closed the door of her studio
apartment and sighed. It had been a long, long day, but the results had been...satisfying.
Dorothy crossed to the folding chair in the kitchenette to begin the long arduous process of prying her snow boots off. Her heavy coat, gloves, hat and scarf were lumped together on the table, covering her canvas bag containing her Tupperware lunch bowl, purse, and a dog-eared copy of The Thornbirds that she had picked up at the used book store. She began to tug at her left boot as her mind wandered to through the events of the day.
She could tell that her odious boss Don was beginning to crack yesterday, but was surprised when she saw him today. She had been lead to believe that things would have progressed much faster, but obviously despite his glaring character flaws, he was made of sterner stuff than she imagined.
Dorothy continued to pull on her boot as she visualized in her mind again how he had scrambled for the window, the haunted look in his eyes. She would never have imagined that he was responsible for the death of that little girl, but Mrs. Kortchek had said that the draught would make real his greatest fear, his greatest secret.
"Men, all men, have secrets, girl. But to have those secrets come to light, to see all that haunts you appear before your eyes, that is true hell," the old woman had said a week ago, when Dorothy had spoken to her in the backroom of the Suds and Spin down the block.
Her left boot finally came free in her hand, and Dorothy sat back for a moment to rest, holding the boot in her hand. She listened to the eerie silence of her little apartment, made all the more silent by the lack of ticking of the old grandfather clock that once had stood near the door.
Dorothy knew that the clock had been in her family for nearly four generations and had been considered priceless to her parents, but it had been the only thing she possessed that could possibly have brought the $5,000 that Mrs. Kortchek had demanded to give her the concoction. Dorothy had left Mrs. Kortchek and went straight to Olsen and Sons, a clock dealer down on Ambergast Street that Dorothy had visited on one of her seemingly endless errands for Don.
The errands were at an end now, Dorothy thought as she giggled to herself. She set down the left boot and began working on the right, thinking how eagerly Derek Olsen the shop keeper had been to buy the clock, when he learned its history. The men had arrived the next morning and the deal transacted: $7,500 for the clock and they carted it off. Dorothy had to wait until 2:30 when Mrs. Kortcheck arrived for her shift at the laundry to get the potion (because let's be honest, she thought, that is what it was). This made her late and got her chewed out by Don, who had called her a moron and told her that he guessed it was too much to expect her to be able to tell time. But she had put up with it, because she knew her revenge was at hand.
"Get him to drink this. Slip it into something he drinks and soon his worst fears will be a reality. No matter what it is. It will be Hell for him and he will welcome death." The old woman slipped the bottle into Dorothy's hands and smiled the smile of one who could empathize with the abuse that Dorothy had to endure at the hands of that pig.
Dorothy pulled her other boot free and laid it down beside its mate. She enjoyed the next couple of days as Don began to break down, as she saw the fear of a hunted man overtake him. She almost felt sorry for him earlier that day, but then he had lashed out at her and she had laced his coffee for what turned out to be the last time with the potion.
She had acted shocked and talked with the police. She had spoken with her co-workers and even managed tears at one point. But all the while she had been joyous, knowing that she would never have to listen to him beat her down and treat her like dirt again.
Dorothy dug under the pile of clothes and pulled out her canvas bag. Reaching into her bag and pulling out her purse, Dorothy rummaged around for a moment and found what she was looking for: a small glass vial.
Dorothy held it up to the light and a small smile played across her face as she looked at the remaining liquid in the vial. And a single thought played through her head:
Who needs the rest?