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No Winners

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She sealed the envelope with the tip of her tongue. The last of the invitations was finally done. Vivian Duttry shuffled the cards and slipped them into her handbag. The party would be only three weeks away once she mailed the invitations. What a rush it would be. The most important three weeks of her life.
Vivian carried her handbag down to the mailboxes. She carefully slipped in each card along with a letter for James. Oh how excited he would be when he heard! It was finally happening. James would come home for sure! And maybe this time he would stay.
A smile crept over her face. She was in control. She was going to run this show. Not James, not that little s*** she called a sister. Vivian, Miss Vivian Lily Duttry. She liked the sound of that.
As she entered the mansion, Vivian heard a faint cry. Her smile retreated. She ran down the cement stairs leading to the basement. The cry sounded again. There they were; her servants, her slaves.
The youngest of them, Jacqueline, was balled up in a corner crying. She repeated “help me” over and over. Vivian marched up to the cell and opened the barred door. She yanked Jacqueline up by the collar and brought the young twerp up close to her face.
“Is there something wrong, dear?” she sneered.
The youngling whimpered. She was only nineteen, boney and timid. Her sandy blonde locks covered her gray-blue eyes. Jacqueline looked up at Vivian. “No...ma’am,” She stuttered.
Vivian had to straighten these peasants out before the party. More importantly before James returned home. Vivian raised her hand and smacked the girl on the back of her head. The hit was hard enough to make her head jerk forward.
The other peasants gasped. Honestly, she could not figure out for the life of her why they cried for someone they barely knew. It wasn’t like they’d spend much more time together anyway. Only a week after the party, max. Then she would have to dispose of them for good.
Vivian locked up the cell again and fled up the stairs. Those stupid insolent little pests didn’t understand why this had to be done. And not a clue what it meant to her. She wasn’t going to let down James again. Not this time.
The doorbell rang. She raced to answer it but before she did fixed her hair and glossed her cherry red lips. It was time to be the genuine Miss Vivian Lily Duttry that everyone knew so well. The mailman appeared behind the door. He politely explained to her that there was no address on her letter to James and how he had just happened to notice it.
James’ address is my address, she thought. But she wasn’t going to tell him that. She grabbed the scrawny boy much like she had Jacqueline and dragged him into the house. Vivian pulled out her pocket knife and wasting no time slit his throat.
“Guess I’ll have to do it myself,” she scowled and dropped his limp body. She glanced at the letter to James. “I’m sorry, honey, but look at the mess he’s made. Guess I’ll have to clean that up myself, too.”



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