Tag: Sardonic

SARDONIC: The Sardonic Grin that Robs My Sleep by G Ackman

Word Count 496

The Sardonic Grin that Robs My Sleep
by G Ackman

10:00 PM

I had chased that monster down for a decade and a half. He haunted my thoughts, robbing me of sleep, and ultimately causing my wife to leave. She got tired of me being unable to think about anything else. But the images from that early morning crime scene will never leave me. He did not deserve to be breathing the same air as the rest of us, and I made it my life’s work to make sure that he wasn’t.

He stayed one step ahead of me, just one, all the time. He deliberately remained at the periphery of my radar, leaving subtle clues, never allowing me a moment’s rest or forgetfulness. I used to think he just got sloppy there at the end and that’s how we caught him. But now I wonder if he didn’t want to get caught. Tonight, though, justice is finally going to be served. His execution is in two hours and while we’ve been here before, this time I am sure he is going to die. His appeals have been exhausted, and I know the governor. There is no way that dedicated phone line will ring in the execution chamber tonight.

Am I going to be there? Oh, you bet. I intend to watch that bastard take his last breath. Then maybe the spirits of that family will allow me to get one night’s sleep without the dreams. I’m even going to talk to him before they take him down. He asked me to “visit.”

Do I expect him to confess? To beg for forgiveness? No. That would require a human heart and I don’t think he possesses one. Not someone who could do what he did to those children, their dog, and then to….I just can’t talk about it.

1:30 AM

It’s over. It went as smoothly as anyone could expect, although something is nagging at my mind. It’s something he said to me while I stood outside his cell. His white jumpsuit underscored the paleness of his skin, the coldness of his eyes, and the reptilian shape of his face. He was calm, or at least he maintained the appearance of being calm. I neither know nor care what his internal emotions were. I hope he was tormented by the thought of lying on that gurney and watching them strap him down. I hope he worried he would burn in hell for all eternity. But there was something in what he said to me….

“Hello, detective. Looks like you won, doesn’t it? Maybe now you’ll get some rest. You look awful, if you don’t mind me saying so. No more chasing me….no more of my special brand of murder. What was it you called it? Oh, yes, a ‘gruesome display of utter inhumanity.’ Well, I’m sure you’re right. There couldn’t be two people like me, could there?” Then he gave a sardonic grin and turned away.

Two people like him? A partner? It couldn’t be….could it?

SARDONIC: Around the Bend By Sharon Collins

Word Count 494

Around the Bend
By Sharon Collins

Despite the welcome shower, Ariadne wilted. Her cheeks flushed with the evening heat, damp strawberry-blonde tendrils escaping a hasty braid, she donned a sundress the color of the Aegean, loaned by Dion’s sister. ‘What is it with this family?’ she had mused upon being introduced to Minerva. ‘Dion looks like an Greek god; his sister is more stunning than Venus herself! I look like a peasant compared to these people!’ Hesitating, she wiped her palms on the skirt of the obviously expensive sundress. She grimaced as the dampness marred its blue perfection. Momentarily she was expected to appear on the terrace of the family estate. Swallowing hard, she straightened her shoulders, slipped through the door, and took a seat next to Theo. From beneath red-gold eyelashes, charmingly vulnerable minus mascara, Ariadne squinted into the sunset and listened while Theo’s Adonis of a cousin dramatized her rescue.
The cool crystal glass in one hand and Theo’s firmly clasped in the other calmed her nerves immensely. She marveled, as the incoming tide became the foaming beakers of Poseidon’s white stallions in Dion’s version of the tale. Shaking her head to Theo’s worried glance, she squeezed his hand three times in a silent ‘I love you’. Escape impossible, they both settled in for what was sure to be a long evening. As soon as Dion finished his entertaining monologue, Ari knew she would be grilled by the assembled audience of extended family including Theo’s Aunt Helen and Uncle Hector, another set of twins who ran the family business. “Helen is Dion and Minerva’s mother,” Theo had whispered earlier, “That branch of the family got all the good-looks, but mine got all the brains,” he added with a sardonic laugh.
Three hours, seven courses, and an endless barrage of questions later, Theo led her back onto the terrace. Bathed in moonlight and the perfume of a thousand night-blooming flowers, he asked the question she had been both anticipating and dreading all evening. “Well?” Was all he said, but it was enough. She knew what he wanted.
“No, Theo, no I haven’t opened it yet.” Reaching into the pocket of her borrowed finery, she handed him the midnight blue box with the embossed labyrinth glowing silver in the moonlight. “Theo, I…” he stopped her with a finger to her lips.
“Wait, Ari, before you give me your answer, I really think you need to look at the ring. I know how hesitant you are to plan for a future. Cancer does that to a person. You learn to live in the present six-month-moment. But, I am NOT afraid to plan; we will walk this path together. Please, will you just open the box and look at the ring? … I had it designed just for us. It says everything…”
With a sigh and a smile, she did. Nestled in velvet, perfect in its golden intricacy was a miniature labyrinth holding in its very center a perfect ruby heart.

SARDONIC: Candy Cane By Nan Ressue

Word Count 282

Candy Cane
By Nan Ressue
Women have always been aware of the power of accessories when assembling their wardrobe; a long dangling necklace to emphasize the vertical body line, an ornate belt to better define a slender waist, or colorful shoes to complete the head to toe color scheme.
My newest accessory is my cane, now pressed into service as a stabilizer but secretly used as a fashion statement and a personal power stick… It is decorated top to bottom with ultra-feminine flowers and butterflies, has a curving handle to suggest female anatomy, and a padded handle to caress the user’s palm. The masculine side which is present in the steel pronged tip clamped to the lowest end which digs into icy surfaces, supplying welcome stability.
Personal uses of this lovely accessory include the ability to point out situations which might escape a companion’s attention, indicating desired but out of reach items, propping open screen doors for easy exit, nudging objects off high shelves into your waiting arms, and dragging dropped papers close enough for retrieval.
Public benefits for cane users include having complete strangers hold the door open, unsolicited offers of assistance in airports, grocery stores and parking garages,, stopping traffic on Main Street to allow safe crossing, unquestioned access to the front of most lines, and welcomed use of handicapped spaces. Younger people without canes are now willing to bring in your garbage can.
Do not flinch at the aspect of cane usage. Choose the most colorful, flamboyant specimen you can find, flaunt it proudly, use all of its accompanying benefits and enjoy your new status…
A nd so endeth this sardonic tale….

SARDONIC: The Sardonic Princess B.A. Sarvey

Word Count 499

The Sardonic Princess
B.A. Sarvey
“Who did your hair, Ella? Madame Medusa?”
“At least it’s my hair.”
“Girls! You sound like Princess Penelope of Sardonia.”
“Was her hair all tangled and snaky like Ella’s?”
“No, but her tongue was serpentine. Stop your sniping, and I shall tell you about her.
Long, long ago, far, far away, Sardonia-by-the-Sea was a shining example of all a kingdom should be.
The king and queen ruled honestly and wisely. Wisely— except where their daughter, Princess Penelope, was concerned. They doted on her from the moment she was born. Their devotion doubled daily. By the time she was twelve, with chestnut ringlets cascading to her waist, eyes like the stormy sea, dainty hands and feet she was the ideal to which all aspired. And she was charming despite being coddled, cooed over, celebrated, and feted. Then, at her thirteenth birthday party, she loudly remarked that the tiered cake would make a good castle—it was hard as rock. She smirked. Mortified guests chuckled uneasily, but when the king laughed, they all laughed and applauded her wit. Then, Penelope said the music was like a lullaby—so boring she was falling asleep. And where did the guests come from—the pig sty, by the smell! The guests laughed louder. Even her mother fell to the princess’s scathing tongue. “You have beautiful teeth—but must you show them all when you smile?”
Her birthday party became the most talked-about event of the season. So scandalous! Did you hear, she even insulted the queen! And the queen laughed! Soon, it became de rigueur to mock all and sundry, as the princess did. The more disdainful and derisive the remarks the better. Sarcasm crept into daily life like fog, slowly, subtly, wrapping its snaking tendrils around everything until courtesy and respect were obliterated.
All that year, it continued. Until the princess’s fourteenth birthday. Dignitaries arrived from neighboring kingdoms for the celebration. Handsome Prince Donnelly of Honestor was the honored guest—she was to be betrothed to him. The finest foods and entertainment were readied. Penelope was coifed, polished, perfumed.
The prince was seated. The crowd hushed to hear the insults Penelope would heap upon him. “Your beauty takes my breath away,” he told her. “Thank you, Prince Donkey. Your odor takes my breath away.” Her lips twisted mockingly. The Sardonians chortled. The visiting dignitaries coughed in embarrassment. “Is that a tablecloth you are wearing?” The Sardonians doubled over with laughter. The king and queen stopped laughing when the prince stood up, tipping his chair to the floor. “I have never been so insulted,” the prince said. “I am the best,” Penelope replied. “Perhaps you deserve a real donkey. Your Sardonic humor befits a barnyard, not a palace.”
“You misunderstand!” the king said. “Compliments like this are Sardonia’s highest praise.”
“Keep your compliments. And your daughter.” Penelope vowed she would never utter another Sardonic word, but too late—Prince Donnelly had stormed out.
“So, girls?”
“Sorry, Ella. Your hair looks nice.”
“And yours is real.”

SARDONIC: Whale Watch By Peg Scarano

Word: Sardonic
Word Count: 481

Whale Watch
By Peg Scarano

For those who have not yet experienced the adventure of cruising, let me fill you in on the highlights of a few days at sea. My husband and I just spent seven days on a cruise ship that made port in Halifax and New Brunswick, Canada and Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine. Our particular ship, the Norwegian Gem, boasted a dozen restaurants and another dozen bars. There were ice cream machines everywhere! To enhance the cruise, we purchased the beverage and dining packages. This means we did not have to confine ourselves to the two main dining rooms and 24-hour buffet. We also had access to nine specialty restaurants at no extra charge. Plus, all of our adult beverages were provided to us with just a swipe of our key card, not our credit card! Let me just say, this is the only way to sail! We did not go hungry or thirsty for seven straight days.

Seeing whales at sea has been on my bucket list for years. It just so happened that one of the excursions in Bar Harbor was a whale watch, so I signed us up for this side trip weeks in advance. Since Bar Harbor had no pier, the ship anchored in the harbor and we had to board a tender which took us ashore. This adventure took approximately an hour and did not provide us with any sort of entertainment or creature comforts as there was no food or drink available.

However, we made it and boarded our “whaler” and set out to sea with our hearts pounding with anticipation. The air in port was nearly 80 degrees, but when you are on an open ship, traveling at 30-40 knots and 20-25 miles out to sea, that 80 quickly felt more like 50 degrees. And let me just say, we saw more sea birds than I care to recall and had enough false alarms to make a fire department feel apathetic. After 2-1/2 hours of wind-blown hair and cuddling together in our shared disappointment, the ship headed back to port – adding yet another cold hour to our unsuccessful and disheartening hunt. Finally on shore and feeling the warmth of the sun again, we learned it was time to catch the last dreaded tender back to the ship. Sadly, that particular day was a bust compared to the fun-filled, satiating days prior to and following.

As we pulled into New York Harbor on the last morning, feeling sad that our adventure was coming to an end, my husband and I glanced at each other in our stateroom mirror and quickly looked away. And, as we disembarked, we couldn’t help eying our fellow Gem passengers. I gave my husband a sardonic sneer and commented, “Upon further review, I believe I can take whale watching off of my bucket list. I just have to think outside the box!”

SARDONIC: At the Lawyer’s Office By Sally Madison

Words Count 487
At the Lawyer’s Office
By Sally Madison

Prescott, in his burgundy great coat, entered the lawyer’s office with an arrogance stride. “What can I do for you, Mr. Prescott?” asked Mr. Sullivan. Dressed in his tailored blue pin-striped suit accentuated by the pointed handkerchief in his breast pocket, Sullivan stood as he reached out his hand to Prescott.
Ignoring the lawyer’s offer of a handshake, Prescott sat down and got straight to the point, “I believe you have a client who is looking to adopt a child, is this correct?”
Somewhat taken aback, Sullivan sat back down and replied, “Well, yes, how did you know?”
Prescott continued, “It doesn’t matter. My sister is about to deliver. Our parents are unaware, and we wish to keep it that way. She is willing to put the child up for adoption. I cannot guarantee a boy or girl, but I know the father and my sister, and both are healthy and beautiful people. The child should grow to be smart, as well as attractive.”
“If I should be able to arrange such an adoption, what compensation would your sister expect?” inquired Sullivan.
Prescott leaned back confidently, “I believe that $10,000 could seal the deal. As I said, I know the parents, as well as your client, so I think that would be about right.”
Mr. Sullivan’s eyes widened with surprise, as he realized what kind of a man he was dealing with. “Do you have a photo of your sister, that I can show my client?” The negative reply prompted more questions. “What features can you describe: hair, facial features, stature? Anything, that might convince my client that this is a good option, would help.
“She was.. I mean, is … a beautiful young woman of 19, light brown hair, slight in stature about 5’ 3” and a college student, studying music at Wellslley College. I mean Mount Holyoke…”, Prescott quickly corrected for fear that his story would be checked out. “The father is handsome, smart as a whip, with black hair… “, he continued describing the father.
Mr. Sullivan leaned back in his leather swivel chair, with his hands touching fingertip to fingertip, as if in prayer, thought for a few minutes, noticed that Prescott, with his smug face had just described himself completely, and replied “I would be happy to convey your message, Mr. Prescott.” Sullivan acquiesced, through his gritted teeth, hiding his indignation.
As Prescott retreated from the room, he turned back and added, “for you future information, I have another sister who is expecting in August, should you have another client interested in adoption. Maybe, we can do business, again.” Sullivan rose from his chair, replied sardonically, “Your sisters are so fortunate.”
After reflecting on the visit, Sullivan concluded, “maybe, some good will come out of it.” Upon leaving his office, he spoke to his secretary, “Miss Jones, call the Anderson’s, please. I’ll be back in a minute, need to wash my hands.”

SARDONIC: Sardonic By Anne Nassar

Word Count: 492
By Anne Nassar
They were descended from Polish royalty, or so her mother always said. But she said it with her customary sardonic smile, so Anna couldn’t tell if she was serious or not.If in fact, they were of royal blood, they had certainly disgraced it. They lived like pigs, in filth and squalor. Their attic had been colonized by birds and bats. Their cellar was full of mice. The humans could only use the three ground level rooms, and there were eleven of them. There was no point in trying to clean, or be clean, not when there were dirty, bad smelling people all around you.
Anna wanted many things: more food, money, boots, a hat…but more than anything, she wanted to be alone. She wanted to live all alone in her own house. She imagined her siblings knocking on her fancy door, and her servant turning them away. She did not feel at all guilty about this recurrent fantasy, until her siblings began to die. Of the nine children in the family, six died of influenza. Her mother was considered lucky. Some families lost all of their children.
One such family was the Ciembrowskis. They lived in the “Big House” – the best house in town, an elegant three story mansion made of brick. Mr. Ciembrowski owned a grist mill. They had nothing to do with Anna’s family, and it was no wonder. Anna was not even fit to be their maid, or so her mother said. Yet, Anna was sent for.
Anna walked to the Big House, trembling, cheeks burning, trying to keep her head up. She wondered if, upon arriving, she would be turned away, if there was a misunderstanding. But she was shown to the parlor.
Mrs. Ciembrowski was seated in a tall backed chair, wearing a beautiful dress. Her hair was clean and piled up in shining waves on top of her head. But her face was grey, and her lips were bluish and the skin around her eyes was black. Her teeth could be seen through her sunken cheeks. Anna, she said, did you know that we are related?
Anna knew that a response was expected, but she had no idea what. She froze.Mrs. Ciembrowski politely moved on. My daughter Mary has died. We were going to send her to America, to keep her safe from this disease, but we waited too long. She sat back and nodded, and Anna understood that she was to approach.
Mrs. Ciembrowski handed her a piece of paper, and said, you are to go to America in her place. In order to use the ticket that was purchased, you must pretend to be Mary Ciembrowski. That is your name now.And so Anna became Mary. She never told anyone her real name, until it was time to die, and then she only told Tessa, and only because she saw that Tessa had begun to change into someone new. It could be done, she knew.