More Insanity: My Books

September 8, 2014

(Includes Sadie's Guide to Catching Killers)


Six Award Winning Bestselling Authors bring you a Six Pack of Sleuths 

for .99 cents

Dani Amore
Mary Cooper, a Los Angeles area private detective who masks her true, caring nature with a razor-sharp, sarcastic sense of humor, learns that her uncle, a former stand-up comedian has been murdered. She is asked to assist in finding the killer by both the police and family members. Mary quickly discovers that her uncle's death was just the opening act for a bloody rampage. As Mary investigates, she exposes a dark and deadly legacy with mysterious links to her own past.

"DEATH BY SARCASM cuts like a knife." ~ Savannah Morning News

MIAMI MUMMIES (Wendy Darlin series)
Barbara Silkstone
The legendary mastermind criminal and mummy thief, Kyzer Saucy, strikes again. Part-time tomb raider and full-time real estate broker, Wendy Darlin joins her lover, archaeologist Roger Jolley as they struggle to save a rare Miami mummy from the clutches of this evil genius. Can Saucy be stopped before he kills again? Meanwhile can Wendy keep her promise to Alfred Hiccup as he attempts to transmigrate from the afterlife? Or has Wendy finally made one promise too many?
This book is an homage to the great Alfred Hitchcock…
who is probably turning over in his grave.

“WENDY DARLIN: A leading lady you love to bits!” ~ Alisha Bookseller

Sibel Hodge
Helen Grey is finally getting everything she wants. She’s about to have the perfect dream wedding and begin an exciting new life abroad on the sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus. But living the dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With the big day rapidly approaching, a roller-coaster of mishaps, misunderstandings, and disasters threatens to turn the newlyweds into nearlyweds. Can Helen prevent an assassination, and have the perfect wedding?

“If you are a fan of Sophie Kinsella I am positive you will love MY PERFECT WEDDING by Sibel Hodge"
~ Geeky Girl Books

Zané Sachs (the demented alter-ego of author, Suzanne Tyrpak)
Sadie may seem like the girl next door—except she isn’t. At age eight, when she finds Mommy in the bathtub in a pool of blood, Sadie becomes obsessed with bringing down murderers. SADIE’S GUIDE TO CATCHING KILLERS is the prekill to SADIE THE SADIST: X-tremely Black Humor/Horror, delving into Sadie’s twisted childhood to unravel what makes her the psycho we know and love.
Plus, Advice from L’il Sadie, Self-Help BONUS : 10 Signs Someone is a Low-Life Liar; 10 Ways to Your Dream Confession; 10 Useful Household Poisons, and more!

NEW RELEASE! A twisted coming-of-age story, Black Humor/Horror.

Helen Smith
When her husband doesn’t come home, Sheila Travers hires a private detective to find him. Being Light is no ordinary detective story. The sharp observations on the lives of modern women will have you laughing out loud as you follow the surreal adventures of the ensemble cast. Take in circus performers, animal rights activists, philosophers, dreamers and a new kind of dating agency in this joyfully funny book. And find out what happened to Roy.

"Very funny!" ~ Times Literary Supplement

Anne R. Allen
After Princess Regina, a former supermodel, is ridiculed in the tabloids for gaining weight, someone tries to kill her. She suspects her royal husband wants to be rid of her, now she’s no longer model-thin. As she flees the mysterious assassin, she discovers the world thinks she is dead, and seeks refuge with the only person she can trust, Rev. Cady Stanton,a right-wing talk show host who has romantic and weight issues of her own.

“A mix as bubbly as a double chocolate milk shake. Pack this one to add punch to your holiday reading.” ~ South Yorkshire Times

All yours in a Six Pack of Sleuths!

September 7, 2014

Sadie is back with a vengeance!

Now, for the first time, the secrets of L'il Sadie's demented childhood are revealed

Available in 2 Versions:


Uncut: More Twisted


Sadie may seem like the girl next door—except she isn’t. At age eight, when Sadie finds Mommy in the bathtub floating in a pool of blood, she becomes obsessed with murder. Sadie’s Guide to Catching Killers is the prekill to Sadie the Sadist: X-tremely Black Humor/Horror, delving into Sadie’s twisted childhood to unravel what makes her the psycho we know and love. The uncut version—the story you’ve got in your hot little hands (X-cept for those of you who happen to be whacking off) is almost as violent and psycho-sexual as Sadie the Sadist, but remember (sick puppies) Sadie is a child and a teenager here, not yet a full blown psychopath like us. (If you’re not fully blown, put down this book and pick up the R rated version.) 

Plus, Advice from L’il Sadie, Self-Help BONUS: 10 Signs Someone is a Low-Life Liar; 10 Ways to Your Dream Confession; 10 Useful Household Poisons, and more! 
Buy it Now:

Amazon     Twisted      UNCUT: More Twisted

B&N           Twisted      UNCUT: More Twisted

Sadie says: 
Great self-help for wanna be psychos 

(Makes a lovely gift for family you want to kill)

August 5, 2014

What makes Sadie the psycho we know and love?

Find out in my new book 

Sadie's Guide to Catching Killers

to be released later this month

Possible L'il Sadies in Your Neighborhood

Once upon a time, Sadie was a little girl ... a very strange little girl. Now, for the first time, her story is revealed in Sadie's Guide to Catching Killers.

Part mystery, part horror, part self-help (for those who'd like to murder someone) this twisted coming-of-age story is told in Sadie's own words.

It will be released as a stand alone (novella) in two versions: R-rated=Rad and X-rated=X-tras, uncut. 

For those of you with weak stomachs, this story is not as graphic as Sadie the SadistFor those of you who adore gore, I apologize for the general lack of it, but in this story Sadie is just getting started.

The story will also be released as part of a boxed set, Six Pack of Sleuths: Comedy Mysteries. With five of my fave funny women authors: Barbara Silkstone, Sibel Hodge, Dani Amore, Helen Smith, and Anne. R. Allen.

Here's a sneak peek, the opening of Sadie's Guide to Catching Killers:

Murder One

My study of murder began in third grade, three days after Thanksgiving, when my father offed my mother.

You might think committing the perfect murder requires practice, technique, thought. Daddy’s one skill is dumb luck. He’s a lousy criminal. Sloppy. Lazy. But, because Mommy took lots of pills (diagnosed bipolar), the cops called her death suicide.

I found her in the bathtub floating in a pool of blood.

I don’t think it affected me.

Not really.

I closed the bathroom door, went into the kitchen to make a turkey sandwich, then I turned on the TV. Not a flat screen. Back in 1991, when I was eight years old, we had a console full of toxic tubes spewing radiation into our living room.

Sometimes I feel like I’m back there, even though I’m all grown up and live far, far away. I’m from New York. Not the city, Long Island. A long strip of land in the Atlantic—takes three hours to drive from one end to the other, changing from urban to rural until you reach the points, Montauk and Orient. Then you fall into the ocean.

Too bad I couldn’t drive when I was eight.

Our town is too far from the city to be called a suburb and not fancy like the Hamptons. This town is blue collar, hard-working people who provide services to the rich and famous, and a few stray farmers holding out against developers. Our house looks pretty much like every other on Maple Street. The lawn is tidy, the front porch neat, windows so polished birds fly into the glass then drop dead.

I bury them in the backyard with the other bodies.

Most Sundays Mommy and I get up early and go to church, while Daddy and my little brother stay at home. After church Mommy makes a giganto lunch, and I help.

Not today.

Today we didn’t eat, because Mommy and Daddy had a fight. (They yell a lot.) Then Mommy had a headache, and she told me to get her pills.

Now the house is quiet, like it should be.

My teacher at church says Sunday is a day of rest, but most Sunday afternoons Mommy gives me chores: cleaning toilets, using a toothbrush to scrub between tiles, vacuuming dead flies that get caught between the windows and the screens.

Today I don’t have to do anything, because Mommy’s in the bathtub.

I climb onto the plush beige couch (our house is beige; the furniture, the walls, the carpet), rest my head on a beige cushion, and kick off my sneakers (hot pink Revs with zebra inserts—rad). Usually, I’d untie the laces, carefully remove my shoes and arrange them side-by-side on the mat by the front door, the way Mommy taught me, but now I let them tumble from my feet and land where they will.  

I take a bite of sandwich, set it on my stomach.

Mommy would tell me to use a plate, call me a slob like Daddy.

Donnie, my little brother, comes into the living room, carrying his kitten and practically strangling it. He grins at me, displaying the gap in his front teeth. He’s still wearing pajamas, and a smudge of grape jelly stains the bright green brontosaurus on his chest.

“Is Mommy taking a nap?”


“She’s not in her bed.”

“In the bathroom. Don’t go in there.”

The kitten squirms in Donnie’s arms, revealing its tiny balls. I guess I should call it a him.

“What you want Santa to bring you, Sadie?”

A chainsaw, like Daddy’s.

“I don’t know.”

“I want a Cabbage Patch Birthday Kid with brown hair,” Donnie says.

“Boys don’t get dolls.”

“Why not?”

“They just don’t, dummy.”

Donnie sticks his thumb between his lips and sucks. If Mommy were around she’d tell him to take that thing out of his mouth, tell him she was gonna smear his thumb with mustard and eat it like a hotdog.

“I want a red BMX bike,” I say.

Donnie stops sucking his thumb long enough to say, “That’s really dumb.”

“Not as dumb as you.”

I grab the remote and amp up the TV’s volume, so I can hear the evil king, Zarkon, ruler of the planet Doom, vowing to destroy Voltron’s lion robots.

The kitten escapes Donnie’s stranglehold, hops onto the couch, and sniffs my turkey sandwich. I run my fingers down its back, think about snipping off its little balls. Mommy said they have to be removed, so the cat won’t spray. She said big cats squirt this stinky stuff to mark their territory. I’d like to mark my territory and make this couch off limits to Donnie. (He just wiped a glob of snot on the seat cushion.) How long does it takes to drown a cat? Less time, I bet, than it would take to drown my baby brother.

“What show is this?” he asks.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe.”

“Could we watch Sesame Street?”


“Why not?”


“I’m hungry.”

I hand him half of my sandwich, my eyes glued to Princess Allura.

Donnie bites into the bread, spits out the meat.

“I don’t want dead bird. I want PBJ.”

Even at age five, my brother is sensitive.

“We’re out of jelly.”

“Where’s Daddy?”

“In the basement.”

“What’s he doing?”

“How should I know?”

Daddy spends hours in the basement working on stuff he calls projects. He doesn’t like to be disturbed. The basement door is next to the kitchen, and I can see it from the couch. Closed and locked. One time Muffy followed Daddy downstairs and never came back. Muffy was our Yorkshire Terrier. Donnie and I are forbidden to enter the basement, except when Daddy makes us go down there for punishment, and we have to sit in the chair. In our house, the basement is the only door that locks.

“I’m gonna wake up Mommy,” Donnie announces.

Before I can stop him, he scrambles down the hall past the kitchen, past the door leading to the basement, the feet of his footed pajamas catching on the carpet. He stops at the bathroom door.

“Don’t go in there, Donnie.”


His small hand reaches for the knob.

“Cause I said so.”

Muffin (named after Muffy) meows.

(Note: for the sake of clarity, henceforward, I’ll refer to them as Kitty Muffin and Doggie Muffy.)

I click off the TV, watch the picture fade.

“I want Mommy,” Donnie whines.

Plump tears roll down his chubby cheeks. Pretty soon, he’ll wet his pants.

I hop off the couch, crumbs from my sandwich falling on the carpet, and get to the bathroom door as Donnie shoves it open.

The woman in the bathtub doesn’t look like Mommy. She’s sort of floating and her face is bloated, greenish like the mask that big kid across the street (I think his name is Jason) wore for Halloween. Mommy’s hair is a tangled mess and her makeup is blotchy. She stinks. Bloody water overspills the tub, leaving a pinkish puddle on the tile. The bathmat is stained brownish red. I wonder when the maggots will show up. I wonder if they’re inside Mommy now, writhing, twisting, turning, as they eat their way out.

Donnie wails, his small fists digging into his eyes.

I lead him away from the tub, and we back out of the bathroom staring at what used to be Mommy, pull the door shut till the catch clicks.

Then I go to the kitchen, climb onto a stool so I can reach the wall phone’s receiver, and call 911.

June 27, 2014

Coming Soon: Jayne Just Watches

Here's a short excerpt from the novel I'm currently working on, Jayne Just Watches: 

Chapter One: Just Jayne

I’m dead.

Trapped inside this body—walking, talking, eating, sleeping—so you might assume I’m alive, but I’m not. My heart stopped beating several years ago.

Even though I’m dead, there are two things I like to do: oil painting and visiting the cemetery. Also, I love sleeping … guess that’s three.

You ever have the feeling that you’re dreaming when you’re awake? Like you’re moving through water, the air feels heavy, sounds seem distant. Maybe you’re shopping, or walking along a sidewalk, or working, when you notice you’re not really there.

That’s how it feels to be dead.

At night, when I lie down, you may think I’m sleeping, but I’m really traveling through other realms. It’s almost like dreaming, but more intense. That’s when I feel almost alive.

See that maple tree out in the courtyard?

What color are the leaves? 

You’ll probably say green, but I see gray. Most things in my world are gray, mixtures of black and white, some lighter, some darker. Gray is neutral, achromatic, so it refracts light without dispersing. It’s not really a color. The only color I perceive is red. No blue. No yellow. Just shades of red. It’s a rare condition called Tritanopia, brought on by trauma to the head and exacerbated by anxiety.

But when I’m traveling (you would call it dreaming) I see spectrums of color you’ve never imagined. If I were dreaming now, the leaves on that maple tree would be a thousand variations of green. The underlying leaves gloomy and bluish, others dappled yellow by the sun, some tender green as baby shoots, and others as ghostly as the moon. If I were dreaming, chocolate shadows would play along the tree's trunk, and sunlight would break through the branches, painting the bark silver.

But now, sitting on my balcony and painting (as I often do), all I see is gray.

My condominium is like a treehouse. My apartment is on the second story and the balcony parallels the branches of the maple tree. Beyond the maple, there’s a stand of aspen, a blue spruce, two pinion pines, and a crabapple tree on the edge of the play area--swings, a sandbox, slide and jungle gym. My balcony shares a common wall and railing with the neighboring condo. That apartment has been vacant for a while, ever since the Navajo family (who never said hello) departed last March. 

I spend a lot of time out here, watching my neighbors as they come and go down in the courtyard. The complex houses college students, several artists and writers, a few retirees, and a number of young families. That strange woman, Sadie, lives directly across from me—one of the few residents I know by name, only because she introduced herself. Through the maple leaves, I see her dragging a heavy bag of garbage down the stairway of her condo. She glances in my direction, and I duck behind the canvas I’ve set on my easel.

She waves, calls out, “Hi, Jayne. How’s it hangin’?”

When I peek around the canvas, she grins.

Her lipstick is as red as blood, so is her hair.

She yells across the courtyard, “Killer day!”

Using a pallet knife (dull edges so it can't do any damage), I mix black paint into the gray and pretend I don’t hear her.

Today’s stark sun and barren sky depress me. I prefer the soft focus of overcast, clouds brooding over the mountains, thunder rumbling through the valley. Give me the ozone scent of rain, a downpour pelleting the roof, mist rising from the pavement and engulfing the courtyard.

Shielding my eyes from the sun’s glare, I watch Sadie maneuver a trash bag along the walkway that encircles the courtyard. The bag oozes something reddish, deposits wet markings on the cement. She lugs it to the parking lot and disappears from view behind the building, no doubt headed to the dumpster.

She goes there a lot.

I pull my explorer telescope out of the pocket of my skirt, point the lens at her picture window. Can't see a thing, except drawn curtains. Last night I watched Sadie and this college kid going at it, but I never saw him leave. 

This complex is fairly small and a bit old-fashioned, which I like. Sixteen two-story buildings surround the courtyard, four condominiums in each building. The structures are made of wood (rather than cement like the new ones they built down the road), paint flaking on the sides exposed to the sun. The lights, set at corners of the courtyard, are Victorian in style—globes reminiscent of gaslight. Wisteria overhangs the common area which houses mail boxes, a picnic table, and several plastic chairs. Victorian houses abound in this town, built in the late 1800's when people rushed to Colorado hoping to make fortunes mining gold and silver. The Denver & Rio Grande Railway lay narrow gauge tracks that climb through treacherous mountain passes from here to the old mining town of Silverton. The steam engine still runs, but these days it carries tourists. 

I’m into steampunk, so the town suits me.

I design book covers (steampunk, horror, vampire, zombie apocalypse) for indie authors I meet on Facebook and Twitter. The covers provide me with enough income to scrape by—along with the meager trust my parents left me.

They died in the accident fourteen years ago, so did Lexi. Me too, but they brought me back to life … anyway, that’s what the doctors said.

On my next birthday, ten days from now when I turn twenty-six, I’ll come into my full inheritance. Growing up, Aunt Elizabeth always told me it’s substantial. She says I’m a lucky girl.

Lucky stiff.


I’d rather have my family.

What am I working on?

When you look at this canvas, what do you see? Wisps of gray, some flickering with light, others shadowy, some mysteriously black. If you stare at the painting long enough, images appear ….

See that shimmer rippling through the painting?

Nothing in this world is solid, even if it appears concrete. Our bodies contain more space than matter. According to scientific findings, five sixths of matter is dark and invisible. Particles of dark matter pass through our bodies all the time, colliding with our atoms. Who can say what else passes through the collection of molecules you call you and I call me?   

How do we know dark matter exists, if it can’t be detected? 

Gravitational pull.

Dark matter may be invisible, but it affects things surrounding it, sucking them in with its dark energy. Ghosts are like that too, so are demons. You may call them by another name, but all kinds of entities exist in space and on other planes.

I feel them passing through my body, playing in my mind.

Sometimes I see them.

Red eyes shining in the dark.

I paint them, so they’re apparent.

A parent, that’s funny.

More than my parents, I miss Lexi. She was seven. We were in the back seat of my dad’s new Lincoln … black leather seats, snowflakes hitting the windshield, the slosh of icy water beneath the tires as the car hit Park Avenue. It was my job to make sure my little sister buckled up, but Lexi hated seatbelts, said they made her feel trapped.

Her death was my fault.

Did you catch that movement, at the edge of the canvas?

The flash of red eyes.

Demons are sneaky, appear at the periphery of your vision, vanish when you glance directly at them. Sometimes they slip behind the painting and poke the canvas with their fingernails.  

I survived the crash, sort of—died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, but they managed to revive me. TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, due to sudden impact. Doctors claim my recovery was a miracle. No matter what they claim, I’m really dead. My psychiatrist says I’m suffering from Cotard’s Delusion (also known as the Walking Dead Syndrome), but how can a corpse be diagnosed?

I’m done with shrinks. I need a Coroner.

What use are doctors who want to analyze me and prescribe pills to make me normal? Normal is a syndrome not worth suffering. I enjoy being dead, enjoy the unique perspective. Being dead allows me to detach from anger, pain, sadness … all those messy emotions.

I lost my heart four years ago—it stopped beating, gave up when Jonathan left me. I met him in college. Things may have ended differently if I had let him touch me, but dead people don’t have sex. The idea is repulsive. Isn't it?

When he went back to Denver, my heart collapsed, left this cavity inside my chest.

Now my brain is rotting.

Ever smell a rotting brain? Think chicken guts left in the trunk of a car for a week, dead rats decomposing in the walls of your house, putrefying poopy diapers forgotten in the garbage. The stink lingers, gets inside your nostrils, your clothing, your hair, your mind. When your brain’s decaying in your skull, it’s impossible to ignore the stench. I've tried everything: dog shampoo designed to eliminate odors, essential oils, breathing through my mouth. I can taste the stink. Vic’s Vapor Rub on my upper lip works best. (That’s what cops use.)

I get these headaches, throbbing pain inside the black hole of my skull.

Speaking of black holes, they’re not really empty space. Quite the opposite. According to NASA, black holes are extremely condensed matter. NASA says, “Think of a star ten times more massive than the Sun squeezed into a sphere approximately the diameter of New York City.” This creates a gravitational pull so intense that nothing can escape, not even light. Black holes are the vampires of the universe, sucking energy out of nearby stars and destroying them. The problem is, black holes are invisible and you won’t know you’re near one, until it’s devoured you.

That’s what happened to me. A black hole sucked the energy right out of me, and now I’m stuck with this body.

You may be saying, “If you’re dead, why don’t you commit suicide?”

There’s no point in committing suicide if you’re already dead. I’m an illusion, a specter. I don’t really exist. Experience is subjective, perceived through the muddy filters of our psyches. Reality is a consensus of opinion, a group delusion. Trust only mathematics, the laws of physics and chemistry. Above all else, don’t trust yourself or other people.

That's what Aunt Elizabeth taught me.

Especially, never trust a man.


March, 2014

Available in paperback and ebook:
Sadie the Sadist

Like many people, Sadie feels undervalued and frustrated. Employed by a supermarket, she plots to murder coworkers—or lure them into the employee bathroom for a quickie. Sick of being treated like a robot, she taps into a powerful (and deranged) alter-ego and transforms into Sadie the Sadist Reader Beware: This book contains graphic violence, psycho/sexual incidents, and Sadie’s favorite recipes. X-tremely Black Humor.

Sadie the Sadist Book Cover by Jeroen ten Berge

"You have never read anything like Sadie the Sadist -- a pitch black satire that is not only deeply disturbing but funny as hell." –Blake Crouch, Author, Wayward Pines

“A brilliant, bloody read. Bone chilling. Dark. Funny. Sadie makes Hannibal Lector look like dating material. My heart quickened as I braced for Sadie the Sadist’s next step down that slippery slope called sanity. Highly recommended.” –Barbara Silkstone, Author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series

A short X-cerpt from Sadie the Sadist

Warning: X-rated 

(And, I promise, it gets much, much, worse.)

Sex in the Bathroom

Over the past few days a lot has changed at the supermarket.

The check stands have been moved so the contractors they hired for the remodel can redo the floor, plus they’ve rearranged the aisles again. Bandages are no longer next to macaroni; you’ll find them on Aisle 6 across from oatmeal.

There’s this new guy in Deli. He’s about my age, not a kid, but not an old man either. His glasses make him look intelligent and I like his legs. They’re muscular and tan. I know, because he wears shorts to work. (We’re allowed to wear black, knee-length shorts from Memorial to Labor Day.) I met him on the freight elevator. I was bringing down the trash cart, after emptying all the garbage cans, when Ranger rolled in a U-boat of roasted chickens destined for the dumpster. His name is Richard, but everybody calls him Ranger. He helped me load my garbage into the compactor—the bags from the trash cans outside the store are especially heavy—and, in return, I gave him a BJ in the employee bathroom. It’s unisex, down in the basement, and the door locks.

Now the poor schmoe is in love with me. Women sense these things, and we lefties are intuitive. He’s obsessed. I feel his eyeballs on my butt whenever I walk past.

But blowing Ranger is not the big thing (no pun intended).

The big thing is: Justus is dead, and I’m not sure if I killed him.

I heard about the accident this afternoon, as soon as I arrived at work. Several versions spread through the store like wildfire. According to one account, a car hit him up on River Road, not far from where I live. Another says he suffered a heart attack while riding his bike to the supermarket. A third version claims a passing car spat a rock that hit him in the head.  

Unlike me, Justus never wears a helmet.

Anyway, he’s gone.

But I don’t think it was an accident.

Cut to several weeks ago, when I was at home recovering from my so-called accident. (I call it Justus attempting to slice off my thumb.)

I live alone, thanks to my ex-husband. He wanted kids. I didn’t. He used to bug me all the time. Irreconcilable differences, but we never divorced. I guess I should call him late, not ex.

The guy was far from punctual except when it came to dying. He croaked three years ago when he was thirty-one and I was twenty-nine. We bought this condominium, then one night when he was drunk (as usual) he took a bad fall down the stairs leading from our unit to the courtyard. They call them units, not apartments, which sounds like some kind of cell, but really the place is pretty nice: two bedrooms, one and a half baths, and a working fireplace. Anyway, he cracked his skull on the concrete and I inherited the mortgage. Also a used truck, my husband’s power tools, and $30,000 life insurance from his job as a plumber. That’s how I bought my Cruiser bike, smart TV, smartphone, iPad, a new laptop, I don’t remember what else—but the money’s gone. The truck guzzles gas, so most of the time I ride my bicycle.

Anyway, several weeks ago, after my so-called accident, I was hanging out on my balcony, sipping Diet Pepsi and popping Dilaudid while checking out the passing cars, when I spotted Justus on his bicycle. I tracked the bald spot on his head as he rode along the bike path, passing my condominium complex, kept watching as he cycled along the path and turned toward the supermarket.

That’s when Sadie the Sadist convinced me to start practicing.

The bandage on my left hand made climbing down from the folding chair difficult, so I had to support myself with my right hand. That’s how the whole ambidextrous thing started. After climbing down, I noticed something annoying in my shoe, took the shoe off and found a pebble. Using my right hand, I threw the pebble off the balcony. Not a bad shot. I managed to hit the wooden fence, and I felt sure, with practice and a heavier object I could hit a passing car—or bicycle.

“Sadie, you’re staring into space again.”

Terri the Terrible glances at her clipboard.

“It’s 7:45. You’re scheduled to clean the bathrooms. Make sure you sign off, and don’t forget to mop the Men’s Room.”

“Will do.”

My foot juts out; Sadie the Sadist is about to trip Terri, but I quickly pull back my sneaker (Nike, Air Pegasus—understated, classy).

Sadie the Sadist is disgusted.


“Shut up.”

A customer glances at me, no doubt wondering if shut up was meant for her.

“Sorry, Ma’am.”

I meander toward the bathrooms.

During the day the store hires a porter, but come evening cleaning is the responsibility of Courtesy Clerks. The Men’s Room is always gross; talk about needing practice taking aim.

Before hitting the bathrooms, I detour through Pharmacy and circle the store’s perimeter, passing through Dairy, Meat, Bakery and Produce to reach Deli.

I spot Ranger by the display of roasted chickens. This time of day, they pull leftover chickens and throw them in the compactor.

The fake robot senses my approach.

“May I take your order?”

“Shut up, stupid.”

“What?” Ranger looks up from the case, pokes his glasses.

“Not you, the robot.”

Ranger smiles, and I smile back.

“You due for a break soon, Ranger?”

“After I dump these chickens.”

“Meet me in the Men’s Room in ten minutes.”

His smile gets wider. “Sure thing, Sally.”

My grin shatters.

“Sadie,” I correct him.

He appears confused.

“My name is Sadie.”

“Sadie, right.” He turns his attention to the chickens. 
The bags they’re wrapped in are different colors: Yellow for Lemon Pepper, green for Sage, red for Barbeque. “Sorry.”

I say, “It’s okay.”

But it’s not.

I stand there, watching Ranger, ideas formulating.

He glances at me. “What?”

I don’t like his condescending tone of voice.


“I said I’m sorry.”

As if that excuses him.

When I was off work, due to the accident, I had a lot of time to read. Not only self-help, other things. I downloaded a few books, including Cereal (by Blakette Crotch and Josephine Kornrash), about this woman who works in a supermarket, like me. She has this thing for Raisin Bran. I think it’s a true story. 

Anyway, I found it inspiring.

I bat my eyelashes at Ranger, imagining how he’d look completely naked, his skin oiled and brown, juices flowing as I roast him slowly on a spit.

“You’re a sweet girl, Sadie.”

“No I’m not.”

He places the color-coded bags on a cart, preparing to dump them. Says, “There are starving people in this world who’d kill me for these chickens.”

“In this town,” I add. “So, are we on?”

“I could go to hell.”

“For fucking me or dumping chickens?”

I walk away, feel him watching my posterior. I think of his, tight and muscular.

Pausing by a display of salami, I lean over the bin, admiring the sausages, and twerk my ass for Ranger.

I’m gratified when I hear the splat of roasted chicken falling on the floor.

A sudden craving for corn—the food I’ve been avoiding, find repulsive—steers my body into Produce. I grab an ear out of the bin—big, fat Olathe—and slip it into a pocket of my apron. The store has cameras everywhere, but at this time of day the security guy is probably half-asleep, bored out of his mind from staring at monitors. I pass through Dairy, shove a tub of imitation butter into another pocket.

Rack it up to shrink; that’s supermarket jargon for losses.

I circle back to the bathrooms, collect a spray bottle of cleaner and a box of paper towels from the cart sitting at the entryway, pull on rubber gloves, and push open the door marked Women’s.

A customer washes her hands at the newly refurbished sink, oblivious to the mess she’s making. Drips of soap smear the counter and water spills onto the floor. She glances at me and, noticing my cleaning supplies, offers a patronizing smile.

“I’ll get out of your way,” she says politely, but disdain screams from her eyes.

“No hurry, Take your time.” Under my breath, Sadie the Sadist adds, “Meanwhile, I’ll fill that sink with soap and you can lick it clean or die.”

I don’t think the woman heard me.

She waves her hand at the automatic dispenser (another recent upgrade), wipes her hands on the resulting towel, and tosses the crumpled paper at the trash can. She doesn’t notice (ignores it) when the towel lands on the floor.

I wonder what would happen if I spray this cleaning solution in her eyes. Would the whites turn red? Would the ammonia burn? Cause a milky film to form on her retina? Would she beg me to stop?

The woman leaves. I squirt the counter, wipe it. After polishing the mirror, I run my gloved fingers through my hair, mouse brown, nondescript. I wonder how I’d look if I dyed it flaming red. Red is an appropriate color for Sadie the Sadist, don’t you think? I turn sideways to the mirror, stand on tip-toes, suck in my gut. The tub of imitation butter pouches my apron, and I look like I’m about to give birth to an alien. I slip my hand into the apron’s pocket. The cob of corn feels like a giant hard-on.

Makes me think of Ranger.  

I glance at the stalls. Chances are Terri the Terrible will come in here to inspect my work, so I have to clean the toilets. I pull my phone out of my pocket (we’re not supposed to carry phones, but everybody does), check the time and realize I’d better hit the Men’s Room if I want to hook up with Ranger.

Thinking about his ass makes me cream.

I fill out the chart taped to the door of the Women’s bathroom. Time: 8PM. Cleaning: visual, light, or deep. (I choose deep.) Initials. Hugging the spray bottle and box of paper towels, I head to the Men’s Room, anticipation causing pussy juice to trickle down my thighs.

I knock, and then call out, “Anybody in there?”

No answer, so I push the door open.

A guy stands at the urinal, shaking himself.

“Be right out,” he says.

I watch as he zips his fly.

Bypassing the sink, he leaves.

Do men ever wash their hands?

I set the Cleaning/Wet Floors sign outside the door. 

To pass the time while I wait for Ranger, I spray down the counter, glance into the stalls. One’s not too bad, but the other looks like a ticker tape parade marched through it: streamers of shitty toilet paper trampled on the floor. I’ll leave that mess for the porter.

I glance at my phone, checking the time.

Ranger should be here by now. Dumping chickens shouldn’t take twenty minutes. I go out to the cleaning cart to get the mop and pail of water, glance toward the check stands.

No sign of him, so I text: Wair r u?!?

I watch my phone for a full minute.

No response. So, I call him.

Finally, he picks up.

“What? I’m working.”

“Are you coming?”



What does later mean? Before I have a chance to ask, he hangs up.

If he’s not coming, I’ll come by myself.

I grab the mop and dunk it into the pail, splashing water on my sneakers. The Men’s Room floor is covered with yellow-brown foot prints. I mop around the toilets, avoiding strands of paper, and back my way out of the door.

I had plans.

I hate it when someone screws up my plans.

The dent in my female pride deepens into a chasm—a dark abyss churning with rage.

I bend over the pail and twist the mop imagining it’s Ranger’s neck, imagining it’s every man who’s ever jerked me around. The corncob in my pocket jabs me, and wet heat rushes through my body as I formulate a new and better plan. The thought of it makes my slit gush.

Forget the Men’s Room. I need privacy.

I run back to the door marked Women, peeling off my rubber gloves. All the stalls are empty. Good. I duck into the first one, secure the lock. Bending over the pail meant for discarded tampons, I quickly shuck the cob of corn, dig my fingers into the tub of margarine and butter up. I’m dripping with anticipation. The cob slides right in.

Who doesn’t love creamed corn?


Zané has worked for several large corporations, and those situations have, in part, inspired this story. Sadly, she has found that the current work environment in the U.S. often treats workers as expendable units, comparable to robots. More and more, automated systems and machines are replacing human workers. Zané expects to be replaced by a robot any day. 

Perhaps, sometime soon, the perfect novel will be written by artificial intelligence. Until then, Zané offers you her flawed perspective and hopes you find it entertaining.

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