Wednesday, September 29, 2010

While I'm Gone

His eyes darted furtively towards the clock. He was running out of time; his departure was imminent. He struggled to replace the tamper proof cap, his big meat paws fumbling to align the arrows just so. The contents of the opened bottle would be visible when the body was found. He would be at the conference in Albuquerque, his alibi set. He could come home and start again. Or maybe he wouldn't come back at all, maybe he'd relocate to New York City or San Francisco. Anywhere. Alone.

Footsteps entering the room caused him to turn around. She started fussing with his bags, making sure everything was packed correctly, that the tags were properly filled out. He could feel the anger and frustration beginning to rise inside him; why couldn't she just leave everything alone? Sighing deeply, he went over to her, holding out the bottle.

"Don't forget to take your meds while I'm gone."

She looked at the bottle, then gave him a quizzical look.

"I don't need to take them anymore. The doctor said I was all better."

He placed the bottle in her palm, closing her fingers around it. The doctor had said no such thing, told him privately that she was getting worse, that it was only a matter of time before she dissolved into a total psychotic state. This was the only way to keep her safe, to keep him safe.

"That's not what the doctor said. You need to keep taking them."

"Fuck the doctor! There's nothing wrong with me!"

She threw the bottle towards the kitchen, making it bounce off the refrigerator. It landed next to the espresso machine. She hated espresso. She hated that kitchen, and the way he was always nagging her to eat healthy, complaining about all the work he did preparing meals for her that she never ate. She glared at him, defying him to confront her. He walked over and picked up the bottle, bringing it back and placing it in her purse.

"I'll go warm up the car. My flight's in two hours. Hopefully we won't hit any traffic at this time of night."

He walked towards the front door, the weight of the world on his shoulders. Soon. Soon it would be over. Soon they'd be free of each other, and he'd be able to breath again.

She stood in the middle of the room and waited. She heard the car door open and close. She turned her head towards the front window; she had a clear view of the car at the curb. She saw him fiddle with the rear view mirror, click his seat belt, then put the key in the ignition.

The explosion was instantaneous. The doors,the windows and the roof of the car all blew off. Flames engulfed what was left of his body. She stood looking for another minute, then went to the hall closet, pulling out her suitcase and coat. She placed her coat on the couch and picked up the phone, dialing quickly.

"Hello? I'd like to order a cab to the airport, please."


  1. Wow! I did not see that one coming. Have you thought about submitting to A Twist of Noir? This seems like something that Christopher might like.

  2. Your mind works in mysterious ways, much like mine. I love it.

  3. Turn about is fair play as they say.

  4. Didn't expect that...brilliant, I loved it!

  5. Awesome!! Lovely twist. This could well be a movie :-) Well done!

  6. Wow! That was good! Did not see the twist coming at all. Reads like a movie script.

  7. Thanks for the feedback. I'm having a lot of trouble coming up with titles lately; I'm not 100% sure I like this one. I'm not sure it grabs a reader's interest.

  8. It is a bit disconnected in the first paragraph, but pulled me in pretty quickly. I loved the twist. Loved her coldness.

    Ah...true love...burns like no other. ;)