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).
Once again Al recycles a brilliant photo from a couple of years back, so I recycle my story from that time, but with a caveat.
It significantly exceeds the word limit, so I understand if you choose to skip past it.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.
Click here to hear the author read the tale:
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.
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.
We both drink deeply.
Her eyes grow moist.
She indicates the phial.
Water, she says.
The poison was already in your glass.