The cold air bit into Alice’s thighs as she walked angrily towards the Gordon’s house. Her vision blurred and she saw red. Her hair was flying wildly in the air, twisting and angering her further. Before she had left the mansion, she thought better of taking the gun with her; she chucked it on a table in the foyer before she lost all rational thinking. She would have probably shot Keith between the eyes if she had her colt on her now. The Gordon’s three story house came into her view.
The green painting looked darker than usual, the roofing looked black. Alice clenched her jaw, there was movement by the garage, but she didn’t even pay any attention to it. Her blood pressure was skyrocketing and blood was pounding in her ears. I’m going to kill that son a bitch when I get my hands on him and then I’m going to kill Alaine. She wanted to scream, kick or hit something. She was beyond mad, she was outright outraged. How could he have the gulls to sit there and have a heart-to-heart with her, while knowing he knocked her sister up? Her twin no less.
Alice walked angrily up the driveway, her slippered feet were numb and her hands were shaking violently. She was rounding the corner to the front door when someone grabbed her and yanked her around the corner. Alice was pinned against the cold wall, a rock solid body pressing against her and a hand covering her mouth, preventing her from screaming, or swearing as the case were.
“Angel, what’cha doin’ out here so late?” The voice was low and soft, Keith’s. “You shouldn’t be walkin’ around like that, half naked and all.”
He removed his hand, confident that she wouldn’t scream bloody-murder. “You son of a bitch!” She snarled out angrily, “How dare you touch me! Get the fuck off me!” Alice pushed hard against his chest, he moved back, away from her fury and anger. Not sure where it was coming from or why. Alice vibrated with anger, it hung sickly in the air like smoke. Her blood was boiling and her heart pounding. “How dare you say that shit earlier and act like nothing was wrong! STUPID BASTARD!” She threw a punch, it connected with his chest, and he grunted but didn’t move.
“You stupid son of a bitch!” She stared up into his eyes, she saw confusion flash through his eyes. “What? You couldn’t have me, so you went for the second best thing?”
“Oh, Jesus,” he raked a hand through his ash blond hair. “Alaine told you then?”
She laughed hysterically, “Told me? I had to insist she tell me what was wrong.” Alice shook her head, her hair shaking briskly with the movements. “God, to think I still cared something deep for you, and then I find out you knocked my sister up!”
Keith paled instantly. His jaw dropped halfway to his chest and his eyes widened in disbelief. “W-what?” He stammered.
“You knew,” she screamed, “you knew and you tried to play me like a fool! God, of all the sickest things you could do,” she forced a laugh that rang hollow and dull. “You knew my sister was pregnant with your child and you thought it would be fine to go for the other sister, the one you wanted originally?”
“I didn’t know, Alice.” He spoke sternly and strongly. “We used a condom.”
“Condoms aren’t a hundred percent effective, dumbass.” Alice closed her eyes and counted to ten. She opened them and felt like pounding Keith to a pulp. “All men are the same,” she snorted angrily, “the head without a brain thinks for them.” Alice turned and stalked away angrily towards her grandparent’s mansion.
Alice slammed the giant oak door and sagged against it. The adrenaline had worn off halfway up the pathway to the front door. Tears threatened to break over the rim of her eyes and flood; she sniffled and held her breath. She wouldn’t cry over this. Alaine sat on the stairs, her bob-cut hair style seemed childish on her head. Alice’s twin looked up at her with tears in her eyes. Adrenaline surged through her body, a fresh layer of energy coursed through her.
“Alice please, let me explain-”
Alice shot her a look that could have frozen the sun over. “Don’t even go there, Alaine.” She shook her head sadly, “God, you think I haven’t noticed?” Alaine remained silent as her sister spouted on. “You’ve been jealous of me since before I can remember!” Alaine’s gaze shot to Alice’s, Alice smirked. “Dead on, huh? Why am I so great? Why do you want to be me? My life isn’t some fairytale where happy endings always happen! I had to work for what I had and a man took it all away from me.”
“I’m sorry Alice.” Alaine whispered.
“Sorry? You’re sorry? Why Keith went for me and not you in High School is beyond me, but he went for me and you still slept with him? Even worse, you’re knocked up.” Alice clapped her hands, “encore, encore!” Alice walked up to Alaine and bent to her eye level. Her voice was eerily soft and menacing, “do you want to know why he cheated on me, my dearest sister?” Her twin’s eyebrows rose but she said nothing. “Because I wanted a commitment. I wanted one because I was pregnant!”
Alaine’s eyes popped open and her gaze shot to her twin’s. “No,” she whispered, denying it.
“Yes,” Alice nodded, unintentionally grinding her teeth. “I was pregnant, when I asked him if he planned to marry me, he cheated on me and the stress and pain of it all caused me to miscarry. I never told anyone and never planned to.” Alice clapped her hands again, mocking her sister, “you go ahead and have that baby, but it doesn’t change the fact he will never love you.”
“Shut up,” her twin whispered. “He will… in time.”
“You go ahead and believe that. Repeat that until you convince yourself it’s the truth.” Alice shook her head part from anger and part from sadness. “Your pathetic and need a new hobby. I hope he shatters your heart and leaves you with nothing – you both deserve whatever ill fate awaits you.”
“You don’t mean that.”
Alice barked a laugh, her sapphire eyes glinted a deeper blue. “But I do Alaine. I’m so sick of your jealousy and hate towards me. You want something? Go fucking get it and stop pretending you are me. I worked for what I have and lost. As pathetic as Brad was, he at least had the decency to be honest with me about his feelings. You? You hide behind lies and deceit, and pretend nothing is wrong.” Alice threw her arms above her and screamed. “I’ve been back three days and everything’s gone wrong!” She lowered her gaze and looked Alaine straight in the eyes, “You come near me from here on out and I will kill you, do you hear me?”
Sunlight streaked the pale pink carpet. Morning had come, regardless of what happened in the nighttime hours. Alice stirred in her bed; she’d slept a whole three hours. She had spent a good hour throwing items around in her room. She denied every feeling that was positive towards Keith. She had felt like crying but had refused to allow the tears to escape. She was through with crying over men.
Alice swung her legs over the bed and hung her head. “God,” she shook her head, “what a mess.”
She stood and stretched, feeling her back ache and her legs scream at her. She grunted softly as she moved towards the small bathroom. The light flicked on, but even though it was brighter than the sun, she didn’t flinch. Her morning routines were done quickly and robotically, as if she didn’t care one bit.
Alice came down the stairs into the foyer and turned towards the front door. She opened the giant oak door and bent to pick the newspaper up when a box about three feet long and three feet deep caught her eye. ADRESSED TO ALICE LAMOTTE. No return address. She lifted her head and scanned the front yard and beyond. The small town was just waking up; people were getting ready for work and eating breakfast at this time.
She turned her gaze back to the box and stared at it as confusion swam through her. She rested the newspaper on the box and gently pulled it into the mansion. Alice sat on her heels staring at the box, questions swam through her mind. “Only way to figure out what’s in it is to open it,” Alice muttered to herself.
She pulled a tab of tape off the box that was sticking out, the tape hissed at her as if it were pissed to be disturbed. Alice ignored the pains that shot up her arm as she went about the task of ripping the tape off. The final piece relented and released the box from its sticky claws. She chewed her lip, worried about what might be in the box – it might very well be a bomb. She flipped one flap and then the other and her face went stark white. She fell back and crawled away horrified out of her mind.
Wrapped in a thin layer of plastic a disembodied body lay, perfectly preserved as if whoever was killed had been murdered the night before. Alice covered her face with her hands and shook violently. “Oh, God, oh God,” she whispered to herself.
“Angel, what’cha doin’ on the ground?” Alice shook her head violently, unable to respond. “Aw, you still mad at me? What’cha got in the box?” Keith walked the few feet towards the box and looked down into it. His head snapped up and looked at the woman cradling herself on the ground. “I’m goin’ call the police, you stay put.”
She heard him walk off to the office ten feet away from her. Who is it? She wondered idly. Keith’s heavy southern accent was muffled through the closed door, she squeezed her eyes closed; determined to forget the gory scene in the box. The body was so torn and grossly cut apart; a light bulb clicked on suddenly and Alice felt her stomach clench to vomit. She heard Keith’s footsteps and then abruptly stop in front of her a foot or so away. “It’s Alaine,” she whispered.
“How do you know?” He growled out. She shook her head, trying to deny it herself. Keith squatted in front of her; he reached out to touch her but thought better of it. She looked up at him, ‘God, to think I still cared something deep for you, and then I find out you knocked my sister up!’, he swallowed hard as a bitter taste settled in his mouth. “Alice,” he spoke softly, “how do you know who it is?”
“The bob-cut,” she whispered. “I thought it was childish, but that’s how I know.” She buried her head in her hands, unbelieving.
He sighed and looked at the box; he drew his eyebrows low above his eyes as he locked onto a white, plain piece of paper.
One lie turns into a string of lies.
One lie can change a life.
One lie can take a life.
I lie not,
As this woman lies dead within a cardboard coffin.
You ask for forgiveness but I am not God.
I am the Grim Reaper.
COME TO COLLECT.