Thursday, September 28, 2023

Harpy (Part 2 of 2 Parts) blog post #621

 Image Courtesy of PNG Wing:


So lawyer Johnson Lamely lives in a hellhole, does he? In his own mind that’s what his wife, whom he calls Hell Cat Helen, has made his life. She’s more ambitious than he is, and under her prodding, he’s become successful. Now he wants to take it easy. But she won’t let him.


Let’s see what happens next. What that though he had at the end of last week’s segment was. Here goes.



My own thoughts curdled my blood. This was contrary to everything I believed, everything I had practiced for a lifetime. Unthinkable. I tried to put them to rest.

Then came the clincher. She pressured Helen Jr., who wasn’t handling our divorce very well in the first place, to move out of the dorm and come live with her mother… by now she had our commodious home all to herself. I was relegated to an apartment. Little Helen—who was and always would be Beanie to me—was at a vulnerable age. A sensitive young woman who was a freshman in college, she’d be an easy mark for Hell Cat. My wife would poison my daughter’s mind and turn her against me forever. Beanie had a mind of her own, but she also had a vulnerability about her that would make the filth her mother would feed her like a slow-acting poison. She’d spend the rest of her life agonizing over how she’d end up feeling about her father. I couldn’t let that happen.

Ergo, my thoughts of yesterday returned. Almost without thinking, I began the process of implementing a plan I didn’t have the courage to name. I started by reaching out to Hell Cat and making conciliatory moves. I didn’t want the divorce consummated. I wanted back in the house. Had to be for this to work.

By offering financial considerations, I got my wife to agree. Actually, I don’t believe my concessions had anything to do with it. I think Helen just wanted me back under her thumb. Her cruelty would be more effective that way.

Once I returned to the house—in a separate bedroom, of course—I began researching my project. I needed a poison that was so unusual it wouldn’t be spotted in a routine autopsy, should one take place. Slow acting or fast? That needed consideration, as well.

So I began my research and quickly settled on two options. Thallium and carbon monoxide. Thallium was a heavy metal by-product of lead and zinc mining. Once used in insecticides, it had been outlawed for that use because of the ease with which accidents could occur. The most common method of introduction was by ingestion; however, it can also kill as airborne matter or even by application to the skin. It was also difficult to identify post-mortem.

Carbon monoxide was a quicker, and possibly safer way. I had an old kerosene heater I used occasionally for camping that I could most likely rig up to do the job. But carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, and I wasn’t sure that was what I wanted. Hell Cat Helen simply going to sleep and failing to wake up just didn’t seem like justice to me.

Thallium, on the other hand, produced severe gastronomic pains, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, delusions, and all kinds of awful things. Sounded more like proper retribution to me. With some artful slight-of-hand, something that came easily to lawyers, I should be able to acquire some Thallium sulfate, an odorless, tasteless white powder.

My decision made, I set up an anonymous false persona and ordered the powder—not cheap—but certainly less expensive than half my entire estate. Then I made nice with Helen while I waited for my order to be filled.

For ten days, I was kind and considerate to my harpy wife, all the while seeing her as that half-woman, half-vulture creature of myth. I think she even began to buy into my act. I got a pleasant smile or two during that time.

At last, the thallium sulfate arrived at the mailbox I’d rented solely for this occasion. I was so careful, I even wore thin gloves anytime I touched its metal face. Once I had the bottle safely in hand, I carefully hid it behind some cans of oil in the garage. Being cautious, I also had some Prussian Blue pills, the known antidote for thallium poisoning. After all, while handling the powder, I might inadvertently get some on my hands.

The means in hand, now was the time to plan the deed. This evening, we were going to an office function, and tomorrow Hell Cat was to attend a baby shower for a friend. Saturday, we were having a backyard barbecue at the house. That was it… the perfect time.

I suffered through the rest of an agonizingly slow week made bearable by imagining the pain and suffering I intended to pay back to my wife of twenty-odd years. Never once did I experience a doubt, a pang of remorse, a weakening of my will. Conversely, I looked forward to the event. To my harpy wife’s hours of impending suffering and agonizing death.

Friday night, our dinner out with friends was suddenly cancelled, although I wasn’t certain why. Helen condescended to whip up something to eat, and I briefly considered moving my plan forward. Beanie was spending the weekend on campus with friends, and the idea was tempting. Nonetheless, I demurred, deciding to stick to my original plan.

After the light meal of oyster stew, I claimed my easy chair to leisurely read the evening paper. I had almost finished Tribune when Hell Cat Helen let out a groan.

“What?” I asked, impatient at being disconcerted while reading the latest “Blondie” strip.

She looked up from her knitting and clutched her stomach. “I think the oysters might have been bad. I have a stomachache.”

Nothing like the one you’re going to have tomorrow.

Nonsense, I don’t feel upset. Go take a pill.”

“Oh,” she gasped. “That one hurt.”

“Go have a BM or something,” I said, rattling my paper in impatience.

Things got worse, and I considered calling the doctor. But her experiencing a few additional hours of discomfort was okay with me.

Finally, she stood, dumping her knitting on the floor. “This… this is getting unbearable. Are you sure you don’t feel anything?”

“No,” I snapped. “Not a thing. Stop being such a baby. You always were—” A pang seized me, drawing an agonized groan.

“You too?” she gasped, dropping back into her chair.

Then they started for real. I broke into a sweat. Feverish, I rushed to the bathroom and lost my supper. That provided no relief. Weak, I staggered back to my chair. “Maybe we should call the doctor,” I managed to squeeze through my constricted throat.

Helen wiped a hand across her face. “I… I’m feeling a bit better. Maybe it’s a passing thing. Let’s wait a bit before we panic.”

But waiting did no good. I remained hot. Feverish and nauseous, and cramped. Feverish? Nauseous? Cramped. Then I felt it in my bowels. Diarrhea was on its way.

Stunned, I stared at my wife, who stood with a half-smile on her lips. Comprehension dawned. She’d been faking. She’d found my thallium.

The grin became a full-fledged smile. “That’s right. I found your stash of poison. How long had you been planning this. Oh, I see now. That’s why you moved back into the house. I knew it had to be something. You haven’t been nice to me in years. You’re so transparent, Johnson. I don’t know how you won any of your cases.

“You… you poisoned… me?”

“Just like you intended to poison me, sweetheart. But I’m smarter than you. Always have been. I’m why you were such a success, you know. Without me to push you, you’d have been a third-rate hack. I spread that little white powder right into the oyster stew. They were right, you know. Tasteless, odorless. But I wish you’d gotten some sort of a pill. I got that white powder all over my hands. But it washes off, doesn’t it. Oh, and don’t think of rushing to get the Prussian Blue pills. I put them down the kitchen drain.”

“A… all of them?”

“Every last one, Darling. Every last one.” Hell Cat Helen frowned. “Why… why are you smiling, Johnson.”

I looked at her through my pain. Already I could feel my mind slipping away from reality. But I held onto one thought. That little white powder was going to get her too. Might take longer because it had to be absorbed through the skin. But it would get her.

Then I laughed. Laughed through my pain. Screeched, really, chortling and giggling despite the horrible contractions rippling through my body. At some point I found myself on the rug, making unintelligible sounds that were neither laughter nor screeches.

Somewhere along the line—before I lost all reason—she was there beside me, her body twitching and jerking… just like mine.


Birds of a feather, I say.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Harpy (Part 1 of 2 Parts) blog post #619

 Image Courtesy of PNG Wing:


So at the end of our last story, it turned out that rape wasn’t rape, at all. It was merely fun and games. Make sure you know the difference, guys.


This week, another short story. Here goes.




My wife is a harpy, a shrew, harridan, nag… they all fit her personality. Privately, I refer to her as Hell Cat Helen. Don’t get me wrong. Visually, she’s a vision. Honey-gold hair with a hint of red. Hazel irises that sparkle. Clara Bow mouth. All the accoutrements that perfectly describe the ideal public wife. And that’s what she is, the perfect public wife but a lousy private one.

That, in fact, is likely why I married her. We met in college when the ambition to be a successful lawyer held Johnson Lamely—that’s me—firmly in its grip. I distinctly remember thinking she would make an ideal corporate wife the first time I met her in a sophomore economics class. And looking back on it, I believe my naked ambition was what drew her to me. Whatever it was, we were going steady before the semester was over, engaged by our junior year, and married in our senior. All our friends—we gravitated toward others with raging ambition—said we were the perfect couple.

In the twenty years since then, that has been proven true… in the corporate sense. And if I’m honest, our personal life was decent—if not good—for the first ten years. We began to have meaningful differences when it came to educating our children. Helen, whose high goals never wavered, wanted them in private schools. I, who was living in the business world and seeing it for the sham it can sometimes be, wanted them to attend public schools, at least in their pre-college careers. I saw the value of moving in the normal world. She disdained the common.

Both our son and daughter were bright kids and excelled early. I successfully held out for the public schools until high school, and then succumbed to her wishes by sending them to the most expensive private academy, one—I must admit—with a superb reputation that did well for both of them.

Disagreements over the kids were just the tip of the iceberg. I was able to handle things until I made senior partner in our prestigious law firm. That’s when she started plotting my professional life. I liked being a successful attorney, welcome in the courtrooms, the boardrooms, the country club, and the exclusive Petroleum Club. But the ambition lamp was beginning to dim. Not much, but a tad.

Even so, I allowed her to cajole me into running for a seat in the state legislature, which I easily won. Without bragging, it was safe to say I was a popular fellow who spoke well and was comfortable in both public and private settings. I did back-to-back two-year terms and decided I’d had enough.

But Hell Cat Helen was already dropping hints I was running for the state senate. Woe be to me, I allowed her to bully me into successfully running for that branch of the legislature. One four-year term was enough. Helping run a large law firm and helping run a state took more energy than I was willing to give. My kids were old enough now to need more of my attention. And Helen certainly didn’t attend them. She was too busy volunteering for this and going to that.


The years passed without either of us bothering to do anything definitive about our situation. Like a host of others, we just floated with the tide, made do with the status quo by means of frequent grudging compromises. Until last year.

I’m not certain when or why I began to suspect Helen was having an affair. It could have been going on for years, of course, as I was so disinterested in our life together. Nonetheless, when the suspicions came, I reacted strongly… at least internally. How could she betray me with another man? Through all the hell of the past twenty years I’d never touched another woman. Not out of personal fealty, but in a sense of right and wrong for the institution of marriage.

As a result of my suspicions, I took up with another woman, a friend of a secretary in our office. Very quickly, I learned that I liked this sort of long-distance arrangement. She went her way; I went mine. Pleasant.

Of course, Helen found out about my affair and exploded. Never mind that she had a torrid arrangement with one of the trainers in her pricy gym class. Good-looking, buff son-of-a-bitch, I must admit. However, my “side” was no slouch either. Pretty, slender, tennis-court athletic.

All of those sorts of things, we more or less handled without too much animosity, but when Jonson Jr. wanted to take the summer off and wander Europe for a few months, we had a serious parting of the ways. Helen put her foot down and said a loud, resounding no. What with terrorists wandering all over the place and Americans unwelcome in so many countries, this was no time to leave the borders of the good old US of A.

I, on the other hand, thought it would be an excellent learning experience. Not only would he be exposed to different cultures, he’d have to learn to judge his fellow man lest he find himself in hot water.

“Too young for that!”

“Perfect time to learn it. Serve him well as a lawyer.”

“He’s not going to be a lawyer.”

“He’ll decide that.”

And so it went. Except I could see this blow up exposed a darker side to my wife. And with that realization, I’d had enough. The end. Finis. Divorce time.

Except… I didn’t want that bitch to get half of everything I’d worked so hard to accumulate. That was for my kids when the time came, not so Helen could live like a queen bee to spread stories about her philandering ex-husband to the world. And she’d do exactly that.

So I made my move and filed the papers, offering a settlement I felt was reasonable… generous, in fact. Her attorney, a fellow I’d crossed swords with several times over the years, came back with a counter. We went at it hammer and tongs for six months before taking the case to the court. I knew what that meant… split right straight down the middle. Not acceptable. I tried every trick I new as an attorney, but her legal beagle countered every one.

I needed to do something… but what? The idea that came to mind stunned me.


So Johnson’s in a pickle. Wonder if he goes by Jon to familiars? Depends upon how strait-laced he is, I guess. Now Johnson Jr. undoubtedly uses the familiar. But the old man… who knows?

 And what is that weird solution to his problem that stunned him? We’ll find out next week.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Fun and Games (Part 2 of 2 Parts) blog post #619

 Image Courtesy of Freepik:


If I recall correctly, we ended last week’s segment at the beginning of a rape. Rape can’t be right or acceptable under any circumstances, can it? So let’s see how Dario deals with it.


Here we go.






I press my lips to his; he turns his head to the side. I grab his jaw and force a kiss on him. His hard lips gradually turn soft. I press my groin against his. “No,” he tries to say, but I use that opportunity to force my tongue into his mouth. His resistance falters. He groans. I press my advantage, ripping his T-shirt apart and tonguing his nipples… first the right and then the left. Momentarily, he ceases to resist and thrusts his torso harder against me. My teeth make contact with one aureole. He yips, then shudders.

I feast for a moment before he tries to push my head away. I rise enough to grab his wrists and force his hands flat against the couch. The sight of that partially revealed, heaving torso is the sexiest thing I’d ever seen.

I growl deep in my throat. “Dario, you’re gonna get it one way or the other. Might as well relax and enjoy it. It’s not like you’re a virgin, you know.”

“Mack… no. I said no, guy.”

“Like I said, them’s the words, but it ain’t what you mean.”

He thrusts his hips up suddenly, almost unseating me. Instead, it inflames me further. “Now, you are gonna get it. Hard!”

“I’ll call the cops,” he says, almost choking on his words.

I laughed. “They catch one look at the threads you’re wearing and laugh you out of the station. I haven’t even checked yet, but I know you’re not wearing anything under those skimpy shorts. You came to the door asking for it, guy. And you know it.”

“Please, Mack. Maybe some other time, but not… not tonight.”

I release his wrists and move to his shorts. They were a little tougher, but they finally tore beneath my fingers. “Nope,” I say, caressing the flesh of his lower belly. “No underwear.”

He gasps as I take him in hand.

“Not only that,” I say, “but you’re excited as all get out. Grown to the max, I’d say.”

“B… beyond my control,” he responds, a catch in his voice. “Anybody’d get that way if they’re stroked.”

I laugh again. “No, not anybody. Just somebody who’s liking the action.”

“Nothing to like about violence,” he shoots back at me.

“Violence? Only violence done is against your clothes. Up until now,” I add. “I’m gonna get up now, and you’re going to go into the bedroom where we’ll be comfortable. You got it?”

He nods, but I don’t trust him. As soon as I crawl off him and he gets to his feet, I grab the shredded shorts and rip them the rest of the way off him. “Now if you run, you’ll be running bare-assed through the neighborhood. Go on, be my guest. Then I can call the cops and report a flasher.”

His shoulders slump, and he heads for the bedroom. Once there, I shove him face down on the bed and crawl aboard. Getting out of my clothes while holding him down isn’t easy, but I manage it okay. Then there’s flesh to flesh contact. It’s wonderful. I force his legs apart with my knees and soon find myself exactly where I want to be. It’s beyond wonderful… marvelous.

And it gets even better. Just as I’m about to get there, he reaches orgasm first, messing up my bedcovers big time. Exhausted, elated, enervated, I fall atop him, my lips at his ear. I lick it, and he flinches.

“Great, guy. Best yet.”

His scowl turns into a grin. “Was, wasn’t it. You were great by the way. Now get off me you big galoot.”

I roll off and lay watching him rise and stretch… which became the new “sexiest thing I’d ever seen.”

He turns and levels those black, black eyes at me, sending shivers down my spine. “Next time, I get to be the rapist, and you’re the helpless victim.”

He takes a fresh pair of clothes from his tote bag and strolls into the bathroom for his shower. After I milk everything I can from the image he’d implanted in my mind, I get up and go join my best friend and lover in the shower.


So it’s just fun and games, after all. Glad of that. Like I said, rape’s not acceptable under any set of circumstances I can imagine. But fun and games? Ah, I remember those fondly.

Hope you enjoyed the story. Have no idea what next week can bring, so I’m as anxious to see it as any reader. Util then.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Fun and Games (Part 1 of 2 Parts) blog post #618

 Image Courtesy of Freepik:


The Singaporeans are back, and they pushed up the reading count of last week’s “Habitat” considerably, but not many comments. Hope you (and they) enjoy my story this week. A Two-Parter.





The doorbell rings, and my heart takes a leap. It’s Dario Beloit. He called earlier to ask if he could come over. Dario’s a living dream. Five-eleven, one-seventy-five, broad shoulders and narrow hips, great calves, abs, pecs, and just about everything else… including equipment.

I open the door, and my heart palpitates. It’s Dario, all right, in a thin, see-through T-shirt and walking shorts that could pass for underwear. He’s holding a small gym bag.

Once inside, he shakes my hand like a proper gentleman, which morphs into an abrazo, that manly hug Latin men give men. Then he holds me at arms’ length and melts me with a grin. Dario has a generous mouth with bright teeth that can flash a smile seen for miles. Then he speaks in that throaty growl that never fails to raise chill bumps on my back.

“Hello, Mack. You’re looking good today.”

“And so are you, my handsome friend. Coke, coffee, or beer?”

“Think I’ll go for Coke today.”

“Can or glass?”

“Right out of the can.”

“Okay, park it while I get a couple of cold ones.

I return to find him sitting on the sofa, left leg halfway on the cushion, the right flat on the floor. Sexy as hell.

I hand him a red and white can. “Here you go.”


We talk for a while about our individual paths through life. Dario’s a grad school student at the U pursuing a Masters in Sociology. To what end, I haven’t figured out yet. Not sure he’s even reasoned that matter through. I’m out of school and in my first year with a local architectural firm. To what end? Well, I haven’t figure that out either.

I met Dario at a neighborhood bar a year back when one of his friends knew one of my friends, and four of us ended up at the same table. To see Mario is to want to get to know him. He’s that kind of guy. Handsome as hell with the blackest hair I’ve ever seen—not the glistening kind that reflects sunlight back at you, but the kind that absorbs light. He has irises that match his hair, black and mysterious. I can’t tell where the irises end and pupils begin. Never known a black-eyed guy before.

We had a great time that night, and have relived it in conversations ever since, including today. He reminds me of the time he came back from the men’s room with soaked britches and insisted some guy spilled a beer on him. We yoo-hooed that idea –claiming he’d peed himself—until he grabbed the back of my head and forced me down to take a whiff of his groin. Yep, beer.

Why he took a liking to me in particular out of the group, I’ll never know, but I was flattered when he did. We met one-on-one at the bar several times and played around at picking up girls, but it never happened. Wasn’t sure why, because once Dario smiled at one of them, she’d practically lay down for him right on the table. Even so we went home together most of the time. Occasionally, one or the other of us would break an unwritten rule and meander off with someone from the distaff side. But not often.

Maybe six months after we met, I got the shock of my life. We were at his place and had gone through about a six-pack each when he leaned against me on the couch and started confiding pretty personal things. His left hand rested on my right thigh, and I found it hard to concentrate on his words. When the hand went to wandering, I didn’t even try.

I’d been with a guy before, like back in school. Didn’t everyone experiment? But here was the greatest hunk I’d ever seen showing interest in me. That night will remain with me for the rest of my life… even if I emulate Methuselah. We didn’t go out after that so much but still kept in touch. Mostly ended up it his place or mine for a brew and a game of chess or at the tennis court where he usually wore me out enough to take the set.

Now, he spears me with those fascinating eyes. What’s new in your life?” Meaning, of course, anyone new?

“Not a soul. Haven’t had time,

“Sounds like an old man’s excuse. Getting old already?”

“Me? I’m in the prime of life. I can prove it, if you want me to.”

“Take your word for it.”

Finished with his cola, he leans back on the couch and rests his hands on his thighs. Deliberate or not, it emphasizes what’s between them. I lick my lips and move over beside him on the couch. He brushes my hand away when I rest it on his leg. I go back again.

He pushes me away. “Hey, man, watch it.” 

“If you’re not interested, why’re you dressed in a shirt that shows off every muscle in your torso and those little shorts that don’t hide much?”

“Just dressing casually. No an invitation to grope me.”

I put a hand on his chest, excited by the tension I feel beneath my palm.

He makes to rise. “Look, Mack. Maybe I oughta go.”

“Uh-uh,” I say, pressing that hand harder on his chest. “You come here dressed like that, you gonna play or pay.”

I grope him. He closes his legs, trapping my hand. “Hey! I said no.”

“Mighta said it, but you didn’t mean it.”

I reach for him aggressively; he falls back on the couch with me on top of him. His eyes go wide. “Mack, what’re you doing?”

“What you want me to.”


What in the world’s going on? Doesn’t matter if a guy’s got with you before, if he says no, that means no. Does Mack understand that? What do you think? We’ll get to the bottom of this next week.

 Hope the story didn’t make you too uncomfortable. Might, if you’ve been in that position yourself before. But hang in there.

Stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

A link to The Cutie-Pie Murders:

My personal links:



Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.



 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 


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