The Helpers

The Helpers

A Story by RedNevac


There she was down on her eighty year old knees, weeding her rose garden. She had done this alone for ten years, since her high school sweetheart, Bruce, had died. They had been married for fifty years before he had died. Those were the best years of her life. Even though those years were comprised of a miscarriage, the death of both of Bruce’s parents and both Edna’s parents as well. There had been great times, too, but those events had defined both of them. The miscarriage had shown her his softer side. He was so understanding and helping during that period.
Looking back, it had helped her see what she should do when his parents died. My word, had it already been forty-five years? It seems like it was just yesterday that they were huddled next to the grave as they lay them both in the ground. That car accident had made them both “cautious” drivers. That check from the insurance company had been nice, though. Plus, that was how they had gotten the idea to take out her parents. That they had never gotten caught was the amazing part. That was the sloppiest of the “helpings,” as they called them.
The first five “helpings” had been hard. But after the seventh, there was no going back. However, after number twelve, it had gotten old. That is why they decided to stop after fifteen. Plus, it was hard coming up with new ways to “help” each time. But that was a necessary part of not getting caught. The more natural or accidental it looked, the less and less Bruce and she were suspected. That was what made it possible for her to be kneeling on her eighty year old knees weeding her beautiful rose garden.
“Ouch!!! Reginald, don’t bite me!!” She yelled at the pink Prince George rosebush that had stabbed her with its thorns. She had named all sixteen of her rose bushes after the people that they had “helped.”
She started chuckling. It was ironic that “Reginald” the rosebush had “bitten” her. Reginald Erickson was their toughest job. He was only fifty-five at the time, but he had cancer of the liver and Diabetes. The doctors had given him only two months to live at his last doctor’s appointment and his family had been less than optimistic when they heard that come out of the doctor’s mouth. That poor family, not an ounce of faith between them, had they believed in the Good Lord, they might have been more optimistic. Bruce’s and Edna’s idea had been to poison Reggie with some rattlesnake venom in his tea. He drank tea religiously at 3 o’clock in the afternoon every day. The plan had been to pour some venom into his tea when Bruce and Edna came to visit after church on Sunday.
Edna and Bruce would always go over to Reggie and Lucy’s house after church each Sunday and play spades and visit. After Lu died, though, Reggie had turned into a real jerk, but they still “did the Christian thing” and hung out together, just the three of them. But it just wasn’t the same, Lu had made everything better.
However, Reggie had apparently been taking anti-venom for most of his life. He was a hiker, they knew that, but anti-venom? Who takes anti-venom as a dietary supplement? Oh well, it worked out in the end. They ended up having to shoot him in the temple and plant the gun in his hand. Suicide, that was how it was listed on the police report. But shooting him at the correct angle had been their biggest fear. That was when it happened. Reggie, in self-defense, bit Edna’s hand. She had hesitated pulling the trigger for a second and he bit her right through her gloves. Just one more thing to add to the list of things to do, brush Reggie’s teeth, which would be fun. Once the gun fired, they brushed his teeth. They were meticulous with every detail. That was why the forensics team hadn’t found anything wrong with the suicide label on the report. Reggie had been number twelve.
Now it was time to weed around rosebush number sixteen, the newest rosebush; a beautiful, young Golden Celebration bush. This rosebush, of course, was named Bruce…


© 2008 RedNevac

Author's Note

This is a short story I wrote in Seattle...

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


Oh my God! What a talent! I could not help uttering a superlative after reading your story. It is very short, very clear and indeed, how amazingly attention grabbing! All along the story, I could not help thinking how you developed the characters of these monsters. How did you get into the skin of such characters?

I repeat it again, it is amazing how you made a cohesive, almost normal depictions of them, like: "The first five "helpings" had been hard. But after the seventh, there was no going back." and "That poor family, not an ounce of faith between them, had they believed in the Good Lord, they might have been more optimistic. "

I guess that after all that we have seen and heard, the darkness of the human soul will always stun us to silence. One will never look at gardening old ladies in the same way again after reading your story!

Brilliant, concise and totally surprising would best describe your story! Cannot wait to read the next story. I absolutely recommend this author!

Posted 14 Years Ago

I liked the way you brought out the life of the characters.

Posted 14 Years Ago

this was a wicked little story! i loved kept me guessing until the very end about what really happen to bruce.

a great story.


Amanda = )))

Posted 14 Years Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


3 Reviews
Added on March 18, 2008