Posted in Feature Short Story

Check Mate

Chloe thought she’s going out of her mind. She lives alone, but every time she wakes up, something in the house is moved to a different spot. First it was a chair she placed in the corner, that was mysteriously at the dinette table. Next, it was the pitcher of water she keeps in the refrigerator, suddenly is sitting on the counter top. Chloe walks around her house and checks all the locks and doors. Only her mom and sister have a key to her house and they wouldn’t do this to her. She changed the keys to the house after she separated from her husband six months ago. He’s in a relationship with someone, so why would he care about torturing her? Chloe called a friend over. They’re having tea.

“I can’t take this anymore,” Chloe complains.

“Chlo, you know who it is. It’s always the most obvious person.”

“Why would Calvin do this? He’s supposed to be in love with some chick.”

“Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t mean he’s over you, or wants you to be happy.”

“Should I call him?”

“No.” Jackie shakes her head. “If he did this, he’s crazy, and you can’t reason with crazy. Change the garage door key that leads to the house. It’s the only key he has.”

Later that day, Chloe had a locksmith change the garage door lock. That night she checked all the locks, windows and doors. She slept peacefully. She woke up the next day and got ready for work. Everything in the house was in its proper place and she smiled. She went outside and saw all four tires on her car were slashed.

Chloe gasps, “Dammit!”

Chloe pulls out her cellphone and calls a tow truck and a cab. She wasn’t taking a day off to deal with personal mess. She calls Calvin. His voicemail comes on.

“Calvin, call me asap.” Chloe exhales deeply. She didn’t want to talk to his answering service.

Later, Chloe is at work sitting at her desk typing. She’s trying not to focus on what’s been happening at home. She doesn’t want to worry her mom either. Just then, Calvin shows up at her job.

Chloe looks up and sees Calvin walking her way, and the air leaves her body. She stands up as he approaches.

“Calvin.” Chloe says through gritted teeth. “What are you doing here?”

“Well you keep calling me, wanting to talk all of the sudden.” Calvin says loud and rude.

Chloe’s cubical neighbor swivels her chair around, having her back face them.

“I called you once and,” Chloe bobs her head to the right. “We can talk outside.”

Chloe walks from around her desk and grabs Calvin’s arm to guide him outside, but he yanks his arm away.

“I’m not going anywhere. I don’t care about your bougie co-workers.”

“Calvin!” Chloe looks around embarrassed. “You flatten my tires and you’ve been harassing me.”

Calvin’s eyes are full of hate. “So. You changed the garage door key, leaving me no access to my house?”

“You weren’t supposed to be in the house. Why were you coming in at night moving things around? Don’t you have your own life?” Chloe’s eyes are burning. The warmth causes them to water.

“So you get the house, spousal support, and you think I’m partying it up? I’m broke, living in a one-bedroom apartment!”

“Leave Calvin, please.”

Calvin shakes his head. “No. You’re stuck with me.  You can divorce me, but you can’t keep me away from our child in three months.”

“Calvin, do I look six months pregnant?” Chloe whispers, “I lost the baby three months ago, but you were impossible to deal with then. I couldn’t call you.”

Calvin is stunned.

“Lost? How?” Calvin’s eyes narrowed. “You killed the baby bitch. Just like you killed our marriage.”

Chloe shakes her head. The security guards came, grabbing Calvin by surprise, and they drag him out.  Calvin tries to fight, but the two guards are a lot bigger than him. One of her co-workers, who was hiding the whole time, comes out and she rubs Chloe’s shoulders. Chloe is pissed he showed his ass at her job, and that is why she aborted the pregnancy. She didn’t want to co-parent with his crazy ass.

Posted in Feature Short Story

I Spy With My Little Eye

Janey is tired of arguing with her husband. For the past year, he has been absent in every sense of the word. Whenever Janey addresses the problem, he evades questions and acts like nothing has changed. But it has. Janey and Donald haven’t had sex for four months, and his out of town business trips are more frequent. Janey wants to have a baby, and Donald wants to wait until he makes partner. Janey knows something is wrong no matter how much her husband acts like it’s in her head. She decides to follow him on his next business trip. Donald said he will be out of town for four days in California to meet with clients. He left for the airport the next day. Janey called his office, disguising her voice.

“Hi, this is Sara calling for Mr. Johnson. Mr. Peters is waiting for him, and he’s concerned that he’s not coming.”

The assistant doesn’t recognize Janey’s voice. “I’m so sorry if there was a scheduling error. Mr. Johnson is in New Jersey at a meeting. I can reach out to him at Colossal Suites….”

“No need. I believe I made the scheduling error.”

“Okay.”

Janey hangs up and picks up her keys. 

Later, Janey is in the parking lot of Colossal Suites, checking out the area through binoculars. Her sister is in the passenger seat eating a hoagie.

“Enough with the stakeout shit. Are we going to fuck him and that bitch up or what?” Jody says through a full mouth of hoagie.

“That’s why your ghetto ass is here. I need to figure out what room he’s in. Let’s go in. I have an idea.”

They walk in the lobby. Jody waits by the elevators. Janey walks to the front desk.

“Hi. My husband was meeting me here, but his phone is going straight to voicemail. I’m supposed to get a key to the room.”

The attendant looks at Janey’s face and clothes. “Name and id please.”

“I’m Janey Johnson. My husband is Donald Johnson. He checked in this morning.”

Janey shows the attendant her driver’s license.

“Yes. He’s in the honeymoon suite 500.”

Janey’s eyes start to burn. She put on a fake smile.  “It’s our anniversary.”

The attendant smiles. “Happy anniversary!”

He hands Janey a key card.

“Thanks.”

Janey’s smile washes away when she turns around and heads to the elevator.

“Jody, he’s in the honeymoon suite.”

“Calm down before someone hears you. We got him. Let’s go up.”

The elevator ride is long and quiet.

Janey and Jody hear loud moaning through the door. They look at each other with disgust.

Janey opens the door…Donald is having sex with a man on the sofa. Janey cups her mouth.

Jody screams.  “I knew it!”