Best Friend


GO here first:

Millicent Stingley rapped her peach-colored nails on the private plane’s arm rests. Craning her neck around the seat, she saw her friend, Pauley, stumble from the bathroom. The plane’s flight attendant was ignoring her so Millicent swallowed her anger, removed a twenty-dollar bill from the left cup of her bra, then displayed it to catch the woman’s attention. The petite redhead of about thirty-years-old rose and walked toward Millicent. She faked a grin, which infuriated Millicent more. She remembered the woman’s name was Cassandra.

“Cassie, can you be a dear and bring my friend and I two extra pillows, her a ginger ale with lime, some crackers, and me an whiskey sour, stiff, on the rocks.”

Cassandra snatched the twenty from Millicent and sighed like a teenaged girl as she passed by Pauley in the aisle. Pauley chuckled to herself as she squeezed past Millicent and retook her window seat after turning on the air fan above her.

“Making a new best friend, Millie?”

Millicent closed her eyes and tasted the bile in her throat. She exhaled from a deep breath and drawled.

“I only need one, Paulette. And you will do. So, how far along are you?”

Pauley frowned and knew her third trip to the plane’s bathroom since takeoff, flush cheeks and pale countenance made her look stupid for not talking more about her pregnancy news to Millicent.

“Not long, maybe 8 weeks, 9 at the most.”

Millicent leaned forward, grabbed the black ink pen and notepad in the seat pocket and jotted down information.

“When we get to Morocco, I’ll put together a remedy for the nausea, and a sleeping pill. Then we’ll go shopping for baby things. This child has to look good at all times in public.”

Pauley laughed and touched Millicent’s right arm. She knew arguing with her was pointless.

“I’ll be fine, Millie. I know you’re probably pissed I didn’t tell you right away. We had a lot to do in Brazil and I had to tell the father first. Oh and Lenore, I think. Shit, sorry about that.”

Millicent rolled her eyes and finished writing her materials list and formulas. Cassandra returned with Millicent’s order. Pauley shook her head and dropped her tray to hold the ginger ale and crackers. Millicent sipped her whiskey.

“Pauley, there’s a handwritten letter in your carry on bag. It’s for Arthur. Make sure he gets it. It’s the last time I’m making contact with him. I’ve got all the family I need in this plane. Also, I’ll have a list of proper baby names done before we land.”

Pauley smiled and felt her stomach settle.

The plane landed in Casablanca, Morocco several hours later. Millicent tracked down a cab while Pauley checked in with Stan by cell phone. Digging in her handbag for extra cash, Millicent felt a couple of the cyanide pills she’d created in Brazil. A wave of paranoia washed over her. Was this the last she’d see of her only true friend? Swallowing the off-white capsule was an option. She shook off the thought and paid the driver. Using the French Pauley had told her would work in Morocco, she cooed the instructions.

“Portez-nous à Alfirdaouss et utilisez l’itinéraire de centre-ville.”

Millicent was still staring at the pill when Pauley showed up.

“You okay, Auntie Millie?”

Millicent slid into the backseat of the cab.

“Yes, but that’s isn’t going to do. I like Aunt M, like James Bond’s boss, but cuter.”

Pauley laughed as the cab away from the airport into traffic.

The women reached their desired apartment district. As they shopped a nearby open market, Pauley saw a familiar cafe.

“Come on, let’s get some Moroccan blend!”

The sun beamed over their shoulders as Millicent prepared to pay for their cups. The cyanide pill from earlier dropped from her handbag as she removed money. Millicent handed the cash to the merchant.

“Merci, gardez le changement.”

Pauley sipped her coffee and glared at Millicent who stared at the cyanide. Without saying anything, Millicent took her three-inch heel and stomped the capsule until it was dust on the pavement. The women looked away from each other in silence. Millicent sidled up to her friend.

“Don’t worry, Paulette. When you need me, I’ll make more.”

The women turned and walked side by side into the Casablanca sun.


This is the season finale of mine and Tara aka @Tara_R ‘s Brazilian sequel to Dead Money, our serialized story about female killers Millicent and Pauley.

Please go see Tara’s chapter first at

Today’s song belongs to Weezer. They’re all about irony and weirdness, just like MIllicent and Pauley. Thank you for reading. Tara and I have so much fun writing these stories. Here’s Best Friend.

Machine Gun Blues


Go see this chapter first:

Vivian was dead. She knew it and all that was left was her funeral. Four people stood in the living room and she held a laugh at the inappropriate name of the space. Tomas finished twitching and his lips had turned blue. The cyanide was eating his nervous system. The other two henchman were comatose with bullets sealing their fate. The last moment of Vivian’s existence showed in the warm, shaking hand on her arm from her only friend, Pauley. Then Pauley let go to check on her boyfriend, Stan. Now, Vivian was gone to.

Vivian Alves arrived Sao Paulo, Brazil less than a year earlier without a chance to survive. Millicent Stingley always had enough money. Vivian Alves had enough to find a place to live and buy a small business out of foreclosure. Vivian overreached, took money from Tomas and his Sampas criminal organization, and the results of her failed second life were strewn about the house.

Pauley was emotional, more so than Millicent had ever seen her. Small tears formed inside her Pauley’s eyes as she thanked her for saving Stan and killing Tomas. Lenore followed Stan into the kitchen. Pauley and Millicent were several steps behind.

“Vivian, I don’t give you enough credit. But that was….”

Millicent cringed at Pauley’s weak moment, appreciated the admiration, and squeezed Pauley’s nervous hand.

“It’s what friends do, Paulette. Well, friends like us. And don’t call me Vivian anymore. I think you understand.”

Pauley tried to smile, but seemed too exhausted. She let go of Millicent and walked into the kitchen and sat next to Stan, grasping his left arm.

Millicent remained standing and wrestled control of the scene from Stan.

“I don’t need a lecture. I took care of the problem I created. All that remains is a fire, a big damn fire, to turn the Brazilian episode of my life into ash. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time around you gun people, but let me machine gun the rest of this job and take Lenore with me to America. You’ll love San Francisco, Lenore. ”

Stan let out a giant sigh and crossed his arms. Pauley squeezed his shoulder and jumped into the conversation.

“Millicent, you can’t go back to the U.S. and you know that. But I think Stan has an idea for Lenore.”

Lenore turned her back to Millicent and leaned into the enterprising couple with the Northeastern accents that fascinated her. She’d dreamed of New York City as a child when her cousin mentioned moving there.

“Mister Stan, Miss Pauley, I can take care of your house.”

Stan let go of an uncomfortable smile and answered.

“I need something more than that Lenore. You are a hell of a shot, you follow direction and have nerves of steel. I think you could do more than clean up and cook.”

Lenore shook her head yes like an energized puppy. Millicent turned and walked toward the basement. She stepped over Tomas’ lifelessness and opened the door to walk downstairs. Next to the lawnmower was a five gallon can of gasoline and garden gloves. She slipped on the gloves and grabbed the gas. By the time she walked up the steps, Pauley was in the doorway shaking her head.

“Millicent is definitely back. Only she would be disgusted by a little gas on her hands.”

Millicent smiled and scooted past her friend. Lenore and Stan stayed in the kitchen going over details of Lenore’s new life. Millicent placed the gas can next to the couch, took off the gloves, and straightened her blouse and hair in a vanity.

“Tell me more your time in Morocco, Paulette. They don’t have an extradition treaty with the United States. But do they have good shopping?

*****blogger’s note****

These are two new chapters of the Brazilian Sequel to Dead Money, the series my friend and writing partner, Tara aka @Tara_R are writing. Go see her chapter first and hang out and read her amazing writing.

Here’s Social Distortion with Machine Gun Blues.



Go Here First:

One of the features of the hacienda style house  that Vivian fell for was the front porch. It was raised with an area underneath protected by white latticed wood. It reminded her of her grandparents summer home in Savannah, Georgia. As a child she would crawl under the steps, then work her way to the five foot trellis and looks through the holes in the lattice undetected. Her mother would punish her for sullying her dresses from the dirt and grime of the crawl.

There was no time to change clothes and less tim to worry about the claustrophobic fit of two grown women under the steps until they found their way to the trellis fifteen feet away. Neither woman spoke, Vivian pointed to the tiny space under the first step then adjusted her bra, which held three syringes of death.

Danela went first, squeezing her medium height, but slender figure under the wood. She grumbled her frustration in Portuguese. Vivian looked around and heard the sounds of Tomas and his henchmen stomping through her house. Taller and curvier than Danela, Vivian took in a deep breath and fit her 5’7″ 157 pound frame under the step. It took her twice as long to get inside the crawl space and she suffered a brief moment of anxiety that she was stuck.

The boots of Tomas and his two Sampas sounded like violent Thunder. Vivian saw the terror in Danela’s eyes, so she hid her own by mouthing.

“Shut up.”

Two to three minutes passed during which, Vivian rechecked the contents and functionality of the syringes she placed back inside her bra strap. Danela slid her left arm under Vivian’s right. Vivian rolled her eyes at her young damsel in distress and cursed in English.

“Damn it Paulette. You and your boyfriend better hurry the hell up.”

Tomas was screaming through the house in English.

“Come out, Millicent! Face me, bitch! Killer to killer!”

Using her real name and taunting her was working. Vivian wanted to go back to Millicent and go at him herself when the trellis rattled and a familiar voice emerged through a whisper.

“Vivian, it’s Stan. I’m going to remove the lattice. You and Danela head to the car. We’ll go after Tomas.”

Vivian ignored the last sentence and stepped away as Stan took down the wood fixture, creating an escape route for her and Danela. Vivian pushed Danela toward the car and announced.

“Tomas is mine, Stan. You take Danela away.”

Stan grimaced then stood his ground.

“No, Vivian. I won’t be bullied, here. Now go to the car, you’re wasting time.”

Stan turned away from Vivian. Danela ran toward the rental car. He walked around to the front of the house, brandishing his gun. Vivian waited for him to be several feet away then she jogged to the opposite end of the house.

Shots popped around the property. Vivian heard two thumps and assumed that Pauley or Lenore had killed the Sampan henchmen. She slipped inside the kitchen and heard Stan confront Tomas. Vivian peered around the kitchen door  and watched the men exchanged shots. Tomas was injured in one of his shoulders. Stan’s gun jammed and Tomas stood near with his 9MM Beretta raised. Vivian was less than ten feet from Tomas legs. She removed a syringe from her bra and dove for his left knee. The needle pricked through his jeans but her hand fell away from the plunger. Tomas turned and glared at the needle and then at Vivian. His left shoulder slumped from the rest of his body. Vivian stood, then leaped at the shoulder, overpowering Tomas and they wrestled on her living room floor next to the couch. She dug her nails into his injury and he cried out in pain.

Stan pulled a hand gun from his waist, removed the safety and cocked the trigger when Vivian yelled.

“I said he’s mine, damn it!”

Tomas’ dark, violent eyes recessed as Vivian removed another syringe and jabbed it into Tomas’ neck, her thumb delivered his fate as the clear acidified cyanide filled his vein.

******blogger’s note*****

This is my portion of two new chapters of female killers Millicent/Vivian and Pauley in brazil, co-written with my writing partner and close friend, Tara aka @Tara_R. read hers’ first, she’s amazing.

It’s also a nod to my friend Donetta aka Netta and her “Bully” prompt”

Here’s the perfect song for this chapter, Bully, by Shinedown.



Read this first, from Tara:

Vivian was used to sweating every time she walked through her front door. But she didn’t like it. With her house sitting one hundred yards off an unpaved road, she’d usually have a taxi drop her off, then walk through a few hundred feet of woods till she reached the front door. This gave her privacy.

Marco was injured from Lenore’s interrogation and Danela was a quivering puddle of nerves. Vivian decided the long walk wasn’t worth any more hardship so she instructed the driver to pull through the woods to the gravel driveway and deliver them a few feet from the front door. Vivian figured she and Lenore could kill anyone who showed up with bad intentions. Marco hugged a whimpering Danela in the backseat. Vivian rolled her eyes and wished them dead. She barked to the driver.

“Aqui é o dobro da tarifa. Ninguém nesta assembleia ou seus três passageiros.”

They exited the taxi. Marco stumbled then yelled through pain.

“Eu preciso o médico!”

Vivian glared at him and at Danela. She caught Danela’s small, dark eyes looking at the driver as he pulled away. Vivian could see the driver holding a cell phone to his left ear. She unlocked the front door and everyone walked into the living room. As Danela sat on the couch, an unattended Marco closed his eyes and tried to stretch. Vivian pulled a syringe from handbag, stared at largest artery in Marco’s neck then pounced. Danela screamed.

“Vivian, no! We’re helping you now!”

Marco grabbed Vivian’s arms but the tip of the needle found his vein. Vivian smiled at the weakened man.

“You said the doctor, Marco not a doctor! I know the accent, you stupid piece of shit!”

Marco took one hand off Vivian and attempted to pull the syringe from his neck. Vivian leaped and hit Marco’s right hand which activated the plunger. At least half of the contents flowed into his bloodstream.

“It’s Fugu, Marco. The best poison for torture. In less than a minute you’ll be paralyzed. In less than two minutes You’ll be unable to speak. With as much sedative still inside of you from earlier today, you’re hopeless. So tell me, who’s “the doctor?”

Danela jumped at Vivian but Vivian moved and the young woman fell to the floor next to her boyfriend. Marco whispered.

“Tomas, head of Sampas. He the doctor. Code. Now, no one lives.”

Vivian crawled to her bag and pulled out her phone. While she dialed Pauley’s number, Danela begged.

“Vivian, please. I didn’t know this! We want to live, please!”

Vivian stood and stepped away from the pair. She watched Marco’s extremities deaden. Vivian calmed.

“Take out the syringe, Danela. I’ll kill him later if I can convince my group it’s best. If you want to live you’ll sit there and do what I say.”

Danela shook her head in agreement and pulled the syringe from Marco’s neck. Vivian’s call went to voice mail. She answered Lenore calling on the other line.

“Please tell me we’re doing plan B, Lenore. I’m sick of all of this.”

Vivian listened as Lenore told her what happened and that Tomas was alive. She seethed to the point that her knees buckled. She knelt on her living room floor.

“Fine, Lenore. Tell the gang that couldn’t shoot straight I’ll take care of everything.”

She hung up without saying goodbye and stared at Danela.

“Ask Marco how long until Tomas will be here. He should be able to say a word or two.”

Danela leaned over her boyfriend and traded murmurs.

Vivian swallowed the bile in her throat and anger moved through her body. She stood and folded her arms to wait for Danela’s answer.

“Vivian, only said “now”. Tomas should be here, now.”

******blogger’s note******

Have you read the book? Get your copy of The Ballad of Helene Troy on Amazon Kindle. Also available in paperback at

These are two brand new chapters of Millicent/Vivian and Pauley, mine and @Tara_R aka Tara’s female kilelrs currently in Brazil.

Today’s song is one I’ve used before, from Veruca Salt.

Here’s Veruca Salt with Seether:

The Dead Heart


Read this first, from Tara:

Morning had crept into afternoon in Sao Paulo. Mid day sun tanned Vivian’s face as she stood in front of her normal looking dress shop texting Pauly.

“I’m starving. Stop by the cafe and get some sandwiches. Get soup for Marco. Lenore was a little too awesome.”

A man in his early thirties wearing a tailored suit walked out of Giani’s cigar store. Vivian caught his dark eyes admiring her tall, curvy figure. She shot him a sly smile, turned, and strutted inside her boutique.

Lenore called her name from the backroom. Vivian locked the front door and turned the sign to closed. She began talking before reaching the backroom.

“I ordered some food. Pauley likes to eat as much as I do….”

The scene in her shop’s secondary room halted her speech. Blood was on the sewing table. Vivian looked at the three other people in the room. Danela was whimpering but sitting several feet away, unharmed. A bruised Marco was next to Danela held his hands in front of his body, tied together with knotted electrical cord. Lenore was using the last of the shop’s towels to apply pressure on her exposed stomach. A two-inch gash to the right of her belly button was the reason for the mess. Vivian glared at Marco and Danela.

“What did you two do to Lenore?”

Lenore interrupted the speedy Portugese running from their mouths. Vivian opened the refrigerator and took out distilled water. She scooped up needle and thread from a counter nearby as Lenore explained.

“It’s my fault, Miss Vivian. Marco, he was just being wise. He got the boxing knife and try to get loose. I cut myself getting the knife away. Very stupid. I;m sorry.”

Lenore had done the bulk of the work that morning as Vivian maintained the shop’s heavier than usual customer flow. Vivian just wanted to kill the young, high-maintance couple and get on with her life. She put the water, thread and needles next to Lenore and walked to her handbag to remove a syringe.

“Lenore, lie on the floor, that will slow the blood. Danela, it’s time for you to do something productive. You sew as well as I do. Clean the wound, then close the cut with the nude thread.”

Danela stood frozen, as if she were in ice. Marco was shaking his head and saying “no” to his girlfriend. Vivian slinked behind Marco and stuck a syringe in the back of his neck above his shoulder blades but didn’t press the plunger. She addressed the room.

“Marco has liquid cyanide two inches from his bloodstream. I push that into him, he’s dead, Danela. I have one for you in my bag, too. But the rest of my group of friends, including Lenore, thinks you should live. And this is how you treat her? Sew her up sweet Danela, because I’m starving and thoroughly sick of two people I don’t need in mine and Lenore’s very busy lives.”

Vivian leaned against the steel counter and watched as Danela begin her duties. Lenore looked up at Vivian and the two women exchanged head nods of respects and mouthed “thank yous” to each other.

Vivian texted the dramatic scene to Pauley and enjoyed her return to form.

******blogger’s note*******

welcome back to 2 new chapters of your favorite female killers, Vivian and Pauley, in Brazil. Please read my friend Tara aka @Tara_R ‘s chapter first.

Also check out my new book, The Ballad of Helene Troy on Amazon/Kindle, Goodreads, Smashwords, and in paperback on or you can order one from the back of my car.


Here’s one of my favorite bands, Midnight Oil, with The Dead Heart.

Great Expectations


Read this one first, from Tara:

It may have been the bright Sao Paulo sun beaming into the dress shop or perhaps she’d licked some of the sedative that ran through Danela’s bloodstream off her guilty fingers, but Vivian was reflective. She watched the last of the morning new floral print rush walk out the door. Earlier she’d turned up a Brazilian rock station that played American bands to drown out what Lenore was doing to Marco in the backroom. The guitars soared and the singer growled lyrics about missed opportunities and mistakes made. Vivian understood that the life she forged in Brazil was temporary. Her choices as Millicent Stingley in the United States would always catch up with her. She couldn’t out run her past, because her past would never stop running.

Vivian grabbed her phone off the counter, behind the register and started composing a text to Pauley.

“Let’s call the whole thing off and go back to…”

Lenore’s voice carried over the music.

“¡señorita Vivian, usted tiene que ver este!”

The time on her phone displayed 11:41 am. She erased her text and jogged to the backroom. Lenore held Danela’s phone. Marco held Danela, who was waking from her Vivian induced drug haze.

Lenore turned the phone in her roughened fingers and Vivian saw the picture. A man, young and favoring Danela in looks, was sprawled over a metal prison bed, while blood was pooled around his torso. Vivian assumed it was Artur, Danela’s brother, and that he was dead.

Marco murmured curse words in Portuguese toward Vivian and Lenore. The women nodded to each other and Lenore slid the phone across the table so that it landed within inches of Danela’s eye line. She cried out. The still loopy raven-haired college girl cried out.

“No! No! No!”

Lenore reached out to her and Marco sneered while Danela moved away from her and into Marco’s embrace. Her weeping overwhelmed the room. Lenore walked toward her friend, leaned into her hooped earring right ear and spoke.

“I have everything, Vivian. We don’t even need them. Plan A or B?”

While they’d sipped coffee and waited for Pauley, Stan, and Danela to awaken, Vivian and Lenore had devised three scenarios. Plan A was to take the young couple back to their house, let Stan find them new identities and a place to run away. Plan B was to kill them and leave them on the front step of the Sampas stash house. Vivian leaned into her friend, pulled strands of sweat drenched hair from Lenore’s face and looked at gang tattoos on Lenore’s arms.

“How did running away from your past work for you, Lenore?”

Lenore looked down at the gun in her right hand and then up at Vivian’s cold, expressionless face.

“Señorita vivian, no estoy listo a morir y ninguno es estos dos.”

Vivian wasn’t surprised by her answer. No one is ever really ready to die. She hit two buttons on her phone and listened to the ring. Pauley answered.

“Hey there, Viv.”

Vivian collected her thoughts, sighed, then played the part.

“Danela’s brother was killed in prison this morning. We need Stan’s skills to get them out of here. I’m closing the shop for lunch. Meet us at the cafe. And do me a favor. Make sure Danela’s new name is Estella. She deserves that, I think.”

Singing a line from the song she heard on Brazilian radio earlier, “we had the greatest of expectations”, Vivian hung up the phone and walked to the front of the store and turned the sign to closed.

****blogger’s note****

These are 2 new chapters on mine and my writing partner Tara aka @Tara_R’s ongoing sequel to Dead Money, about our female killers, Vivian/Millicent and Pauley. Please read Tara’s first, then mine.

Today’s song is my afterglow from a great rock show I saw last night at the Masquerade in Atlanta. In the prime of their career, New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem gave a terrific performance and this song has the audience screaming. “It’s like Bruce Springsteen had a baby with punk rock” is how my friend Lisa describes Gaslight Anthem. Perfect. Here’s Great Expectations. The lyrics even match the story, kind of.

I’m Not An Angel


2 NEW CHAPTERS – read Tara’s first then mine:

Mrs. Cardoso picked up her sequined skirts and her Buraco card game partner Mrs. Fernandes bought fabric and a sundress. Vivian pretended to care about their small-talk while a sewing machine running in the backroom drowned out Lenore’s brutal work.

The two forty-five-year-old Brazilian trophy housewives waved goodbye. Vivian suppressed an eye-roll and returned the hand gesture. The front door closed with a thud. Vivian stepped into the back room to see Lenore removing the electrical cord that had tied Marco and Danela to the main sewing table. Vivian turned off the sewing machine to listen for customers. Danela was slumped in a chair with her head on the sewing table, sleeping like a teenager in a high school algebra class. Vivian winced at the sight of Danela.

“Damn it, I put too much sulfate in her dose. She was only supposed to be out for a few minutes.”

Lenore pulled the gun Stan had given her from her pantsuit front pocket and held the barrel inches from Marco’s head.

“It’s okay, Vivian. More I threaten Danela, more Marco talk. He’s going to write down the Sampas stash house directions and phone number to middleman.”

Vivian smiled. She thought about her second day in Brazil, meeting Lenore at the Peruze market as she tried to con a merchant out of a basket of fruit and a few dollars.

“Put the gun away, Lenore. We aren’t Pauley or Stan or Tomas. We have other means.”

Marco and Lenore stared at each other. Lenore lowered the weapon but didn’t reholster. She pointed to the notepad next to Danela’s lifeless, tan arms. He sat down in the second chair and snarled.

“jódale. Los Tomas le matan hembras.”

Lenore hit Marco with a sharp blow from the palm of her right hand. His head bounced off the table and his eyes rolled back. Lenore hissed in his ear.

“haga cuando le dicen o la próxima vez será una bala.”

Vivian smirked and stared at Marco. He looked away from the deep-set chocolate eyes lasered on him.

“Marco, the next time you call us bitches, she shoots you in your tiny balls. Now, if you and your girlie want to live past today, you’ll write, shut your scummy mouth, and do as you’re told. There are no angels in this room, Marco, not even sweet Danela.”

The tinny sound of the bell on the front door caused Vivian to stand up straight, smooth out the creases of her dress, and hit the on button of the sewing machine. She caught Lenore’s eye line and mouthed “don’t stop until you get everything.” Lenore nodded “yes”, and held the gun barrel to the back of Marco’s head as he wrote out the information. Danela started to stir in her chair. Her small hands danced into knotted electrical chord. Vivian grabbed syringe from her handbag a few feet away. She pushed the plunger so that some of the contents squirted to the floor. Then shot the remaining liquid into the right side of Danela’s bruised neck. Vivian removed the syringe and hid it inside her bra. She grabbed a shop towel off a nearby counter, knelt down and wiped the liquid she’d squirted. With poise, she returned the towel, turned and walked to the customer in front of the store.

*****blogger’s Note*****

Female killers Vivian and Pauley in Brazil, time, y’all. This is my chapter. Go read Tara aka @Tara_R’s chapter at her place, Thin Spiral Notebook.

Today’s song fits the story perfectly and it’s something Vivian would listen to, heck it may be her anthem. Here’s Halestorm with I’m Not An Angel.