A Pale Revenge

Moira bungee-strapped the gallon jug of strange liquid securely in her trunk; no way was that going to spill! She carefully secured the plant as well, and added the new shovel. Then she positioned her suitcase for easy retrieval and slammed the trunk, it was one week past Memorial Day; the plant should blend nicely with others in the graveyard. An unusually tough species, the plant would survive three days in her trunk with no problems. The gallon of liquid would get even nastier, and she counted on that.

Pretty Alana with DS; born when their mother was too old for childbearing. How they’d worked with her! Her father had given many weekends to therapy sessions so the mother could catch a break; catch up on laundry, catch up on housework, and not have to watch the active child every second. Moira had given up a lot of social life since her peers didn’t want a “retarded” younger sister around. The three family members had sacrificed grudgingly at times, but always with love.

Moira swung into a fast food drive through for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, a rarity for her. She stretched like a cat after discarding the wrapping, noticed construction guys ogling her well-maintained body, and didn’t care. Erotica was of little interest right now. She fired up the car and took off again.

Alana had done respectably in school; even mainstreamed. Then the monster Amanda pretended to be her friend and lured her into a warehouse where three men were waiting. A rape and snuff film to finance the losers for a few months; they had no skills, the police proposed. The men weren’t identified, but Amanda was, and got off. Amanda’s parents were prominent, and Alana was sixteen; she should have known to stay away from the warehouse. Moira wiped away the star-causing tears. She would need a motel tonight.

On the early afternoon of the third day, Moira turned into the graveyard of Amanda’s family, surrounded by their freshly sown prized sunflower fields. She went to Amanda’s recent grave, tore out the Memorial Day flowers, and got busy planting the Tall Whitetop, a noxious alien weed from the West. It could spread thoroughly among the sunflowers before anyone noticed and brought in an expert.

She was retrieving her jug of strange liquid from the trunk, when a lonely old man stopped by. He went up to her immediately. “Did you know Amanda?”

“Yes, I did.” Moira didn’t like the interruption, and the man was probably a relative, but she’d invested too much for her plan to fail. “Were you her grandfather?”

“I was a great-uncle. Wasn’t it tragic; t-boned like that and killed?”

“I heard she was texting and ran a red light,” Moira reminded him gently.

“Kids, they make mistakes, I was no better. I’m surprised I survived my childhood.” He looked at the Tall Whitetop quizzically. “I don’t recognize that type of plant; it’s got pretty little flowers, though.”

“I don’t know what it is either,” Moira lied, “I got it because it’s pretty.”

“What’s that you’re using for watering? It smells like a bathroom.” The old guy wrinkled his nose.

Moira thought fast, “Red tomato fertilizer mixed in clam juice; you know how fishy stuff will smell like a toilet? It’s been in my trunk a couple of days, I got it from my mother, she swears by it.”

“Yeah, plants do seem to like the stinky stuff. I didn’t catch your name?”

“Judy Anderson”; there must be thousands in this part of the country, she thought, older than me, but he won’t notice.

“Well, you take care, Judy; I’d better get on with my walk, my wife’s afraid I’ll wander too far afield. A field, get it?” He chuckled happily at his little impromptu joke and meandered through the old brick gate.

Moira watched him go; not a bad sort, and it made sense for family to protect their own. Unless the Tall Whitetop spread thoroughly, this silvery plant was a pale revenge. But she had to do something, make some gesture of her hatred for Amanda, before she could start to forget and move her neglected life forward.

Moira poured the rest of the liquid around the base of the plant. Urine captured while she was menstruating, shaken and stored in the sun for two weeks. She was pissing on Amanda’s fresh grave and bleeding out her pain at the same time. The plant would love it. She hoped the legendarily invasive roots would penetrate the vault and coffin, draw sustenance as they followed the circulatory system, and feed the plant top well enough to throw seeds all over the precious sunflower field. She doubted embalming fluid would faze Tall Whitetop.

Not a normal litterer, Moira nonetheless threw the jug over the fence, picked up her shovel and walked to her car; there was yet time to visit another graveyard and pay her respects.



This is a Chuck Wendig Friday Flash Fiction. He told us to choose one word from three columns. You’ll find them here:



I chose erotica/graveyard/revenge.



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4 Responses to A Pale Revenge

  1. admin says:

    Thank you. I often find myself writing dark… it seems natural for me.

  2. Jon says:

    Well, *that* was a sweet story.

    You “cheated” on the erotica, though :p . I won’t say I was hopeful for revenge sex in a graveyard . . . or revenge sex with a zombie . . . but I also won’t say it didn’t cross my mind :)

  3. Mike says:

    I was waiting for her to get it on with the great-uncle – somehow as a revenge. But this works too – hopefully he doesn’t come back to check out the weed.

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