On Thursday, Jenny Baker got killed. She thought she could get away with that rumor she started about me and Nick Price…but if I want revenge, I’ll get my revenge.
The best part is, I’ll never get caught, because I am The Domino.
The. Fucking. Domino.
I heard what Jenny was saying about me. The whole school did. It’s our first week back and she already is starting trouble.
Who does that, am I right?
It’s not my fault that Nick broke up with her because she’s so easy. She’s slept with half the football team.
Everybody knows it and I didn’t start that rumor. The Domino doesn’t have to start rumors.
In a small town like Bradenville, everyone knows your business. I mean there’s only one highschool and maybe like 120 people in our senior class. We all grew up together. That’s why when I heard the rumor about me, well, I knew that little bitch had to be behind it. Yes I slept with her boyfriend, but I mean, it’s not my fault that your man is gay, girl. Nobody made him sleep with me. He wanted to and I guarantee you I was the best he’ll ever have. She was just jealous that I would go down as the fucking LEGEND who slept with the quarterback and she was going down as the slut who bedded the rest of the team. Even the kicker. Eww. Erick Gentry is so gross.
When I heard on Monday, our first day back, the whole school thought that Nick and I both had AIDS…well, I knew she was behind that rumor, for sure…
That’s why, it’s obvious she had to die.
I’m The Fucking Domino, and you don’t mess with The Domino.
On Thursday morning, Jacob Miller was already running 10 minutes late when his shoelace got caught on his brother’s bicycle pedal as he ran for the bus. It had been left in the yard for some reason. He got up quickly and continued. As he ran he got a text message which he couldn’t help but check…running right into the road where he had to dodge a car. The man was angrily blaring on his horn. When he dodged, he stepped right into a piece of gum. He spent another moment after the car passed trying to scrape it off with his school ID card. We have to keep our cards on all day at school and everyone wears them around their neck on a lanyard. It’s kind of dumb for such a small school but a lot of the schools are doing it. Jake’s lanyard got caught on his backpack zipper and the lanyard and the zipper broke. All of his books spilled out onto the tarmac. Still he was determined to make the bus and he almost did. Running through Mr. Daniels’s yard he tripped on a jumprope that shouldn’t have been there. He was so close. If any one of these things hadn’t happened in this order he would have made it. He was so close I could see his face as we pulled away. He looked pissed.
The school called Marsha Miller at work about three hours later to let her know that for the third time in the first week, Jake had failed to show up. He only came in on Monday. He had skipped on Tuesday and Wednesday with David and Todd to go fishing in the quarry. Stupid hobby. Guess they didn’t get enough summer and wanted a few more days.
Marsha was furious and left work in a hurry to go take care of him. Ground him. Whatever. She was in such a hurry that she almost hit that other car a block from her house, but swerving to avoid it, she hit the stop sign instead.
About two hours later, another guy in a Landrover was coming up to that same intersection. The car caddy corner to him, a tiny Miata thought he was going to stop. He didn’t because the stop sign was gone. Instead, the Landrover plowed up and over the tiny Miata, and into a fire hydrant on the corner. He had been driving with such speed that the hydrant was launched into the air and ended up in Mr. Daniels’s yard, almost a block away, hitting a termite infested oak tree that had died years ago, but not yet cut down.
Don’t worry, nobody got killed or anything. Not yet. Not in that accident.
Water was spraying up into that intersection for about 30 minutes before the city workers could get to the line. They had to cut off the water grid for the whole block to try to fix it.
Everett Daniels has been retired for about a year now. He spent his mornings and afternoons doing chores around his house. Imagine his surprise when the water cut off just as he was doing the dishes. Then, ten minutes later, as he tried to vacuum his living room rug, the power for the whole block went out with a loud crash that eminated from his yard.
The tree out front had fallen out into the road, taking a power transformer with it.
He decided then, to start doing work in the yard and went out to his flowerbed to pull weeds while he waited for the power and water companies to come sort out their messes.
Ben Merick lived nextdoor to Mr. Daniels. He was trying to play Overwatch on Playstation when he heard the tree come down and his house went dark. It was his day off and now, he was pissed.
His wife had been bugging him all week about mowing the lawn. With the power out, it was the perfect time to start on his chores, so he went outside and straddled the seat of the mower. Turning the key and spurring it to life.
Everett had been out in his yard pulling weeds for a while now. It was close to 3:00. The sun was high and the power company was in the street sorting the downed tree as the lineman repaired the broken connections.
That’s when he reached between the oleanders at his bay windows and heard the snake rattling its tail at him. He took off running.
Ben had been listening to System of a Down. He wouldn’t have been normally. His WiFi reaches anywhere in the yard, but with the power out and his data low, he chose something he’d saved on his SD card a while back. He was headbanging and thrashing like a wild man. The music was too loud and the mower running too fast. That’s why it smacked into the base of the Orange tree. That’s why the wasp nest fell out of it, onto the hood of his riding mower.
Everett was too busy running from the snake. Ben was too busy swatting at the wasps. Neither would have been out in their yards at that particular time of day if it weren’t for the power being out.
The power wouldn’t have been out if the oak tree hadn’t fallen.
The oak tree wouldn’t have fallen if the hydrant didn’t hit it.
The hydrant wouldn’t have been thrown into the air…the Landover would have stopped…if the stop sign was there…would have been if his mother didn’t hit it…if Jacob Miller hadn’t skipped school.
Ben wouldn’t have hit old Mr. Everette Daniels if neither had been in the yard, distracted by snakes and wasps.
After that unfortunate accident, Ben Merick had been thrown by the lawnmower, which crossed the road on it’s own and smashed into the neighborhood mailbox catching fire.
The bus was hot. This was an older one without air conditioning so the driver, Mr. Tom, always opened all the windows before we got on, including the emergency escape hatches up top.
Jenny was getting off the bus at her stop on Thursday afternoon. She was the only one who got on or off at that stop that she shared with Jacob Miller, but he missed it that morning.
After she got off, the bus had to swerve around a fallen oak tree in the road.
We all watched from the bus as it happened. The ambulance driver was probably distracted.
Perhaps by the fire hydrant on the sidewalk, laying on it’s side.
Or maybe the oak tree that hadn’t been completely cleared from the road.
It might have been the lawnmower on fire against the mailbox clusters…
But probably it was Mr. Everette Daniels’s body in bloody pieces all over his yard after having been run over by Ben Merick on his lawnmower.
Jenny was distracted too. Earbuds blocking out the sirens, scrolling Facebook.
As we watched, the ambulance hit Jenny Baker head on, throwing her onto the bus’s roof. She was dead on impact, her insides leaking in through the open hatch.
On Wednesday, as I rode the bus home, I was so sick of hearing the rumors about me and Nick Price for the last three days, I thought I might die. Jenny got off at her stop as usual and Mr. Daniels was out in his yard, doing that creepy thing that he did. He would stand out in his yard without a shirt, grinning every day as the bus drove by. He eyed it with hungry eyes and on Wednesday, as he licked his dry lips, his eyes locked with mine and went wide.
There was always “kid-stuff” in his yard but he didn’t have any kids. Balls, action figures, jumpropes…but nobody was dumb enough to take the bait.
I put a piece of gum in my mouth and shuddered.
I know what you’re thinking: I couldn’t have possibly known that all of this was going to happen…but I did.
Everyone knew that Everett Daniels was a creep we all got notices from a concerned citizen when he moved in that he was a convicted sex offender. Everyone knew Jenny was a horrible bitch. They both deserved what they got. My stop was a block away from hers. I saw each step of it in my mind. Every. Step. I could get rid of both of them in one act and nobody would know it was me.
That’s why I went the wrong direction after I got off the bus. Away from my house towards the previous stop where Jenny had gotten off. I could see every misstep I was about to create in perfect clarity. Something my head told me just when and where it would begin.
It said: “How long are you going to put up with this? You know you don’t have to. You can end it right here. Teach that pervert. Teach Jenny. Teach everyone. Do it now! Right here!”
I spat the gum out in the road in front of me and then I walked home.
It whispered: “Be. The. Fucking. Domino.”