I’m gonna get you now.
After scoping out the town laundromat for weeks to find the best entrance, Eleanor set her sights on the tiny side window that remained cracked until the store closed at seven. She peaked her head down through the window, to ensure there were no stragglers finishing up their week’s laundry. The dimly lit laundromat was a wasteland. None of the machines were running or violently clanking against the wall causing an unsettling silence to settle over the main floor. There was only the faint humming of the generator doing a terrible job of keeping the flickering fluorescent lights aglow. Not to mention the pungent odor of bleach mixed with B.O.
With the coast being clear Eleanor slipped through, gently distributing her weight atop a washing machine. Just as she slipped down, setting her feet on the ground the back door connecting to Mr. Beckett’s house swung open. Eleanor kept her hands behind her back, concealing the weapon.
“Mr. Beckett! Just the man I wanted to see,” she said, flashing an innocent smile at him.
“Little Eleanor Watts. What are you doing here? I thought I locked the door,” Mr. Beckett said, looking toward the front glass doors.
“You may want to get those locks changed, Mr. Beckett.”
“No matter. It’s late. You should be home. You have school in the morning,” Mr. Beckett insisted pushing her towards the door.
“That’s why I’m here! I need to write about an entrepreneur for a school essay, so I chose you. I was hoping to ask you some questions,” Eleanor said staring up at him through her eyebrows.
“Well, in that case, I suppose I can spare a few minutes.” Mr. Beckett sat down in a foldable chair he kept tucked between the machines.
“First question. What made you want to start your laundromat?” Eleanor asked
While he spoke, she looked around the laundromat, nodding and pretending to listen. Meanwhile, her mind was in a much darker place. Seeing all the puzzle pieces come together in her mind, she couldn’t help but smirk to herself. Finally getting justice for the one person she loved more than anything would be the most rewarding thing. No matter the cost.
Mr. Beckett finished answering her question, so she asked him another
meaningless question to fill the space. This time she paced the floor with her hands still behind her back. As he dragged on the simple question Eleanor’s body became jittery with adrenaline, making it hard to keep still. Every inch of her tingled as the time to act grew nearer.
“One last question,” Eleanor said smiling widely. She pulled out the gun she’d stolen from her father’s bureau. “Any last words?”
Mr. Beckett immediately stood up with his hands in the air. He backed up tripping into the chair he set out, causing him to fall flat on his back.
“Oh god! Please, no!” he begged, halfway to tears.
“Is that what my sister said to you before you took her away from us?”
“Eleanor, you don’t understand! I loved your sister very much!”
“I’m sure you did. What 16-year-old girl wouldn’t fall for a handsome older man with cash to burn? And what lonely, disgusting, older man wouldn’t fall for a vulnerable 16-year-old girl? But we’re not talking about that,” Eleanor said, keeping dangerously calm. “We’re talking about how Carolyn had a whole life ahead of her! She had a family! And you took her away from that!” All the calmness went out the window in a matter of seconds. Now she was shaking with anger, thinking of her sister begging for her life.
“Enough! Where is her body? Tell me! Before I send you back where you came from.”
“Eleanor! You’re 13. If you do this, you’re throwing your whole life away!” Mr. Beckett said trying to derail her from pulling the trigger.
“Why should I have a free life if my sister never got the one, she deserved? Goodbye.”
Before she could pull the trigger Mr. Beckett grabbed the metal chair, swinging it, thwacking Eleanor across the face. She still pulled the trigger, nicking him in the arm with the bullet. He tried to make a break for the door. In doing so, he tripped over a beige tarp draped over a broken washing machine, pulling it off.
Blood oozed from the open wound on Eleanor’s forehead, dripping down her face and
matting her blonde hair. Her attention was turned to the now uncovered washing machine. She kept the gun up threatening to shoot if Mr. Beckett moved. She peered in through the window of the washing machine to see her deceased sister’s head floating in the tank full of water. Her usually pretty face was forever frozen in pure terror. Eleanor would have screamed and cried but what she saw only confirmed what she knew to be true. In that second of weakness, she lowered her gun as Mr. Beckett lunged forward and started to beat her with another chair. She took a few beats to the head with the chair but Eleanor her thirst for revenge was stronger than any man. She bucked him in the shins with the heels of her boots causing him to double back in pain. She grabbed him by the shirt pointing the gun straight at his forehead. She was mere seconds away from getting everything she ever wanted until the glass door swung open.
“Freeze! Put your hands in the air!” one of the police officers shouted.
“We’ve received several concerns from neighbors about gunshots at this location—”
Eleanor dropped the gun and started screaming bloody murder, tears flowing from her eyes. “Please! Help me! This man tried to kill me! And he killed my sister!” she said, sobbing, really putting on a show.
Eleanor’s wounds were quickly tended to and not once did her act crumble. Everyone on the scene ensured her she was safe, they would take care of her, and that man would be going away for a long time. She nodded slowly, pouting out her bottom lip just enough.
That’s what I’m counting on. She smirked to herself.
Kendra Martin hails from the snowy, Adirondack mountains in Upstate New York. When she is not writing she spends her spare time creating art and taking care of her French bulldog, Nico.