Bad Manners


Angie was well aware of her husband’s cheating. Just as soon as she got that GPS installed in his car, the curtains parted on his duplicity. By then Angie knew all about the other woman. Her name; Lorna. Where she lived; in a crappy apartment building around the corner from Jay’s office.

Their blow up over Lorna had been brutal. A cooling off was needed and Angie had taken off for a few days. Jay had agreed to stay home with the kids.

Angie pushed a curl of red hair back from her face, struck a match, and lit the end of a cigarette. She leaned her forearms on the railing of their secluded lakefront cottage, a glass of gin and tonic in her hands. Lightening flashed in the sky across the lake. A cool breeze had picked up now that the sun had gone down.

Angie loved it up here in Muskoka. It was the perfect environment for helping her work through things. The peace and serenity. No neighbours to disturb her. She loved the nature and wildlife; hoards of hummingbirds, dragonflies. Even deer that they left salt licks for around the property. The salt licks didn’t hold up in the rain though. They were big blocks, a square foot in size, yet the rain destroyed them every time. Jay was thinking they should try a more durable brand of salt licks.

It wasn’t that the marriage was bad. They’d always been in love. Sure she’d put on a good hundred pounds with the birth of their son. Then another hundred and fifty with the second one. And then the depression. But she was still attractive. Jay was just having a mid-life crisis. These things were to be expected.

Why Jay chose that skank Lorna to shag was obvious from her photos. Looked like she gave it up easily and for free. Not even bright enough to earn a living to support her offspring from her hobby of spreading her legs.

If the truth be told in those on-line dating ads people post about themselves, Lorna’s would read like this: Uneducated, well-used mid-thirties, welfare mother to four illegitimate children from various fathers. Enjoys partying and drunken needy sex with married men. Likes to post amateur half-naked pictures of herself on social websites. Desperate, lonely, and not too picky. Some self esteem issues.

If Lorna had just been polite and showed a little respect when Angie phoned her up, Lorna wouldn’t be in the predicament she was in now. All it would have taken was a simple apology. That was the polite thing to do. That was the respectful and reasonable thing. If Lorna had just eaten that small piece of humble pie and admitted she was wrong, and not spewed out an unnecessary stream of obscenities, calling Angie a fat cow of all things, everything would be fine. Lorna would be at home pleasantly drunk, giving someone else’s husband a blowjob.

Angie didn’t think that was too much to ask for. A little decency, a little common courtesy. But Lorna was clearly a vicious little bitch whose bad manners had now gotten her into a heap of trouble. Now she was paying for it. Now she was certainly feeling sorry.

Angie sipped her drink and watched the light show across the lake. Looked like it was going to be a horrible storm. She took a long drag on her cigarette and stared at the naked woman down below in the back yard. The black flies had been particularly nasty today. The mosquitoes were out in full force. And tonight a downpour.

Angie sighed and watched the way she shivered and twisted, trying to support herself against the tree. Her wrists and feet were bound with dental floss, a thick piece of duct tape across her foul little mouth. There was a noose around her neck, the end tightly wound and knotted over a sturdy branch in the ash tree above. Underneath Lorna’s bare feet was a salt lick.

Angie yawned. It was time for bed. She stabbed her cigarette in an ashtray. Tomorrow she’d go for a boat ride and feed the fish.

~ fin ~

Julia Madeleine is a thriller writer, artist and entrepreneur living in Toronto. She owns Atomic Cherry Tattoo and works with her daughter, also a tattoo artist. She is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories. Her stories of mayhem and suspense can be found published around the net, one of which was nominated for a Derringer Award in 2011.