Photo by Vitaliy Shevchenko on Unsplash
I glanced at my Patek Philippe Rose Gold watch for probably the sixth time in about as many minutes. The Uber driver was going too fast even as he turned left into my driveway. 7:16. I hadn’t planned to be home that soon. The one time I wanted to be late for dinner there were four Ubers circling the block around my office. I had hit Choose UberSelect too fast. Damn. Well. Adam promised me everything would be tidied up before 6:30. I just wanted to leave a little extra time before his cleaning crew left. I thanked my Uber driver, pulled my Kate Spade Kitt Large Tote off the back seat next to me and hovered in the driveway to punch out a five-star rating and a three-dollar tip before walking slowly to the front door. All I wanted was to find my husband in the kitchen.
Dead. That’s all I had asked for. All I had planned for. All I had paid for. I saw I got my money’s worth when I opened the door and found Jerry sprawled on the Bette Marfil Mosaic tile floor face down, my Williams Sonoma Carrara Marble Barrel rolling pin beside him covered in flour and blood. And then I heard footsteps behind me.
I gasped. Held my Bright Carnation nylon handbag in two hands like a shield, wondering if I’d been double-crossed. But there was only one rolling pin in the house. Would they use my KitchenAid® Artisan® 5-Quart Tilt-Head Aqua Stand Mixer on me next? Come to think of it, at twenty-eight pounds, why didn’t they use that on Jerry instead? A throat cleared.
Well, better than a throat slit.
My God. The beat cop from around the block. I recognized that velvet baritone from previous CAPS meetings. Being seen as a concerned citizen is as good as an alibi.
I turned around. Whimpered.
“We got a call about a disturbance in the house. Your husband. I’m sorry. He’s dead.”
I bit my lip, stifling a giggle. Bent my head into the Kate Spade, inhaling the faux leather. We all want to save the planet.
“I’m so sorry, ma’am.”
I leaned into him. He smelled of talc and pine. Aqua Pour Homme? Bulgari? On a cop’s salary? I moved in closer. He didn’t step away. This was going to work out better than I imagined.
I pulled back, looked up, wiping non-existent tears. Smiled.
“Please. Call me Lois.”
Brenda Kilianski’s play, Free Radicals, was published by Chicago Dramaworks, its world premiere produced by Stockyards Theatre Project. Her poems have been published in journals and anthologies including Brava! Chronogram, Spillway, and ONTHEBUS, her essays in the Chicago Tribune, while her short story “On My Honor” was recently published in Shotgun Honey. Brenda lives in Albany, New York with two cats and ten thousand books and works as a reference librarian, the closest she could get to becoming Nancy Drew.
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