© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch
In recent years they had been called "bullies", and schools were now making every effort to control this kind of behavior. But students who wanted to dominate others by constantly tormenting them have been around as long as schools had been in existence.
It had been fifty-nine years since the Old Lady first set foot in her new private girls' school. She had entered the seventh grade as the tallest girl at five feet four inches. When the class ended nine months later, she was five feet ten inches tall. She would finish the eighth grade at more than six feet two inches.
The three girls started tormenting her about her size. They would wait for her in in the hallway, follow her into the bathroom, mumble as she passed them in the classroom. "Five feet nine--Frankenstein", they would chant in unison. The comment hurt deeply because she knew that they had no idea she was five and a half inches taller than that.
She fought back once or twice. The teachers told her that she was using her size to gain an advantage, and that this was not acceptable behavior. She never complained again. The girls had a field day until graduation six years later.
What happened in high school had not been a precursor of the future. The three girls had married young but she had eventually earned a law degree and practiced law in two states. At all times, her height put her on the same level as male peers. She was respected and she was allowed to fight back. It was her job.
Then they were there again, at her twenty-fifth year high school reunion. Susan boasted that she had married an attorney, Mr. Solicitor standing stiffly by her side. (Wow! Big deal! I AM AN ATTORNEY) Marcia and Joan offered nothing in personal accomplishments, basing their lives on the successes of their husbands and their roles in supporting them.
That day, as the three women whispered together in the corner of the room, she finally had enough. She decided to kill them all, but not right away.
Twenty-five more years would pass before she retired. She was old now, but she reminded herself that the Frankenstein Monsters were old too, as well. It was time to follow through on the promise she had made to herself.
She had skipped the fiftieth high school reunion because she did not want them to recognize her before she exterminated them.
Now she fashioned a plan which would allow her to kill them and escape detection. To that end, she decided that she would spread out the carnage and take them out over an extended period of time, no less than three years. Each kill would involve a trip from California where she lived, to the Seattle Washington area. She would have preferred to travel by plane but this would not allow her to bring the pistol. If she drove her personal car, the vehicle might be seen by a witness. It had been so easy for the three of them to taunt and torment her. It was not going to be easy to eliminate them without paying a heavy price.
Classmates.com had provided all of the necessary information. The Old Lady now had Susan's married name, address, telephone number, the names of those with whom she shared her residence, even her hobbies.
The Old Lady called her nephew in Ellensburg, WA, telling him that she was arriving for a one day visit. In fact she would travel first to Seattle, take care of business, and then drive east to see her relative.
She left early for the trip north which would be uneventful. The weather was neither too hot nor too cold and around 4:00 p.m. she arrived at the car rental office in Tacoma, WA, thirty miles south of Seattle. Before leaving in the rental, she carefully parked her car in the lot, removing the pistol, a man's jacket, and a baseball cap. She spent the night in a Tacoma motel.
Susan's neighborhood had not awakened for the day when the rental cruised slowly down the street The driver appeared to be a grey haired man looking for a street address. When the house was located, the Old Lady parked a distance away pretending to read a newspaper, but in fact watching for anyone leaving the house. She was soon rewarded.
The brown sedan backed slowly down the driveway. Upon reaching the street, the vehicle turned away and proceeded out of the area. The Old Lady followed at a discreet distance until the car pulled into a mall parking lot. The driver, an elderly lady, disappeared into the Starbuck's Coffee Shop.
The Old Lady backed the rental into the space next to the driver's side of the brown vehicle, and waited, leaving the rental's engine running. When the driver returned, the Old Lady said, "Susan, I think we went to high school together." Susan's eyes narrowed as she took two tentative steps forward. "What's your name?", she asked. "Five feet nine--Frankenstein", the Old Lady responded.
The surprise on Susan's face was torn away by the bullet.
The Old Lady was careful to take advantage of the momentary confusion by driving away slowly as if the problem were elsewhere. She was soon on the highway back to Tacoma where she would return the rental and reclaim her own vehicle. That afternoon she arrived at her nephew's place for a pleasant visit.
She followed the case in the Seattle papers by reading about it on the internet. The police had gone back 20 years digging into Susan's background. The victim was clean, no enemies, no lovers, no addictions, no money problems, no family problems. They had concluded that the shooting was the random act of a mentally disturbed person.
After one year the case was no longer in the newspapers. It was time for the Old Lady to eliminate Marcia. The first killing had worked so well, she decided to use the same approach.
She notified her nephew of another impending visit. They got along well and both enjoyed a few hours together. Soon after, she drove north to take care of business.
Marcia lived in a neighborhood which was not as upscale. The Old Lady's information indicated that Marcia lived alone, so when she did not emerge from her house after two hours, the "man" in the baseball cap pulled up in front and rang the doorbell. At this hour, employed adults and schoolchildren would be out of the neighborhood. When Marcia opened the door a crack, the Old Lady acted quickly. Five feet nine--Frankenstein", she said, and then she fired. In an instant, confusion filled Marcia's face. Then she lost her face to the bullet, and dropped like a stone.
The Old Lady drove carefully out of the area, rejoining highway traffic. In a few hours she had returned the rental and she was in her own car driving east.
At home the Old Lady again followed the news stories in Seattle papers by using the internet. This time a stay at home mother had looked out her front window after hearing gunfire. The woman told the police about the “man in the baseball cap, a tall man, who had driven away in a beige car”. She provided details and the police had generated a poster drawing of the suspect.
The Old Lady studied the picture of the “wanted man” with a mixture of amusement and invulnerability. The irony of using her height to adopt a male disguise, did not escape her. "She was going to pull this off", she thought.
Now she drove north, but this time she would use a different rental company and lease a dark colored vehicle.
The information the Old Lady had, indicated that Joan was active in the local Catholic Church. She was waiting outside as the early morning Mass discharged the churchgoers. Joan was soon spotted, walking slowly toward her residential neighborhood.
Pulling alongside in a maroon sedan, the Old Lady rolled down the window and said, "I think we went to high school together. My name is Frankenstein, and I'm five feet nine." Recognition flooded the still beautiful face. A bullet ended the conversation.
It was almost over. The world felt like a cleaner place now because the Frankenstein Monsters were gone. She had absolutely no pity for any of them. They deserved to be dead, and she had made them "dead". She had thrown the jacket and baseball cap in a rest stop dumpster. The pistol was hidden under the spare tire in the trunk. In a few hours she would be visiting with her nephew.
highway east was a four lane road through the Cascade Mountains. As
she drove, the weather became cloudy and overcast. It began to snow.
She was not particularly worried for she had made the trip dozens of
times over the years. Time and again her mind wandered back over the
shootings, a smile crossing and recrossing her face. She never saw
the semi sliding sideways in her direction, out of control.
Epilogue: Someone phoned a tip into the Seattle police that all three of the victims had attended the same high school and they had graduated in the same class. At that point, the cops realized that they had not gone back far enough into their backgrounds. Try as they might, they were never able to link the man in the baseball cap to any of the victims, though they were sure such a link existed.
murders were never solved.