New Fiction by Louis Sisto: “Can I Pour You Another?”

“Can I pour you another scotch, Slick?” Frank asked, a slight giggle escaping his lips as he took another sip. He was not expecting a response, of course, as he stared amusingly at the lifeless figure sitting across the dining room table. The vibrant glow of a small candle in the center illuminated a macabre spectacle as Slick’s face was frozen in a grimace of pain and terror. Long, gaping slashes decorated his face and throat, splitting the skin with the charm and grace that only a vengeful straight razor could provide. Frank smiled to nobody in particular, cherishing the liquor warming up his esophagus.

Sheila is going to love this, he thought to himself.

            Frank had known for weeks that Sheila, his wife of two years, was up to something. He had snuck away from the university long enough to follow her around town. While he should have been teaching his introductory to astronomy courses he was instead hunched down in the front seat of his Oldsmobile Antares day after day watching Sheila meet up with Slick, a computer software hot shot, in the parking lot of a deserted factory on the edge of town. The initial sense of betrayal and hurt quickly transformed itself into a darker entity, one he felt growing inside of him like a tumor. It was truly amazing what raw emotion could do to a man, especially one who was always so well-adjusted and even-tempered. He didn’t make much money working at the university, but felt that he was a good husband and deserved more respect. How dare she! Here he was touting off to work in a dress shirt and tie every day trying to make a living while she took her ever-widening, balloon ass to some young smooth talker, basically giving it away like heatstroke at the beach.

Frank wiped a bead of perspiration from his brow as he refilled his scotch glass. He reached into shirt pocket and retrieved a Salem; cigarettes and liquor always were a team, yes indeed.

More of a team than Sheila and I ever were

            The flickering of the candle allowed Frank to watch the tiny droplets of blood fall from Slick’s exposed carotid artery into his glass. His polo shirt was matted with splotches of crimson, as were his hands, which had been folded on the table neatly in front of him. Frank curiously eyeballed the defense wound slashes on Slick’s knuckles, which were plainly visible, even with the dim lighting.

“Now, Slick, my man,” Frank said as he waved the bottle of scotch in his direction, “are you quite sure that I cannot pour another for you?”

Frank had done a damn fine job. For someone with no history of violence or criminal tendencies, he pulled it off nicely. He had been on his way out the door to the university to work on some research articles when Sheila announced she was going out with her female friends for the day.

“It’s only three o’clock. You’re leaving already?” he had asked. He knew she was full of crap, but was curious as to how she was going to explain this one away.

“We’re going to a concert, but we need to go visit this friend of mine first for her birthday.” She rolled her eyes playfully. “You know how it is, Frank,” she said as she lightly pecked him on the cheek.

Yeah, he knew all too well how it was. He could feel his dark blue eyes seething with hate as he watched her walk back into the kitchen. He closed the door gently behind him, walked to his car and parked it halfway down the street, waiting patiently for her to leave. The research could wait. Frank needed to tend to his domestic business first. As expected Sheila was out the door within the next fifteen minutes and speeding off to meet Slick by the factory. Frank hid behind a tree across the lot and watched the two of them for the next forty-five minutes, as the sounds of her flirtatious laughter suffocated his cheated ears. He cupped his hands over them and squatted down as he tried to block out everything around him. He was trembling so bad that he had wet himself just a tad. There would be hell to pay.

The day’s festivities had ended at Slick’s condo. Frank overheard Sheila agreeing to spend the night and leave for work from there in the morning. He had been chain-smoking around the corner of the building where he could hear everything that was being said; the morons left the bedroom window open. Frank’s patience paid off when Slick left around 10:00pm for a run to the drugstore. Frank met him at his car as he left the drugstore, his hands and the straight razor going on automatic as the bag of allergy pills hit the darkened pavement, accompanied by Slick’s shrill screams. Nobody heard a thing. Frank had his way with him. A job well done.

***

The last few hours had been a lot of work, but the end was approaching. Frank checked his watch as he absorbed another mouthful of scotch.

5:50am

Sheila’s cell phone alarm would be going off in ten minutes, breaking her slumber and welcoming in the work day. Frank had quite a breakfast sight planned for her. He wanted to see her traumatized expression as she came upon Slick’s freshly mutilated corpse seated at the table. Then it would be her turn. The candle flame reflected brightly in Frank’s eyes as he polished off the remainder of his scotch. An alarm went off several minutes later, breaking Frank out of his daze. He smiled as he ran his fingers over the straight razor in his pocket. He could hear muffled footsteps in the bedroom.

Till Death Do Us Part, Sheila

###

Louis was born and raised in Chicago, IL and currently lives in Macomb, IL. He has been writing short stories and flash fiction for years as a personal hobby. He is hoping to one day begin working on his first novel. His flash fiction piece, “On Call,” was published on the Funny In Five Hundred website in January 2016.

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