Between Sara’s school work, her father’s shift work, and her mother’s medicated naps their family only had one hour of quality time to interact at suppertime. At the dinner table they each took turns to talk about their day. Her mother described the dozen of true crime stories that she watched daily. One was about a mother poisoning her kids food for insurance money another described a restaurant that was caught serving spoiled milk and bad meat that made people deathly ill. Because of her mother’s stories of salmonella and food poisoning and the fact that a bad case of it happened every so often over the years in the school cafeteria, Sara brought a bagged lunch feeding into her paranoia and phobia of germs (Mysophobia), meat (Carnophobia), and poison (Toxiphobia). Those fears led to her becoming a vegetarian, as well as taking a shower twice a day and washing her hands between classes and every hour at home which led to yet another state Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Sara saw the lunch lady as enemy #1. Sweat rolled down her face she wiped it away with her hand and sneezed over the food it was so unsanitary! And how could she not wash her hands after going to the washroom? Sara witnessed it and she believed the woman was purposely serving them tainted meat and spoiled milk.  Maybe if she had a taste of her own medicine? Sara had seen on a true crime re-enactment on television that this guy’s girlfriends poisoned him by putting eye drops in his beer because he repeatedly cheated on her. She noticed the woman always had a large bottle of chocolate milk so she dumped eight bottles into it and the woman got terrible stomach ache so she went home. Once there her body temperature decreased, there were swings in her blood pressure, she had blurred vision, as well as tremors and bleeding until at 6:00 a.m. the lunch lady wasn’t moving or breathing.

Illustrated by: Jason Hendrickson


Ellen was sitting at a lunch table with her regular group of popular friends and she winked at Sara as if they shared a dark secret. Well they kind of did first the fire and when she was putting the drops in the milk Ellen had seen her do it. Dam that’s twice now but the girl hadn’t blown the whistle on her yet. Why? Sara began to wonder if Ellen was a victim or the perpetrator. Ellen certainly lent a hand to Sara with the fire and now she kept another one of Sara’s murderous secrets quiet. Still Sara wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Detective Buck Dale and Detective Jack Nickels headed to the school and questioned all the students. No-one said they saw Sara give the lunch lady a milkshake surely someone had to see it but Sara got the impression that Ellen warned them all not to say a word and Ellen had a power over people she scared them. Buck and Jack began investigating the woman’s friends, family, or boyfriend but they shook their heads knowing it was a lost cause. They came up with nothing but that was two deaths at the school and that was the only link they had for now. Sara had no clue that she was treading on thin water because of her localized murders and if she didn’t change it up next time she might get caught. It would remain to be seen if Sara was smart enough to recognize the danger.