Poison Ivy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Ivy is nearly seventy years old and still happily married. There is nothing she wouldn't do for her devoted husband.
But Ivy has a dark secret and she will do whatever it takes to protect it...

Poison Ivy

 

by

Sharief Hendricks

 

 

Another day in the vegetable garden for Mrs McKnight as she sits flat knee in the dirt where she is most comfortable and at home. Mr McKnight will be home shortly. She better get done so she can clean herself and start warming dinner.

“Ok, that is much better, nice and closed. We don’t want the neighbour’s dog digging you up now do we?” She says after closing the hole and throwing soil and compost over it.

A short while later, Mrs Ivytte McKnight stands in the kitchen, happily swaying away by the microwave, warming the pre-cooked mince and mash potato with a dash of sweet pumpkin fresh from her garden. Darius McKnight loves fresh veggies, so she makes sure that her garden is always producing because she believes as with all things in life, what you put into it is what you will get out of it. Over the thirty-six years of marriage, she has put an assortment of things in the ground, from little seeds to fully grown corpses, nine corpses to be exact and she thoroughly enjoyed putting each one in all by herself, and her garden has never given her a bad harvest once.

“Good evening Ivy, that smells fresh.”

“Hi Darius darling, how was your day?”

“Oh like any other, I wish I was not in my sixties then I would be able to change my career, but instead now I have to take instructions from that snot-nosed young girl, who half the time does not even show up for work. Take today, for instance, she said yesterday she wanted the “Brown” report on her desk at eight this morning and you know that report kept me up all night last night Ivy, then this woman doesn't even show up for  work, typical right.”

"Oh Shame, she is probably not feeling well, she will probably be in tomorrow feeling as bright as a daisy. I will pray for her speedy recovery.”

“That's why I love you, Ivy, you are just the kindest person I know.”

“Darius darling, you have always been sweet to me.”

“Ivy, I have been thinking, next month I will be turning sixty-two and you will be making seventy a few days later, even though you don't look a day older than fifty. How about we go on a long vacation away from all this, I just don't feel appreciated at work anymore and I don't feel like I am contributing out there, so maybe it is time for me to consider retirement, what do you think?” Darius mumbled with defeatedly.

“Thank you, Darius darling, I do try to keep myself young for you, that’s why I work so hard in the garden, just for you.”

“As for retirement, don’t even think such nonsense. Soon the good Lord will remove this obstacle from your path and bury it deep like all the others.”

A week has passed since Darius told his loyal wife that he does not feel useful anymore. Things suddenly took a positive turn and he couldn’t wait to tell his wife.

“Ivy, Ivy! Where are you, my love?” Said Darius as he barged into the kitchen and dropped his briefcase on the floor.

“What's the matter Darius darling why are you shouting so, did something happen, what's the matter?” says Ivy with a concerned glare in her eyes.

“Oh yes, my sweetest Ivy, something did happen, something wonderful. You know that young Manager, Myrtle Hicks, that makes my life so miserable, well apparently, she left to go back home, wherever that is. She sent a letter explaining where she’s been for the past week and that she won't be coming back to work indefinitely.”

“Oh, that is good news indeed Darius darling. At least now you don’t have to deal with Myrtle the Turtle.”

“How do you know the staff calls her by that name, I don’t recall having told you that?” Darius rather confused.

“You must have mentioned it Darius darling, anyway it’s the only word that rhymes with Myrtle,” she says with a warm smile.

“Wait for it Ivy, there is more,” says Darius excitedly.

 “More?” She says as she ran her hand over her silver head of hair.

“Yes Ivy, Mr Langston said he is tired of these young unreliable graduates, so he decided to make me the Portfolio Manager for the Region, again!”

“Oh, how wonderful, Darius darling, the good Lord has come through again for you”

“No Ivy, for us, because I get my original position back plus a whopping twenty per cent increase from the end of this month, YES!”

“Wow, Darius darling, is there anything that I can do for you on this day of good news?”

“Oh yes Ivy, will you please be so kind as to dish my food and make a nice celebratory cup of Douwe Egberts coffee?”

“Whatever I can do to make your life a little easier, I will do Darius darling, you know I try my best.”

The previous week.

The doorbell rang. “Yes, can I help you with something?” Asks Ivy to the stranger at her front door.

“Hi There, is this the McKnight residence?”

“Yes, it is, "how can I help you?” Asks Ivy, somewhat curiously.

“My name is Myrtle Hicks, I work for Stanlake Portfolio Managers, where your husband Darius works,” Says the well-dressed young woman in stilettos.

“Yes, oh good heavens is my Darius darling ok, what's the matter, did he get hurt?”

“Oh no, not at all, Mrs McKnight I am just here on a social visit.”

“Ivytte, may I call you Ivytte?” Myrtle Hicks enquired.

“You may if you can prove to me that you are who you say you are,” says Ivy as she dried her hands on her red apple patterned apron.

“Wow, you are nothing like Darius, he is so trustworthy, but anyway here is my employee access card, with my name and signature, happy,” Myrtle who was now slightly annoyed.

The senior citizen takes the card and looks it over carefully before handing it back. She realizes exactly who it is standing at her home, the woman that is the source of her Darius darling’s unhappiness at his job. How dare she show up here and uninvited for that matter. Well, she is here now, so Ivy decided to make the most of the opportunity presented to her, as she put on her friendliest face.

“Oh, how rude of me Myrtle, my apology, please come in. Let me make you a nice cup of tea."

“No need Ivytte, I just came to discuss Darius and the issues I am having with him, given his age and-”

Ivy interrupts Myrtle, “oh, come now child, sit down and let me make you a cup of my special tea, all the way from the tea capital of the world, Ceylon. It's my special recipe, it's just what you need when you have to get something difficult off your chest, I call it, “Poison Ivy,” says the housewife as she put on the kettle, not giving her visitor a choice in the matter.

“Well if you insist, then ok make the damn tea, but I warn you what I have to tell you is not pleasant at all,” Myrtle says as she straightened her shoulders while dusting off imaginary dust from her black business jacket and pointed her nose towards the kitchen ceiling.

A few moments later and her attitude has completely changed as she warmed to Ivy's charm and generosity, as she was prepared for war and what she got was more of a friendship invitation.

“Wow, Ivy, I was a bit sceptical, but this tea is really good, can I have a refill, please?” Says Myrtle then she threw the last bit down her throat.

“Of course, you can my child, I made it especially for you.”

"Thank you, old lady” Myrtle empties her refill.

“Now listen here Ivytte, I need to talk to you about Darius ok, he is just too-”

Ivy interrupts the young woman again, “oh, my dear Myrtle, I know exactly what you going to say. He is too old, too slow, too manual, too nineteenth century, too soft etc.” as she took a seat next to her at the kitchen table.

Myrtle could not help but think that the large solid table is out of place in such a tiny kitchen. Unbeknown to her that very table is Ivy’s temple, her sanctuary, where she has sat many times while making very important life decisions. Decisions that would ultimately shape or reshape for that matter her life and that of her devoted husband.

“Well, thanks, old girl. You just made this a lot easier for me.”

“And you want my Darius darling to take early retirement, right?”

“That’s right, you said it all. To think the guys at work think I’m crazy to visit you behind the old bag’s back in the middle of the day. Yet here you are seeing it my way, I got this done so quick, there is no way they going to continue calling me Myrtle the turtle behind my back anymore.”

The arrogant young Portfolio Manager looks at Ivy with a victorious smile on her face, but just after she began to feel ill. First clutching at her throat as she experienced difficulty swallowing her saliva, then she held her head, then her stomach.

“I don't feel so good, I need to use your bathroom,” says Myrtle as she looked around frantically in hope of spotting it by herself.

“No need for the bathroom child, that is not going to save you from your early retirement. You see foolish girl, my Darius darling is still going to work at Stanlake, in-fact, they will probably offer him your job in about a week. Now, this is what is going to happen to you shortly, so pay attention because it’s the last thing you ever going to do in this world.”

“What did you do to me you old, bitc…,” she says struggling to control her tongue.

“Don't waste your breath trying to speak child, your tongue will be completely numb in less than a minute," says Ivy as she studies the empty cup ensuring it is all consumed, then she glances at the wall clock and smiles.

“Mmm.” Was all that Myrtle could get her tongue, pallet and thin glossy lips to utter.

Ivy is the picture of calm. She has been through this before. She knows exactly what the evil little turtle wants to say, as she watches a tear roll down her face across her flaring nostrils. She is aware that the shock was setting in and it will soon be followed by anger and then rage, but she was patiently waiting for the last emotion to arise, acceptance.

“Shh.” Child do not waste your breath trying to talk. It will all be over in eight minutes, I promise, so don’t run your tears now, you are such a brave girl.”

Ivy gets a pen and paper and scribbles something on it and makes Myrtle re-write it in her handwriting before she lost all feeling in her body.

“Now, you deserve to know what is going on, so ok let me tell you. I made you a nice pot of special tea, that I call “Poison Ivy,” because that is exactly what it is, poison by Ivy.”

“Did you think you are the first one to try and hurt my Darius darling. Silly little Myrtle the turtle.”

She wipes another tear from the shocked girl's face and fixes her blonde hair, so it does not fall onto her face. She then tugs on Myrtle's cheeks as a granny would to her grandchild. Ivy straightens her on the chair, so she doesn’t fall and just to ensure she is picture-perfect, Ivy wipes off some imaginary dust from the young woman’s business jacket who is frantically trying to fight her paralyzed state as her body remains still and unresponsive. Only her eyes have the freedom of movement as she looks around in desperation and panic.

“There has been eight in total before you. Look at me, you not allowed to “die” yet, you still have sixty seconds left.”

“As I was saying, there was the policeman, the insurance broker, the car salesman, the blackmailer, the loan shark and his muscle man, my stalker postman that wouldn't take no for an answer, Myrtle the turtle, and of course that slut, Jennifer, that forced Darius into having an affair, that started it all, thirty-six years ago.”

Ivy took a last look at the kitchen clock and smiles.

“Ok child, now you may die!”

 

 

The End

 


Submitted: May 26, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

JoeCool

Even better as you write. You didn't forget your Dough Eggbert's coffee there. Another good read with just enough suspense.

Wed, May 27th, 2020 2:34pm

Author
Reply

Wow thanx so much for the kind comment...JoeCool....


Wed, May 27th, 2020 7:42am

Sumit Kumar Arora

Unique story.

Mon, June 29th, 2020 11:31am

Author
Reply

Aha....thanx Sumit !!!

Mon, June 29th, 2020 6:28am

bloodman

Good thriller chiller. Well done.

Fri, October 2nd, 2020 6:35pm

Author
Reply

Thanx soooo much Bloodman...

Really appreciate the read and the postive comment !

Sun, October 4th, 2020 12:04am

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