Note: This one goes very dark, but not brutally dark.
Crime du Jour: 31 Days of Malfeasance, Misconduct, and Immorality
One crime story per day, all the way through October. Ebook to be published Nov 1. This will be under my mystery/crime pen name, Diane R. Thompson!
Crime du Jour #26: Sexual Assault
THE FLARE OF HER NOSTRILS
Warren Wade had been exonerated. Everyone knew who his family was, but no one said that explicitly. It didn’t have to be said. Before that, he’d been suspended last year for a day for stockpiling guns—basically, his mother had freaked out about his antique Colt collection after an incident where he’d threatened her if she ever came in his room again, and she’d called Superintendent Rideout, a friend of hers, to say that Warren planned to take his guns to school and start shooting. But he hadn’t been planning to do anything like that. He’d broken up with that one girl Rebecca, but it wasn’t about that, either, the way the gossip said. It was literally just about his mom going into his room.
And then that bitch Elizabeth had started stuffing notes inside lockers.
There’s a rapist here and you know who it is.
Rideout had had Elizabeth suspended for three days. Plus the two other girls who had helped pass the notes, but only Elizabeth had stood on the front steps and protested about it.
He’d seen her on the steps that afternoon, turned around, and gone home out the door the teachers used for smoke breaks. First he’d gone to Principal Farris to tell her that Elizabeth was bullying him, making him uncomfortable. And then Farris had taken him to the teachers’ lounge and let him out that way, promising him that she’d send homework home for him.
She had a mean look in her eye, which Warren liked.
So far, he’d received about a dozen expressions of sympathy from the staff, and his grades had gone up. The girl who’d gone whining to Elizabeth had even started smiling him again.
I should do this more often, he thought. It was a nice game of chess.
Warren’s house overlooked a tiny cove leading out onto the Atlantic. Looking out that direction, you could see nothing but ocean. The beach was full of rocks, good for skipping but absolute shit for lying out on, with or without a towel. Plus it was fucking cold. Warren’s room on the second floor overlooked the back terrace, flagstones, his dad’s lap pool, and a heated jacuzzi built into the hillside. Warren imagined a serial killer or one of the masked attackers from The Purge breaking into the French doors on the lower floor some night, and him going downstairs with one his Colts—he kept a few of them loaded—and then stalking and killing the attacker. He hadn’t been planning to shoot up his school. Some nights, he left the back door “accidentally” unlocked, hoping that some thief would at least check. But none ever did.
Elizabeth’s protest was on the news. The liberals picked it up and ran with it. Warren’s friends asked him if he was going to do anything about it, if he was polishing his guns and they should stay home from school.
Not like that.
He waited a week, two weeks. Then he went back to school.
He waited. Two days after he went back—the story was still in the news—he got another note shoved into his locker.
There’s a rapist here and you know who it is.
Nobody was supposed to know about it, but Elizabeth had a girlfriend. Her name was Max, a boy’s name. Elizabeth didn’t look like a lesbian, either the porn kind or the butch kind. She just looked like a girl, with long blonde hair and chubbo thighs. But her girlfriend was definitely a lesbian. She wore a leather jacket and a biker hat and rode a motorcycle. Warren had had to find out for sure that she wasn’t actually trans, because Max had serious MAN-VIBES. But no, she was just a lesbian. For now. Maybe she’d change her mind later and start peeing in the men’s room. Warren wasn’t disgusted by her. In fact he’d been briefly intrigued, but it turned out actual lesbians were just as boring as everyone else. Except that no one was supposed to know she and Elizabeth were dating. They didn’t hang out at school. But Max lived near him. He’d seen Elizabeth on the back of Max’s bike, her blonde head leaning against Max’s shoulder. Max’s parents weren’t rich. They were barely middle-class. But the town was weird like that: multi-million-dollar houses overlooking the ocean, and three- to five-hundred thousand dollars everywhere else. There weren’t any actual poor people in their town—except for the help, but they drove in from shitty apartments in Portland with their shitty cars and their shitty buckets of cleaning supplies.
He had toyed with the idea of revenge the whole time he was away from school. How to get back at Elizabeth.
Then Max had come to his house with his homework, looking disgusted, and it had all dropped into place as she handed him a plastic grocery sack with books and papers in it.
“Thanks,” he’d said.
Her nostrils had flared. And that was what had made up his mind.
All he had to do was stuff a note inside Max’s locker, saying what he was going to do to Elizabeth that night, and making fun of Max for not being man enough to stop him.
And then leave the French doors unlocked and the security system off, make sure his mom had plenty of Valium in her system—his dad was out of town, in New York for the week on business—clean a couple of his guns, and wait.
He’d even say that Max had tried to rape him before he shot her.
It would be a nice touch.
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