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Twist

Suspense short stories with a twist

"The Subject Was Rosie" by Elsin Perry

Twist #297 - May 2015

Originally appeared Feb. 1999

(Page 1 of 3)

Previous Twist

The Way to a Man's Heart

A mystery with a twist.


Iknew Rosie was bad, bad trouble the minute I laid eyes on the rotten creature.

If there's one thing I pride myself on, it's my ability to size up people. Well, that and my ability to make money. Although lately...

But I'm getting off the subject here. And the subject is Rosie.

My grandfather died eight or ten years ago, leaving my grandmother with more money than she knew what to do with.

She and I had never been close. In fact, until my cousin Ralph mentioned at his New Year's Eve party that Ol' Grandmother was feeling poorly, I probably hadn't given her a thought in five years. And hadn't seen her in ten.

"Poorly?" I asked Ralph, trying to look concerned. "What's the matter with her?"

"Well, she hasn't really been herself since Papa died, you know," my fat cousin said, running his pudgy fingers through his thinning hair. "Most days she just wears her bathrobe all day. Never wears any make-up. Never seems to... care. And now, suddenly, it's worse. She seems to be aging rapidly."

"Poor Grand--," I began as my other cousin joined us. "-- mother," I went on, nodding to Eddie. "Poor soul. It's tough that she's aging. Rapidly."

"Yes," Eddie said, looking genuinely sorry. "Poor Nana. When I saw her last week, she looked awful."

Nana, was it now? And last week, no less. I felt a pang of sorrow for not having kept in touch with her.

Such a pity, to have let all those years go by without getting close to my grandmother... and to the money she'd be sure to leave.

As we stood there at Ralph's party-- a party I'd attended only because I planned to sneak out with several bottles of Ralphie's expensive liquor tucked under my coat-- as we stood there, dear Grandmother's only living relatives, I vowed that soon I'd be on good terms with Grandmother. My poor Grandmother. Who was aging. Rapidly.

And then I left the party with four full bottles of Ralph's really good booze.