Perfume by Karen Maeby (poem)

PERFUME
4.17.17 © by Karen Maeby

the bottle that you hold so dearly
in between your hands
is the flesh that holds my bones together
and
the liquid found inside
is my life’s personality
that will eventually run out.

you unwrap me, make a face,
and give me away during white elephant.
i just wasn’t your taste.

i am undoubtedly fragile
because one slip to the ground
and i will break.

i will break into a million pieces,
only to never be put back together again.
my puzzle will always be missing something.

i think
i feel
i breathe

until i can’t.

i am perfume:

i get used, and then,
when i run out of steam
i am thrown away.

will i be replaced?
will i be replaced?

i am a scent that you will carry with you
always, always, always
as you start thinking back to the memories
you replay scenes in your mind
like the black and white movie on a film board.

midnight jazz
the singer sings on
and the drunk
keeps drinking
and there’s a sneeze in the air
with me on the tip of your tongue.

if i’m replaced—
am i a reincarnation of your memories
or a new and improved tomorrow?

i am now a broken glass,
shattered, impossible to put back together.

i am a butterfly that has just been released,
only wanting to come home.

i am recyclable
determined to be turned into something else.

I AM PERFUME
FOR ONLY SO LONG.

my bottle harvests that moonlight glow
and the tiniest bit of sweetness
between sea breeze, pumpkin, memories and jazz.
i can play the piano to a tune of an illusion

that i was meant to be anything but broken.

Masquerade Fantasy – A short story by Karen Maeby

Masquerade Fantasy – A short story

2017 © Karen Maeby

(Copyright notice: This document shall not be replicated or posted elsewhere unless the author provides written permission. As of right now, the only place this short story is on the author’s private blog at KarenMaeby.com – Thank you for understanding.) 

He sat almost lifeless at his computer, obsessively staring at the screen, as he tapped his pen against the desk. Everything stopped for a minute—the noise of ambulances rushing down the road, the neighbor’s kids screaming as they play, background music on the TV—and all he could hear was his own heartbeat ringing through his ears. As he came to, he wiped the sweat that was pouring off his forehead.

“I have to do this.” He says out loud, as he replies to an ad for a call girl. After responding he hurried up and closed out of the computer when he heard his girlfriend coming in the door.

“Hi honey, what’s going on?” She asks.

“I need to go out for a bit.” He gives her a light kiss then quickly rushes to his car and out of the driveway.

One knock on the door, and this beautiful woman dressed in a Masquerade mask and a black silk nightgown, opens it. “Hi, Sugar. Come on in.” She moves aside as he walks in, taking note of everything in the hotel room.

He doesn’t even take a minute to get settled in. “The beautiful mask. You hide behind it–your true identity. Tell me…. how does it feel to hide your true identity? What is your name?” He asks her, as he brushes her face.

She replies almost uneasy, “My name is Marilyn. You contacted the Masquerade hotline, so the mask is part of the game, Sugar. Now…do you want to start, or should I?” She reaches for him, and he grabs her arm to stop.

“I only want to talk.” He says, “I need to talk to someone and I felt that someone like yourself—with secrets of her own—would be a good contender to lend an ear. Would I be correct about this?”

“…Yes? In a way?”

“Oh don’t worry, beautiful. You’ll still get paid your wage.” He paces the floor. “I suspect my wife is cheating on me, and I want to put a stop to it, but I think murder is the only option. I have thought about this every night since I started suspecting her. Here’s what I will do: I will cook her dinner—her favorite meal—put some sleeping pills in her red wine, and seduce her all the way to bed. Then, after we’ve done the deed for the last time while she’s alive, I will smother her to death. I will wrap her body in a bag—attach some weight to it so there’s not a chance her body will float up—and throw her in the river that’s about 25 miles north of where we live, that way, it’s not suspecting on my part. I would have no reason to go to private property farmland, because that’s where the river is located.” He continues, as he is rubbing his hands together like he’s concocting a plan. “I will wait a day and call 911 to file a missing persons report, then I will call everyone that we know and ask if they’ve seen her.”

Horrified and shaking, Marilyn says as she’s backing away from him, “Are—are—you sure you want to commit murder?”

“Oh Marilyn,” he reaches for her and strokes her arm, “I’m not going to harm you, my dear, there’s no need to be terrified.”

“Why do you think murdering your wife the only option, instead of just talking to her? Couldn’t you go to counseling?”

“Because Brandy had it coming.”

“Had?”

“Has. I mean, has… if I catch her in the act, she’ll be punished.”

“Okay, so say you caught her in the act—wouldn’t you think, that if someone you knew saw you with me here—and let her know—she wouldn’t think you’re doing the same thing?”

“It’s logical, but doubtful. We’re too far from my neighborhood for anyone to recognize me.”

“Chuck, I’ve never been in this position before. I’ve never had someone to confess something this outrageous to me, so you’ve got to understand where I’m coming from, please forgive me… but are you absolutely sure you want to kill your wife? There really are other options to avoid jail time for the rest of your life. Maybe a divorce will suit?”

“If I go to jail over this, the kill will be well worth it.”

“You’ve puzzled me, Chuck. I wish I could help you resolve this so you wouldn’t go to such lengthy matters and end up in so much trouble. What if she’s really not cheating?”

“You could help me find out. I’ll even protect your identity when the time comes, that is, if we have to commit murder.”

“NO! No, I will not help you murder anyone, Chuck. I will talk to you all day here if need be to help change your mind, but I cannot ever do something like that. How could you even think about this yourself? How do you sleep at night with this on your mind?”

“I have slept just fine.” He says, in a matter of fact way.

A buzz of a phone disturbs the awkward silence of the conversation. It was Chuck’s phone. “Oh it’s my girlfriend Diane. She wants to know when I’ll be home and what to fix for dinner.”

“But I thought your–” A knock at the door dismissed Marilyn’s sentence, as she got up to open it, five police were standing outside the door.

One rushes in with a gun drawn, “CHUCK POLASKI, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR THE MURDER OF BRANDY ELAINE POLASKI.”

As the police were reading Chuck’s rights to him, he kept glaring at Marilyn. They escorted him to the police vehicle, and Marilyn shortly followed.

Back at the police station, several people were in the interview room, among them: Diane, Chuck, Marilyn, two detectives and a police officer.

One of the detectives said, “After twenty years, we finally have you. Twenty years. It took two decades to find you, but we did it.”

Chuck spits out. “Who the hell are you, Marilyn? Were you in on this? I should have known you were asking too many questions!”

Diane starts to cry, “Your questions are irrelevant, Chuck. I suspected you were cheating on me, so I hired a private investigator and they’ve been following you around for a while now. You’ve been having some odd behavior that resembled that to a murderers. Sadly, I was right.”

Chuck says, “No, Diane, I suspected you! I thought you were cheating on me.”

“So that’s why you went to meet with someone from the Masquerade hotline? Really?”

“Obviously I contacted the wrong Masquerade hotline.” He snorts.

“Oh no, it was the right one but unfortunately, for you, your date was with an undercover cop.” Marilyn says, as she flashes her badge in his face.

One of the more threatening looking detectives leans in. “Now, Polaski, let’s get down to the nitty gritty business of why we’re really here. Our private investigators have followed you to and from the location of where you threw Brandy’s body in the water. You drive there at least three times a week and you’re walking a very thin line of trespassing on private property. And, according to your confession today of a pre-confessed murder, you already knew it was private property.

And, let’s think about this next one for a minute—you’re not married, you’re with a Diane who holds girlfriend status, so who in the world is Brandy?

Brandy was your wife that you murdered in cold blood twenty years ago. Am I right, Polaski? You just couldn’t take it anymore. You had to tell someone, but yet, you picked your destiny. You could have gone anywhere else but you fell right into a trap of your own doing. But we are so thankful you did, so thank you, Polaski, for setting your own trap.

Needless to say, if we can’t keep the confession as evidence for the court, we can submit your fingerprints. For twenty years, Polaski, we’ve been missing your fingerprint in our database for the proof of closing this case and arresting your ass. It would be in your best interest to plead guilty. So, what will it be, Polaski?”