October 4, 2012

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Filed under: Fiction — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am



A Cliché Mystery

It was a dark and rainy night.

Really, it was.

Regardless of the cliché use, there is no other way to describe it, other than stating, simply, It was a dark and stormy night. In fact, it was raining cats and dogs.

When it rains, it pours…thought Edwina.

However, it was a perfect night to bury the hatchet. The moist ground would be easy to dig into. But she’d better hurry—

April showers bring May flowers. Quentin’s body will glorify the colors of my May flowers.  


Her dreams died hard. She’d discovered that evil takes many forms, that all that glitters is not gold. She’d fallen head over heels in love with Quentin, quickly willing to follow the yellow brick road he led her down. Yes, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. And so I did.

Quentin believed the tales he told. Lies, told often enough, become the truth.

Her husband was a man who professed women’s independence but his truth was that a woman’s place is in the home, that cleanliness is next to Godliness. Be thankful for what you’ve got, he told her. Count your blessings. Whenever she objected to something, he would tell her Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

He also told her beauty and brains do not mix.

 I’ll prove him wrong. I’ve committed the perfect murder. No one will suspect.

However, actions speak louder than words. To be sure, your sins will find you out thought Edwina as she tossed aside another shovelful of mud.

This last night, just after she’d removed the roast from the freezer to thaw for tomorrow night’s dinner, she’d boldly threatened to leave him. He’d been yelling at her since he arrived home from work. Look at this dust! Why isn’t dinner ready? What, pork chops again? Can’t you keep your clothes clean?

Some of the soup she’d spent the afternoon making had spilled on her apron.

“What you want is a Stepford wife,” she’d finally retorted, turning toward the sink to begin preparing the roast.

“Don’t start something you can’t finish.”

Edwina could feel Quentin’s eyes glaring at her menacingly. She understood his intent as he inched, slowly, towards her. She could still hear his words: Don’t make promises you can’t keep. You wouldn’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

She snapped. Turning quickly, she and swung the roast at Quentin. When he fell she thought she had only stunned him.

It’s always darkest just before the dawn. It is what it is. The deed was done, but Edwina wasn’t free yet. She wouldn’t be until the sun rose, until she could plant the rhododendron bush she’d purchased in the hole she was digging, in the hole where Quentin’s remains would rest in peace.

Dead men tell no tales.

In any event, there was nobody to tell the tales to. Quentin had seen to it that they had no friends. During their fifteen year marriage he separated them from their few family and friends. He’d even moved them almost two thousand miles from the Maine coast community where they’d met and lived.

Their closest neighbor in this Washington state community was almost a mile down the road.

Quentin thought he’d succeeded in molding her to his image of what a wife should be, a Stepford woman.  It’s a man’s world. It’s good to be king.

One time when he yelled at her because she hadn’t washed the kitchen floor, even though she was exhausted after spending the day washing his car, mowing the lawn, and planting the garden, she dared yell back at him. He responded No rest for the wicked, swatted her across the face and yelled Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. After that she learned to pick her battles carefully.

She learned fast that love hurts. In her mind he rewrote the phrase My Country right or wrong to My husband, right or wrong.

How the mighty had fallen!

Free at last!

She tossed her axe in the carport before going to her kitchen for a peaceful cup ot coffee, all the while envisioning how nice the rhododendron bush would look in full bloom.



The Flamingo, A Pizza, and a Big Bad Dragon

The Key:




  1. Except for “The long arm of the law!’

    Comment by Joan — October 6, 2012 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

    • As far out in the nowhere where I am, the long arm of the law would have to stretch pretty far. Are you willing to have an increase in taxes so the law can afford to reach me? I think I’ve come close to committing the perfect crime…

      Comment by carolyncholland — October 8, 2012 @ 11:33 am | Reply

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