As I waited upstairs for my stomach to settle, I considered that my recent folly was not going to be pleasant for me either since I would have to clean up the mess. Again, my clever brain saved me from disaster. I gathered the garden hose and carried it to the basement. Next to the washing machine, there was an old-fashioned basin sink with the type of spigot that had a fitting for a hose attachment. I cranked the cold water to full blast and hit Mandy with a high-pressure spray. The filth dribbled off him and flowed to the sump pump. I continued to hose him down until all of the nastiness was flushed away and pumped out.
Mandy shivered, dripping wet and bloody. The scabs had opened again and blood flowed freely. Since I couldn’t risk all of his open wounds festering with vomit and fecal matter, I had no other choice but to douse him in alcohol and iodine. I knew that would put him out for the night and sure enough; Mandy fainted from the pain.
The next morning, I woke early because I needed to tend to the animal in my basement. As a “reward” for eating his meal, I gave Mandy a bowl of cereal and some coffee for breakfast. I had slipped an ample dose of nighttime cold medicine and Benadryl into his coffee so that he would sleep while I was at work. I’d seen enough prison break movies to know that conscious prisoners are dangerous. He ate and drank with relish, thanking me for my kindness.
“I see the error of my ways now. If you let me go, I’ll be different. I’m a changed man; I swear it!”
I knew it was cruel to give Mandy false hope. He would never leave my root cellar alive but cruelty was the name of the game.
I caught Cory and Sherry as they were getting ready to leave and announced that I was sick of hiding my friendship. We were going back to our normal routine; we would carpool to work and share our breaks.
“Let Mandy come after me. I can take it. Besides, I’d rather him pick on me than Sherry.”
Of course, I knew Mandy wouldn’t be there so it wouldn’t matter but I was also anxious to see how the rest of the office would feel about our missing friend.
It came as no surprise to me that the entire atmosphere was relaxed, even cheerful, at the office. It was Monday but it felt like a Friday. People were happy, pleasant, and kind to each other. Though no one would admit why, we all chipped in and ordered a department lunch. We ate together for the first time without fear of ridicule or harassment. Yes, I decided, removing Mandy was a great thing for the entire company. In fact, he was only mentioned in hushed whispers by the gossip gals.
“I heard Mandy didn’t call out today. No call/no show. Two more days and they have just cause to fire him. God, I hope he doesn’t come back.”
It broke my heart that I couldn’t ease their troubled minds. I had to hang my head and wring my hand with the rest of them but the glimmer of hope that sparked through the office was enough to prove to me that I’d done the right thing. In fact, I was looking forward to putting the whole Mandy mess behind me and embracing the happiness that would follow once he was a distant memory.
After work, I made sure to lock my doors before heading to the basement. Mandy was huddled in the corner sleeping. It seemed my little cocktail worked; in fact, it had worked so well that he didn’t wake when I entered or when I set up my little surprise. His eyes did snap open when the blade of my cleaver severed his thumb from his hand. I hoped my little kitchen torch would cauterize the skin and seal off the rampant blood geyser. While it didn’t exactly work the way it’s portrayed in movies and on television, there was a certain degree of searing to the skin that ebbed blood flow. I didn’t really want to stop it completely since it would speed up the inevitable.
I have to admit, there was a part of me that wished Mandy would just hurry up and die. In fact, now that the novelty had worn off, I was getting sick of trying to come up with new ways to mutilate Mandy and inflict pain. I wanted to take my relationship with Sherry to the next level but I wouldn’t be able to do that until Mandy was gone. Much to Mandy’s relief, the torture session was cut short so that I could spend more time with Sherry.
In truth, I put a crazy mixture of medications into Mandy’s coffee the next morning in the hopes that he would just croak while I was at work. I noticed the same cheerful atmosphere in the office and it made me feel good. I smiled at my co-workers and they smiled back; they waved and I waved in return.
“So, looks like we’ve got another day of peace. I really hope Mandy never comes back.”
“Shh, are you crazy? They’ll hear you.”
I was baffled. Just yesterday, everyone was sharing the same sentiment; no one wanted Mandy to come back…ever.
“Didn’t they meet with you yet? The police are here and they’ve been interviewing everyone.”