The Unrequited Murder

From the darkness somewhere near the television, Virginia could see a small cherry red light. Perhaps a sniper’s joy, but for a woman who had just pushed opened her destroyed deadlock there was nothing but dread. She didn’t have gun anyways. All she had was an old carving knife. She turned on the light and there in her husband’s easy chair was Justin with a smoke in his mouth. A revolver sat on the table next to Justin. Virginia tightened her grip on the old rosewood handle, poised to thrust.

“I love you Virginia, but you know I can reach that gun before you can stab me.”

“But I could kill you.”

“It’s not that satisfying, trust me.”

“Do you really think satisfaction is in the cards?”

Justin’s receding hairline seemed to give him a more expressive face. He frowned and seemed to exhale the whole world. Justin, the stereotypical sad sack who had also ran, was adept in the art of loss. He just breathed out with the smoke and let it leave. The cigarette was released into a mug full of cold coffee.

“I will say I’m sorry you saw him. I’ll say I’m sorry it wasn’t quicker.”

“And that’s all he deserves?”

“No ma’am. That’s what you deserve. He’s the one that hit you. Quite frankly, Bruce wasn’t worthy of my shit.”

The revolver sitting on the table was new to Justin. There was a bit of blood stained on it that only Justin could see. That blood would follow Justin from gat to gat, place to place. That and the rawness in Justin’s throat were the final mementos of Bruce. Two shots weren’t enough for the big guy; no Bruce rather angrily demanded a couple clubs to the head before he’d accept death. Even then he didn’t have the courtesy to die right then and there. No, there had to be an ambulance, there had to be a mourner for Bruce at his deathbed.

“You had no right.”

“There is no right, just wrong and less wrong. I chose the latter.”

“Can the Spade bullshit. You murdered the man I love.”

“And I’m sorry that you love him but he would have broken you like a horse, just like his first wife.”

“So why didn’t you kill him the first time.”


“I’m waiting.”

“I didn’t love her. That shouldn’t matter but it does.”

“And you proved you loved me by killing the man I love.”

“I don’t have to prove a damn thing, I love you. I couldn’t let him have you and throw you away.”

“I would never…”

“And neither would any other woman that I’ve loved. I’m used to that.”

“So what now?”

“You get on with your life and I find a new one, where I’m actually more of a nobody.”

“What’s keeping me from calling the cops when you leave?”

“You’ll have to answer that yourself.”

Justin stood up and put the revolver back in his suitcase. He walked right past a confused Virginia and her carving knife.

“I’ll say I do like that new spine of yours.”

“Yeah, I do too. I think I’ll keep it.”

Justin Winthrope left the world that day, having quietly liquidated all his assets over the last six months so that they’d fit nicely in his Dopp kit. Justin Winthrope was a respected but overall ignored CPA. Louis Gerrymander didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life but he had $20,000 to help him find out.