The Roommate (short fiction)

They were all dead. A room full of people I barely knew

It was all my fault. Understand, I wasn’t talking in the abstract. I wasn’t pulling one of those “If only I’d gotten here sooner . . . “ guilty hero moments. I was the bad guy. I’d killed them, and, sure, it’d been an accident, but I couldn’t claim to be a choirgirl.

My only excuse was that I hadn’t thought it would actually work. You find a magic spell on the internet. You mix the ingredients into a cake. You say the incantation. You leave the cake out where your mooching roommate will find it. You wait for nature to take its course.

The cake was only supposed to subvert Laura to my will, to make her my mental slave. Petty? Yes. But Laura was a lousy roommate. She never did the dishes. She was always late with her half of the rent. And she was always eating my food. If by some chance the spell worked, I only wanted her to stop doing that. And maybe quack like a duck. Just once.

But here she was. Dead. Her and her latest boyfriend (whose name I’d never caught) and two guys and a girl I’d never seen before. All dead. The cursed death cake still stuck in their mouths. Their eyes, white and frosty, stared blindly.

The perfect trap. A cake labeled “Jenny’s: Do Not Eat.” I might as well have pulled out a gun and shot them myself.

“Shit, Laura,” I said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.”

I thought about hiding the bodies, but that was a hell of a lot of work. I wasn’t smart enough to get away with murder. While I screwed up my courage to call the cops, I did the dishes.

“Always leaving me to do the dishes, Laura,” I grumbled. “Just like you.”

A pale hand reached over my shoulder, and I jumped. I dropped the plate. It shattered on the floor.

Laura, pale and lifeless, somehow moving anyway, silently went to work on the dishes in the sink. Her friends all stood around, staring at me expectedly. I guess the spell had worked out after all. Only with a small side effect.

“Clean that up,” I told the boyfriend. He grabbed a broom and dustpan and started sweeping.

Maybe I wouldn’t need to call the cops right away. It might be nice to finally have a roommate willing to do her share of the chores.

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One Comment

  1. Rod B
    Posted September 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Next hit teen novel?

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