyebrows.
Idiot. Yeah, you better stop there, Mr. District Attorney because your gal just stepped in quicksand. Perhaps I should provide a little distraction to give you time to think it through…
I stood up and yelled, “Ask her about how she tried to blackmail me, tried to frame me for Alex’s murder! Ask her why she killed her own daughter because Alex cheated on her too!”
“Order!” bellowed the judge. “Mr. Ledbetter, you will advise your client that there will be no further outbursts.”
“No further questions, Your Honor,” said the DA.
Mr. Ledbetter gave me a few encouraging words of advice then rose and asked, “Ms. Calhoun, what were your daughter and Mr. Beasley doing in your daughter’s room after you called Mrs. Beasley?”
“They were just…talking.”
“Talking. Really? You expect this court to believe that you just waited around for Mrs. Beasley to come and do what you yourself couldn’t do while your daughter and Mr. Beasley had a pleasant chat in your daughter’s bed?”
Alright Ledbetter. Keep pushing. She’s cracking. Come on Juliet…you can do it…just keep going the way you’re going.
“I…I was upset. I don’t know what they were doing after I spoke to Mr. Beasley. I couldn’t go back in there.”
“But you weren’t too upset to call Mr. Beasley’s wife? Weren’t too upset to leave your daughter and her married lover alone in her bedroom after discovering their affair and confronting Mr. Beasley? The police report states that both your daughter’s and Mr. Beasley’s bodies were nude when they were found. I guess they didn’t take you as seriously as they should have, eh, Ms. Calhoun?”
Juliet began to cry. She was as stupid as she was lacking in morals.
Turn em up full blast honey cause you’ve just handed me my get out of jail free card.
I was acquitted after that little seed of doubt was planted. Mr. Ledbetter was worth every penny of what I paid him. However, I really should have killed Juliet instead of Alex and put her out of her misery. Imagine that, killing your own daughter over a man, especially one as worthless as Alex. I thought when I called to tell her that Alex was fooling around with her daughter that she’d kill him. Boy was I wrong. But she did me a favor by loaning me “her” gun and for that I am eternally grateful.