I glanced down at my party shoes and pink taffeta dress and slowly pulled the handgun out of my purse. I was at Maggie Dunne’s house party, and if there was one thing that Maggie understood, it was the power of presentation. Her abnormally frilly house suddenly became almost twenty-five times more extravagant when she would invite the neighborhood over for a gala of some sorts. Of course, everyone really understood why she had these parties.

 

I didn’t notice him at first. He was tall, fair skinned, maybe around 5’9 or 10. Stood right in. His teeth were a little crooked and chipped, and he mingled with the other housewives as if he cared why little Suzie Parker joined the traveling soccer league, or why Miss Abinante had sudden headaches in the afternoon.

 

I edged my way around the punch bowl, carefully weaving around the crowd, pacing my steps to the beat of the string quartet in the center of the hall. To the right of me, Hostess Dunne was pushing around a freckled teenage waiter; he simply wasn’t serving the appetizers at the right temperature. Then, I looked. There he was: Mr. Young. Wait a minute. I should think about how to go about this. Maybe I should hide the gun behind my purse while I loaded it? If anyone, anyone at all, saw me doing anything at all, I’d surely ruin my reputation. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?

 

I casually strolled over and stood behind one of the grand pillars supporting the structure of the hall. It was just large enough that it could hide my body, but small enough that I could peer out and aim wherever I pleased. And I pleased to aim at Paul Young, the little bastard. I closed my eyes. I could feel my palms shaking as I remembered the day I came home to see a trail of undergarments against the railing and the floor. The loser didn’t even bother to try to hide his string of betrayal. No, no, he had to leave it right there. It was like he wanted to get caught.

 

I laughed. What was I, some woman from the musical Chicago? No, I was much better than those women. They were insane! Look how well put-together I was. I wore Chanel. They wore stockings, and the makeup of a call girl. I never once had an argument with Paul. I did everything for him. I loved him. When I caught them together, he jumped up, clamoring the sheets behind his bare back, and the woman ducked under, making visible only a tangled string of blonde hair. All I could do was drop my cleaning bleach on the floor. Paul had other mistresses? I thought what we both had was a classic case of mid-life boredom. We’d get together no later than 3pm every few days, and he’d make me feel like my life was more exciting than a trip to the A&P, scrubbing my floor, taking care of little, screaming babies. I began to have feelings for this man. He was definitely better than Edward, the man who chewed his food loudly, and complained about my burned pot roast. I remember walking out of the room with brief steps as Paul jumped upwards, yelling,“ Suze, Suze, wait, come back! She’s the only other one! We never had any rules about that, did we? You said it was casual!” Words choked up in my breath, my throat became crisp, dry. “ You said you loved me. More than anyone else.” He chuckled. “ I don’t think it counts if it’s within five minutes of sex, honey.”

 

I refocused my attention back to the dance floor, snapping out of the dream. It was time. I steadied my arms. Step one: Power Stance. I put my legs outwards. I was the one who had power tonight. Step two: High Hand Grasp. I raised my hands towards the sky, framing him in view. Step three: Hard Grip. I was confident about this. Step four: Slowly Release the Trigger. I was doing this with class. I was doing this in freaking taffeta, for goodness sakes. I swirled around, releasing the trigger, and a shot echoed throughout the hall. A mere second ago the hall was bubbling with glasses of champagne and friendly chatter. Now, there was nothing. Nothing except the turning of 300 pupils, a cracked bottle of wine exactly 150 feet away from me, glass swept across the dance floor, and the sticky spill of sour grapes sticking to the soles of heels and dress shoes.

 

Hostess Dunne had been in the other room, and stepped inside to see what the silence was about. There was almost a twitching, strained look in her eye. “What . . . what a fantastic shot you have there. Everyone should bring their attention to the dessert table now. I have flambé, fruit tarts, and chocolate pie!” She took a slow, yet deep breath, until a smile pursed the edge of her lips, indicating the delight of such a surprise. A slow clap began from the corner of the room, and began to build momentum until the room echoed with the awkward applause. I took a bow. It was all part of a big show to them apparently, a show to introduce the final course. I shrugged. Revenge might be sweet, but I think the combination of the stupidity of the room and the chocolate pie was sweeter than any murdering tonight.

Arielle Trenk is a junior in the BFA Computer Arts Department. She enjoys creating and developing stories to make her 3D work/universes have rhyme and reason. In her spare time, she listens to an obscene amount of NPR, bakes chocolate chip banana bread, and dances while nobody is watching.