Fred was a bully who always bothered
Lenny on the way to school. Fred was four years older than Lenny. One day Lenny
told him that when he grew up he would kill him. Fred laughed and probably
didn't expect to see Lenny that night, twenty years later, when Lenny
waited for him in the alley next to his garage.
As usual, Fred got home around midnight
from his work on the second shift. He lived in a different neighborhood by then
but Lenny kept track of him because he knew it was simply a matter of when for
When Fred got out of his car, Lenny
"Hey Fred, remember little Lenny, the
kid from grammar school."
Fred said he didn't remember Lenny and
that's when Lenny swung the machete his grandfather had brought home from the
Pacific after World War II. Then he stood there and admired his work, smiled
and watched Fred's head roll a few feet like a bowling ball.
In the morning a milkman found the head
and the body and the story was in the papers for weeks as people wanted to know
who did it but Lenny couldn't tell them. They wouldn't understand that it was
simply a matter of a bully paying the price for what he had done years earlier
The only person Lenny ever told about
the murder was a girl he had spent a lot of money on, Libby. It was their first
date even though they had known each other for years. He didn't even get a kiss
good night and that bothered him but he didn't say anything.
Libby really didn't think Lenny was
telling the truth about killing some guy with a machete. He was always
exaggerating about one thing or another and Libby thought this was just another
one of his tall tales. He was probably just trying to act like a big
Lenny knew that Libby had never enjoyed
good health, living as she did with a congenital heart disease. But he was
afraid that she might some day call the cops and tell them about Fred getting
it with the machete. The cops keep good records about stuff like that.
Still concerned that Libby might tell
the cops, Lenny asked her out for a second date and when she went to the powder
room, he put a dose of strychnine in her coffee. When Libby complained about
feeling sick, he took her right home and didn't even try this time to get a
kiss good night.
Libby's mother found her dead in bed the
following morning. The family was very upset but it was not an unexpected event
what with Libby's history of poor health. The family buried her without much
ceremony after the doctor signed the death certificate. The cause of death was
listed as heart disease.
It was a year before Lenny dated anyone
else. Then he met Lorraine, a waitress at a bowling alley. He liked her and
asked her out and she said yes. After dinner and a movie and a few drinks at
Lorraine's apartment, Lenny told her all about Fred and the machete and then
about Libby and the strychnine. He loved the look in Lorraine's eyes as he
rolled the stories out. Finally Lenny finished his fourth martini, leaned over
and whispered to Lorraine,
"And now the question is, what should we
do about you."