Suzy’s Bad Day: Wendig Challenge
This week’s topic was about going against authority. This story started out that way, but didn’t end up really being about that at all. I’m not even sure what I intended to do with it at first, but I sort of just followed the lead character down a spiral.
The image to the right will make sense in a minute or so.
Story after the break.
“So the next thing I said to him was, “Take your angry face and shove it back up your ass.” Suzy was attempting to hold court the way Karen usually did during their lunch hour. Suzy hated Karen, with her red hair, freckled cheeks, and easy self-assurance.
“You did not, you big liar. I’m sure you practically pissed yourself.” For Karen’s part, she hardly thought about Suzy at all. And even when she did, she considered Suzy to be less than a piece of old chewing gum stuck to the underside of a high school desk, an old forgotten dried-up hunk of undigestable food matter chewed up and spit out by some nasty kid twenty years ago.
Ever since Suzy had started working there, she felt like Karen had had it in for her, talking shit behind her back. Well, this time it was her story. “You weren’t even there, Karen. You don’t know shit.”
Karen shook her head. “You’re the biggest bullshitter here. If you’d really told him to stick his head up his butt, you wouldn’t be working here anymore.” She stared pointedly at the other two women currently sipping tea during the midday break. While she might not have thought much of Suzy, Johnnie and Tanisha were her friends.
Tanisha jumped in first. She wasn’t exactly scared of Karen. That wasn’t the right word. But when Karen had that look on her face, it was best to just go along. “Karen’s right, Suze. I bet you was shakin’ in those Uggs you got on. What you think, Johnnie?”
Before Johnnie could speak up, Suzy yelled, “You bitches wouldn’t know a backbone if you saw it. You try standing up to Mr. Samson when he’s telling you off. I’m telling you I told him to shove h—”
Johnnie cut her off. “Are you seriously trying to tell us you told the boss off and he didn’t can your ass?” Johnnie disliked all three of the women currently in the break room, but as far as she was concerned, Suzy was the worst.
“I’ll bet that’s why he didn’t fire her. Dat ass!” Karen’s laughter only made Suzy turn redder.
“Well, fuck you all, too.” Suzy stomped away from the lunch room, but Tanisha couldn’t help herself.
“Yeah, baby, shake dat ass.”
“You better shut your mouth.”
Fifteen minutes later, Suzy was face down, with her arms pinned behind her and heavy steel cuffs biting into her wrists. She couldn’t process where she was nor how she wound up in her current position, and the world around her was just beginning to slip back into focus. She struggled to get to a sitting position, to take stock of her surroundings, but a knee slammed into her spine and forced her back onto her chest.
“I said, stay down!”
A big boot stepped into view, and Suzy rolled her eyes up, trying to catch sight of the boot owner’s face. She could only make out what looked like a bright yellow gun aimed at her, and the rest was a blur.
“Where are my glasses?” she slurred. She tried to roll over again and felt the weight from her back fall off. Then two bees stung her, one on the back of her left thigh, and one on her right butt cheek. A fraction of a second later she lost total control of her body; she bit her tongue, wet herself, and began to shake.
“What did I say?” the boot yelled at her.
The ride in back of the cop car was a nonstop question session, but it sounded like gibberish to Suzy, who wouldn’t even acknowledge her Miranda rights. It wasn’t until she finally sat down with a court-appointed attorney that she had any idea why she’d been arrested.
“Miss Snyder, I’m Jason Barger, the public defender. You’ve been arrested and accused of murdering your coworkers, Tanisha Smith, Karen Delgaudio, and Georgette Walker.”
“We call her Johnnie.”
“Like the whiskey?”
“Would you like to tell me what happened?”
Suzy couldn’t. The entire incident was like a redacted government report, with random indecipherable snippets of text sprinkled about a blacked-out page. The lawyer filled her in on the investigator’s rock solid timeline, based on witness reports and the break-room camera, as well as a host of physical evidence. She had to hear it pour out the attorney’s mouth.
Approximately one minute after Suzy had exited the lunch area, she came back in with a large glass anchor-shaped paperweight in her left hand and the mock samurai sword letter opener she usually kept on her desk in her right. Without warning, or acknowledging anything the women said to her, she bashed Tanisha, the woman Suzy always thought was gorgeous, in the skull with the paperweight, which fractured under the impact. The lawyer said her face was ruined by the impact, and her family would likely need to have a closed casket.
When Tanisha hit the floor, Johnnie lunged out of her chair, but not before Suzy could stab her throat with the letter opener. Although it wasn’t a real sword, its point was sharp enough that a well-placed puncture could sever a carotid artery, which is exactly she’d done to Johnnie.
Karen had attempted to run out the door back into the main office area, but Suzy snatched her by her hair, dropping the office know-it-all to her back. Although Karen tried to kick Suzy away, the enraged woman stomped on Karen’s face several times, the first gouging her eyeball out with a heel and the second crushing her windpipe. She’d still been slamming her heels into Karen’s head when the building security guard tackled her to the ground.
All the time, Barger said, she’d been gutturally screaming one phrase, over and over.
“Fuck you, that’s what!”