Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bloody Lemons

Magpie 55
Sandra hadn't woken up deciding to kill her husband. It happened quite by accident. It had been a typical Saturday spring morning. She was up with the sun, spent time out in her back garden clearing her beds for planting, and had finally gone in for some breakfast. She was happy and at peace with the world.

When she walked in the back door, there he sat, reading the morning paper. Sam always just sat. He was an unmotivated blob. Whatever it was that had prompted Sandra to marry him right out of college, she couldn't remember, it had been so many years ago. Luckily they'd never had any children. She couldn't imagine him as a father.

When he lost his job in the I.T. Department at a large real estate company, for not following company policy, or some other such nonsense, she wasn't surprised. He probably hadn't been doing his job there for years.

He never did anything at home; never lifted a finger to take out the trash, made their bed, cook, or clean. Sandra worked as a librarian at a local elementary school and came home exhausted every day. The least he could do was help out at home once in a while, especially since he was unemployed. There he sat, reading the paper and collecting his unemployment checks. Thanks to the Obama administration he'd been doing that for a year and would milk it for as long as he could.

Sandra sighed inwardly. "Find any jobs today dear?" she asked cheerfully.

"Only the usual garbage,"  Sam muttered from behind his newspaper wall.

She washed her hands at the sink, then went to the refrigerator. "Well, I'm sure something will come up."

Opening the refrigerator door she pulled open the fruit/vegetable drawer and searched among the salad ingredients for a lemon for her tea. Sandra always enjoyed a cup of herbal, decaffeinated tea in the mornings.

Filling the kettle and fixing her tea, she eyeballed Sam behind the paper, wondering how much it would take to kick him out and divorce him. She made a note to herself to call a good lawyer on Monday. It was time. He hadn't contributed anything to this marriage, either financially or emotionally for years. Better to get rid of him.

Sam turned down the corner of his paper. His ice blue eyes stared at her. "What are you standing there staring at me for woman?"

Sandra jumped and turned back to the counter, pulling a knife from the block and a cutting board from the dish drainer. "Oh nothing."

It crossed her mind several times as she cut the lemon into small wedges that she could just stab Sam and be done with it. She looked at the slender, sharp knife in her hand. She could bury him in her garden. No one would ever know. He had no family left and certainly had no friends. He never went anywhere or did anything but sit and read the paper or watch TV. He wouldn't be missed. The feeling to kill him was so overwhelming that her limbs were flooded with adrenaline. Her heart beat rapidly in her small chest. Sandra decided she'd do it.

With the knife in hand Sandra turned towards Sam. Too late. Sam had walked up silently behind her. The long, sharp ice pick slid neatly into her chest. His cold eyes observed her last moments as she bled and strained to breath. She struggled to release herself, but he held the ice pick firmly in a gloved hand.

"Why  . . .?" she gasped.

"I'm tired of being judged by you Sandra. I'm tired of you and this house and this life. I sent a resignation letter with your signature on it, forged by me of course, to the principal of your school yesterday. The house goes on the market Monday. That job I was fired from? Well, I hired a good lawyer and sued them and won. I hit the lottery on that one. Those idiots didn't give me evaluations on my job performance over the years. I did my research. When they hired me I signed a contract they forgot about. It said they couldn't fire me without regular negative evaluations. I sued them for wrongful termination, emotional distress, and punitive damages. Turns out I get millions.

So now I'm free of a crappy job, free of a shrewish wife, free of all of this!" He motioned around the kitchen.

Sandra slid to the floor. Sam watched her then lumbered towards the garden shed where her shovels and rakes were kept. It was time to start digging.

Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: Tess Kincaid @

Author's note: This short story is dedicated to O. Henry, the master of twisted endings. I love a good story and love a twisted ending even better! ;o) Thanks also to Tess for her fabulous photos that inspire my best stories!  Corrina


  1. O'Henry would be proud...well done. Vb

  2. "Sandra hadn't woken up deciding to kill her husband. It happened quite by accident."

    The first 2 sentences alone were so intriguing, I had to read on! You are a natural mystery writer, sis (no doubt some of your reading has paid off!). Loved the ice pick part, ewww!

  3. Great twisted ending. Nice write, Corrina!

  4. He deserves the backache he'll get from all that digging. Well written!

  5. Oh wow. Intense twist. An ice pick too. Did not see that coming.