An essay by Mrs Sheila Merrill, as provided by Maureen Bowden
Art by Amanda Jones
It was New Year’s Day. The doorbell rang; I wrapped a towel around my wet hair and opened the door to Louise, my great-granddaughter.
“Hello, dear.” I said. “I’m shampooed, rinsed, and ready to be beautified.”
“Okay, GG,” she said. “I’m gonna turn you into Judge Judy. She must be about your age and her hair looks awesome.”
I sat at my dining room table. “That’s nice, dear, but I don’t think she’s reached eighty-five yet.”
“Whatever.” Louise delved into her Primark bag, decorated with a picture of Harry Styles. She dumped scissors, a hairdryer, styling brush, and a can of hairspray onto the table, alongside my flatulent cat, Falstaff, who is possibly older than Judge Judy. He opened one yellow eye, hissed, and sank back into oblivion.
“Have you made a New Year’s resolution, GG?” Louise said, as she removed the towel and began snipping my sparse, grey, locks.
“Yes, dear. I’m going to assassinate Dean Hobbley. Go easy with the scissors. You need to leave me some length, so you can give me a bit of Judge Judy’s height on top.”
“Don’t worry. All you need is a touch of backcombing and hairspray. I know what I’m doing. Why do you want to kill Dean Hobbley?”
“Because every time I turn on the TV, I see his smarmy face smirking at me. If he’s not hosting quiz shows for celebrities with the IQ of earthworms, he’s flashing his dental implants on adverts for eye-pads. I thought the doctor would give you one of those for free if you had a sore eye.”
“You mean iPads, GG.”
“That’s what I said.”
“Don’t you like him on ‘Strictly Got Talent’ either?”
“Can’t stand him. He doesn’t have to be so nasty to all those idiots just because they can’t sing. He has to die.”
“How are you doing to do it?”
“I’ve still got your great-granddad’s gun. Sixty years ago he taught me how to shoot, in case the Russians invaded. I never found any Reds under the bed, but it often comes in handy.”
Louise giggled, “GG, you’re legend. That’s so funny I could almost believe you. My friends call you Granny Death.”
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2017 collection.
Sheila Merrill’s late husband was the eminent biologist, Dr. Frederick Merrill. After his death, she took over his research and contributed several highly acclaimed theses on osmosis and diffusion in molecular structures. These led to a suspicion in scientific circles that she is responsible for much of the work officially credited to her late husband. She has now retired from academic life and there are no details of her present activities.
Maureen Bowden is a Liverpudlian living with her musician husband in North Wales. She has had ninety-two stories and poems accepted for publication by paying markets. Silver Pen publishers nominated one of her stories for the 2015 international Pushcart Prize. She also writes song lyrics, mostly comic political satire, set to traditional melodies. Her husband has performed these in Folk clubs throughout England and Wales. She loves her family and friends, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Shakespeare, and cats.
Amanda Jones is an illustrator based in Seattle. She likes reading horror stories, binge watching seasons of her favourite sci-fi/fantasy shows, and everything Legend of Zelda. She focuses on digital portrait painting and co-creates the webcomic The Kinsey House. You can find more of her work on Tumblr under ‘thehauntedboy‘.
“Sheila Get Your Gun” is © 2017 Maureen Bowden
Art accompanying story is © 2017 Amanda Jones