by Laura Wilson Tomasko
Archie never meant for it to happen. Besides, who's to say she was always faithful, anyway? Carmen always had a roving eye in school; that probably hadn't changed. Damned if he could have seen this coming, though. Every night, just as he left for work, she was showering, washing her hair, smelling so good, straightening up the living room. Funny that he didn't get it then, he thought, taken in by her sweet smile, her loving touches. Going out to make money for all the things she wanted, like a sap. Hoping to make up for that one slip of his.
Instead, she figured she could have one slip, too. Just as he pulled around the corner he saw that same pickup again, what did she take him for anyway, he hadn't just fallen off the lettuce truck, so he circled the block and parked. Kind of like in the cop shows. Looking left and right, he slipped across the street and into his own yard, hiding behind the hedge.
Moonlight made him cautious. No one must hear him. Only that rat, he'd hear Archie well enough when he plugged him.
Patiently he waited for the right moment. Quietly he slipped his key in the lock, turning it once.
Right then, Carmen saw him. She knew by the murderous look on his face he'd been spying on her, something she had always said she would never tolerate; jealousy had broken up her first marriage.
“Trust me,” she said when she finally agreed to marry him, “and don't ever sneak around watching me!”
Uncle Bill was sitting on the couch, the guy who had raised her.
Vehicle had looked familiar, come to think of it.
What a shame he'd come in blasting, with no chance to change his mind.
X marked the spot, right on old Bill's left front chest.
Yelling for the police, she ran out the front door to the safety of the neighbors.
Zany story; he'd shared it plenty over twenty-five to life.
Laura Wilson Tomasko has published in With Painted Words, baystateparent, and Scouting magazine. She won first prize in the Kathleen Downey Short Fiction contest for her short story “Reflections,” and second prize in the PrimeTime Cape Cod writing contest for her short story “The Letter.” She has a B.A. from the University of Connecticut and an M.Ed from Worcester State University.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'The Red Spot'
'The Last One'