Lunch. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I didn’t get up to much, went out on Friday, and that was really it, mostly as I was too exhausted to do anything else. Days are also gone all skewy, really convinced that today was Wednesday. I don’t know what my brain is at, at all!

On with the show!

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Mary always hated driving, ever since she could remember, still she learned, because that’s what you’re supposed to do; at least according to her father, he didn’t want “some weak little girl who can’t fend for herself.” So she learned to drive and she was able to do so, at least according to her test. She drove slowly, trying to look all around at once. Every time she drove, she was constantly aware that she was piloting a 2,400 pound hunk of metal that at any moment, could betray her and kill anyone in its way. She was driving today as they were out of bread and she didn’t want to have an argument about it. Her husband had been getting very good at arguing lately, or rather, very good at yelling until she just did what she was told. Some days it was easier just to do it and avoid the shouting match. Mary was all set for making them lunch, she had everything out for sandwiches when she realised there was no bread, Jason, her husband, was still in the sitting room watching some show he liked. It had been the same for the last three months. He would sit all day, watching TV while she cleaned and cooked, she had wondered for a while if he was depressed, but after considering the possibility, she found she didn’t care all that much what caused the problem, she only cared that he was in her way for the entire day.

She parked the car far away from any others, it was easier that way, no chance of hitting the car next to her. Mary jogged into the store and went straight to the bread, she picked up one, squeezed it slightly and decided it was fresh enough, she turned to go to the tills, then paused, did they need anything else? There was cheese in the house, but it wasn’t good cheese, she started towards the back of the store.

When she left she did so with bread, cheese, a six pack of crisps and a bottle of soft drink. She put them all in the car, feeling slightly guilty. Oh well, it wasn’t her fault. If Jason had gone himself, it wouldn’t have happened, he had no imagination. If he wasn’t told to get it, he wouldn’t, simple as that. When she finally pulled into the driveway she let out a sigh of relief, she couldn’t stand the radio being on, it was too distracting but sometimes she thought it might help her relax a little. That was dangerous thinking though, if she started to relax she might slip up.

In the kitchen, everything was still laid out and ready to go, not that that was a surprise, god forbid he ever cleaned or made something for himself. She glanced into the sitting room, he was still sitting in the same spot, he hadn’t even moved. “I’m back.” “Huh. Oh, yeah. Where’d you go again?” “The shops.” “Right. You shoulda said something, I’d have driven you.” She walked by the door and into the kitchen, shaking her head. She had told him she was going out, that she was going to the shops and he had answered with that weird sound of his that meant “I’m making noise so you know I’m aware you’re speaking.”

She dumped everything onto the counter, she’d clear them away after lunch. She opened the bread and started making the sandwiches, well, Panini’s really, but she felt weird calling them that. It was far too fancy a word for what she was doing. She topped the bread with tuna and sweet corn, then she added cheese, when the sandwiches were assembled, she placed them in the Panini grill and pressed it down. While they cooked she took out plates and glasses, then she set the table. That was a rule in the house that was always followed, meals were eaten at the table, never in front of the television. If the rule wasn’t enforced Jason would only ever leave the sitting room to go to the bathroom or to go to bed.

When the sandwiches were done, she plated them and added crisps to the side, once everything was sitting on the table, she called out, “Lunch is ready.” “Ok, be there in a sec.” Mary sat down at the table and took a sip of her water, wondering how long she’d have to wait this time. Jason usually took his time coming in for meals, but she couldn’t start without him, that was far too rude. He ambled into the kitchen and sat down across from her, Mary smiled at him, then she picked up her sandwich and took a bite, savouring the flavours. Jason picked up a crisp and popped in into his mouth as he chewed it, he eyed his sandwich distrustfully. Finally he picked it up and took a bite, he chewed once, twice, then scrunched up his face and spat it out onto his plate, “ugh. Tuna, I fucking hate tuna, you know that.” “No, you like tuna, you don’t like salmon.” “I think I know what I don’t fucking like.” She took a deep breath, trying to keep calm. “You do like tuna, I’d never eaten it before I met you. You made tuna and sweet corn melts for us on our third date. Remember?” Jason shook his head. “I’m telling you, I fucking hate it.” “Fine, then don’t eat it.” “Then what am I supposed to do for lunch?” “Make something for yourself.” “Oh, sure. I should have known, you just didn’t want to make me lunch, that’s what it is, isn’t it? You knew I wouldn’t like this so you could act all innocent and eat both of them.” Mary sighed. “You like tuna. You eat tuna. I made this because you like it.” “Jesus fucking Christ Mary stop saying I like it.” Mary took a sip of her water, she wouldn’t give in, she wouldn’t argue with him. “Ok then, what do you want? I’ll make that instead.” He thought for a moment, “I’d like an omelette, with bacon, fried onions and mushrooms.” “But that’ll take half an hour at least.” “That’s ok, I can wait.” He grinned at her, that stupid little grin he always wore when he won. Mary stood up from the table. “Fine. I’ll get right on that.” A rictus grin setting her mouth firmly. Anger was bubbling deep inside her, but she’d stay calm, that’s what she’d do, she’d stay calm and make him his goddamned omelette. “Oh, and with cheese on top.” “Cheddar ok?” “No, I want mozzarella.” “We don’t have any.” He sighed dramatically, “I guess you’ll just have to go to the store again.” She could hear it in his voice, that grin. Her hands started to clench and unclench convulsively. She picked up a knife, he could live without the cheese. “And hurry up, Countdown starts in ten minutes.” She walked towards him, breathing heavily, he looked up at her with that little insolent grin and before she could stop herself, she found the knife buried deep in his throat. The grin was frozen on his face, his eyes confused, She pulled the knife out, a geyser of blood splattering on her face and clothes, the knife darted out again and again. Her screams snapped her out of it, great painful wails as she stabbed the body over and over again. She stopped, the knife still buried in his body. Mary stood and went around to the other side of the table, feeling weak. She sat down and took a sip from her water, her throat was dry and sore.

She looked around the kitchen, there was so much blood. Only a few minutes had passed since their argument, but it felt much, much longer. She looked down at her food, it was still warm. She picked up her sandwich and took a bite, she didn’t want it to get cold. She ate slowly, enjoying the food, she used a napkin to dab her lips lightly, a few flecks of blood staining the bright white. She finished her food, then took another drink of water. When she was done she stood and looked at Jason’s body. There was nothing that could be done. He was long gone. She didn’t even know how to dispose of a body, never mind explain away his disappearance. She looked into the back garden, she could always bury him out there, beneath the apple tree. Tell people he ran off with some woman. She sighed, that would never work. Mary walked over to the phone and dialled the number quickly.

“911, what’s your emergency?” “Yes, hello. I think you should send the police. I just killed my husband.”

 

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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