Friday, August 12, 2016

I was trying to decide which story to share for a flash fiction contest about the number thirteen as Halloween tale. This is one I didn't share.
In Thirteen Days
I have lived with the same woman for thirteen years--- thirteen long, grueling years. Thirteen years of being in the same house with a harridan: one thousand and five miserable days, twenty-four thousand, one hundred and twenty ghastly hours. Exactly how much more can I take?
I’m not afraid of the number thirteen, but, in thirteen days, thirteen hours, thirteen minutes, and fourteen, thirteen, twelve minutes I will be retiring. Do I need to say anything more? I will be living with her twenty-four hours each day. I could scream.
Divorce? No way. She’d still stick to me like a leech and try to suck me dry of everything I’d earned.
Just drop everything, run away, and start a new life? In all of my life, I’d never run away and hid from anyone or anything. I wasn’t about to start now.
Kill her? Hmmm, now that’s an idea. Shut her loud mouth once and for all, and silence her grating voice for eternity. All I had to do now was to decide in the next thirteen days of how to kill her. Some were too messy, poisoning was sure to be discovered in an autopsy. I could make it look like a suicide, but too many clues to trip me up. I had thirteen days to decide on how to kill her and thirteen days to decide how to dispose of her body. I should have started to think on this much earlier, but in thirteen days, it would be over.
I decided I would stun her with the baseball bat I got as a gift on my thirteenth birthday. How appropriate. After all she was an old bat too. I would drive her unconscious body to a cemetery thirteen miles away and bury her there. At the graveside I could finally kill her and dump her into an open grave. All I needed to do was to deepen the hole, cover her, and after the funeral, the grave diggers would do the rest and she would rest beneath a stranger’s coffin. Let her harass them for eternity.
It was time. I loaded her unconscious, tarp-wrapped body into my trunk with the spade and made the journey. At the grave I was surprised. There was an empty burial vault already in the hole. I would need to change my plans. The concrete vault was too heavy for me to move. I thought that I could scoop out the soil at its side and hide her there under the replaced dirt. I began my task. When I enlarged the hole to accommodate her body, I tossed the spade out of the hole, planning on using it to finish her off. I would hide her beneath the dirt until the deceased was interred. I would be free of her and all of the clues in one fell swoop.
As I climbed from the hole, I knew Hell hath no fury when I was hit in the face with the spade and tumbled back into the grave. I felt her tucking the tarp tightly around me and heard dirt pelting down on the tarp. Thirteen years and at last I’d be free of her.

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