Glory Pies

Glory Pies

A Story by A

A tale of revenge.

Mrs Patricia Emily Roberts was transfixed by the CSI documentary showing on her 14 inch flat screen TV, which was precariously perched on a bracket in between her back door and her vintage ornamental shelf. 
  "This particular criminal clearly didn't know what he was doing" she said aloud,
“Everyone knows minuscule droplets of blood would be visible when 'luminol' was sprayed around the room, no matter how hard you scrubbed down the surfaces".

Patricia was very pleased and puffed her ample bosom out a little more. She had always fancied herself as a 'Miss Marple', modern day of course, and had watched so many of these 'true-life' reenactments that she really did feel there was not much about the forensic sciences left for her to learn.  Her alter ego detectives name would sound intriguing, mysterious and memorable. She liked Petra Romano and decided that is what she would be called.  As Miss Petra, she was petite, raven haired and her lips were stained a deep red. Miss Petra was so beautiful that any one she happened to be investigating would instantly be hypnotised by her and would willingly tell all without needing much persuasion. Hence, all her investigations were quickly and easily solved, earning her the reputation that she wasn't to be messed with.

In reality Patricia was in her late fifties, overweight, (a little on the plump side she would tell herself), with hair that was once a vibrant summer corn colour, now faded to light grey with just a hint of pale yellow occasionally peeking through. Her once crowning glory had lost their flowing curls. There used to be a time when men imagined running their fingers through those lustrous curls.  Now, foam curlers, set once a week at Deirdre's Upper Cut, took their place in the form of a tight curled, short set hairdo, which defied anything the weather dared to throw at it.

Along with the decor, Patricia's toilette and make up routine hadn't wavered in years. Foundation, loose powder, the palest of blue eye shadow which she thought perfectly complimented her slightly too small, watery blue eyes and the orangey coral lipstick, with the obligatory matching nail varnish.  Trends, like fashion, came and went, but she found experimenting with anything different had been futile and therefore always resorted to what she felt comfortable with. If she were feeling particularly daring, the merest hint of black eyeliner was all she'd allow herself and that was strictly for special occasions - which were exceedingly rare.

It seemed the years had stopped for Patricia some 30 years previously. In her opinion gentlemen were real gentlemen then and ladies were elegant, icy smooth and had a shimmering aura following them wherever they walked, leaving a billowing waft of Chanel No 5 in their wake. Ladies wore white gloves, pearl earrings and matching single strand pearl necklaces. Anyone wearing more than 3 pieces of jewellery was considered vulgar.  Not like now days she thought, jangling bangles and 'bling' jewellery as big and tasteless as those who wore it. She felt as though there was a direct relation to 'cheap' in a sliding scale, the larger the jewellery, the cheaper the person wearing it. This was particularly noticeable with the nouveau-riche whom she deduced couldn’t resist displaying all their wares at once, as though to say;
“I'm here, I've arrived, please notice me!"

No, Patricia absolutely refused to participate in what she thought was ugliest decade for women. She preferred to stick to what she knew and dressed accordingly. Conservative twin sets in matching colours were the norm rigour, worn with A-line or box pleat skirts, reaching just below the knee, no longer and definitely no shorter. Previous subtle hints and well-meaning suggestions from acquaintances were futile and did nothing to change her mind.

She once toyed with the idea of wearing trousers, but that was only because of a passing fancy to ride a bicycle with a basket on the front. She could only imagine the freedom she would feel wearing them. But having once tried on a pair, which she had sandwiched between two skirts she was trying on in the tiny Artful Clothing changing room, she was absolutely horrified to find that the rear view of her backside, which she had thought would look just like the mannequin modelling them, was so expectantly different, that it caused her to gasp out in horror.  From then on, she vowed never to don another pair, preferring to hide the ever increasing expanse that was her behind, beneath her voluminous skirts of many colours. Miss Petra would, of course, be absolutely comfortable in the most fitted of trouser suits which would emphasise her pert little bottom to the maximum effect when she walked, clickerty click, in her patent black stilettos.

Patricia's past times were many and unsurprisingly parallel to those suggested by the Women’s Institute. On top of her list was her love of baking.  It was the construction from start to finish which she enjoyed. It gave her such satisfaction to see someone relishing a dish she had prepared from a long list of separate ingredients. She was a purist and just couldn't understand those modern chefs who didn't weigh anything or just 'threw' a few ingredients together from their seemingly perpetual self- replenishing larder. No, everything had an order and instructions were there to be followed. It gave her peace and structure in this busy complicated world and moreover, was something she could control.

Patricia quickly realised that she had been daydreaming and her hands were pummelling the pastry she was making for their apple and blackberry pie she was making for tea later that afternoon. It was Derek's favourite. She, unfortunately, with the onset of type 2 diabetes, would have to refrain. Not that Derek would notice, or care for that matter, all the more for him.

Derek, Patricia's husband, had been playing golf as was his usual practice every Sunday afternoon. She didn't complain as Lord knows, he certainly needed the exercise. He wasn't so much as fat but had a belly disproportionate to his height, making him look not dissimilar to a  'weeble', who certainly wobbled and occasionally, after a few too many, fell down. He, on the other hand, thought himself rather fit and when gently prodded about his weight, would brag that his 4-5 mile 'hike' around the golf course was exercise enough. He chose to forget about the copious amounts of beer he would consume on a regular basis and his increasingly large sweet tooth. Derek had a particular fondness for Patricia's pies, Steak and Ale, Chicken and Leek, Pea and Ham, he liked them all, but his ultimate favourites were of the sweet variety. Oh, he could always manage just another piece.

His ideal day would start like today, with a round of golf followed by a few beers at the 19th hole whilst telling a few raucous jokes, more often than not at Patricia's expense, to either his golf partners, or anyone who happen to be passing. A mild flirtation followed with the new golf club receptionist. He then returned home and slumped into his favourite chair with the remote control ready and waiting on the plumped up cushion beside him, preferably watching a little cricket while soaking in the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen. He would sigh and let himself drift off reminiscing about past and happier times. 

On this particular day, he remembered when he and Patricia had first met. She was a vision of beauty, a slender young girl that he just had to have. Derek was always used to getting what he wanted. Being a good looking chap himself, he surmised she suited him just perfectly. Once they were officially an item, he enjoyed the attention they stirred up whenever they entered a room, the golden duo. Yes, they really were the couple to be envied.

Back to reality and Derek realised of late, his fondness for Patricia's pies far outweighed any fondness he felt for her. She had certainly let herself go. Everything was just too snug on her and those jangly upper arms (dinner lady arms he had once liked to joke), had started to repulse him. Never mind he thought, at least her cooking, if nothing else, had remained consistent. He allowed himself to drift off once again thinking about the new young receptionist. Now there's someone he wouldn’t mind getting his teeth into.

Something on the TV dragged Patricia out of her reverie. She could hear Derek's rhythmic snoring coming from the living room, which in turn,
quickly reminded her of the task in hand. She expertly rolled out the pastry into a circular shape and then began easing it gently into the prepared pastry dish which was decorated with seasonal spring flowers. With her deft podgy fingers, she firmly pressed the pastry into the side ridges to form the lovely fluted pattern. It was so important that everything looked the same as usual she thought. The apples which had been stewed earlier, had been cooling off on the window sill and the blackberries, picked the day before, were ready, plump and waiting.
Patricia carefully washed her hands and put on a pair of lurid pink rubber gloves. She pricked an ear to make sure she could still hear Derek snoring and very quietly, opened the cupboard door under the sink. Reaching far into the back, she found what she was looking for and had been hiding carefully, for so long. With precision fitting a bio chemist, she measured out the correct dosage of rat poison needed to kill a very, very, large rat. She couldn’t help but smirk at the irony.  Now she was ready to assemble the dish. Patricia first placed the apples into the bottom of the pie dish, followed by the rat poison and finally the blackberries, ensuring the black beauties covered every last granule. Finally, she rolled out the remaining pastry into a lid and gently positioned it on top. She took the time to make some decorative leaves as her pride would not allow her to leave the pie unadorned. After the final egg wash, the pie was ready for baking.

The smell of cooking brought Derek abruptly out of a wonderful dream he was having. He was instantly resentful and wanted to find something to shout at Patricia about. But then, his most favourite smell in the world hit him hard. His stomach rudely reminded him that he was famished and saliva flooded his mouth in anticipation. He stretched out on the armchair, yawning loudly and widely.
Derek could hear the muffled sound of the TV coming from the kitchen, no doubt tuned into one of those corny forensic detective documentaries Patricia was so addicted to. She thought he didn’t know how she spent her hours plotting and scheming. He knew about the anonymous letters to the council complaining about their immediate neighbour and her inability to place the dustbins in the right area, or the key scratch down the side of the red fiesta who insisting on parking in front of their house, much to Patricia's annoyance. Over the years he had seen the way Patricia meted out her vengeance and while she always conducted herself with the utmost propriety, he knew she had a streak so mean, it put the serial killers she was so fond of watching to shame. Patricia was vindictive and would never forget a slight, however small.
With that in mind, he was always careful. He dread to think what Patricia might have done had she found out about any of his numerous indiscretions. Of course he had had a few close shaves, but what Patricia didn't know, was that he was always one step ahead. His ready excuses had saved him on many an occasion and what’s more, the excitement of those near misses had only fuelled his appetite for more. Derek couldn't really see himself stopping any time soon and after all these years of enjoying himself he didn't really see any reason why he even had to try.

The timer in the kitchen started to buzz which made Patricia jump; she quickly managed to compose herself and started to prepare the crockery needed for their tea. She took the pie out of the oven to cool and was proud at the way it had turned out, her finest yet. Mrs Courtney- Smyth at the W.I. would be hard pressed to find fault she thought. She was eager to begin what she had started and called out to Derek whom she could hear had woken up and was walking towards the dining room.

On this beautiful summer’s day, they ate their tea in near silence, a simple affair of salad and cold meats, consisting mainly of breaded ham and tongue. Patricia allowed herself a glass of cold white wine, most unusual but she felt in a celebratory mood. Derek noticed but decided that whatever had put her in such a good mood was okay with him, he really didn't need to know why and honestly wasn't that interested. He had quaffed two large ice cold beers and while he was feeling somewhat bloated, he was so looking forward to desert that he simply decided to ignore any feelings of discomfort.

Patricia stuck to her normal routine of clearing away the dishes. She methodically brought them out to the kitchen, scrapping the leftovers into the bin. She put the kettle on for coffee, good and strong, while preparing a tray for her piece de resistance. Not long to go, she thought, and couldn't help but give a small wry smile. She managed to refrain from laughing out loud and quickly composed herself.

Derek was getting impatient, what was taking her so long? No doubt watching the end of some silly programme he thought. He was just about to call out when Patricia appeared holding a large tray loaded with a jar of coffee, two matching coffee cups, a jug of cream, extra thick, just as he liked it and what looked like an exceptionally large golden pie. He couldn't help but lick his lips in anticipation. He was so ready for this.

Just then, Patricia looked up and momentarily wavered as she caught a glimpse of Derek. The sunlight streaming in the window had fudged the edges and triggered a distant memory of the young handsome man he once was. Patricia's blinked hard and in a flash, the moment was gone as quickly as it came, leaving the reality of Derek, the real Derek, sitting there positively drooling.
  “At last” he said,
  “A man could get old waiting for this pie”

Patricia put on her most seductive 'Petra' voice and said
  “Oh the wait is worth it, it’s your absolute favourite”

© 2020 A

Author's Note

Ignore grammar problems. New to this.

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Added on March 26, 2020
Last Updated on March 26, 2020



United Kingdom