One, Two, Three …. Eight, Nine, Ten
This is my first try at fiction so don’t expect a lot
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
Elkin Gornov got home from work early that day. Something was wrong. Two of the living room lamps were missing. Barbara’s books and computer were not on the desk in the bedroom. As he reached into the refrigerator to get a beer, she entered the front door.
“Elkin, I have something to tell you.” Her eyes were dark. Her natural smile was missing. “I’m leaving. I have already packed and moved out. I know this will hurt but I don’t love you. I found someone.”
Elkin was speechless. A voice inside counted “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten.”
“Well don’t you have something to say?”
Elkin stood frozen. He blinked his eyes which started to water. His lip quivered. “Why?”
”Elkin, you have become the most boring, overweight, controlling man in the world. Now that the girls are gone, I have no reason to stay. I need to enjoy life again. Besides, your counting scares me,” she recited.
“Who?” Elkin muttered. Barbara bolted out the door.
For the next few days, Gornov was semi catatonic. He did not eat or sleep or go to work. His boss and good friend Gerry Harris found him alone in his newly purchased 8x8 aluminum shed in the back yard.
“What’s going on Elkin? You didn’t even call. We were worried. No one answered your phone. Are you alright?”
Elkin turned his head and mumbled. Gerry took him to the local hospital where he was admitted. The diagnosis was obsessive compulsive stress disorder. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten.
Three days later, Elkin was home, on medication and back to work. A plan was being born. Elkin was humiliated.
“Am I more hurt by the betrayal or the fact that I had no clue. I didn’t even suspect that Barbara was seeing someone. What do I tell my daughters or fellow workers or neighbors? – that I’m boring, fat and out of touch with my wife of 35 years.”
Recently Barbara had seemed aloof. They had their share of fights. The last few years after the girls left for college, the fights had escalated. But Elkin was reasonably happy and he thought Barbara was too. Her Tuesday night book club was obviously a lie.
The last fight was the most telling. Forgetting it was Tuesday, Elkin innocently asked “where are you going?”
Barbara’s angrily responded “ Why, do you really care? Do you even know about my book club which I’ve been going to for the past year?”
Elkin shouted, “ bitch.”
Barbara slammed the front door on her way out. Her tires screeched as she drove out of the driveway. “An obvious clue. Am I really that oblivious?”
But all of that was beside the point. “No need to dwell on what could have happened. I need to find the paramour.”
On Wednesday, Elkin took his cousin Jimmy’s car to work. The gray 2009 Honda Accord was relatively inconspicuous. His cousin was out of the country in Malaysia for a few months. He asked Elkin to start his car occasionally especially in the cold New England winter.
Elkin worked for an architectural firm where he could make his own work schedule. He left work early and drove to Barbara’s office in downtown Worcester. She worked as a receptionist at the Health Connector on Eden Street and usually parked in the lot across the street. He waited tapping the dashboard at the corner of Sudbury Street. At 5:13 Barbara stepped out of the Health Center, crossed the busy street and went to her car, a black 2006 Nissan Maxima. Elkin let one car get ahead of him and followed hanging back as safely as he could making sure he was not seen. He wore a newly purchased Yankee baseball cap with the front turned down and a false mustache. He was a Red Sox fan. 22 minutes passed until Barbara pulled into a driveway on Maple Street in the suburban town of Shrewsbury.
“Jesus, this is Wilbur’s home.’ Wilbur Wyatt was Elkin’s friend since high school and the best man at his wedding.
Elkin shouted, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten.
Thoughts ran through Elkin’s head. “Revenge. An eye for an eye. Choose a weapon. Kill Barbara. Kill Wilbur. Hide the bodies. Buy a gun. Target practice. Poison. Push off a cliff. Strangulation. Use a venomous snake. Stab with a knife. Buy burlap bags. Buy plastic bags. Choose a location. Pick a time of day. On the way to work. At home. On the road. Fire. Acid. Torture. Make it seem like an accident. Prepare”
As he drove north on Route 13 toward Polson, Elkin Gornov could hear his heartbeat. He had never thought about murder, about ending someone’s life, for real. At the same time, he was excited. There is some joy about what he was about to do. The satisfaction of a well thought out plan. The minute details to achieve success. The sweet taste of revenge. “But why am I afraid?,” he thought. “Of course this could end badly. I could get caught.” “Am I mad like Jack Nicholson in the Shining? “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten
Route 13 is a winding 2 lane highway meandering through the wilderness of southern Maine. Light snow was falling like in the opening scene of Doctor Zhivago. A major northeaster was forecast for that evening. The wet snow would hide footprints and tire prints. He wore skin tight gloves which he purchased at Target with cash. Jimmy’s Honda spun through a couple of icy spots.
Elkin was going to Wilbur’s summer cottage on Lake Bowman in a small town named Polson. Years ago, Elkin also had a cottage on Lake Bowman. The lake was bounded by about 20 homes mostly summer cottages. The Wyatt and Gornov families spent many happy weekends together while their children were young. Elkin knew Wilbur visited his cottage on weekends in the winter. Wilbur loved to spend a full day ice fishing with his drinking buddies from Polson. Wilbur would probably be alone and cell coverage in the mountains was spotty at best. With luck, Wilbur would be out in the middle of the lake by the time Elkin arrived.
As Elkin turned onto the lake road, his heart raced. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten.”
There was a light on in the cottage. There were 10 to 15 persons on the ice cold lake. There was one lean-to, hopefully Wilbur’s. Elkin kept driving on the narrow lake road. At the first curve, he backed into a vacant lot as far as he could so as not to be observed from the street or the lake. He shut down the engine, grabbed the binoculars from the back seat, stuffed the colt 45 into his pants and put on the galoshes all of which were recently purchased with cash. A back up hunting knife was already attached to his lower left leg. The walk to the cottage was slippery.
The snow continued to fall now in huge puffy flakes. The road was narrow but there would be little traffic during this season. Elkin walked at a brisk pace with hope that his heart would slow. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten.
As he reached the blue and white one level cottage, he could see in the windows. The home was level with the street and only 6 feet from the street. He slowed his pace. There was no one inside as far as he could tell. He walked past the building and focused on the lake. It was too distant to make out faces but that’s why he brought binoculars. He stopped behind a tree near the road and set his sights to the figures on the ice. He scanned from left to right. Standing next to the lean-to was Wilbur without a doubt. He had to get back to the cottage and go inside before he was noticed by any of the ice fishermen. He turned around and walked at the same pace as before. When he got to the cottage, he peered though the windows to make sure no one was inside. After a few minutes, he was convinced. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten. Luckily no car had driven by since he began his walk.
This was the dangerous part. The faster the better. He climbed 3 short steps to the side door without being noticed by the persons on the ice. If anyone saw him and alerted Wilbur, the plan would have to be aborted. He might have to run to his car to get away. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten.