Hollywood's affinity for remaking old movies is widely known, read and see if you recognize my remake with a twist. Hope you enjoy my flash fiction story.
Tessa eased into the overstuffed chair, strategically half-hidden behind the curtains in front of the picture window. She ached from hours spent at the computer putting the finishing touches on her murder mystery novel, a sequel to her first publication. Years of hard work had finally paid off.
Gazing out of the second story window, Tessa watched as evening invaded the sky. She slanted her head into the curtains, dust tickled her nose. The glass overlooked a garden court which connected two low-rise buildings. Temperate currents shifted the cotton curtains bringing with them varied sounds of apartment dwellers.
Tessa craned her neck to see Lorraine Polk’s terrier digging in Mrs. Birken’s flower patch.
“Shoo,” Mrs. Birken yelled at the dog waving her arms. She was leaning out of her first floor window. “Lorraine get your damn dog out of my garden!” She screamed. “Next time I see your dog digging in my flowers I’m gonna strangle it!”
Lorraine’s second floor window slid open and she leaned out. “Elvira, you old coot. Leave my dog alone.”
Tessa could easily see Lorraine breeze through her apartment door. Seconds later she was on the outside porch calling her dog. With the terrier in her arms, she turned to see Elvira glaring from the glass. Lorraine’s hand signal was evident, Tessa snickered.
As darkness reigned, showers of light spilled from dozens of rectangular windows banding the courtyard with an insipid glow. Tessa sat in semi-darkness, happy to gather intrigue for her next novel by viewing her neighbors. Peeling her eyes from the scene, she took inventory of the end table beside her.
Tessa smiled. Before departing, her assistant had supplied her with a hot cup of tea still furling with white steam and a plate of cookies. Just within reach were her father’s spy glasses. She stretched her body sideways and gripped the leather case with shaky hands.
Tessa’s fingers fumbled with the bindings on the binoculars. She held the lenses to her eyes and checked on the Rusoff’s apartment, three windows to the right of Polk’s. The Rusoff’s had the propensity of sleeping with the curtain’s open, and Evie liked to read in bed well into the night. Last week, Tessa’s heart skipped a beat when she spied Evie reading her newly released novel, The Boning Knife. Truthfully, Tessa felt sorry for the miserable, quarrelsome couple. Their apartment had been silent for days; Evie was presumably out of town for some undisclosed reason.
As usual, Adolph Rusoff was at the kitchen table sharpening his cache of lethal looking knives. His face twisted, he seemed to relish the gleaming metal as he sliced through the meat bone without resistance. Tessa shuddered. Focusing the binoculars, Tessa observed a book on the table in front of Adolph, it was The Boning Knife.
She should be thanking Adolph and his thick Russian accent; The Boning Knife was fictionally based on the Rusoff’s. Tessa had spun a grisly tale: A Russian Immigrant married a heinous girl for convenience. Enduring two years of a wretched relationship the Russian had disposed of his wife. Utilizing the bathtub, the Russian butchered her into tiny sections, and progressively stuffed body parts into the food disposal. After meticulously grinding up her bones, he’d buried the shards into the garden.
Tessa noticed a light switch on in the corner apartment. Her binocular eyes eagerly looped to Hogan Black. Hogan ripped off his tie, shirt, and unbuckled his belt and let his trousers drop to the floor, blue boxers hugged his tight rump. Tessa breathed heavily. Her lancing gaze adhered to the defined specimen strutting to his weight machine. Hogan’s tendency to work-out on a daily basis was a precious gift for Tessa.
One day she’d met him in the courtyard. Hogan was amiable and ruggedly handsome and Tessa had fallen madly in love. A low purr rumbled in her throat as she watched him. Her nights were filled with dreams of Hogan.
Thinking of dreams, Tessa yawned. She was exhausted.
She scanned over to the Rusoff’s apartment. It was pitch dark and the bedroom curtains were uncharacteristically closed. A flash attracted Tessa’s eyes to their kitchen window. A flaming match glinted off Adolph’s wire-rimmed glasses. He was sitting at the table lighting a cigarette. He was smiling in her direction. She flinched and dropped the binoculars.
Tessa’s arthritic hands groped nervously for her metal walker. With great exertion, she lugged upward and hobbled her withered bones to bed.