1651. The dead wife

(Thanks to Alex Raphael for the opening sentence.)

“Hang on a second. I thought you were dead.”

“I am. Or rather, I am pretending to be.” Ursula had made a sudden appearance at the home of her best friend, Flora. Flora was in shock. She had grieved for her friend at the funeral and, quite frankly, spent an undue amount on a bunch of flowers.

“How on earth did you stage such a believable death?”

“It wasn’t easy, especially since I had to organize it all on my own. In the end I got help from the man at the crematorium. But it worked. My husband is having an affair and this is the almost improbable way to give him the fright of his life, and his lover whoever she is. I could kill the both of them. In fact I probably will.”

“But how did you find out about the affair?”

“When I went away for a week to visit my daughter, I came home and she had left her shoes in the closet. And what is more, a woman knows these things. I could sense that she had been there all week. I asked my husband about it, but of course he denied it. Once I find out who that woman is, she’ll be taking my place at the crematorium I can tell you.”

“But,” joked Flora, “who would make your husband the tomatoes on toast for breakfast that he so likes?”

“How do you know that?”

27 thoughts on “1651. The dead wife

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Yes, I suspect Flora will get floored.
      I tried to email you earlier using the email address on your gravatar, but the mailman returned it unopened! It was to say I liked your Rachmaninoff posting because I couldn’t comment on that on your blog because it kept saying “You must log in first” – and when I logged in it would say “Message deleted because you are not logged in”. In frustration I emailed you and it was returned – whereupon I said a naughty word.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. observationblogger

        Yes, that’s baffling Bruce why you can’t simply post a comment. I in turn said a naughty phrase when I read your comment here. Also I don’t know why the email on my Gravatar didn’t work. Is it just this Rachmaninoff post you can’t send comments on?

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  1. Nitin

    They say men (or women) can’t change. I say inject them with an (un)healthy dose of paranoia and marvel at the transformation. I dunno how you manage to write story after story with great plots all while maintaining a distinct style. I would be envious if you were a younger writer!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      That is the kindest (and most thrilling) of comments, thanks Nitin. I reckon part of the thing is not to try to write for posterity but to write for oneself just for today. As you know, I have a hangup about what people will think – and that is debilitating. You are not afraid to go where angels fear to tread and it gives a far greater rawness to your writing than mine.

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      1. Nitin

        You’re welcome Bruce. I don’t have a hangup about what people will think, but I’m often deeply affected by what people say in their poems or prose pieces. I mean, I have read some deeply disturbing, slanderous pieces here and I tend to internalise the hate people project, which in turn makes my writing caustic. This is one of the primary reasons I quit WP and unfollowed many blogs. I disdain drama, and hate that I find myself drawn to it sometimes. Nowadays, I write for myself and my pleasure only. But whether that will help me get published and make a living out of writing remains to be seen. The days of Bukowski are dead. The industry has changed. Publishers today look for what fits into their paradigms (which mostly revolve around the current literary trends – feminism, LGBTQ literature, etc) and that makes it difficult for a slightly abstract expressionist to make it. But I’ll keep trying.

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          I agree with your view of today’s publishers and their paradigms. It’s not just themes, but it’s grammar, syntax, style, tense … I don’t know how any profoundly original writer (such as yourself) can ever make it through the starting gates,

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          1. Nitin

            Now that you brought that up, I often wonder if I made a mistake by not reading the Oxford book of grammar (that’s collecting dust at home) before starting out! But my principle is that too many rules rob writing of its spontaneity. And even if I were to read the Oxford book of grammar today, I’ll have to unlearn so much and that will cause another quarter life crisis!

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              1. Nitin

                Ha ha. That I do on purpose! I write in stream of consciousness and so, my sentences tend to be very long and need splitting up. Which is why, I divide them according to my own system of cadence (that revolves around breath.) You wouldn’t believe this but I was known for my grammar in school. I won competitions writing prose using proper grammar and punctuation. I then quit writing for many years and by the time I got back to it, I’d forgotten everything!
                But if you read some contemporary writers like DeLillo, you’ll find them using a very weird syntax. So there’s hope!

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                Reply
                    1. Nitin

                      Yeah you’ve told me that before, and I started taking your advice from then onwards. A lot of the pieces I’d posted on WP were old and hence written in one paragraph. The new blog won’t feature any of them, and so, everything will paragraphed properly. Having said that, I find it very hard to write pieces of length. I write a few paragraphs and then my inspiration runs out. Some people use stream of consciousness to write novel after novel. I don’t know how they do it. Maybe they put themselves in an altered state of consciousness and write till they drop!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      I thought yes I’d mentioned it before – and I noticed the change in your postings… I still hold the record (I think) for being New Zealand’s fastest speed reader – but the test given was about the origin of rats and I was fascinated and forgot it was a test. I read it furiously fast and got all the comprehension questions right! If the test had been a passage about trains I might have got last.

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