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An Ideal Venue For Revenge: Flash Fiction by cam

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

The Ideal Venue for Revenge

Beverly was busy in the kitchen of a house where she was hosting a community dinner. She stirred the barbecue sauce which simmered just as her anger had been simmering for years. Ever since that woman, Jess, had come around and dated all the available men, Beverly had been doing double time to make sure she invaded and sabotaged each of those relationships. She had even moved in with the woman for a few months just to keep an eye on who Jess was seeing.

But what had she gotten for her efforts? Pregnant. Now the child was a teenager, and Beverly resented the constant reminder of failed relationships.

Kyle, Beverly’s son, came into the kitchen with three friends hoping to get something to eat.

“Out of the kitchen. There will be food soon enough at the serving line. And stay away from the beer coolers. Those are for adults only.”

Beverly followed them, worrying about her son’s new passion for alcohol. When she got to the doorway she scanned the outdoor dining area. The band had set up and was playing the country song, Back in Baby’s Arms. She loathed love songs these days.

Her stomach burned with anger. She clenched her fists and fought back tears. She would be better off channeling all the passion into revenge than into shedding these pitiful tears.

Her eyes settled on a couple sitting at one of the tables, singing along with the band. No! it wasn’t possible that those two were back together. Watching them enjoy the song brought back all the bitterness that she had buried.

How could Jess even consider going out with Derek again? Beverly remembered how she had seduced Derek in to a lengthy relationship while he was dating Jess years before. The result of that fling was the alcohol craving fifteen year old named Kyle.

She went back to stirring the barbecue sauce along with her resentments and anger. Derek, Kyle and she could have been a happy family. But that woman, Jess, had been in the way. What did it matter that Jess had already been in a relationship with him. Beverly had seen the man she wanted and gone for it.

Her stomach burned with anger. She clenched her fists and fought back tears. She would be better off channeling all the passion into revenge than into shedding these pitiful tears.

She had thought of revenge before, had even gone so far as to get a bottle of pills that would do the job. This really is the ideal venue for revenge, isn’t it? Them together. Me watching from the kitchen with all the food and drink they will consume this night at my fingertips. It would feel so empowering to finally release years of emotional filth in one act of retribution.

It would feel so empowering to finally release years of emotional filth in one act of retribution.

She wiped her hands on a towel and went to her purse. The bottle was still buried at the bottom after all this time. Had the pills lost their potency? She’d use enough to make that concern irrelevant.

One by one, she opened the hydrocodone capsules and poured the crystals into the bottle of Coors beer. She counted the milligrams until she reached ninety, the lethal dose, and kept opening and pouring. The alcohol would make it even more deadly. She waited until the drug was completely dissolved in the beer and replaced the screw-on cap as tightly as she could.

Beverly carried the bottle out to the table and set it down behind Jess.

“Hey, where’s mine?” said Derek.

“You can go get yours from one of the ice chests,” she said. “Only the ladies get special treatment.”

Derek left to find the beer, and Jess turned around. The women’s eyes met and Beverly released all her fury into that gaze. Jess’s only response was a simple thank you.

Derek returned, popped the tab on his can and took a drink.

Beverly walked back toward the kitchen. Jess doesn’t even drink….Lucky Derek will get Jess’s Coors.

Hydrocodone Capsules

Derek and Jess turned their attention back to the band. Behind them, a teenage boy slipped over to their table and picked up the Coors bottle. He unscrewed the cap and tipped the bottle, taking several chugs before coming up for air. He screwed the cap back on and set the bottle on the table just as Jess turned her head.

Three other teens ran toward the one who had drank Jess’s beer, and he hurried to meet them. Before he could go far, he stopped and vomited, then fell face first into the grass.

A crowd gathered around the boy, and someone discovered he wasn’t breathing.

Beverly heard the commotion and ran outside. She saw her son lying on the ground and saw one of the other teens point at the bottle on Jess’s table.

“He just drank that bottle of beer,” said the teen.


“Instead of going to where Kyle lay, Beverly went to where Jess and Derek sat. “You gave your beer to my son?” She reached for the bottle, but stopped short. Two calls went out to the emergency services, but Beverly chose to wait where Jess and Derek were, rather than going to Kyle. She was very interested in the bottle he had drank from.

“I didn’t give him my beer,” said Jess. “He sneaked up behind me and drank from it before I realized he was there.” She brought a paper bag up from under the table and set it next to the other bottle. “This is the one he drank from,” she said to Beverly.

Beverly swung at the bottle in the paper bag to try and tip it over, but Jess grabbed it and pulled it away. Beverly lunged at her, but a police officer who had just arrived restrained her. “Give me that bottle.” But then she remember Kyle. The paramedics were lifting the boy into the ambulance. She tore away from the officer and ran, screaming for them to put him down. One of the paramedics stepped forward and whispered into her ear. She let out a wailing moan and collapsed, unconscious, onto the grass. Beverly had killed her own son.

Synopsis of the Evidence

In the information presented by Shyron E Shenko in the challenge, Jess had dated Derek, Mike and Brandon. Within that same framework of time, Beverly had dated Derek and Mike and had claimed to have had an affair with Jess’s husband at the time, Brandon.

The constant competition between these two women for the same men created bad feelings. Jess resented Beverly because it appeared that Beverly was always pursuing her men. Beverly resented Jess because Jess always seemed to get the men Beverly wanted.

In that time period, Beverly had gotten pregnant. After Brandon died, leaving Jess as his widow and heir, Beverly tried to prove that Brandon had been the father of her child, Kyle. Actually, Brandon and Beverly never had an affair, so he could not have been Kyle’s father. Instead, Beverly had been seeing Derek at the time she claimed she was seeing Brandon. Derek was the real father of Kyle.

When Jess and Derek came to the barbecue, Beverly was shocked to see them back together. She put poison into the coors bottle which conveniently came with a screw-on lid. She presented it as a beer for Jess, but Jess did not drink. Beverly would have known this since the two women had lived together for a period of time in LA. That knowledge was her cover. She knew that Jess would pass the beer on to Derek, Beverly’s intended target. She sought revenge against Derek for abandoning Kyle and her and because he had gone back to Jess. But Kyle, Beverly’s and Derek’s son, came along and took a drink of the poisoned beer.

Beverly was so concerned about the evidence of poison in the bottle that she showed more concern for it than she did for her son who lay dying in the grass. If convicted, I believe the death of Kyle would be for manslaughter. She might also be convicted of attempted murder in the first degree since she purchased the hydrocodone far in advance for the purpose of murdering Derek.

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