Copyright is held by the author.

THE WRITER sat in the back of the squad car, his hands cuffed behind his back. He was very uncomfortable but he scarcely noticed. He was preoccupied with the events of the previous hour.

An hour earlier, the Writer sat at his desk as his Wife paced the floor behind him and hurled invective. Then she slapped him on the back of his head. It appeared she had reached the end of her patience.

“Please go,” he said. “I have done nothing to deserve this angry outburst. I need to write. You constantly interrupt and never allow me the time. I feel like I am in a Kafkaesque prison.”

“You insult me and made my life unbearable. And you expect me to be your quiet, subservient plaything do you?”

“Well, when you put it that way . . .”

“You ignore me, leave me alone for hours. You say you go for long walks, as if I am to believe you. But I am no fool. You are seeing someone. I know you. You stare through to the panties of every Pretty Young Thing that comes into your view. From there, it is a small step to a mistress.”

The Writer decided to leave and go on one of those long walks she abused him of. This venting could go on for hours, and he would take no more. He pushed through her and moved to the doorway. Then, she attempted to stop him and began to beat him with her small, ineffectual fists.

The Writer desired to go down the stairs. His Wife took a great arcing swing at him. The Writer moved back and the swing carried her into a tottering semi circle. She fell down the stairs to the landing, accompanied by a piercing wail.

To the Writer, it all seemed to occur in slow motion. He saw her utter fear, joined with loathing, as if to say, I am going to die and do not dare to save me you putrid rat.

She lay still, her head twisted grotesquely, eyes motionless in their glaring hatred. The Writer, of course, applied mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Her lips remained pliant, but it seemed that they cooled as he worked. There was not even a flutter as her soul departed.

The bell rang incessantly and the sound of fists banging on the door intruded on his concentration. Then the door gave way and the police came, followed by their neighbour’s wife who babbled as she thrust an accusing finger at him.

The policeman questioned him, quietly, professionally. The Writer answered and knew that he said too much. Soon, the cuffs were applied and he was led to the cruiser.

He knew that a plea of innocence would be protested and mocked. His Wife’s family was well connected and had never approved of him. He wondered how long his sentence would be. Probably, the rest of his life. He would have plenty of time to write.

  1. If this is satire well done but if it’s a fictional depiction of reality I find that the dialogue is too formal for such a heated discussion between husband-and-wife and how did the police know to come to the door right at that moment?

  2. Hmm. Good thinking, Norm.

  3. stylized satire — I did this after reading some Kafka

  4. I tried reading Kafka once. It left me on Prozac.

  5. I like how this starts rooted in reality and takes a left turn through a possible fantasy to land at the ironic ending. If you were to build on this story, I’d wonder how many other fights the couple had previously and were they escalating. You could introduce more doubt (and horror) by suggesting the Writer thought twice before applying AR. Great ending!

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