Prose Header

Visions of Hummus-cide

by Stephanie Scarborough

Donald sat across the table from me, stuffing his face with cheez-flavored potato chips and hummus, oblivious to the fact that I knew everything he’d been up to lately. He licked neon orange “cheez” dust off his greasy fingers. I cringed, repulsed.

“So where were you last night?” I asked. I was working my way through a vegetable stir-fry. “You came in pretty late.” And he’d reeked of booze, but he’d probably indict himself on that charge. Just give him time.

“Overtime, Carrie. Work’s been a bitch lately.” He shoveled a handful of hummus-covered chips into his pie hole. He was lying. I can see what he does late at night. I can see what a lot of people do. I don’t try to, it just comes to me. “I’m at the office till one or two in the mornin’ sometimes...”

“Is the office at Lydia Smithfield’s apartment?” Lydia’s my boss. I could see them right now. It happened three nights ago. She was standing in her bedroom doorway in a silky black nightgown. And there was Donald. Fat, greasy, and horny.

What she saw in him, I’ll never know. I sure wouldn’t hang around, except I’m legally obligated to, with us being married and all. My friends and co-workers say I should get a divorce, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Donald scowled at me. The chips were suddenly very unimportant. “What are you talkin’ about?”

“You know what I’m talkin’ about.”

His face fell apart, but that didn’t last long before he put up his tough-guy front.

“Who’ve you been talkin’ to?” His smashed his fist against the table. Chips flew everywhere.

“No one,” I said. “I didn’t need to.”

* * *

Donald spent the night on the couch. He couldn’t look at me all night after my confrontation. It was nice to have the bed to myself. He was still asleep when I left for work. Bum. I didn’t bother trying to wake him up. If he lost his job, it was his problem.

I was glad to be at work and away from the house, even if it meant being around Donald’s mistress. I’m a cook at a health food store. Lydia kept shooting me confused looks all morning — perhaps she’d spoken to Donald. Regardless, I wasn’t going to let her know that I knew. Just when I was about to leave for the day, Lydia plunked a tub of hummus on the counter in front of me.

“Hey, Carrie, can you dish this hummus out in individual containers, label them and put them out in the refrigerated display?”

“Sure,” I said. As she walked away, I got another vision. It was of Lydia, two days ago, making hummus. She sprinkled cyanide into the mixture. But it wasn’t this tub of hummus. It was the last batch. The same hummus she sent home with me yesterday. The hummus that Donald devoured with his potato chips. It was meant for me.

I didn’t need a vision to know I’d soon be talking to the police.

Copyright © 2008 by Stephanie Scarborough

Home Page