A story about suspense, romance, diary, duck
“Who’s Clive?” John said as he pulled our Land Rover Evoque out of the driveway.
Fuck, how did he find out about Clive?
“He’s the artist I commissioned to paint the painting I gave you for your fiftieth birthday. Why do you ask?”
“I found your diary.”
“You read my fucking diary?”
Bloody hell, did he read it all?
“Yes, I did. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I did read it all.”
“For fuck’s sake, John, that stuff is personal. Diaries normally are.”
I took a deep breath, crossed my arms, and stared out of the side window.
“Is it true though? Do you really hate me that much?” John asked. I threw him a quick glance and saw he was waiting for my answer.
John and I had been married for over thirty years now. His family had money and John was considered a great catch. He had been smitten with me, falling head over heels for the blonde, knockout girl. And I had gladly taken the opportunity to make a better future for myself.
At first I had been in seventh heaven with John spoiling me with jewellery and attention. But the attention soon dwindled as work became more important than being with me. The jewellery offers also declined over time, although he had been giving me the odd piece now and again to stop me from whingeing. Kids had kept me happy, but they had moved out years ago and I was deprived of love again. I had kept myself busy with going to the spa once a month, having my hair and nails done every fortnight, and having a massage every week. The girls I hang out with were in the same boat and as we spent our husbands’ money, we moaned about the loveless lives we lived.
That changed when I met Clive. Clive was an artist and he caught my attention when he spoke passionately about his profession. I had asked him to paint a large hunting scene, to be the centre piece of our hallway, as a display of the love John and I shared for hunting. Clive was all too happy to give me the attention I so craved for. And so I visited him more and more frequent, to check up on the painting’s progress of course. But one thing led to another and before I knew it we were having an affair.
“Well, you’re not flowing over with passion for me anymore. What did you expect?” I said after about a minute.
John didn’t react. As per usual.
After a few minutes of silence, he pointed into the air straight ahead and said, “Look, ducks. I hope we shoot some ducks today.”
That was John’s greatest tactic. Just ignoring the problem.
We drove on in silence for another twenty minutes before John veered the car onto the off ramp and parked it in the little car park next to the highway. From there we would walk to our usual hunting ground. We got out and I opened the back of the car. Sootie, our black Labrador, jumped out and starting running around me in circles from excitement as John got our rifles out of the car. I preferred my A300 Outlander over John’s Remington 870, as it was so much lighter and easier to maintain. We were loading our guns when John finally came back to the subject.
“You can’t divorce me, you know.” He didn’t look at me when he said it.
Oh, how I could kill that man right here and now!
Of course I knew I couldn’t kill him. His parents had made me sign a prenuptial agreement in which it was stated that if the marriage should fail or if John should die from unnatural causes proven to be caused by my hand, his estate wouldn’t go to me. I hated John with every fibre in my body, but the love of my lifestyle was greater. In my diary I had written down available options though, like untraceable poison, hiring a killer that couldn’t be linked to me, and the likes. Anything to get me out of the chains that John had put me in.
I turned to him and said, “What are you going to do now?”
John slid the box of ammunition in his jacket pocket and closed the Remington with a snap.
“What do you think I can do?” His eyes looked up at me from under his bushy eyebrows.
The menacing tone in his voice made shivers run down my spine. All of a sudden I didn’t think it was such a good idea to go hunting today. My hands became sweaty and my heart was pounding in my chest. I looked around to see if there were any witnesses around, but the only people there were the drivers of traffic passing by.
“Duck!” I yelled.
“Where?” said John as he looked up.
That was when the metal H-beam, that came sliding off a truck that had jack-knifed for an unknown reason at that very moment and location, smashed into Johns head. He was dead before he hit the ground.
Copyrighted (c) by Jacky Dahlhaus