It’s adorable really, the ways she tries to kill me.
The first time, she poisoned my wine. I was impressed, albeit irritated that she’d disturbed the smoothness of an expensive Chianti. She blushed with pride and anticipation when she saw me take a big gulp of my glass. Later that evening, I admired the pretty new robe she’d bought herself, told her I loved her, and was quite entertained with how well she pretended all was as it should be.
The next morning, I found the dealer who sold her the powdered ratbane, and snapped his neck. I didn’t want anyone else’s wine spoiled.
A few nights after that, she tried the smothering method. Less planning, more opportunistic, as I’d gone to bed a bit early after a long day spent brooding in my office. Our king bed with its gaudy frame she loved so would have been an excellent place for her to pose alongside my body, telling an officer how she’d come to check on me, offer me a pill for my head, only to find her dear unresponsive. But unfortunately for her, after she spent several long moments making sure my body had gone still under the silk covered pillow, I rolled over, and let out an obnoxious snore to let her know there was no need to call the authorities quite yet.
She let out a wail of frustration, I had to bury my head in the sheets not to laugh.
My least favorite was the gun. I’ve always disliked the use of gunpowder, except when they were developed into fireworks, some people are ingenious. Over time, humanity has found less and less honorable ways to commit violence and I cannot help but associate that with the gun itself. At least she chose a revolver, pairing it with those black tights I like under a gray pencil skirt. It was like she’d walked out of a noir detective movie and into our library.
“Yes, darling?” I’d said.
POP she’d replied.
“Oh my,” I answered, shifting to inspect the hole in my favorite reading chair, “what a terrible accident, dove. We’ll need to get you some lessons if marksmanship is going to be your new sport.”
I stood, taking the hot instrument from her shaking hand, turning to see the second hole had hit my signed copy of The Lady of the Shroud in its place on the bookshelf. What an utter shame, it was going to take centuries to hunt another down.
“This thing is going off like crazy, sweet. Let me take it and have it checked by my man. And let’s get you a glass of wine, and here take my sweater, you’re shivering!”
All through dinner, she kept poking her little finger through the hole in my cardigan. It was so cute.
For a few weeks following the library incident, my poor sweet seemed to wane into a sliver of herself. I offered to bring her friends over for a party or buy her any trinket she desired, but nothing seemed to cheer her. I decided she needed some fresh air to liven her spirits. And yes, this brought a spark to her eye! So off we went, a tour around Europe. With each passing day I filled her with French croissants and chocolates, Italian wines and German meats, she seemed more like her brilliant self again. I was filled with joy! We laughed and danced through the cobbled streets of the old world, like a second honeymoon, lost in one another.
And then, when we reached Ireland, we were taking in the sunset, I peered into those deep dark eyes that enchanted me so, and she pushed me off the Cliffs of Moher.
How I chortled on the way down! Oh she’s so clever, my doting wife. My heart and stomach full, defenses down, and away I went! The story would have come together so simply too- we’d been drinking fine Irish whiskey all afternoon, and fooling around on the cliffside, how easily to believe a creature of my age could innocently loose their footing, leaving a shocked widow crying out to the wind.
When I finally made my way back to her, she had her hands on her hips. Her eyes were large as the boulders I’d landed on, but she was chewing on her tongue to keep her mouth from opening in awe.
“How clumsy am I! Sorry you had to wait for the climb up. Shall we go for another round of whiskey, love? Or should I call you lass here? HA!”
I offered her my arm and she took it, staring me down over our glasses all evening long.
Even though the Cliffs had let her down instead of me, my flower still appeared rejuvenated from our trip, and I was glad for it.
Her creativity really knew no bounds. Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with her all those years ago- she looked so elegant, all in black, as we gazed at each other across her father’s coffin. He had not noticed the difference in his wine, apparently. She was capable of so much; she just needed someone around to encourage her avocations. “When you get bored playing bachelorette,” I whispered after the service, “I’d love to take you out to dinner. I think we’d have a lot of fun.”
And I was right! Since our wedding, she’d raised several champion race horses, built four successful charity foundations, one of which is international, patroned multiple young artists from unknown to world-renowned, and this new hobby was quite engrossing as well.
Look at these markings! You’d never notice the tiny dots between my toes unless one was looking hard for foul play, and who would look past an aneurism on someone with a couple silver streaks as I? She looked a little shocked in the morning when I came down for breakfast, but made me a coffee the way I like it all the same with cream, no sugar, and we chatted friendly over our eggs.
She loosened the straps on my saddle when we went horse riding. I of course had the trainer fired and she spent the rest of the day with the poor, spooked beast. I offered to buy her a new horse instead, but she said this one just needed more attention. I took that as a clue, as all good spouses should, and took her on a proper date that very evening, as well as throwing a party that weekend for all her favorite friends.
I’m not sure how she got our replica statue of Discobolus set on its edge, she’s such a lithe one. The timing had to be impeccable, and I couldn’t help but smirk at her calculations as the athlete came crashing down on me. Scratched the marble in the foyer terribly, though. She cooed such sweet nothings to me as we both blamed what absolutely must have been the new maids for such a mishap.
We took a romantic canoe ride across the pond in the back garden, and she had hidden a large brick in the picnic basket under the biscuits. No wonder she wouldn’t let me carry it for her. While I basked in the sun with my eyes closed, she tied this to my shoes and sent me over the edge of the boat. When I waded back to the shore, I told her we’d need to meet with the gardener. Wouldn’t a few more lily pads be lovely for when she was out here painting in the summer? She agreed, and offered to carry my wet clothes for me so I didn’t catch cold, the saint.
I was upset when we lost the mountain cabin though. It was so peaceful and quiet away from the world, up where the bears and blackberries grow. But the flames against the night sky were magnificent, like an ancient pyre. And I was so dazzled by her brilliance- not even the insurance inspector could figure out how the chimney flue latch had broken! Several days later we nuzzled under a blanket while she showed me the designs she’d drawn up for our new cabin. Such a renaissance woman, is mine.
The tripwire at the top of the stairs especially delighted me. She had to have put it up so quickly! I came out of my office, found her in the library, kissed the top of her head, and said I was going to freshen up for dinner. I was only in the bedroom for a moment to put on a clean shirt and wipe my face off. And how delicate her dainty fingers had to be, for the thing was insanely sharp- the ends of my slacks were now in irreparable ribbons where I lay. Yet, here I find her, unruffled, looking as if she has not moved an iota from where I last left her. The only notable difference when I reach her side is there are now two glasses of port on the small table next to her.
One for us each.
“Happy anniversary, my love,” she whispers against my cheek with a kiss.
“Til death do us part, my sweet,” I clink my glass to hers, and chuckle.
Endure (verb): 1. Suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently. 2. Remain in existence; last.
I feel like somewhere in the government, there are 3 lists of people who make the google searches like the ones I did while writing this story: 1. Potential Murders, 2. Potential Authors, 3. Might Be Both.
I’d like my own personal FBI stalker to know that I’m list #2 (which I know, is something list #3 would say) mostly because I’m probably way too clumsy to get away with anything I’d want to, so best to just let things be.
The further along I got in this short little number, I couldn’t help but think of Gomez Adams from the Adams Family. How he would be so very supportive and complimentary of Morticia if she’d decided her new hobby was to try to kill him and get away with it, haha. Gomez really is one of the top spouse goals, isn’t he?
Just a fun little one-off I wanted to get down on a very windy night. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did writing, and find yourselves partners just as supportive of all your hobbies! But… different hobbies, hopefully.
And, as always, happy reading!