Life Is Good
Text ©2003 Roger E. Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daria and associated characters are ©2003 MTV Networks
Feedback (good, bad, indifferent, just want to bother me, whatever) is appreciated. Please write to: email@example.com
Synopsis: A very short tale of an evil Daria and a sympathetic Tom. Sort of.
Author’s Notes: This short-short story was written in response to two Iron Chef challenges on PPMB. One, from Ranger Thorne in June 2003, asked for Daria to be made the “bad guy” of the story. The other, from Martin Pollard in September 2003, wanted a fanfic that portrayed Tom Sloane in a sympathetic light. This story attempts to do both—sort of.
Acknowledgements: Thank you, Ranger Thorne and Martin Pollard!
Daria Sloane could not wait for Tom to die. Jittery, she watched the webcam image on her computer monitor. In minutes, her husband would die, Sandi Griffin would be charged, and Daria would inherit her Tom’s financial empire. Trent Lane, her soon-to-be lover, would comfort her in imaginative ways after the funeral. Life would be good.
The webcam showed Sandi’s bedroom, with off-pink walls, a painting of a schooner, a door, and a bed with red satin sheets. Sandi’s computer and webcam sat to the side of the bed, activated by Daria after she had entered Sandi’s apartment four hours earlier, using a copy of the key she’d found in Tom’s leather jacket. Weeks before that, she had found the link to Sandi’s webcam in her husband’s desktop computer. Tom hadn’t erased his Internet browser’s history. It was child’s play to imagine the live bedroom scenes she had shown him, child’s play to uncover his faithlessness.
And it was child’s play to put a half-kilo of plastic explosive in Sandi’s CPU tower, wired to the keyboard. Daria was careful, a first-rate schemer. Tom would enter the bedroom carrying a forged invitation from Sandi, inviting him over for a lunchtime tryst. He would see the computer, get curious—then decorate those off-pink walls with his flesh and blood. The handwritten note by the keyboard—“Type: S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E!”—ensured it.
The bedroom door opened. Daria leaned forward and stopped breathing.
Trent peered into the room, saw the computer and webcam, and ambled over.
Trent? TRENT? What the hell—?
Trent’s blue jeans filled the screen. He picked up the handwritten note by the keyboard and studied it.
After a moment, his finger tapped a key.
IMAGE CANNOT BE FOUND, said the black print on the white screen where the webcam image used to be.
“No!” gasped Daria. She pushed the Power button on the CPU tower, getting up to run and see if—
The Power button clicked twice instead of the usual once. Damn it! she thought, damn it, damn it, da—
IMAGE CANNOT BE FOUND, said the webcam screen on a computer monitor in a Miami motel. A better-than-first-rate schemer put his laptop away. He would drop it over the side of the schooner on the way to the Bahamas, with the pen he’d used to write the note to Trent. He was a widower now, but once on the schooner, Sandi would comfort him in imaginative ways.
Life was good. It was very, very good.
Shipper (Tom/Sandi), murder thriller