Writing by Jenny

Smile – A Short Story by Jenny

By February 19, 2019 February 25th, 2019 No Comments

Smile - A Short Story by Jenny

SMILE

I could feel the broken glass slipping into the skin more easily as I dragged it back and forth on Dale’s face. He whimpered as he tried to wiggle out from under me. “DON’T FUCKING MOVE”, I yelled as I sat back to admire my work. The blood was starting to drip down the sides of his face I carved another piece of skin. “SMILE! SMILE! BIGGER!!! NOT BIG ENOUGH!!!”, I yelled as loud as I could until my throat was burning. “YOU ARE SOOOOOO PRETTY WHEN YOU SMILE!!!!” I laughed as I traced the jagged glass around the outside of his upper lip. I was laughing so hard that I could barely breathe. Dale whined and whimpered as the cuts began to bleed more. “SMILE!!! SMILE!!! SMILE!!! LOOK INTO MY EYES!!!” My evil smile was the last thing he would see in his lifetime. The satisfaction filled my soul. A soul that has been dead for a long time but how did I get here?

It was 13 degrees out, January in New Jersey is always gray, cold and rainy. Today was no different. My name is Genevieve, and here’s my story. I woke up to the sound of my alarm going off. Ugh another day. I was so depressed. My now ex-boyfriend was sleeping with my now ex-best friend. He had abused me for eight months. Constantly telling me what I thought was wrong, what I did was wrong, and everything that made me happy was wrong. I was constantly accused of cheating which was ironic considering the situation. After my dog, who was my heart and soul passed away, what was left of my heart died with him. I was broke. The company I was working for had suddenly closed down and my new work place felt unfamiliar and strange. I wanted to die. There were no tears, no sadness, no anger inside me. However, there was a feeling of nothing which was actually worse than feeling something. I got up and got ready for work just like any other day. One thing I learned through the years is when times are tough no one is there. It’s like your sadness is contagious.

I arrived at my new job at Sal’s, the small, local restaurant/bar located in a poor blue-collar working-class part of town. The people I worked with were just different from me. Something about this town was just odd. I had always lived and worked in a city. The small-town vibe was never my thing. The locals were fiercely aggressive and very protective of their small town. ‘No Outsiders’ seemed to be the unwritten law. If you weren’t one of them, you were in for trouble.
I moved through my shift just like any other day. Dale, who sat in the same seat at the bar everyday decided he was going to start in on me. “Hey there girl you need to smile”, he yelled at me over the music. I glanced over at the smirk on his face. “Hey! Hey! I said smile or I will tell Sal you aren’t smiling enough, and you will lose your job!”. I walked over to him. Everything that I was going through started to make my body feel hot. I said “Dale, I have been waiting on you all day and listened to all of your stories and made sure you had everything you need, so what is the problem?” He tapped the side of his Bud Lite as he looked at me “I need to see that smile and make it a good one because you are sooooo pretty when you smile and if you don’t you will be sorry”. Every single part of me hated him. I walked away. ‘God damnit I need this job’ replayed over and over in my head. Why do people have to be so mean?

I was just about to leave work when suddenly two men I’ve never seen before walked in. Immediately the locals stared at them. I went over and introduced myself. Chuck was tall with dark hair and resembled a younger Ben Affleck. Patrick had a smaller build with light hair and blue eyes. There was something about Patrick that just drew me to him. The two men were passing through town looking for a new location for their business. I locked eyes with Patrick, and I could just feel the connection. We chatted and he walked me to my car at the end of my shift. He asked if he could take me to dinner. After all I had been through, the thought of spending time with another man was the furthest thing from my mind. He looked at me and said, “It’s just dinner I promise to have you home by 9”.  We went to dinner at the local diner and talked until midnight. He was so sweet and interesting. He drove me back to my car and we said goodbye. I went to bed that night dreaming of what could be. It was the first time I’ve slept in weeks. It was the first time I didn’t wish for death in my sleep.

A few hours later I had to be back at work. I pulled into the parking lot and noticed two policemen talking to the owner Sal. Sal was a short Italian man weighing about 350lbs. He was always sweating and walked with a slight limp due to his bad knees.  The older officer was George. The young rookie with George was named Jeff. Jeff was such a kind young man. He looked like Justin Timberlake. An all-American boy next door. He had a crush on me. I wondered in a different lifetime if we would be the couple who drank coffee out of ‘wifey’ and ‘hubbs’ mugs, as we walked hand in hand in Bed Bath and Beyond, and had nicknames for each other like ‘baby cakes’ and ‘schmoopy’.

The three men stopped talking and walked over to me. My heart began to beat fast and I started to feel light headed as Jeff explained that the two young men who were in yesterday have gone missing without a trace. He asked me to please give him a call if I had any information that could help their investigation and he handed me his card. I immediately sank to the ground. Sal’s wife Charlene, a bleached blonde overly tanned mean drunk of a woman, came barreling down the steps from upstairs.  She was always watching us on the bar cameras. She screeched, ‘Get up and get back to work Genevieve!”.

I finished my shift completely zombified. As I walked to my car Dale and Rich (another local) came out of nowhere and were laughing as they yelled, “You will never see your pretty boy again”. I snapped my head around and said. “What the fuck did you just say?”, as Dale turned to Rich and said, “Forget her, she will get hers”. I got in my car with my anger consuming me. Those two idiots were up to something and I wasn’t going to just sit back and do nothing.

I parked my car around the block and waited to see what Dale, Rich, and Sal were up too. When the bar closed, they all came walking out together. I crept quietly out of my car and hid in the bushes to hear what they were saying.  Sal was telling Dale to remember to lock the basement to the bar and he would see him tomorrow same place same time.
Something wasn’t right. I waited until they drove away and then I snuck back to the basement door of the bar.  I took out my iPhone to call Jeff. I pressed send and then changed my mind. I hung up as it started to ring. I didn’t trust the cops in this town. I was going to do this myself.

I didn’t have an easy childhood. Both parents were drug addicts and criminals. I learned how to be street smart. I pulled my bobby pin out of my ponytail and picked the lock. “POP” there went the lock. I was in. My heart pounded out of my chest as I ran down the basement steps. I was breathing so hard I felt like the sound was echoing off of the cold dark dank walls. My eyes scanned the basement frantically. It was hard to see. My eyes struggled to focus. The only light I had was from my iPhone. Nothing seemed out of the norm. Beer boxes, bar supplies, empty kegs, ice buckets etc. But then out of the corner of my eye a small gleam of light was shining from underneath the walk-in door.

I ran over and pulled as hard as I could on the door. It flung open and there before my eyes were Chuck and Patrick. Their bodies were strapped into chairs and there were lines hooked up to their veins syphoning their blood and distributing it into empty pickle barrels. Their eyes were wide and lifeless. I screamed as I covered my mouth in horror. Just then I heard the basement door slam! Sal, Dale, and Rich were back! I ducked behind the chair where Chuck’s body was.

I heard their heavy footsteps coming down the stairs. “I’m telling you Sal someone is in here”, Dale yelled. Sal and Rich laughed. Sal said, “You are just paranoid, they haven’t caught us in 37 years what makes you think they are going to catch us now?”. As he grinned. His overweight, sweaty body heaved with laughter. He huffed and puffed as he walked back up the basement stairs.  Dale followed after him. Rich stayed behind to give the basement one more sweep. As I fought back tears, I thought to myself I have nothing left to live for. I have nothing to lose. I can sit back and do nothing, or I can just go for it.

Sweat poured down my face, my heart pounded, my eyes stung from my makeup as I wiped my tears away. Fuck it! I’m not letting these inbred, hillbilly, no-teeth, backwoods losers get away with this!  I lept out from behind the chair, “Surprise motherfucker!”, I yelled. Rich let out a ‘What the?” as I jumped on him knocking him to the cement ground. The impact of the fall knocked him out cold and a pool of blood started to form around his hair. I felt a short sense of relief until the basement door flung open and Dale yelled, “What the hell is going on down there?”, as he ran down the stairs.

Sal was right behind him. We locked eyes. This was it. Sal’s eyes widened. He couldn’t believe he had been caught by me. He couldn’t believe Rich was knocked out unconscious underneath me. Dale ran towards me and the fight of my life began. I pushed him as hard as I could knocking him into Sal.  Sal clutched his chest. The situation, along with the impact had, caused him to have a heart attack. He fell against the wall breaking the neon glass ‘It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere’ sign. Dale reached out and began choking me. I started to feel my body go limp.

Different scenarios flashed through my head and I considered giving up. Then, a vision of Patrick lifting me up in the air and swinging me around as I giggled came to mind. I wasn’t giving up! Not this time. I picked up a piece of shattered glass and plunged it as hard as I could into his side. “Ahhhhh you bitch!”, he screamed as he jumped back. I gained my balance and took a deep breath and ran full force into him as we both fell to the floor. We struggled. My heart pounded. He punched me in my jaw. I could feel the warm blood filling my mouth. We kicked, pulled, and scratched each other. We rolled around the basement floor fighting for our lives. I kept struggling to reach the tap of the keg that was laying just out of arms reach. I closed my eyes and prayed ’Please god give me the strength to do this’. I stretched as far as I could and grabbed it and hit him as hard as I could on the side of the head. His body collapsed on top of me.

I pushed him off and tied his hands together with his belt. I looked around but couldn’t find anything to tie his feet with. I tied his shoelaces together. It was the best I could do. I took the broken piece of glass and tried to decide what my next move was. Just then he began to wake up he looked at me in disbelief. I raised the glass and without hesitation sliced his mouth.

I continued to carve a joker like smile into his face. With each drop of blood that splattered onto my face, I felt the sweet taste of revenge. What I didn’t know was in the struggle my phone had dialed Jeff…

Jeff was standing behind me watching me butcher the man who killed and tortured so many people. The man who killed the one man who made me feel like I had a soul again. The man who taunted women for no reason. The man who told me to ‘Smile’.

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