Independence Day: A short story

The prompt for this story was to work 3 particular words into a story. The words are:

1. art
2. sisters
3. Cobwebs

Murder was like art. Beauty could come from the most haphazard of movements, the biggest of seeming messes. Yes, murder was an art form, and she was excelling at it.
It had all started off quite accidentally. She was visiting her sisters, just a family get together. One of her sisters seemed…off. She cowered when her husband neared her. And he hovered often, barely allowing the three sisters to have a decent conversation.
The girls had been close ever since their parent died. Cheryl was divorced with two kids. She had left them with a babysitter tonight to have a little ‘grown up’ time. Evie was the youngest. No husband, no children. Just a handful of cats. She was a veterinarian. And then there was Joyce. She was the middle child. She married Joe about three years ago, and over that time, things had changed. The girls didn’t get together as often. Joyce was pulling away from Evie and Cheryl. IT bothered the two sisters greatly.
This dinner was arranged by Evie. Though not the oldest, she was the most dominating, perhaps because she was at home with doing things on her own. Between herself and Cheryl they nearly had to beg Joyce to attend, and even so, Joe would allow it without attending himself.
Dinner was tense. Joyce was quiet. Guarded. Joe drank heavily of the wine. He wouldn’t allow Joyce to have any.
By evenings end, the tension and anxiety in Evie’s home was palpable.
Joe was ready to leave.
Cheryl and Evie pleaded for another hour or two with Joyce.
And then Joyce herself spoke up.
Joe wasted no time in backhanding her.
Joyce just rolled with it. To Evie and Cheryl, it seemed like Joyce was used to such actions against her, and had learned to move to avoid the most harm, while still fulfilling Joe’s sadistic punishment.
Never the less, the two sisters were shocked. They both rose to Joyce’s defense.
This angered an inebriated Joe even more. He backhanded Cheryl. She slumped to the floor, holding her cheek, eyes wide.
Joyce remained unmoving on the other side of the room.
The next thing to happen was the room going dark, a clatter of glass and a heavy thump on the floor.
Cheryl got up, fumbling for the overhead light switch.
Evie stood over Joe, calm and collected. Joe was crumple on the floor at her feet, her antique Tiffany glass lamp shattered around his head and shoulders, blood pooling slowly around him.
Cheryl became frantic. What to do? Get Joyce to a shelter? Call the cops? Yes. Yes. That’s what they needed to do. She ran to her purse and retrieved her cellphone.
Her shaking fingers fumbled. Before she even pressed the 9 key, Joyce had slapped the phone from her hand, causing Cheryl to jump and back away, a gasp leaving her.
“No.”
Such a simple word.
Joyce looked to Evie. They seemed to communicate wordlessly.
Evie gave a nod. “You two get him to the bathroom and strip him down before he wakes.” She disappeared from the room.
Joyce wasted no time doing as told. Cheryl needed a little more prompting from her little sister.
Once Joe was in the bathroom and stripped, the girls heaved him into the bathtub.
Evie returned. She had changed clothes. She wore one of her surgery aprons and a pair of blue surgical gloves. She held her medical bag.
There were things in that bag that looked terrifying to Cheryl and Joyce. But they were needed items for Evie’s line of work. Animals get themselves into the most precarious and dangerous of situations. Tangled in barbed wire, impalements on branches, deep gouges, bites from wild animals.
Evie instructed her sisters to leave the room. Gather bleach and garbage bags. If there wasn’t any, or enough, go buy some. Pay cash.
Cheryl was frantic, though Joyce was surprisingly calm. They did as asked.
By morning, Joe had been disassembled neatly and with precision, his parts and pieces placed into garbage bags and the entire bathroom and tub cleaning thoroughly with bleach. Three times.
The girls dumped the body parts in various places around the city. They made a pact and comprised a story for police. Joe wasn’t very well liked by anyone, if his body parts were even found, the police would barely look at Joyce and her sisters as suspects.
Something changed in Evie that night, however. She kept something. It invoked something in her.
It would set her on a path in life that was thrilling and challenging.
She took a midsized box upstairs to her attic, clearing away cobwebs. She opened an old steamer trunk, settling the box inside. She opened the box for one little peak at Joes severed head. She gave a smile.
Filling the trunk with moth balls, she closed everything up and went downstairs for a spot of coffee.
In a way, she wasn’t just freeing her sister. She was freeing all three of them. It marked an independence day for them. Her sisters were free. And something within herself had free. A mind numbing madness. A drive. A need. A new life waking up inside of her. A killer born.
Independence indeed.

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