"The Dark Hallway"
by Robert J. Baker
I lay, gasping for breath, bleeding from a sucking chest wound, face down on the floor, just below my favorite Monet painting. I felt the cold wood floor against my cheek and tasted something bitter and metallic as the puddle of blood reached and surrounded my face and lips. Bathed in the dim light by two antique Victorian lamps, my vision blurred as life began to leave my body.
The painting had been purchased at a Sotheby’s Auction in New York after I had won my biggest divorce case several years ago, my lover’s case. This pleasant memory ebbed and flowed as my breathing became more ragged and I started to loose consciousness; I struggled to take in air but my lungs wouldn’t cooperate. I tried to stand only to feel the icy steel of the blade that had been shoved into my chest only moments before against my neck.
I slumped back to the floor, resting now on my side facing the light, to look up at my attacker. Haloed by light, her golden hair shimmered as her curls gently framed her face, an angry face, and a face I knew very well. I looked into her eyes as she shoved the knife again into my chest. My gaze fell on the painting, the painting that I loved, killed by the woman I loved, as life left darkness and silence encased me.
With my last breath, I forced out my final word, “Why?”
“Liar!” She whispered.