Mildred Fixes A Murder
Mildred had the sudden,
inexplicable sensation that something was not right. She paused
mid-dig and reviewed what she had done that day, meticulously
analyzing everything to see where the incorrectness might have
occurred. She had awoken, brushed her teeth, prepared and eaten
breakfast, done her laundry, and now here she was, doing this.
No, nothing was incorrect or out of place. She went back to her
digging, trying to push this newfound idea out of her
"Surely," she thought, "no mistake
has taken place…"
Unable to see otherwise, she went
back to her digging. It was a tough job she held but some part of
her enjoyed it: the weather was warm and it provided a workout
that she otherwise would seldom get. From her hole, now several
feet deep, Mildred looked at the grass surrounding her.
"Where the blast did he
go to?" She muttered to herself, throwing the shovel out of the
hole and hoisting herself up after it. A second's more searching
soon revealed the object Mildred was looking for: a young boy of
sixteen. He lay silently in the grass, his dark black hair
sweeping gracefully over his disconcertingly grayish blue skin.
He was a slender boy, not too lanky, though the way his clothes
were taut around his body gave the distinct impression of bloat.
Mildred looked closely at the boy, for she had once known him
well: during her time as a school teacher she had encountered
many children and this boy, this Patrick, had been one of them.
As most people do, this boy had grown up to attend institutes of
higher education and as happens to most people, this boy was
"What a shame," she said to no one
in particular. "for this boy to drown at such a young
age. I wonder who pushed
It was not uncommon for murders to
occur, they were, after all, quite a useful tool for solving
quarrels. The unfortunate result of this is that those in jobs
required to work with large groups of people often had higher
murder rates. Her own former profession, elementary school
teacher, was one of the more dangerous ones. She had decided it
was time to retire when during a random search of her students'
desks one morning she had found 31 guns, 12 knives, and a
smattering of arsenic. Significantly higher than in previous
years, she soon found solace in a new job: grave digger.
Mildred hoisted the boy
on to her shoulders and then dropped his body in to the hole
below. As was her custom when burying those she knew, she
reflected for a moment upon Patrick's life. He had been a good
boy, full of life, curious about the world around him and
intelligent to boot. The most dangerous weapon he had ever
brought to school was a hand grenade: Mildred respected him for
that- it took a lot of guts to bring in something that could only
be used once. Above all, Mildred had liked him because he
reminded her of her own son, Arthur, who had been killed in a
sword fight thirty or so years before, a few years after the
legalization of murder. Banishing these thoughts to the back of
her head, she quickly shoveled dirt over the boy and went about
Mildred had managed to
push the boy out of her mind for the rest of her work day until
she sat down to her bi-weekly tea with her good friend Gloria. A
woman of 85, Gloria had in her younger years radiated elegance.
Though as happens to the best of them, the years had taken their
toll and Gloria's tattooed on eyebrows and short pepper hair now
gave her wrinkled skin the distinct look of a perpetually
surprised lion. She, like Mildred, had been a school teacher
until the job became too dangerous. Unable to afford full
retirement, she now made her living working the night shift at a
local convenience store.
"I wonder," Mildred began. "if you
have heard of that young fellow I used to teach,
Patrick Smith was his name, being
"Oh yes, my dear." Responded Gloria
in her slow, elegant drawl, "such a shame, that
"What do you think he had done to
get murdered so? I've always felt drowning would be
a particularly nasty way to
"I heard that in the last few years
he had fallen in with a bit of a tough crowd. Very
dramatic kids if my sources are
right, quarreled often. You know the sort."
"Indeed. Such a shame they couldn't
off him in a less…gruesome way. Drowning is so
"Yes, but more dramatic
than getting shot, right?"
Mildred sipped her Earl Grey and
pondered this for a moment. Murder was such a strong action, this
was something she believed quite firmly, so what could this boy
have possibly done to warrant such a punishment? She reminded
herself that if it were true he had been hanging out with such
ruffians, it was possible he had done naught but wear white after
labor day, as some had admitted to killing a man for such an
offense just the previous week. Normally those who were killed
had done something to warrant it: letting their tree grow into
their neighbor's yard, cheating on their spouse, looking at
someone the wrong way. Usually she was not bothered by such
trivial details, she herself had killed a man more than once, but
this time she could not let it go.
"I wonder, Gloria, if
he had deserved it?" She looked perplexedly at her friend and
Gloria slowly lowered her lilac covered tea cup. The elderly
woman pursed her lips and crinkled her brow, trying to think of
an appropriate response.
"I think, Mildred," she
finally said. "that most people do not deserve to be
"Surely you don't
actually believe that Gloria?
"I'm older than you, Mildred, so
perhaps you don't remember what life was like when
murder was illegal, but I do. It
might be helpful in population control and resolving disputes,
but life was much more peaceful when you didn't have to worry
about getting shanked all the time. People deserve the chance at
having that sort of life, regardless of what silly choices they
"I suppose you might have a
"I do have a point. It's just silly
that it should be any other way. Quite frankly, I wish
someone would do something about
"What do you propose be
"I don't know, but it needs to be
drastic and done soon. I love this country but I tell you
I'll knock heads together if I
Amusing herself with images of the
elderly lion woman mid-fight with several politicians, an idea
dawned on Mildred: perhaps something drastic should be done.
Perhaps it was time justice was brought to those who murdered for
such trivial reasons…or at least to those who murdered Patrick.
At once she was reminded of her earlier feeling of disconcert.
Implementing this idea, she was certain, would sooth that feeling
"Perhaps, Gloria, you
don't need to do such things."
"I'm sure justice will
come about. Now if you'll excuse me, I have shopping to
With that, Mildred raised herself
from the table and left her old friend staring after her.
Over the next week
Mildred meticulously collected the items she needed to assure
justice in Patrick's murder: the addresses of those who had
committed it, an arsenal of small concealable weapons, and a mask
so that her identity might be secret. Thus protected, she set on
her way to round up the responsible parties. Her first stop
brought her to a small, unassuming house on a street with freshly
planted, small trees and an almost disturbing lack of overgrown
lawns. Thinking she had crept silently up the pathway to the
door, she was surprised when a girl, no taller than 5'5" and
appearing to be about fifteen, answered the door.
"What do you want, old
woman?" the girl hissed.
"I'm looking for a woman by the
name of Mallorie. Do you know where I might find
"What do you want with
"My name is Millie, I represent a
casting agency in the city. I was told she might be
interested in joining us."
The girl eyed her skeptically, then
stepped outside and shut the door.
Before the girl could get the name
out of her mouth, she found herself with a stuffy black bag
shoved on her head. Unsurprisingly incapacitated by the sudden
inability to see, or breathe for that matter, the girl paused for
a moment. Seeing her chance, Mildred tied up the girls' arms and
stuck what the girl assumed was a gun to her back, leading her to
the van. It was in reality just a highlighter than Mildred had
use, but there was no time to be concerned about such specific
Mildred was surprised
by how easy she found it to kidnap the rest of the teens.
Occasionally she would think of how morally reprehensible it was
to kidnap children (and how very illegal) but she reasoned that
she was doing a good deed and was quite sure the courts would
agree, should they ever catch her. So she continued to stock up
on teenagers until she had found the five she was looking
It was a rather motley
group she had rounded up, Mildred realized when she got them in
her home and lined them up against the wall. Though all between
the ages of fifteen and seventeen, they came in various and
somewhat disturbing shapes and sizes. The tallest, a boy by named
of Elias, had the rather unfortunate look of being put through a
meat grinder then stretched like taffy. The smallest, Caitlin,
featured hair in the shape of a triangle, teeth that appeared
sharp enough and straight enough to cut bone, and an expression
wicked enough to suggest she was perhaps a fan of killing
kittens. Indeed, years of heavy orthodontic work and intense cage
fighting had done their work: Mildred had spent enough time in
elementary schools to recognize a trained killer when she saw
one. Trying to ignore an impending sense of danger, Mildred went
about her business.
"Good evening," she said pacing in
front of the children. "You may call me Mildred. I
believe you know each
The teenagers responded with stone
"I'll take that to mean
"Well then, I assume
you all have some idea of why you're here. Any guesses?"
In the silence that followed,
Mildred removed her sword from its sheath and held it to the
throat of one of the weaker looking boys.
"Again I ask, any
"Patrick?" The boy
guess, a slight croak in his voice giving away the true depth of
"So what are you going to do to us
then?" questioned Mallory, "Killing him wasn't
illegal. You can't punish us for
"Oh, but I can, and I will." said
Mildred, removing her blade from the boy's neck.
"No, you can't. But you will go to
jail for this, kidnapping is illegal."
"I'm willing to risk that."
Mildred looked to the children,
whose once stone faces now featured the strange mix of skepticism
"You all committed a terrible sin,"
she charged. "and now it is only fair that you pay for
it. I'm here to see to it that you
"Are we going to die?" squeaked a
mousey looking girl.
"That depends. Do you want
The next morning found Mildred in a
suspiciously good mood. As she went about her business, digging
holes and burying bodies, she couldn't help but hum a cheerful
tune to herself. The sun was shining, there were only five bodies
that needed burying, they didn't smell quite so awful as they
usually did ("They must be fresh" she thought to herself), and
she had made a difference in the lives of five young teenagers.
As a teacher, it had always been her aspiration to make a
difference in the lives of those she taught, but never had she
had quite as hand on of an experience as she did with these
children. It made her feel good to think she had changed the
world for the better. Sure, digging graves made the world smell a
little less, but when you thought about it, it didn't really have
any effect on the living which is something Mildred had always
strived to achieve. Of course, the kidnapping of five children in
the same day had been the headline of that morning's newspaper,
but Mildred felt quite certain that she would not be found out
for some time. Most people seemed to dismiss kidnappings as
murders and thus to not think much of them. It was the more
serious crimes of theft and loitering that one had to be truly
Her sunshine-y feeling remained
strong throughout the day and she found herself working quite a
bit faster as a result. Overjoyed to find herself done with her
duties in the early afternoon, she decided to ring Gloria. It
wasn't time for their bi-weekly tea yet, but she didn't really
have any other friends anyway.
"Gloria, I insist you come over to
my house immediately. Let's have a lemonade."
"Mildred? Is it time for tea
already?" Wheezed the old woman.
"No Gloria, lemonade. Let's have
"Gloria, it's a gorgeous day, I
think we should sit outside and drink lemonade."
"Good, I'll see you in half an
Hanging up the phone, Mildred
considered the fact that she didn't actually have lemonade at
home. It wasn't anything to be concerned about though, she had
lemons and sugar. As she climbed into the car she decided that it
would not be impossible to knock off a pitcher of it in a minute
Pulling up her long
driveway she could see that Gloria was already outside waiting
impatiently for her. The woman had presumably not been there
long, but she was not a patient person by nature and stood with
her arms folded and toe tapping.
"Where have you been?"
"Good to see you too,
"Have any idea how hard it is for
an old woman to move around so quickly? Getting here
in half an hour was no easy feat,
let me tell you."
"My apologies, Gloria.
Please, sit down," Mildred gestured to one of the lawn chairs
sitting in her front yard. "Let me get you your lemonade."
As Gloria slowly
lowered herself in to the lawn chair, Mildred rang the bell on
the table next to it. From somewhere in the house a little
movement occurred and a curtain fluttered in an open
"What's with the bell?"
asked Gloria. "Did you get yourself a servant?"
"You'll see." Replied
Mildred, gingerly lowering herself in to a chair next to
From somewhere behind them a door
slammed and within moments a triangular shadow appeard next to
"Yes, ma'am?" spoke the
"Mallorie dear, bring us a pitcher
of lemonade and two glasses, please. Oh, and I don't
think I have any mix, so please let
Elias know that he will have to squeeze the lemons in the
refridgerator. I don't have a juicer, so he'll have to do it by
"Of course, ma'am." The
girl quickly ran back to the house.
gasped, "Did you kidnap those children? Are they your
"Don't be silly,
Gloria." chided Mildred, "You know that kidnapping is
"How are they possibly
working for you then?"