Friday, July 27, 2007

Entry #20

Expiration
by Fred Brown


The call came at ten. He was angry again, screaming profane reasons he should hunt her and her boyfriend down and kill them, but at least he had agreed to return her car. His drunken threats used to make her call the cops. But after eight years of marriage and thirteen restraining orders, she filed for divorce instead of picking up the phone. The final papers were two months away, but she had already moved on.

The plan was for him to drop the car in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. He’d have it there by noon, and she’d ask someone from work drive her by to get it. He knew who she’d ask…slut.

She and her boyfriend stopped by the house first to let the dog out and grab the car keys. They were in the woods behind the house, watching the dog paw at the light and shadows when they heard him ready his gun. She begged the way she had for years; the boyfriend ran.

Later, the boyfriend told police he was running for help, hoping his girlfriend would follow him. Halfway to the house he heard the shots and ran back to the woods to find her face down in the dirt—five bullet holes in her back. The report got filed, and he was a hero on the local news.

He mourned in public, waited six weeks as arranged, and then made the call. Her husband answered.

14 comments:

Victor J. Banis said...

ooh, great twist. Nice.

SzélsőFa said...

what a surprise.

Beth said...

Agreed. Nice twist.

c.s. said...

how could this have happened? great ending!

Jeff said...

I like the ending, too. Good job.

Verilion said...

OOh what a (insert bad word). Great twist at the end there.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Excellent twist to the end - really well done!

JLB said...

I had a little trouble with the he's and she's, but by the time I got to the end it was all clear - well done!

jenn said...

Gut wrenching twist at the end! Well done!

Fred said...

Thanks everyone for all the kind words. I appreciate it.

JLB: Yah, my goal was to create characters that readers could identify with, like, "Hey, I could be her," or "I think I know him." I thought that not using specific names would help achieve that, thus the pronouns and "husband"/"boyfriend" usage.

Ann Ostrander said...

Every time I enter one of these, I like to tell the writers I voted for I voted for them and sometimes why. So, you took one of my votes. I'm not usually one for surprise endings, but this one I truly loved. It was the writing as a whole, the pacing, and the genuine surprise I had when reading the end.

Bernita said...

The bastard.

tea and cake said...

bernita: I was gonna say that!
Karen.

jason evans said...

Nice twist. The crisp final sentences worked well.