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Down a Slippery Slope

by Gloria Watts

Muriel’s voice followed him from room to room, an ever-increasing noise that irritated, drove his blood pressure sky-high. To be rid of her. The thought circled his head, brought on a heavy ache that stayed with him all day.

How? Arthur wasn’t a clever man. His drowning her in the bath idea failed when she asked him to scrub her back. Somehow the feel of her soft white perfumed skin, the look in her eyes ambushed him... and when she touched him...

His attempt with a gun failed miserably. At the hospital he stood tongue-tied while the doctor waited for an explanation: why were copious amounts of blood oozing from his left foot?

Days passed by. Arthur became resigned. He would always be at her beck and call.

Sunday night, time to relax. Anxious not to arouse her anger, he silently searched for his missing slipper. He finally found it at the bottom of the stairs in the dark passage that led to the kitchen.

At first he didn’t notice Muriel’s body slumped on the floor. It was only as he reached out for the slipper that she whimpered and he had to push her aside. Looked like she’d taken a tumble head first down the stairs. Arthur’s breath caught tight in his throat. His heart raced with his first thought: call the doctor. His eyes gleamed in the half-light of the gloomy passageway as his hand hovered, moved over, and then away from the telephone.

With feet dragging he went into the kitchen and downed a glass of red wine. His face, now showing relief, let loose a slow grin. His eyes shone with just a hint of triumph. Maybe later... later... he’d call the police.

Copyright © 2007 by Gloria Watts

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