by Steven Boswell


Pamela browsed the liquor section of her local convenience store. It was more expensive here than at the big grocery store down the road, but she couldn’t walk steadily enough to make it all the way there and back. This was much closer.

She saw a shock of red hair on the other side of the shelves; it looked strangely familiar. Peering over the row of bottles, she saw a man with oddly familiar eyes. The mask covered his face, but the rest of the details clicked rapidly into place. Pamela let out an excited giggle and rushed over to him.

“Thad? Thad Gumbo? I knew it was you!” she gushed.

He looked up at her after a few seconds. “Huh? Are you talking to me?”

She clicked her tongue. “Oh, don’t be coy…I knew it was you immediately. And in my little neighborhood, too! What are you doing here? Are they filming a movie nearby?”

He paused uncertainly. “Lady, you have me mistaken for someone else.”

He turned to walk away; she followed him. “Oh, don’t give me that. I’ve seen all your movies, over and over! I’d recognize your face anywhere! The mask doesn’t hide your stunning good looks!”

The man turned to look her up and down. “I wish I could take that as a compliment, but…frankly, you scare me. Now leave me alone.”

Pamela grabbed his arm and spun him around. His eyes filled with fear as she scolded him. “Don’t you dare treat me like that! I’ve been your biggest fan for years! And damn it, I want an autograph!” She proffered an old, dingy notepad and a worn pen.

His eyes narrowed with irritation. “Fine.” Snatching the pad and pen from her hands, he scribbled furiously and threw them back at her. Pamela gazed after him with adoration as he walked away. Finally, she looked at her pad. “Leave me alone. -Roger”

Quickly, she stomped over to where he was paying for his chips. “Oh, no you don’t! You’re not getting away from me that easily!” The clerk backed away, frantically pressing something under the counter.

He turned toward her again. “Lady, I’m not who you think I am. And you’re scaring the crap out of me. Please leave me alone!”

She grinned maniacally, produced a long, silvery knife, and brandished it at him. “What do you think would happen if I killed you?” she lilted playfully. “How famous would that make me?”

“Now, wait just a—”

Pamela plunged the knife into his belly; he went down with a shriek. Diving on his stricken form, she brought the knife down upon him, over and over, as she cackled gleefully.

She felt herself hauled to her feet; it was the police. “I did it!” she shrieked. “I killed Thad Gumbo!”

One policeman fetched the victim’s wallet and looked at his driver’s license. “No, this says his name is Roger Pither.”

Pamela’s shoulders drooped. “What? That stupid jerk! I won’t become famous for killing some nobody!”

About the author

Steven Boswell

Steven Boswell has been writing fiction since he was three years old, was a regular participant in his high school’s yearly anthologies, and served as a staff writer for his college’s humor periodical. Although choosing a career in the software field, his heart has never been far from the fiction writing he has enjoyed all his life. Steven is the author of two books, “Playtime’s Consequences” and “The Mystery of the Real Live Dead Person.” Presently, he lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and works very hard to keep airplanes from falling out of the sky. Major literary influences include Philip K. Dick, H.P. Lovecraft, and Harlan Ellison.

© The Evening Universe, 2022-2024. All Rights Reserved.