Scorned

Author: Mina

CROSS PATCH

Merike caught him out the usual way. Why were cheating spouses so unoriginal? She’d wondered who he was messaging non-stop on his wrist com, so she’d hacked it. She was angry, of course, that he was screwing the doc’s assistant, but that wasn’t what caused her anger to grow into a fury that froze the very depths of her soul. No, it was that a lot of their com messages were about ridiculing her.

Hannes regularly made fun of what he called her autistic traits. Her shy awkwardness that she had believed he found endearing, her near photographic memory, her attention to detail – all a source of cruel parody and scathing dismissal. He was so sure his cerebral coms wife had no idea he was playing around with Yuta. His wife who could read at barely three and had memorised her book of 500 Rhymes from Around the Universe. She still recited them in the shower. She might have several doctorates and be able to hack or repair any coms system known to man, but she had no imagination, no finesse.

DRAW THE LATCH

Merike had soon discovered that their favourite bonking ground was Escape Pod 2D-497. She’d set the stage by claiming she needed to work overnight on a coms project. She had sealed the pod – literally – the carbon dioxide was no longer evacuated but re-circulated.

SIT BY THE FIRE AND SPIN

She’d hacked into Yuta’s com system and spent weeks planting false log entries. Entries that would serve to demonstrate Yuta’s fixation on Hannes, who couldn’t leave his wife for her. After all, you don’t leave the daughter of the man running the conglomerate that owns the space station you are managing. Merike had fun with creating entries that would demonstrate an unraveling psyche and a deadly obsession to keep her lover forever. One that would lead to a murder-suicide. A muricide?

TAKE A CUP AND DRINK IT UP

As a last touch, Merike added a glitch to the ventilation system so that the build-up in carbon dioxide was tripled. The coup de grace was that all adjustments were recorded as having been made from Yuta’s com system. Then she made a large pot of Earl Grey which she sipped slowly in her favourite bone china mug. They would die well fucked – not a bad way to go really. Her observations through the escape pod systems showed that Hannes possessed a sexual creativity she would never have credited him with. She looked forward to experimenting with the technician in engineering level four who had indicated he would be “up for it” if she ever felt so inclined.

THEN LET YOUR NEIGHBOURS IN

In the morning, she would return to her quarters and be surprised that she couldn’t find Hannes. She would be worried that the system did not show his life signs and that his wrist com appeared, strangely, to be in an escape pod. A convincing picture of panic, Merike would sound the alarm.

But, till then, there was time for another pot of tea.

17 Comments

  1. Jae

    When anger turns cold, bodies start to fall.

    Excellent little revenge tale.

  2. dww

    Re Escape pod – in our world, I believe ships’ lifeboats are popular for this pastime. Though you’d have to be careful not to make the canvass cover move!

  3. SimonJM

    So many things wrong – using an escape pod: so many mental alarm bells going off; cheating on a highly technical partner in a high tech environment, yet more alarm bells! Love may be blind, but it also seems it is daft as a brush, too 😉

    • Hari Navarro

      For me its the fact that she was technically brilliant that makes this story all the more authentic, the broadside that comes with the revelation that she has been cheated on would have made her feel the utter fool. Why would she ever even consider the need to check up on the man she loves, How the hell didn’t she see it earlier and the sheer arrogant joy that he must have had parading in plain sight are all part of the tawdry game.

      • SimonJM

        Yes, kind of sad but an almost universal refrain, “I never saw/knew …”. Amazing what can be over-looked even when in front of you, mainly because we’d never think of doing it (though she seems to have pondered it) so we don’t look for it.

    • mina

      Ah well, I had fun with the escape pod number 🙂

      • SimonJM

        Absolutely! And I am sure after the first couple of assignations they did not even think about being ‘accidentally’ jettisoned! 😉

    • Steve Smith

      You would be amazed at the absolutely stupid things supposedly intelligent people will do when they’re getting laid outside of their committed relationship. You would also be amazed at how much people who should know better underestimate the perceptions, abilities, and motivation of the people they’re cheating on.

      • SimonJM

        Sadly, no I wouldn’t! 😉 But probably in that ‘oh boy – really?’ kind of way.

  4. xdhz8

    Nice blend of human drama and believable sci-fi.

    • mina

      Thank you! It was partly a tribute to “Saphire and Steel”, which you have to be a certain age to remember. It was made on a shoestring budget and the science was dodgy, but they really knew how to make it atmospheric. The very first episode used a nursery rhyme to chilling effect.

      • SimonJM

        I really want to see those again – Joanna Lumley and David McCallum wasn’t it? I seem to recall a ‘bit part’ character named Lead in one episode?

        • mina

          Yes 🙂 You can never look at old houses or deserted train stations the same way again after watching it…

  5. Hari Navarro

    An exquisitely thought out piece of fiction. The jilted mind can become a logistical Olympian when fueled with such unwarranted deceit.

    • mina

      Yes, but she feels his scorn as much more of a betrayal than the cheating itself.

  6. djl

    Earl Grey – the post-prandial beverage of genocidal maniacs the universe over! Nice.

    • SimonJM

      That include Jean-Luc Picard? 😉

Submit a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Random Story :

  • Oddtown

    Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer It was a way …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member

Submissions

We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact ssmith@365tomorrows.com