Sudsy Bath and 'That Morning'!
We visited It's a Fluke at Woodbine on Sunday. There's more about it below this short story, plus a photo.
This piece is another 'word challenge' story that I wrote for a meeting of the Uxbridge Writers' Circle. The words I had to use are in italics. I hope you enjoy it. (I am not a bit like Marjorie - just to put your minds at rest! And, of course, Martin's not at all like Terry!!!).
Terry felt omnipotent as he sat in his large, over-stuffed wingback chair. He was a self-made man and proud of it. He ran his businesses with a tight fist, demanding loyalty, dedication, and hard work from every single one of his employees. He expected them to pay attention to the details since he had no time to niggle over petty trifles. After all, he had an empire to run and was the big-picture guy.
He was a success in his own eyes in everything he did, not just his business ventures. He’d married Marjorie three years earlier and she was a good catch. She was the epitome of the perfect housewife. It didn’t take much to train her to make his coffee how he liked it, to iron his shirts with the creases in the right places, to polish his shoes so they gleamed, and to do the myriad of other duties he expected. And the house was clean, at least as far as he could tell, and the garden looked cared for.
He wasn’t interested in having children. He thought it was considerate of him to think of the impact that children would have on Marjorie’s life. After all, she would be compelled to continue with her current duties since he couldn’t be inconvenienced or his schedule disrupted in any way. So, there wouldn’t be time for children. To make absolutely certain this didn’t happen, he had taken a mistress called Melody. She’d approached him when he was at his favourite pub for a drink one afternoon about a year ago. It was indeed fortuitous. She knew how to satisfy him and the arrangement worked very well. Marjorie could get chores done while he was out.
So, when Terry looked at himself in the mirror that morning, he was pretty pleased with his life and was content, yes, content was the right word.
Marjorie kept a journal. It was well hidden. Her cousin had told her that writing regularly about one’s daily life could be therapeutic. She had to do something to help calm her seething rage and burning resentment. She was nothing but a slave to this uncaring, ugly, and self-satisfied man. But she didn’t have the courage to leave. To her knowledge, there weren’t any women’s shelters in those days. In any case, he was rarely physically abusive – only if she made mistakes, like when she was late with his coffee, and when his supper wasn’t hot enough. And she certainly wasn’t about to crash at her cousin’s place – for one thing her cousin ran her business out of her home. So, she had nowhere to go.
But, that morning, she saw him looking in the mirror with a conceited smirk on his face which incited her hatred. The loathing bubbled and effervesced inside her. She was not going to take this any longer. She would do what she and her cousin had schemed a little more than a year ago. At the time, Marjorie played along but all the while believed that she would never be able to follow through. She lacked the courage, compounded by the fact that she’d been a dependent her whole life. It was just too scary.
But that morning was the turning point. And there was no going back in Marjorie’s mind.
She put on her white cotton gloves, the large head scarf she detested, and her sunglasses. She walked down the street, along an alleyway, and climbed some stone steps. She retrieved the key from under the mat, let herself in, and went upstairs. She found what she wanted in her cousin Melody’s top dresser drawer.
Back at home, she poured the whisky just how Terry liked it, having the ice on hand to add just as he walked through the door. She handed him the cut-glass tumbler and, as usual, he didn’t acknowledge her as he sank into his chair. He took a couple of gulps and swallowed, and then let out a sigh of contentment.
She reached under the sofa cushion, pulled out the derringer, and pointed it at him. She had only one shot, so she had to do it right. She aimed for his cold heart and pulled the trigger before he had time to register that something wasn’t right, and killed him.
Marjorie dropped the gun onto the floor, picked up her bag, and walked to the bus station. With one month’s worth of housekeeping money, she had enough to make it to Mexico. No one would miss him until the morning. And, perhaps, no one would miss him at all.
Vicky Earle Copyright 2023
Soap gets in your eyes!
But It's a Fluke is used to having a sudsy bath every day after his exercise.
We visited him on Sunday, one week after the race when he came last (see my previous post for more).
And he's fine.
He had a good run around the training track and the (wonderful) exercise rider was tired afterwards, telling us that It's a Fluke is 'very strong'.
When we returned to the barn, he was happy to munch on the carrots we brought for him.
He's a big boy and still growing!
We hope he'll have a positive experience in his next race.
We're not sure when that will be. We don't want to rush him and we want the right opportunity for him.
Thank you for reading my posts. Please share.
PS I'm writing page 46 of the first draft of Book 6 in the Meg Sheppard Mystery Series!