Down in One – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in his picture (below).
My first reaction this week when I saw Al’s cool photo was to fold a bus ticket under the leg of my chair.
Then I thought of optical illusions.
Once again this tale is unrelated to any of the above.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Down in One
One of us has to die.
This is the conclusion we have reached.
For many reasons.
Her religious beliefs forbid divorce.
And financially that would not help our dire situation.
All of the faults in our marriage are mine.
Even I acknowledge that.
I am an awful husband.
An absent father.
She is a wonderful wife.
A perfect mother.
I am an habitual liar and a cheat.
She has never done a dishonest deed or said an unkind word in her life.
We stare at the vial of poison on the table between us.
She pours two glasses of wine.
It is a nice Côtes de Provence, but nothing too special.
It has to be me, I lie.
I have no intention of dying.
I know, she says sadly, with a half shake of her head.
She lifts the little bottle, pours its contents into her glass.
Half smiles.
I am in awe of this woman.
She is giving her life in the forlorn hope that I will take care of our children.
She raises her glass.
I lift mine in a salute.
Down in one, I ask.
I think so, she says, no time for second thoughts.
We look into each other’s eyes for the last time.
I love you, she says.
I feel an unfamiliar pang.
Conscience, perhaps?
We both drink deeply.
Her eyes grow moist.
She indicates the phial.
Water, she says.
The poison was already in your glass.

This entry was posted in Sound Bite Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Down in One – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. You ARE the master of Sound Bite Fiction!
    I like the twist, the wife getting the upper hand. Time the poor devil got what was coming for him!


  2. The Voice says:

    It seems she was paying attention to her conniving husband all those years and learned a few things. The master must always beware of the apt pupil. Another intriguing and well crafted story.


  3. maryruth16 says:

    Absorbing story – very clever!


  4. …..à votre santé et adieu! Great.

    Visit Keith’s Ramblings


  5. k rawson says:

    I was hoping it would come out that way. Nicely done! Like the elegant rhythm of this tale.


  6. Could this be the perfect murder? No one would suspect her as he was the liar and cheat. She was the perfect wife and mother, smart too. What a great ending twist. Well written, C.E. 🙂 — Suzanne


  7. mandibelle16 says:

    Can’t blame this woman. She did what she had to after everything he did to her. Still, sad though that death for one of them was a the only way out.


  8. Dear CE,

    Just like a man to think he has the upper hand. Tut tut, you guys should know better.

    Hugs and Shalom,



  9. Jenn says:

    Awesome. Surely she wouldn’t leave her children with someone who admits to being a bad father.


  10. paulmclem says:

    Make mine an Irn Bru.


  11. Jesse Raven says:

    Excellent rhythm – Have read this three times before commenting. While I sensed the double-cross, I enjoyed the way your words got us there –


  12. Oooh clever girl. More devious than he gave credit for.


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