Cursum Perficio (Marilyn's Story)
Val Griffiths
Flash Fiction Winner

The apple didn't fall far from the tree, they'll say, shaking solemn heads, vacant eyes staring down into the tumblers of amber bourbon they sit swirling.

Such a shame. What a waste, they'll say, as the soft clink of the ice cubes draws them deeper into thought; further into melancholy.

They'll think I killed myself and who could blame them? It's not as though I didn't try before. There were times, grim, dark times where the stresses of this life and the business drove me to a black despair. A cloak of sadness so heavy, it threatened to snuff the life from me.

Sometimes, it actually hurt to breathe.

I took some pills that night as usual and I was a little woozy after. The doorbell rang. There were voices. Footsteps. A knock at the door. He stood there, flanked by his henchmen, both of whom discretely turned their heads ^ though not before their eyes lit up to find me draped, naked across the bed. One blushed and cleared his throat. He dismissed them with an imperceptible nod of his head and entered the room, closing the door behind him. He spoke in a low voice. It was finished, he said. Over.

I screamed. Threw things. They were there, holding me down. Drink these, he said, they'll help. I took them. They did. Sobbing, I watched them clear away the mess. I lay there, clutching the phone - as if it were a life line, as a dark fog descended over Helena Drive.

First published: May 2005
comments to the writer: Knob'