Iced... (republished from the 2020 archives)

Updated: Feb 5

DAY 39


Twenty-seven ice cubes sat in an aged, plastic tray. Just adjacent, there were spilled globs of ice cream, long sticky and melted, but never tidied. A once overeager man, frozen in pieces, and neatly separated in small, plastic sandwich bags. With only a couple of preserved parts left, starvation was imminent. It wasn't appropriate to thaw him until tomorrow, at least according to tradition. That's how Debra Bivels handled it, anyhow. His elimination came on that lonely Friday night when he entered her estate... uninvited and unannounced.

DAY 1


He was just a few minutes from completing his shift and on his evening run of pizza deliveries across Tulsa. The beautiful, French Art Deco clock on the mantle fetched his attention as she greeted him at the door to collect her grub.


Silvered bronze and onyx. Quite valuable for a "smash and grab."


***


She handed him a twenty, collecting her greasy pepperoni pizza pie. His alluring gaze lingered and left her on edge. She closed the green, antiquated and now-patinated door, locking the deadbolt tightly.


What was it that made this young, ruggedly handsome delivery guy so curious about a worn out hag like me?


2 HOURS LATER


Debra retired to her navy velvet sleepwear and pulled the top of the covers across her feet, allowing the "doubly thick" evening outfit to keep the rest of her body warm. Her nighttime routine was always the same, three sips of lukewarm Sleepytime tea, a ladies 50+ multivitamin, and two pages from Woman's World. A loud crash startled her in the window nearest her waterbed. She leapt up, pulling out the butcher knife from her nightstand, and swiftly piercing the intruder's chest.


DAY 39


After that night, she added a new task to her evening routine, counting the remaining pieces of the intruder in the freezer. Ever since his unlawful entry, one bag a night was sufficient, but tonight was different. Tonight, she would share him with her feline, Hippo.


DAY 40


Her husband, Dale, returned home from his long-winded international assignment, noting the red drippings on Hippo’s fur nearest his mouth.


“I guess Hippo got into it with the bird again,” he said.


Debra looked at Dale and nodded.


“I believe you’re right, Dale. It’s nice to have you home.”


She wraps her arms around his neck and smiles.


Twenty-seven ice cubes sat in an aged, plastic tray. Just adjacent, there were spilled globs of ice cream, long sticky and melted, and a big empty space.


“Did you clean out the freezer?” Dale asked.


“I sure did," Debra replied. "I needed to make room for our next 40 days.”


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