“Revenge (Best Served Cold)”

2 oz. Gin                                                                     

1 Tsp. Grenadine                                                      

10 Castor Beans (ground into Ricin)                                          

8 oz. Acetone

Chilled Seltzer or Club Soda

1 Tsp. Lye

3 oz. Cranberry Juice



1. While your husband is “out of town” on a “business trip,” pour 2 ounces of hot water in a jar along with a teaspoon of lye. Mix thoroughly.

2. Once the lye/water mixture is cool, carefully place the 10 castor beans into the liquid. Soak for an hour.

3. As the beans soak, remember where your husband is.

4. Be extremely careful while pouring out the liquid into a strainer.

5. Rinse the beans with cool water and remove the outer husks with tweezers.

6. You know the hotel and what goes on there.

7. Place the bean pulps into a blender along with 8 ounces of acetone.

8. Blend the pulp and acetone until they become milky white.

9. Pour the mixture into a glass jar. Airtight. And let sit for three days.

10. Wait with whimsy.

11. Three long days gone, shake the jar, remixing the settled poison, then pour the mixture into a coffee filter over the sink.

12. When no more liquid is seeping, squeeze the last of the acetone out. Do not lose the bean pulps.

13. You’re almost there. Your blood boils. You are alive. Do you feel it?

14. Spread out the filter on a pan covered with newspaper. Let it harden like all his liquid lies.

15. Marvel the mound of powder. Revel your Ricin.

16. When your husband walks through the door offer him a Gin Spritzer.

17. While he is in the other room washing off another woman’s lips, grab a tall glass and fill it with 4 ice cubes.

18. Combine the gin, cranberry juice, and grenadine, then the Ricin.

19. Fill the glass with chilled seltzer. Stir well. Smile.

20. Give the man his drink and a kiss of death on the cheek.

21. Four days later you’re on a plane, and his heart halts in Heaven Hotel.

22. The revenge sweet as grenadine.

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Jesse Mardian

About Jesse Mardian

Jesse Mardian earned his bachelor’s degree in English at California State University Long Beach. He now resides in San Jose where he’s enrolled in the MFA program for fiction at San Jose State University.