A Devil for Harriet

Mim and Harriet decided that the perfect moment to kidnap Senator Lawson would be at Mim’s daughter’s wedding, which was to take place on her mother-in-law’s sprawling New Hampshire property on the evening of August 10. A few hours into the reception, when everyone who mattered was good and drunk, Mim would sneak him a powerful sedative and lure him into the boathouse where Harriet would be waiting. Together they would drag him back through the walking trail to the bottom of the road, to Harriet’s unassuming old Toyota. Hopefully, it would be hours before anyone knew he was gone.

Around 7pm, Mim had her first second thought. She was watching her husband sweep her daughter around the dance floor to Frank Sinatra. Mim had argued for them to choose a song with a bit more personality, but like every other opinion she’d had since Marisol and Peter first announced their engagement, she’d been ignored. She played her Mother of the Bride hand carefully, ultimately tailoring the things she cared about around the capture of Kenneth Lawson. Like placing the dance floor on the northern side of the house away from the water, something she’d had to find twenty ways to justify to the rest of the family.

Seeing Ephram and Marisol together was a sweet reminder of why they were really here. She’d much rather spend the evening in a state of drunken bliss, celebrating her daughter and tolerating her dear husband as she always had. But Senator Kenneth Lawson must be taught a lesson, and this was simply the best way to do it.

Of course, if she got caught- well, thinking of the consequences would destroy her confidence. Harriet was waiting. And all of this, was for Harriet, and her little daughter.

“Dance with me?”

Peter’s brother pulled her back into reality. The father daughter dance was over, and Ephram was nowhere to be found. He and Jerry were probably off somewhere together. It wouldn’t be a wedding if Ephram and Jerry didn’t sneak away to mourn the potential of their own relationship, and how they were born just one generation too soon.

“Of course, darling Will, I’m sure my own husband is tired of dancing at this point.”

“I saw him go into the big house with some men. Probably to have a meeting.” He smiled crookedly, and held out his arm, like the gentleman he was taught to be.

Will was much younger than his brother, who was a golden boy through and through. Their mother, Carmela, was 43 when he was born and so Will, as Carmela was fond of saying, “Came out sweet.” Nobody really knew if there was a diagnosis, but they all accepted that Will was indeed a sweet and simple boy, and would perhaps be a boy forever. There was gossip that Carmela had planned this, since watching Peter grow up and grow away from her had been too much to bear. Sweet Will would always be by her side.

But he was by Mim’s side now, his stiff arms placed appropriately around her back.

“Why do you keep looking at your watch, Mrs. Cummings?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m just making sure the planner sticks to the schedule. There’s still a cake to cut, you know.”

It was nearly 8:00. Only two more hours and it would all be over. He would be in Harriet’s hands and she could rest easy. Harriet could do with him whatever she liked. Her stomach coiled with nerves.

“Ouch, Mrs. Cummings, you’re squeezing my hand.” He stopped dancing to look at it.

“Is everybody okay over here?”

Senator Lawson’s booming voice nearly sent her into a panic, which quickly turned into revulsion.

“We’re okay over here, Senator. I’m afraid I danced a little too aggressively with my friend Will, here.”

She kissed Will’s hand.

“I see.” His clear green eyes flickered childishly as he gave Will a wink. “She’s quite the bully, Mrs. Cummings. Maybe you should go put a little scotch on that hand. I’ll hold your place.”

“Yeah I think I should go put a little scotch on it.”

And with that, Will disappeared through the crowd, leaving Mim with the devil himself.

The devil that she was about to snare.



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