The #SpankA2Z June Challenge is nearing an end :(
I thought I'd share something different today - a story I wrote years ago for a short story contest (it came 3rd) that has absolutely nothing to do with spanking, but I'm told it's quite a fun read.
“Aaargh my hair! My hair!” the shriek could be heard all over the neighbourhood.
I suppressed a chuckle. This was turning out even better than I had dared to hope it would! Unlike everyone else in the cul-de-sac, I didn’t have to guess as to what could be upsetting Marilyn; I knew. I had caused it.
“No! My hair!” the scream came again, shriller this time.
The timing could not have been more perfect: 5.30pm, just on the busiest time of the evening here, when the men were coming home from work, when the wives were out in their gardens gathering in the washing and calling the children for dinner; when the women in the kitchens had their windows open and the sounds of the neighbourhood would come wafting in. It looked like karma was on my side.
Looking up the street, I could see the neighbourhood women gathering on Marilyn’s front lawn, surrounding her, their faces full of mock concern, like a scene out of Desperate Housewives. In reality, they were looking for gossip; they didn’t care two hoots about what was actually happening to Marilyn’s precious tresses. Marilyn was not the most popular woman in the neighbourhood, and the other women, once they found out what was happening to her, would be as chuffed as I was.
I can’t help myself – I walk the several houses up the street and join the growing crowd on Marilyn’s lawn, and watch with glee while she runs her fingers through her hair, pulling out fistfuls of broken, burnt hair. Some of it is falling out at the roots leaving bald patches, other strands are breaking off, the ends frizzled and fried. In any case, her hair-do is ruined. Marilyn is proud of her hair, spending hundreds of dollars every month at the hair salon, buying expensive shampoos and conditioners, using deep treatments every week. This effort does pay off – before I got my vengeance by way of her shampoo bottle yesterday, her hair was beautiful. The long, flowing blonde locks were wavy and thick, cascading abundantly down her back, shining in the sun. Most of the women who lived in this exclusive cul-de-sac were jealous of her hair; I wasn’t the only envious one. That’s why I’m sure they were all secretly delighted watching the scene playing out before them now.
It started nearly a fortnight ago now, all over a gorgeous pink bra that I found in my laundry hamper that I washed and put in the pile of clean clothes belonging to my teenage daughter.
“What’s this bra doing here mum?” she asked me that afternoon. “You know it’s not my size.” Actually, I didn’t. All I knew was that it didn’t belong to me. After nursing four kids, there was no way I could fit into a bra like that, and even if I could, pink is not my colour.
“Whose is it then?” I asked. “Only two people in this house wear bras, and it certainly isn’t mine.”
“Well mum, I assume it belongs to the woman dad’s been secretly meeting for the past month. He must have accidentally brought it home with him.”
My jaw dropped. My body froze. “Woman? Secret meetings?” I gasped. What did this mean? To my mind, there was only one thing it could mean, and I meant to stop it. Once I’d found out who the “other woman” was, of course.
So I went door-to-door around the neighbourhood with the bra, claiming the dog had brought it home the other day and I had just now got around to washing it for them. If you knew my dog you’d know this story didn’t sound too far-fetched – my dog brings presents home on a regular basis, although usually of a more impersonal nature. Shoes, outdoor toys….that sort of thing. Never before has he brought home ladies lingerie, although it is possible that he is expanding his tastes, to please the males that live in this household.
The bra was Marilyn’s. I should have known that, I suppose. Not only did she have the most coveted hair in the street, she also had the best body. That lacy pink bra would have looked fabulous on her. Marilyn didn’t claim the bra though, her husband did. So she didn’t know that I knew. If she had, things probably would have worked out differently. She would have been on her guard, and she never would have used that dodgy shampoo. And all the neighbourhood women wouldn’t be gathered on her front lawn now, pretending to be concerned, but secretly thrilled with their afternoon’s entertainment.
Secret meetings…. other woman…. Marilyn’s bra… my mind working overtime, I jumped to the most obvious conclusion and started plotting my revenge. Oh how it would be sweet!
The hardest part was not confronting my husband with what I believed I had found out. I seethed inside, but managed to hide it from him pretty well. No one suspected that I knew, they believed their secret was safe, and continued their secret rendezvous in my husband’s lunch hour every few days.
I had a real hard time coming up with ways of getting back at my husband; I spat in his coffee and peed in his shoes on a regular basis, but that was about it. Oh I knew the old trick about putting fish behind the curtains, but how do you do that when you are the housewife? Plus, I didn’t want him to know that I knew… because then he would tell Marilyn… and my chance at vengeance would be ruined. I had the perfect plan, I just had to wait for the right time to carry it out.
My opportunity came sooner than I expected – the very next day Marilyn went out and left her bathroom window ajar. Feeling as dodgy as all get-out, like all my morals had gone out the window, I nearly chickened out, then reminded myself I was doing this for a good cause. Well maybe not a good cause… but she certainly deserved it. And I knew I’d never get caught.
Sneaking up to the bathroom window I pulled it open far enough to reach in and grab her shampoo bottle off the shelf in the shower. Good, it was nearly full. She wouldn’t suspect a thing! Racing home with it, I emptied most of the shampoo into a bowl and topped the bottle up with hair remover. Returning just a little bit more of the shampoo to the bottle, I shook it like crazy to mix the liquid, and then tested it. The consistency was almost perfect, and the smell wasn’t too far off normal. In the shower, she’d never notice it. Who inspects their shampoo before putting it on their head? Adding just a wee bit more shampoo to the neck of the bottle so it would smell right when she opened the lid, I screwed the lid back on, and quickly snuck back to Marilyn’s house and reached in the window and put the bottle back on the shelf in the shower where it belonged. No one saw me, and if they had, they would have pretended they didn’t. As I’ve already said, Marilyn isn’t the most popular woman in the neighbourhood. Don’t ask my why, I don’t actually know. Maybe she just rubs people up the wrong way. Or maybe she’s sleeping with all our husbands.
The waiting was the hardest. I couldn’t wait to see if my revenge plot had worked. I was so excited about it that I even stopped peeing in my husband’s shoes, although I still remembered to spit in his coffee. But, with karma so obviously on my side, I didn’t have long to wait. The very next afternoon, Marilyn came running out of her house shrieking about her precious hair, the neighbourhood woman gathering to watch. And you know the rest.
What you don’t know is that I made a huge mistake. I ruined the hair of an innocent woman, through jealousy and jumping to the wrong (but most obvious) conclusion. Never mind my husband’s peed-in shoes or his spat-in coffee, he still doesn’t know about either of those, so they don’t count. (Although how he didn’t notice the awful stink wafting out of his shoes is beyond me! Does he really think his feet smell that bad?)
It turns out that my husband had planned a cruise for my upcoming birthday, but was embarrassed by his lack of dancing skills. Knowing that I was an accomplished dancer (or used to be, many years ago, before having kids) he had been sneaking to Marilyn’s during his lunch hour as often as he could, so she could give him dancing lessons. She had been a semi-professional ballet dancer back in the day, before she fell and broke her ankle, which explained why she still limped a bit on cold, wet days. Missing ballet, but unable to do it, she had taken up ballroom dancing and was amazingly good at it. And out of the kindness of her heart, she was teaching my husband so he would be able to dance comfortably during the surprise cruise he had planned for me.
And my dog actually had dragged the bra home; my son had found it outside and put it in the laundry hamper, assuming it belonged to his sister. So when I carted the bra all over the street trying to find its rightful owner, I hadn’t been lying after all.
Unsurprisingly, this knowledge did not make me feel any better. I had done something terrible, and knowing that I had unwittingly been honest to my neighbours when I had meant to lie to them did nothing to ease my guilty conscience. I knew what I must do, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Marilyn has never suspected anything, she thinks her shampoo was dodgy and has since changed brands.
I’m really nice to Marilyn now, going out of my way to be a good friend, a good neighbour, and gaining a good friend in return. Now that I actually know Marilyn, I don’t know why she is unpopular, I really have absolutely no idea. I suspect that maybe it is just jealousy. Maybe that’s just how women get when they are bored.
When I hear any nasty gossip about her, I go out of my way to put a stop to it. I make time for her, I chat to her when I see her in the street. But that’s about all I do. She doesn’t know it was me who contaminated her shampoo, and she never will. I don’t have the guts to ‘fess up to what I did; besides what would be gained by telling her? I say this to myself every day, to try and justify my cowardice, but it doesn’t work. The guilt remains. I will always feel guilty for what I did to Marilyn’s hair, and it is with great relief that I watch it growing back longer, thicker and more beautiful than ever. Her new brand of shampoo is really working, I must find out what she uses.
I have learnt one really important lesson though – never jump to conclusions.
Check out the other #SpankA2Z participants below: