Tag Archives: marriage

2095. Who was out to murder?

Urs was a tyrannical husband. Alice had long felt trapped in the relationship. She knew she should untangle herself from such a situation but really she didn’t know how. Her only time of peace was after the evening meal when she would take her coffee (Urs was watching the evening news) and wander down to the back of the garden where Urs kept his racing pigeons.

Urs was besotted with his pigeons. Alice found their gentle cooing both soothing and consoling.

The racing pigeons were worth a pretty packet. He would enter racing competitions with them regularly. He cared for them more than he cared for his wife.

One of his more tyrannical aspects was that Alice should prepare only healthy food. He regarded vegetable greens as a must to every meal, especially peas. “Peas are riddled with nutrients,” he would say. “That’s why they are so green.”

Alice hated peas. Part of her post-dinner evening walk was to take the peas she had hidden in her napkin and give them to the pigeons.

One early morning, Urs went down to see his pigeons and they were all dead. A veterinarian post-mortem showed that they had eaten poisoned peas.

2093. Oh what a tragedy!

Have you any idea how expensive it is to get a divorce? Raymond wanted to get rid of his wife but he wasn’t keen to lose almost half of what he’d worked for throughout his life. It was cheaper (and quicker) simply to get rid of her in a cunning and imperceptible way.

He devised a fabulous plan. As far as he could work out, it hadn’t been done before – at least he’d never heard of it. He had one of those cars whereby the driver had controls to lock the car doors. It was a child protection device. If the children in the back and passenger seats were messing around they couldn’t accidently open the door and fall out.

What Raymond would do was to stall the car on a rail crossing just as a train was hurtling towards them. Then he’d quickly press the button to lock his wife’s door, leap out his own door, and… Oh what a tragedy! Oh what a sadness! Why did it happen to me?

It wasn’t exactly something he could practise. After all, how many cars can one afford? But he drove the route several times and knew well the times the trains passed.

The day arrived. They were to visit great aunt Maude and bring her the usual weekly supply of chocolate and cat food. They were just about to leave (Raymond was actually wearing his running shoes!) when a message came that great Aunt Maud’s sister also wanted to visit Maude, and could they pick her up on the way? That ruined things. The request meant they would have to take another route. Murder would have to wait another day.

The following week off they went on their habitual visit. Raymond’s wife (goodness, as yet she is not introduced – her name was Fiona) had trouble dragging Raymond’s drugged body to the garage and into the car. Once done she drove to the rail crossing and stopped. She got out to watch.

Oh what a tragedy! Oh what a sadness! Why did it happen to me?

(P.S. A Happy Easter to all who wish to be wished such! I shall be hopefully back with a murder on the 5th, Easter Monday!)

2060. Them’s the breaks

Ivan was a weedy little man and Sheila was buxom. After seventeen years marriage Sheila decided that enough was enough and wanted a divorce.

“Enough is enough,” she said.

“Enough of what?” asked Ivan.

“Enough,” said Sheila.

There was no reason for a divorce except Sheila wanted change. After seventeen years the humdrum-ity of life was calling for a change in direction. Ivan was at first mystified and then angry. All papers and things were filed. The divorce came through. Sheila moved down the street in search of the great tomorrow.

The next day Ivan won a hundred and twenty-four million in the lottery.

2058. Nest building

Norma had a saying which she oft cited: I’ve buried three husbands you know.  If the truth be known, all three had died unnatural deaths. They had all been murdered.

Norma was exceedingly rich. She lived in a big house (these days alone). Her sole interest appeared to be her two pet canaries. She had a yellow canary and one with bits of yellow but it looked more like a sparrow. Only the yellow one ever sang, and usually with a melancholic air.

Norma had tried to breed them but she wasn’t sure if she had two girls, two boys, or one of each. Whatever the case, neither had made any attempt at making a nest.

Norma belonged to the local Caged Birds Association. There she met and befriended Gordon, mainly because she thought he might know how to sex birds. He did, and so Norma invited him to her house. Well! One thing led to another, and before you knew it they were married, and Gordon’s two pet canaries went into the same aviary as Norma’s two. In the blink of an eye one of Norma’s and one of Gordon’s were creating a nest together.

Norma was delighted with the success of her breeding program! So interesting! There were four fledglings! All grew into a bold yellow and sang with a melancholic air. They were a great consolation to Norma when she came to bury her fourth husband.

2046. A typical life

As if expecting her third baby wasn’t difficult enough. It was made a thousand times more difficult now that Clifford has run off with his secretary. The two boys were under the age of five, and there was still four months to go before the arrival of the third boy. Clifford had wanted a girl. It was Lynette’s fault – the third male.  It didn’t cause the dissipation of her marriage but it certainly hastened it. And now Clifford was refusing to pay for anything until “matters were cleared up”.

Thank goodness Lynette’s mother lived just around the corner. At least someone was “there” – although she drank heavily and couldn’t be trusted after seven in an evening. Still, she could help with the two boys for an hour or two in the mornings while Lynette went off to her part-time motel-cleaning job. At least it meant that there were a few pennies coming in.

And then Lynette’s mother died suddenly. Who was going to pay for the funeral? Lynette was a relative. It was her responsibility. Would the motel owner mind if she brought her two little boys along while she cleaned? The motel owner had enough on her mind without having to worry about other people’s toddlers. The answer was no.

Lynette was at the end of her tether. She walked the street with her two boys in search of some “help for the helpless”. It was not something until recently that she had ever given half a thought to. She couldn’t find the place. She stopped and asked a gentleman in the street if he knew of anywhere.

“Excuse me,” said Lynette as politely as she could muster. They got talking. That is why today Lynette is now Lady Lynette Snodgrass-Grbin, married to billionaire Lord Hector Snodgrass-Grbin, and they have five boys counting Lynette’s three, who run around the manor grounds playing hide-and-seek when they’re not at their excellent school.

Clifford recently contacted Lynette and said he was destitute. The secretary had fled. He had no job. Lynette sent him a thousand dollars and told him to stay out of her life permanently. She subsequently learned that he had taken “permanently” to mean more permanent than she had intended.

Oh! And did I forget to mention? Lady Lynette is now expecting her sixth. It’s a girl.

2034. On safari

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Doug Jacquier of Six Crooked Highways. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, please leave your suggestion in the comments – only one suggestion per person!)

If he had his time again, Clarence wouldn’t have bought the giraffe. His wife had always been hard to buy for and he had thought that the giraffe for her fortieth birthday would have been welcomed. After all, she had given him a colony of penguins (just six) for his forty-fourth birthday, plus a gigantic walk in freezer. Cristobelle (that wasn’t her real name but the name she preferred) had taken a particular liking to the giraffes when they were on safari in Africa. She was forever sitting up the front of the jeep with the Guide having a wonderful time seeing the giraffes, and in the evenings when Clarence retired early after such a fun-filled day she would ask the Guide to take her out to see the giraffes again.

Naturally Clarence thought she would be thrilled with a giraffe for her birthday but she seemed quite disgusted with it.

That was almost a year ago. As if Clarence was not busy enough trying to look after his (now seven) penguins, he also had to look after this jolly giraffe. He offered it to the local zoo but they said they were giraffed-out. To be honest, Clarence already knew that they had too many giraffes because that is how he had managed to purchase one for Christobelle’s birthday.

It therefore came as a big surprise when Christobelle announced that for her forty-first she wouldn’t mind going alone back to Africa to see the giraffes.

“I know that once is enough for you, darling. So I don’t mind going alone.”

A few months after Christobelle arrived in Africa, Clarence got an email, part of which is printed below:

Hi Clarence. Well I got the same Guide as before which was fantastic. But there’s this woman on Safari from London who is a total nuisance. She’s loud and sits up the front of the jeep all the time with the Guide like she owns him. We don’t need to see any hippopotamuses because there’s one all the time sitting up the front with the Guide. She has completely ruined the safari by her dominating presence. I’m coming home.

It was too late for her to come home. Clarence’s friend, Annie, had moved in. They shared an interest in penguins, and she said she would be delighted (among other things) to help out with looking after the giraffe. And guess what? Clarence has bought Annie a warthog called Christobelle for her twenty-second birthday.

2030. Mustang Molly

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Badfinger20 who is Max of PowerPop. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, please leave your suggestion in the comments – only one suggestion per person!)

Sam and Molly bought a 1966 Mustang from Molly’s dad but when driving away they heard something rattling in the door panel. They hadn’t paid much for the car. It was sort of an engagement present from Molly’s parents, Mack and Laura Rice.

Mack Rice was one of these dads who couldn’t help but insinuate possible future situations. Molly and Sam had been living together for almost three years. During that time Mack had hinted about marriage and when, and engagement and when, and wedding and when. Once he even personally oversaw Laura’s frosting of Molly’s birthday cake. It looked remarkably like a wedding cake.

“Oh Daddy!” exclaimed Molly. “Is this meant to be a hint?”

And now, to celebrate their engagement – at last! at last! – Mack had sold them his prize 1966 Mustang for a song. He was as excited about the engagement as they were excited about the car! But that rattling in the door panel. Mack had never said anything about that before. It was unlikely to be a mechanical thing because not even a fly had been allowed to land on the Mustang in the fifty-four years Mack had owned it. Sam would investigate as soon as they got home.

Sam carefully removed the inside of the door panel. There it was! The cause of the noise! A baby’s rattle!

“Oh Daddy!” exclaimed Molly. “Is this meant to be a hint?”

2019. A gaggle of gossipers

(Today’s story is the penultimate. Tomorrow’s story (Number 2020) will be the last – at least for a while. I am writing this in September so who knows! Tomorrow’s story has LOTS of links so it’s not impossible that it will automatically end up in your email trash. Just a warning!)

Monique and Marcel had known each other for years. They were good friends since university days. Now both were widowed. They usually met once or twice a month for coffee and a chat. Each found support from the other in their loss.

After some time they started to hear rumours: they were a couple, they were dating, they were inevitably going to get married… None of this was true, but rumours stick.

“Apparently they haven’t as yet moved into the same house,” said Nora Cudworthy to Mabel Johnstoneville. “You’d think they would. After all, they do everything else. They should stop pretending we don’t know and move in.”

“I heard,” said Sandy Monteverdi to Joe Devon, “that they were having an affair long before their spouses died. I’m not surprised, judging from the way they carry on these days.”

“It’s unbelievable! Unbelievable!” said Carmel Cranford to Tessa London. “They have their grandchildren come to stay and I heard that Marcel and Monique spend all their time otherwise engaged. Unbelievable!”

“Enough is enough!” declared Monique to Marcel. “Let’s add fuel to the fire. Let’s go away together in the same car to some fancy resort somewhere and leave them to chatter.”

And they did! Off they trundled ostentatiously in the car.

While they were away the nearby volcano erupted and utterly decimated the village. It was like a modern Pompeii. The whole gaggle of gossipers was gone. Of course, Monique and Marcel were safe. But there was no one left to announce their engagement to.

2012. Traditional wedding plans

Amanda was a solo mother. She had the one daughter, Anita, who was eighteen. Amanda knew that one day, perhaps sooner than later, Anita would get married. She knew that although Anita would say it doesn’t matter she really would like to have a lovely wedding. Nothing lavish; but a lovely wedding with flowers and pretty clothes and a modest but enjoyable feast. Of course, Amanda didn’t have much money but she had saved little bits for a long time. In fact, every Saturday Amanda would sell herbs growing in pots at the town’s Saturday Street Market. It was a dollar here and a dollar there.

Nineteen years earlier, Amanda had got married. She had always dreamed of a wedding. It ended up being “a rushed job” because Anita was on the way. Two weeks later, Kevin was killed in a car accident. It was partly why Amanda was determined to give Anita the best wedding possible.

Suddenly, an engagement was announced! Fintan was the loveliest. Amanda couldn’t have wished for a better possible son-in-law! His father was a lawyer, and Fintan was in his first year practising as a family doctor. Amanda couldn’t wait to meet his parents!

His parents said they’d pay for the wedding drinks; that was the tradition, and Amanda would pay for the rest. They suggested they limit the invited guests to two hundred each. Amanda said she didn’t think she knew that many people, and Fintan’s parents said that it was a good thing because they could invite more on their side to make up the numbers. It was, after all, a society wedding. He was an important lawyer in the town. Things had to be done properly.

What a mess it was for Amanda! What stress! She would have to tell Fintan’s parents that she couldn’t afford it. But first she would have to tell the happy couple.

Anita and Fintan laughed! They had a solution! They’d already thought it out. They were eloping. Tomorrow. And they did!

Fintan was disinherited. It didn’t matter too much because his medical practice flourished. These days Amanda has three grandchildren to help her on Saturdays at her herb stall. Fintan’s parents have no grandchildren; well, none that they care to know.

2007. What to do?

(Just before today’s story! – a quick note to say that my childhood “autobiography” – Bits of a Boyhood – has been wonderfully reviewed by Iseult Murphy – HERE! She is the most prolific reader online and she posts many reviews that are well worth it. Thank you, Iseult! And so to today’s story:)

 

Francine didn’t know what exactly she had in mind when she said “I would very much like to have some time alone.” She had said that to her husband. She needed space. It’s not that he did anything untoward; it’s just that she needed the occasional break from his sporadic odd behaviour. He wouldn’t go to the doctor; possibly he didn’t need to go to the doctor, but Francine was not capable of diagnosing “what was going on”. For example, he would open and close a door four or five times before going through it. He didn’t always do that. Things like that went in “bouts”.

And that is why Francine needed to take the occasional break. This time however, things were different. He had taken his pet canary out of its cage and thrown it to freedom out the window. He had set the dishwasher going three times when there weren’t any dishes to wash. And now he was standing at the door between the sitting room and the dining room and opening and closing it and saying over and over “Come in! Come in!”

Francine consoled herself by joking that perhaps he was trying to welcome back his escaped canary.

Eventually she said, as she had said before, that he needed to go and see a doctor. But he answered (and he seemed quite normal and lovely in his answer) that he didn’t need to do that. There was nothing wrong with him. The stress was all in Francine’s head.

And that is when Francine said, “I would very much like to have some time alone”. Arnold said, “Alright then, why don’t you go for a walk?” So Francine put on her walking shoes and went for a long walk, and thought about things without coming to any conclusion.

When she got home Arnold was in the kitchen cooking some bananas in the oven. She asked him what he was doing and he said the television had said not to feed the dog raw meat.

“But bananas are not meat,” said Francine, “and we don’t have a dog.”

Anyway, by evening Arnold was back to normal. They watched a TV program together and had a normal conversation, and then Arnold went to bed.

Francine sat in the armchair wondering what to do. She honestly didn’t know what she should do next. If Arnold had dropped dead it would be sad of course but definite. Instead, everything was so “up in the air”.