FLY ME TO THE MOON
It was just an hour ago when my wife, Nance, killed me. A dame murdering her husband the way she went about it was unheard of in ’66. I was surprised she had the strength to roll me onto the shower curtain and drag my corpse into the tub. To think the first dead body I would see could be my own?
There I was, bludgeoned. Part of my skull crushed inward with bone and bits of my brain in plain sight, as water dripped onto my stiff toes. The light had left my eyes. Their once bright bluish hue faded. One of them had popped out slightly from its socket.
Nance was eerily collected when she did me in. I used to notice a rage in her gaze when I’d shout at her — she’d hold in her aggression, so her calm demeanor and her actions at the time made a lot of sense.
She deserved better than me, too.
Once Nance got rid of my body, she could play the distraught wife. Say, “He left. I can’t find him.” No one would be the wiser. Whatever happened, Nance would think of a way to explain my untimely departure.
A creative woman. She designed and decorated our lovely home with that ottoman, those frilly throw pillows, and the like. Nance drew the artwork for the lily-yellow curtain she wrapped my body in. I hated the patterns at first, but now that I saw the shapes and colors up close I had to admit they were pretty.
We could go our separate ways when this was over. She stared into my lifeless eyes for a long moment and caught her breath. Oh, so why would such a sweet angel hit her husband over the head with his nine iron?
I hit first.
She let me know what would happen on our honeymoon if I did it again. That fight started when she said, “It’s okay, Francis, lots of men deal with this kind of thing. You’re almost thirty. Everyone fossilizes eventually. I still love you.”
“Fossilize? I’ll show you fossilized!”
Nance caressed her face where I had hit her. Then my wife gave my fingers a gentle squeeze. “Lie a violent hand on me again ’n I’ll kill you.” She said that coolly as though explaining her golf swing. I guess I should have taken her warning to heart.
After I hit her this time, Nance bandaged up the bloody lip I gave her; the swelling didn’t matter because she had these nice round lips. Nance told me, “I forgive you.”
We hugged. She turned my favorite Sinatra song on. “Fly me to the moon.” Nance turned the record player up loud for me. As I relaxed in my armchair, she came up from behind and we played among the stars.
I met her here in Beaufort, South Carolina, and had heard southern belles were known for keeping their promises. It only took her three swings after the first to show she was a woman of her word. I heard "whack" then my body went “thump.” Didn’t even see it coming, or feel anything past the first swing.
Somehow, the sight of my blood all over my wife-beater shirt made us both cackle in the restroom. I didn’t smile enough with her when I lived. I hardly took the time to appreciate the small humors of life. It bothered Nance when I didn’t laugh at funny stuff with her. If only she saw me now?
Being dead brought life into perspective. I was such a square. That’s probably why I hit her and yelled so often. I could have been a positive person. I should have focused on loving her, and less over the semantics in life that upset me. We would have been happier. Now I had no idea what even made me so angry. It all seemed small.
Oh, a bone saw.
The dark rubber gloves that illuminated my wife’s pale complexion matched her outfit. Bet she did that on purpose. Bloodstains would be harder to see on darker colors and she’d need the garments for when she got rid of my body.
A piece of my flesh flung into the air as she sawed into my leg. It hit her tiny chin. She wiped me off with her apron. Her goggles got foggy. I saw her cosmic magma eyes even past the blood that splashed against her lenses.
When I proposed, I told her, “The Heavens sent down falling stars as a sacrifice to match the beauty of your eyes.”
The saw cut my bones through-and-through with little effort. I had no idea my wife knew how to dispose of a body. Bet it's because Nance would read those crime and mystery novels.
There was a final surprise for her. I had a life insurance policy only my lawyer knew about, which covered disappearances. After the search would end, Nance should get a load of money and hadn’t a clue. The one decision I ever did right by her.
And good for my wife on not making a mess. She even wrapped her hair in a plastic hairnet. I loved that hair of hers. Nance kept it long for me, and often mentioned how she wanted it short. Not a problem for her now.
She cut up the rug I died on and sewed pieces of rags into bags. My wife put my body parts into the bags along with rocks. She was always good at reusing stuff. Nance tossed my remains into a lake. She buried the bone saw and golf club and burned her bloody clothes far away from the house.
I took one last look at my wife. Too bad the last thing I’d remember about Nance was how she cried over me. Hopefully they were actually tears of relief. I couldn’t help but feel happy for her myself. I’d never yell, or hit her again. It was true what Sinatra said, because in the end my one love filled my heart with song right up to my last breath. I was just too angry to notice. Maybe one day we’d reunite to see Jupiter and Mars?
I’d make her smile by telling her some silly joke. Yeah. I’d ask, “Bring the golf clubs?”
BAM graduated with a degree in English with honors. He's an alumnus of Sigma Tau Delta, and co-founded Writers’ ReVision: a workshop that helped authors’ edit and find publication. He was a journalist for two years, a communist three, and a finalist in the WLT Manuscript Competition in the suspense/thriller category in 2014. BAM’s currently teaching children English in Japan and working on two novels.Publications are found in: Bartleby Snopes (voted story of the month and re-published in their biannual hardcover issue), Writer's Ezine (received the Exceptional Short Story Award), StoryShelter's forthcoming anthology novel titled I Am Here, and more. www.bamwrites.com.
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