How Can You Fake It…?

  • 08 Jan - 14 Jan, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

As many reasons as there are to kill yourself, there are just as many reasons to fake your own death. And the reason is the easiest part of that. Pick one out of a bunch of these options in order to satisfy your own gut feeling of not being on the wrong side, whatsoever. Losing your job, losing your loved ones, losing your lover, or may be the lamest reason of them all and that can even be losing the cap to the toothpaste; they’re all extremely valid reasons to disappear from the scene all of a sudden. The why isn't the hard part, the hard part is the where, when, and how. Truly, planning how to kill yourself is certainly more difficult than actually killing yourself. Whether you’re preparing for a wedding or a suicide; the logistics will always be the death of you.

Pseudocide, “the act of faking one’s own death,” has existed and been committed for centuries. There are many scenarios that might come to mind about why and how someone would concoct and attempt to carry out this type of fraud. Some reasons that, to some people, are obvious and others that are beyond fathomable.

Often, people who attempt pseudocide lack a true comprehension of the potential consequences of their actions and, in most cases, knowledge of how best to plan for and successfully execute their escapades. Those who attempt this façade come from all walks of life, from ordinary, everyday citizens to notable authors to those in the corporate hierarchy.

For Celeste, the where had already been decided. The pristine and fully– furnished beach house which she purchased on impulse with her first series check had been vacant for years and was just begging for a little drama. An hour drive in her cherry–red convertible brought Celeste to the main entrance where she casually entered the gate code and coasted to the semi–circle driveway. The exterior had been repainted twice since she had bought the property. The semi–gloss coating went from powder–blue, to sun–kissed beige, and back to powder–blue, all at Celeste’s request, even though she had never physically been there. Often, Celeste wondered how she had ever managed to make her life so complicated, and furthermore, why anyone actually complied with her requests.

The tabloids called her very high–maintenance, hard to work with, and bitchy…

what not!

The beds of her six–bedroom/four–bathroom beautiful Barbie Beach Mansion had never been slept in. The nautical curtains still hung crisply from the floor to ceiling windows and the hard wood was so polished her designer sandals squeaked on the chestnut flooring of the main foyer. The maid Celeste paid to maintain the property had opened the crystal–clear sliding glass doors to let in the ocean air. A nice gesture, but Celeste didn't plan to be around to accommodate the maid for her extra effort.

After shooting on location in Ireland for nearly half a year the Pacific sea breeze was somewhere between refreshing and nauseating. Inhaling the natural sodium of the California air, Celeste wondered if maybe her sudden unsettled stomach had less to do with her choice of setting and more to do with the half–stomach full of prescription pills she had popped like rainbow Skittles during her road–trip.

The tabloids called her drug–addict, party–girl, total mess.

She surveyed the individual rooms of the house. Having viewed them online from her laptop while she was in Europe, seeing their details in person was drastically less impressive than the guided video tour had led her to believe. Celeste brought her pouty pink lips into a smirk. If there was anything she had learned from her experience in the entertainment industry, it was that video often lied. Talking pictures could be edited to tell any story. They could make any angel into a demon.

Coral lines formed in the sky as sunset approached like poetry. With the where set in stone, the when of Celeste’s plotted demise was still up for debate. The orange and pink in the sky was getting darker, and seemed to speak to the Celeste like the kind of painting you would only see hanging above a toilet. Sunset it would be.

The sand was colder than Celeste had imagined it would be when squished between her toes at the bottom of the deck. With the when and where decided, it was really only a matter of how. There were still plenty of tropical colored pills in her bag upstairs, knives in the kitchen, fresh linens that could be twisted into navy–blue and off–white colored braids. The twin bed sheets with the little anchors in the spare bedroom would make quite a fashionable hanging rope, she thought. But no, Celeste had chosen her private beach house for a very specific reason, and as she watched the strong waves pound furiously on the shore the ‘how’ became more and more clear.

Celeste had never been much of a writer. Her expertise was seeing the words on the page, memorizing them, and bringing them to life when the camera rolled. The right starlet, in the right location, at the right time was the type of lightening in a bottle Celeste knew how to capture. For her most recent scene, she just needed the perfect script; the right words to make her audience miss her when she was gone. She wanted tears.

She wanted apologies.

Then she would return.

The paper crinkled under her hands as the wind blew small tornadoes of sand over her bare feet. Celeste could hardly believe herself that after the millions she has spent on footwear alone, she was about to pretend to die shoe–less but, she had been told the worthiest sacrifices of all were often made in the name of art. Pulling the pen from her dress pocket she scrawled in exaggerated bubble lettering. Her words were short enough to fit multiple mediums; the caption of a black and white picture or an epitaph on a tombstone.

With her final thoughts completed, Celeste got to her feet and sunk into the moist grains for a few seconds before setting her sites on the ocean, prepared to create the illusion that it had swallowed her whole. Tucking the letter into an envelope, she wedged it between the railings of the wooden steps then walked slowly towards the roaring waves.

This was about to be her finest theatrical moment. But, somehow, in all her planning, the one thing Celeste had

not accounted for logistically was the power of an unforgiving undertow combined with a stomach full of muscle relaxers.

The tabloids starting calling her reckless, unbelievable and dead.

- Anonymous