Deadly Housewivesby Christine Matthews
In the expert hands of fourteen unsurpassed storytellers, being a housewife takes on a whole new meaning. Get ready for a lethal mix of meddling mothers-in-law, creepy neighbors, cheating husbands, fickle female friends, careers left behind, out-of-control kids,/p>/strong>/center>
In the expert hands of fourteen unsurpassed storytellers, being a housewife takes on a whole new meaning. Get ready for a lethal mix of meddling mothers-in-law, creepy neighbors, cheating husbands, fickle female friends, careers left behind, out-of-control kids, steamy sex, and much, much more in this thrilling collection of never-before-published stories! Go behind the lace curtains and PTA smiles to explore the often mind-numbing reality of being a housewife. You'll laugh, you'll scream, you'll recognize yourself or your best friend in each of these deadly situations.
Join Nevada Barr, Barbara Collins, Carole Nelson Douglas, Eileen Dreyer, Vicki Hendricks, Suzann Ledbetter, Elizabeth Massie, Christine Matthews, Denise Mina, Marcia Muller, Sara Paretsky, Nancy Pickard, S. J. Rozan, and Julie Smith on a riotous ride through the dark but often hilarious corners of the housewife psyche. In Deadly Housewives, the murders and mysteries on Wisteria Lane will look like an elementary-school bake sale compared to the thrills and suspense that these masters cook up!
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By Anthony None
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright ©2006 Anthony None
All right reserved.
The One That Got Away
Forest got all misty when he saw that Roy had a six-pack of beer in the truck. Like it wasn't enough he'd had to come down and bail Forest out, using up almost all the money they had left over from that pirate job they'd pulled on those dumb-ass smugglers near Savannah. Forest felt real bad about that, specially since Roy had just wanted to leave with the money they got from unloading the boat.
But Forest had talked him into sticking around and going after the jerk-offs next time they had a load coming in. Not that it hadn't turned out okay, except for Roy getting grazed by a bullet, which messed up his hairdo for a while. But due to the circumstances, they couldn't get but a little of the pot, which they'd had to unload slowly over the next few months.
Then they'd ended up gambling away most of the profits, hoping to put off actually having to work again. Truth was, there was precious little left when Forest got nailed for D&D in Biloxi.
He popped a brew and tried to apologize. "Roy, I know I hadn't oughta done that."
"Well. Least you missed the guy. But you did have to do it, bro' -- I'd'a done the same, swear to God."
Forest was curious. He could vaguely remember taking a swing atsome yahoo in Trea-sure Bay. "I did? How come?"
"You don't remember, do you? He insulted your date, man."
"I had a date?"
Roy laughed. "You were talkin' to some chick, anyhow. Hey, listen, no biggie. We'll figure out something."
So they drove to the beach to polish off the beer and start figuring. "We could pull some kind of gigolo thing," Forest said. "You know, like wait for some fat chick to hit the jackpot and then move in on her. Do her and roll her, make everybody happy -- she gets a little romance, we pay the rent."
"You mean I could do that. Oh no. No way, José. Uh-uh. My body's a temple of God, man." Roy looked like the Kennedy kid who'd gone down in his own plane, only with a mullet.
"So you say," Forest grumbled. This was a discussion they'd had before. The way Forest saw it, Roy had this great asset and all he wanted to do was hide his light under a bushel. "You need a manager, man. Hey, what's that? My hip tickles."
Roy snorted. "Your cell phone's probably vibrating. When's the last time you got a call?"
Forest looked at his phone. " 'Private caller,' it says."
"Probably a telemarketer."
"Maybe it's opportunity."
"That's supposed to knock, right? Not vibrate."
But Forest was already punching the talk button. "Forest, it's me. Heidi."
Forest couldn't speak. Dumbfounded didn't describe. It couldn't be her. "Bet you thought you'd never hear from me again." And then she laughed that silvery laugh, like pure, fresh water crackling its way back to sea over a bed of sun-soaked stones. And he knew it was her.
"Well? Aren't you going to say hello?" Her voice was slightly accented.
"So," he said. "Did you marry that guy or what?" He tried to keep the fury out of his voice. She was the one that got away. And without so much as taking off her little lace pan-ties.
But she'd screwed him anyhow. Him and Roy both.
"Of course I married him. We live in New Orleans now."
"Well, what the hell you callin' me for?"
"It's not working out too well, Forest. Say, you still hanging out with that nice friend of yours?" The American slang sounded strange with her fancy-ass accent. She claimed to be Dutch, but a chick like that, who knew? He wasn't even sure he'd ever known her real name. But he did know the name of the man she'd married; it was the guy he and Roy had set up for a big fall, with her help. Or so they'd thought.
But they were the ones who took the fall.
"So," he said. "You're Heidi Handshaw now."
"If you like. But with any luck, not for long. I need to get out of this, Forest. Help me and there might be something in it for you."
"Yeah? Like what?"
"Like half a million bucks."
Forest fell back against the truck seat and exhaled. That was about $475,000 more than he'd ever seen in his life.
"Split between you and your friend, I mean. That is, if you're still working together."
Roy was about to pee in his pants. "Who the hell is it? What's up, bro'?" Forest motioned to him to keep it down.
"No hard feelings, Miss Heidi, but we didn't exactly part friends. Why the hell should we trust you now?"
Roy went, "It's Heidi? The Dutch Treat? Oh, shit, hang up. Now." Forest punched him.
Heidi was saying, "I want to make it up to you, sweetness. I've always felt terrible about that -- me living in luxury all this time, and you and that nice friend of yours getting cut out. I'm so sorry it couldn't have worked out."
"Yeah, right." Forest hung up.
The phone rang again. He didn't answer it, just slugged down half a can of beer and then told Roy the story, ending up with, "Chick's the Ebola virus, man. I'll probably have to disinfect the goddamn phone."
But to his surprise, his buddy was interested. "Hang on, man, hang on. Don't you remember, we were gonna get revenge? We planned it, remember? We were gonna blackmail her and make her pay with Handshaw's money. Get back our own."
Forest had thought Roy'd been too drunk to remember. At any rate, neither of them had ever brought it up again, Forest because...well, because he was about three-quarters in love with her at the time. But he damn sure wasn't now. The chick was Darth Vader in a bathing suit, which was what she'd been wearing when he met her. He could see her now, tanned legs peeking out from the sarong she'd tied around her, shoulders gleaming with sunscreen . . . .
Excerpted from Deadly Housewives by Anthony None Copyright ©2006 by Anthony None. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
David Wroblewski grew up in rural Wisconsin, not far from the Chequamegon National Forest where The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is set. He earned his master's degree from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and now lives in Colorado with his partner, the writer Kimberly McClintock, and their dog, Lola. This is his first novel.
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