"The Death Penalty"
by Deborah Woehr
Lightning flashes. Telephone poles whip by. I can't feel my fingers against the steering wheel anymore.
Just get away.
I've driven a mile so far. How soon until the neighbors find out what I did? I'm sure they heard the screaming, but that was normal.
Did it sound normal this time? Don't worry about it. Just get away.
He was a mean bastard when he was sober, and he was sober tonight. God, was he ever. I check the rearview mirror, then the sideview mirror. Nobody's following me, except my paranoia.
I've never killed anybody before tonight. If I had thought to plan it, I would've poisoned him. This wasn't planned. He's still sitting in his recliner with his throat slit ear-to-ear.
The police will find the knife in the dishwasher, along with the dishes we'd used for supper. They'd see the shackles and the studded whip and the fresh blood spatters from tonight's Penalty, which happened because I'd given him the wrong salad dressing. Will they still consider him a victim after seeing all that?
Another mile passes on my odometer. Lightning flashes in the distance. Small fingers tap against my shoulder.