"Emerging Writers, Serious Writers"

since 2009

Poetry, Prose & More. Join Us!

Chalkline

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Dr. Juanita Mariel DuLuca was a consummate bitch.  She had been raised in oblivious affluence in her native Argentina and had never recovered from the experience.  She had been waited on by others every minute of every day of every year of the fifty-three years she had thus far lived.   She believed that every other person on this planet existed for one purpose alone; to serve her every derisively-uttered, nauseatingly self-centered whim.

 

This would include Dr. Duluca’s browbeaten husband, a situation he was never allowed to forget by his equally derisive secretary mistress.

 

Juanita DuLuca was redecorating her master bedroom suite for the fifth time in as many years.  Her husband did not participate in any discussion regarding her architect Elliot’s proposals for this work.  Indeed, her husband hadn’t set foot in the same bedroom with his wife in over fifteen years.  His interests in the project were superfluous.

 

As construction commenced, it became clear nothing would ever satisfy the insatiable Dr. DuLuca.  No molding could ever be made straight enough, no cabinet finish ever sanded smooth enough, no light fixture or fitting ever mounted true enough.  Over the course of a six-month construction campaign, she had rejected as inadequate, sufficient goods, services and materials to have rebuilt her four hundred square foot bedroom suite several times over. 

 

Dr. Duluca was especially adamant about safeguarding the finely woven, milk white, imported Cashmere carpet chosen for her nearly completed bedroom.  She would have Elliott on his hands, knees and gut every week, inspecting every last square inch of the rug for each and every insignificant indication of damage left by any member of her contractors’ crews.  Workers were instructed to remove their shoes before entering the suite and to don special slippers so as not to ruffle a single fiber of this carpet.  The discovery of even the most inconsequential injury would send the doctor into a blood-chilling tirade that would not subside for days on end.  Everyone: workers, contractors, suppliers, Elliott himself and obviously, Dr. Duluca’s much-belittled husband made themselves highly scarce on such days.

 

Naturally, it came as little surprise when three days prior to the completion of her bedroom renovation, the deprecating Dr. Juanita Mariel DuLuca was found sprawled on her milk white, imported Cashmere carpet with four bullet holes puncturing the back of her head.

 

There were many promising suspects in the case.  The police finally settled on Mr. DuLuca’s secretary mistress.  Actually, it wouldn’t have mattered much who the police pinned for the crime.  There were clearly no less than a hundred people who would have gladly pulled the trigger if given half a chance.

 

Elliott would visit Dr. Duluca’s bedroom-now-crime-scene three days after her murder.  He needed to inventory the status of construction progress at the time of her death to permit the insurance company to properly release escrowed funding to each of her unpaid contractors.  Elliott sidestepped the rippling stands of yellow crime scene tape stretched across the Delucas’ front stoop.  He checked in with the attending police officer.  He gingerly climbed the sculpted wood staircase to the home’s second floor and entered the late Dr. DuLuca’s nearly completed master bedroom suite.  He would not soon forget the next image that entered his field of vision.  It would be the crudely chalked outline of a woman’s body on the bedroom floor.  There was a dark, crimson stain soaked deeply into the milk white Cashmere carpet marking a grisly halo about the form of Dr. Juanita Mariel DuLuca’s chalk-lined head. 

Comments (4)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Ug. it's getting boring telling you how talented you are with these stories. I was so riveted with this short I got a little pissed when it ended "WAY" to soon. The way you give a complete decription of Dr. Duluca in the first stanza is the key...

Ug. it's getting boring telling you how talented you are with these stories. I was so riveted with this short I got a little pissed when it ended "WAY" to soon. The way you give a complete decription of Dr. Duluca in the first stanza is the key to the rest of the story- It's all of our mom's without the money "dam-it"

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks much. That's very kind of you to say. It's actually based on a true story; a celebrated murder case in Houston about 20 years ago. The doctor was a client of mine, albeit one "short-lived" ;-)

As with a lot of my stuff, it is plucked...

Thanks much. That's very kind of you to say. It's actually based on a true story; a celebrated murder case in Houston about 20 years ago. The doctor was a client of mine, albeit one "short-lived" ;-)

As with a lot of my stuff, it is plucked from a much longer piece in which the good doctor is discussed in greater detail, post-mortem.

But you know, it's not my own Mom. At 92, she's turned into a real sweetheart. Aging has settled much for both of us.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

An absolutely powerful piece of descriptive narrative, the wonderful use of vocabulary to ruthlessly bring home the perversity of the Dr.s personality is masterful. Nice.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you Alberto. You're very kind, but I do think the piece has a couple serious problems. It's too wordy for one. Could use a good red pencil. And, I'm not really sure the police still make chalk lines around a victim's body, nor do I know how...

Thank you Alberto. You're very kind, but I do think the piece has a couple serious problems. It's too wordy for one. Could use a good red pencil. And, I'm not really sure the police still make chalk lines around a victim's body, nor do I know how well chalk would work on a thick cashmere carpet. I need to do a bit of research on this. Maybe it needs to be travertine instead of a rug. If I come up with a revision, I will post. Thanks again.

Read More
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location