1 comment

Crime Drama Sad

Maribel listened intently to the radio as she finished washing the dishes, “As Superman races to stop the bomb, will he be in time to save Lois? Tune in next week to find out” she sighed, wishing her life was full of supermans and heroes in capes. In her preoccupied state, a dish slipped as she halfheartedly wiped it with a towel. The smash of the porcelain on linoleum brought her back to the  present.

“Oh, no, no, no, no, no'' She tutted to herself, fearful of what Jim would say about this when he got home. Gingerly, she cleaned up the shattered plate.

 “Why Jim, it was only an accident, no need to get so upset over it” she fancied retorting to her husband as he inevitably made a fuss over the plate.

“Do you know how many times I gotta clean up your messes?” her phantom spat at her.

“I could take care of most of them myself if you didn’t treat me like a child”.

“Well, I only treat you like one because you act so childish”.

“And you only feel like a man when you’re yelling yourself blue”.

“Why that’s no way to treat a lady”, in her mind, she envisioned Mr. Jones, the bachelor next door disrupting the domestic he had overhead on his evening walk.

“And who are you to tell me how to treat my wife!?”

“Jim'' Maribel envisioned saying softly, “I am a person who can tell you how to treat your wife. This is your last chance. Apologize and square up or I’m leaving you”

“You don’t have the guts”

“Mrs. Williams, you don’t have to put up with this, come with me” in her fantasy, Mr. Jones held out his hand to take her to a new life. Just as the two were about to ride off into the sunset, Maribel was startled by the phone ringing. 


“Honey, Dan and the boys are going to come for a game of poker tonight, make sure you fix up something for us all to eat. There’s going to be the regular five”. 

“Are you sur...” Maribel was still forming her response as her husband hung up the phone with an unceremonious click. She sighed as she looked in the refrigerator to see what she had that she could prepare for the evening.


“Maribel!” Jim stormed into the living room holding the note she had placed on the broken dish. “What do you have to say for yourself?” A vein pulsed in his neck.

“I’m, I’m” her words caught in her throat, “I’m sorry, it’s my fault” she stared at the floor.

“Well, that’s for sure!” Maribel silently endured Jim’s tongue lashing. Reprieve only came when a knock on the door signaled the beginning of the poker party.

Maribel leaned against the back porch, cigarette in hand. Taking a deep draught, she looked at the stars. If only I could fly away, she thought.

“You know those will kill you right?” The mischievous, but kind voice of her neighbor interrupted her melancholy. “That’s what all the new studies are saying” Mr. Jones waved across the short fence that separated the two lawns.

“Well that may be, but my doctor still suggests them for my nerves” it was all she could do to keep her voice steady.

“Ah, well, I hope everything's going alright with Jim. I heard him going at you earlier”

“We’re fine” Maribel gazed out vacantly pointedly not in Mr. Jones’ direction.

“All right, if you’re sure. But I really don’t think it’s right how he treats you”

“I know”

“Then why do you put up with him? You could always leave him, go your sister’s in Washington that you talk about”

“I don’t know” Maribel wanted to talk to Mr. Jones. But she had so many words trying to get out at the same time that very few managed to do so. After a minute of such sort answers, Mr. Jones mistakenly inferred that Maribel wanted to be alone with her thoughts and left her to be so.


“Will Captain Rodgers manage to repair his ship and stop the alien takeover of Station 42? Find out after a word from our sponsors, Camel cigarettes'' Maribel dusted the kitchen, letting her thoughts wander during the advert.

“Jim, I really don’t like who you are around your poker buddies”

“Ah come on, I let you go to the salon and see your friends”

“But I never bring them to the house when you’re here”

“So? This is my house, not yours”

“Jim, it’s just I feel like you never pay any attention to my feelings” her conjuration started laughing. Then, she did something she hadn't before. She imagined slapping him back. It felt good. That would earn her a black eye for sure... but then again,

“Mrs. Williams, did Jim do that to you” those big brown eyes of Mr. Jones would look into hers. “Come on, there’s no reason for you to stay with a bully like that. Let’s run away together. That black eye should be grounds for a divorce” then they’d head over to the police station and make a statement. And life would move on with Mathew Jones and not Jim Williams.


“Woman, where is my dinner!” Jim staggered in late, smelling of gin.

“You didn’t call, I didn’t know when you’d be in” a broken voice stammered.

“Well, ... go fix me something” he slumped into a chair. Maribel silently started slicing apples, Jim’s favorite. Of course he’d been at the bar. Of course he hadn't called. He’d probably been with his secretary on top of it all.

“Have you been listening to a word I’ve said you lazy couch potato?” Jim was right behind her with a sour look on his face. Something in Marivel snapped.

“No” with a dead look in her eyes, she took the knife she was using to cut up apples and instead started using it to cut up Jim. She stabbed him over and over and he kept screaming over and over. And then she started sobbing and stabbing and kept sobbing and stabbing until when the police arrived. She was still sobbing and blood drenched her cloth and stained her hands and arms red when they took her from her house. Now this time instead of only Mr. Jones poking his head out at the commotion, the entire neighborhood did and saw the horror of what had taken place.

She didn’t last long after that. Maribel just wouldn’t eat. Wouldn’t talk. Wouldn’t look anyone in the eyes. The police tended to the blank automaton in the cell until it was clear the poor thing needed a hospital. There the broken thing stayed until the trail sent her to a sanitarium. And there she stayed until her physical form decided to die like she had already done the night she freed herself from her husband.

January 12, 2021 22:39

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1 comment

Juliana A-Z
22:16 Jan 20, 2021

Wow! A very powerful story. I very much liked it. My only comment as way of "critique" is in relation to the initial part: maybe the first "imagined confrontation" happens a bit too soon. A little bit more detail about Maribel, her actions, her space, may provide additional strength to that inner dialogue (but that's just my opinion!) Great story!


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