When Soap Operas Follow Fairy Tale Plots by Brenda Nicholas
Sheathed in Chanel, Maria sneaks into Frank’s hotel room where a happenstance glass of green fitness juice waits for Frank’s lips on the desk. If Frank had not slept with Suzanne, Maria would not have to do this, but she must. She takes her bottle of prescription pills out of her purse and after dropping them all over the floor and picking them up in slow motion as the camera spans back and forth between Maria’s petrified face and flustered fingers, she deftly drops two pills in Frank’s gym drink and scurries out. Frank returns to his concoction seconds later, just missing Maria by a single spilled pill, sips his drink and collapses in a messy heap. Maria runs into Diana at the restaurant only to discover Layla lied to her about Frank cheating on her with Suzanne, so she hobbles to the hospital wearing only one high heel on her right foot. The doctor enters the waiting room, where Maria waits in paranoid pain. He announces that Frank will not die from pill poisoning, after all, because Frank is not Frank; he is Tim, Frank’s twin brother who flew in from Canada yesterday to impersonate Frank in a debunked effort to ruin Frank’s chances at his inheritance.
Brenda Nicholas is an Associate Professor of English at Temple College in Texas. Her work has appeared in The Painted Bride Quarterly, Main Channel Voices, Red River Review, Illya’s Honey, Menacing Hedge, Snapdragon, The Helix Magazine, and other literary journals. Her chapbook, Hari Om, Hurry Home is forthcoming at Finishing Line Press.