The Surprise Party

This is another piece of Flash Fiction written for Flash Fiction Friday. I don’t like parties. It probably shows. I’ve never tried to write anything from the perspective of a woman so this was hard for me and I’m not sure if I have actually made it sound like a woman and mother.

Prompt: Write a story about planning a surprise party, and let us know the outcome. Make sure you share with us how it turns out not only for the ‘surpris-ee‘, but for the ‘surpris-er’ as well.

Genre: Open

Word Limit: 1,500 words

Deadline: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:00pm CT


Most surprise parties lose their edge because the person the party is being held for knows it is coming. The clever party planner ensures there is some aspect of the party the is unexpected and sure to surprise. The theme for this party was going to be Murder on the Orient Express. It was a lot more literal than one may expect. Why did I do this for my husband’s birthday?

Being a single mother is tough, the whispers and snide looks that follow you. The constant feeling of having to be better than anybody else just to prove that you are not a burden on the system. Most men see this as an invitation for a one night stand. After all we must be “gagging for it”. The prospect of a small boy hanging around seems to scare most away. So when Charlie showed an interest in me and my precious little Marky I was over-the-moon. There was no pressure for sex, eventually I had to make the first move. I assumed it was just shyness and respect and I loved him for it. I probably should have known better but I was in love. Charlie was an orphan with no family and had only just moved down south from Yorkshire. There is something so disarming and trustworthy in the voice of a Yorkshire man. No baggage and no obvious flaws. A keeper was how my friends described him.

The first few months of being with Charlie were probably the best in my life. Then I started to get a nagging feeling that something just wasn’t quite right. At first I thought it was just jealousy that Charlie was spending so much time with Marky, but it wasn’t just that. The way he showed affection towards me never felt as intense as what I could see when he spent time with Marky. That’s when I decided to do a little digging in to Charlie’s background. Charlie didn’t exist. Everything he’d told me was a lie. Everything except for the town he lived in. That’s when I saw his picture in a local paper and my heart broke. I was sickened, repulsed and scared. I made up a story to get Marky to spend a week with my mum so that I could work out what to do. That’s when I found the forum. A place for victims. Each board in the forum had a name. The name of an abuser. A destroyer of innocence. Alongside each name was a picture. Charlie’s picture was there. Except his name wasn’t Charlie. It was Gregory Charles Mainwright III. I was sick right there at my desk. I ran to the bathroom with my bin in hand.

I sat shaking in the shower for an hour before I could bear to get up again. I had to look, to find out more. To see what might have been if I was just a little bit less paranoid. I started with the oldest posts. They mostly consisted of parents saying that their child had been abused by this person. A few went in to the horrible details that their children had been subjected to. My heart broke. I phone mum and arranged for her to look after Marky for a few days whilst I sorted out some issues at home. She picked him up half an hour later and I wondered what I should do. I went back to the forum and started reading the latest posts. One of them was asking if they had any idea where Gregory Charles Mainwright III was now. I didn’t want to openly post so I registered and sent a private message to the author of the post saying that I knew where he was. That was the start of the conversation:

SallyB: I know where Gregory Charles Mainwright III is living.

Margie67: How? Who are you?

SallyB: At the moment I am the a heartbroken mother wondering who my partner really is.

Margie67: OMG!!!! You mean you live with a monster? Do you have any children?

SallyB: I have one boy who I’ve just sent away to his nan’s house for a few days whilst I find out what is going on. I still have trouble believing he is who this forum says he is.

Margie67: Go look at the Harrogate Herald from the 25th April ten years ago. It has a long piece on the crimes and the trial.

I used my Google-fu to find the article in question. It was devastating. I could feel it as a knot in my stomach that was twisting and tightening the more I read.

SallyB: I’m really sorry about what he did to your boy. I’m fairly certain he hasn’t touched my Marky yet, but I don’t know how I can keep him away.

Margie67: There is a way…

SallyB: How?

Margie67: We make sure he can’t hurt anybody ever again. Some of us have discussed this and have an idea.

SallyB: Are you talking about killing him?

Margie67: Do you want to know the answer to that question? If we tell you then you are an accessory before the fact. If on the other hand we just ask you to arrange a meeting between us then you have not broken any laws.

SallyB: You are right. There is only one way I can be sure that he will not hurt marky.

Margie67: So here’s the plan.

That was it. I was committed. Margie and her friends would never come to terms with allowing their children to be abused unless they could take some action themselves. The plan was both simple and yet subtle at the same time. My part in the plan was simple. Charlie had a birthday in a couple of days. He had a passion for steam trains so I booked out a train for a private party. All I had to do was get him there in a pliable state. The Rohypnol and ketamine solution that arrived by special delivery the next day would help me with that. Meanwhile Margie and her friends were decorating the train carriage. I say decorate but what I really mean is that they covered every single surface with a double lining of plastic sheeting.

I delivered Charlie in a seemingly inebriated state to the train. What happened after that I’m not entirely sure because the results of ten years imagining your revenge on a child molester is best left to those that can actually relate. I’m fairly sure of where Charlie is now by the postcard of a land fill site that I received in the mail a couple of weeks later. I told my friends and family that we had a massive argument and that Charlie would not be around anymore. They all said it was a shame because he was such a nice man. I cried.