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The house was quiet; Marie sat curled up on the couch and watched television as her husband complained in a backroom, he did this on every occasion he could. As she watched with pursed lips, putting her cigarette down and thumbing her pocket video poker machine, she stared at her husband. Marie sat thinking with a smirk that like most men, her husband would soon be asleep after eating.

She thumbed her game idly; not with her usual interest. She knew if she asked her husband to do anything worthwhile such as taking her to the casino or out to a restaurant would be totally out of the question. He would merely stare at her, roll his eyes and tell her she should be cleaning or in bed. This had become the norm after 20 odd years of marriage. Tonight Marie was not to go anywhere. So she sat and thought about the usual things that crossed her mind: How she was to kill her husband.

“You want to go to the game?” Her husband invited.

“No, I told you I was going by my mother's house tonight. Help her fix that food for Collette's party.” Marie said.

“God damnit woman. Every time I ask you to do something you fuckin gotta go and do something for somebody else. You think Collette fuckin ass would help you out? No.”

Her husband yelled as he put on his shoes.

“I don't care what you say. I'm going help. Marie said calmly.

“Just look at your ass. I didn't want to take you nowhere anyway.” He said storming out the door.

The thought of poisoning her husband had occurred to Marie before. It never left her mind no matter how hard she tried to think of something else. She sat uneasily on the couch, pondering the sheer wonder of it all. Wouldn't it be fun to cut him up like a pig?

A nice set of cutlets or chops or perhaps some baby back ribs? She giggled.

She thought: He impotent, mean, selfish and abusive. I never really loved him, only married him out of pity. Most folks did not like him. His obnoxious personality kept him from having any friends. The children are complete frighten by his presence and his refusal to change only made it worst. Would anyone really miss him if I got him drunk, he passes out and I strangle him?

She felt lonely.

She lay back on the sofa and stared across the room blankly. She was at ease.

She glanced at the fireplace tool rack. The hook spoke, “Bash his head in.”

“Damn hook,” She thought. “So manipulative.”

“I can't kill my husband.” She said

“What kind of example would that be for the children? What would they say?

“Oh mommy killed daddy. So I can go out and kill anyone when I have a problem I just can't seem to solve.” That's what they'd say.

She stood up and walked across the room to the bay windows, a feeling in her belly told her that her husband would be back soon. She was very troubled, and the fact that her husband was pulling into the drive way.

“You will not choke him.” She told herself. “No, no. You will not take his rifle from under our bed and shoot his face off. No, Marie. You just calm down Marie.”

She feels gruesome today.

Marie told herself sternly that if she stood behind the bathroom door, her husband would never see a knife she would plunge into his back. The idea of a grown woman troubling herself with silly fears like that--it's like being afraid of ghosts, or something. Nothing is going to happen to him, Marie; she said almost aloud, nothing can happen to hurt either you or your husband or anyone you love. You are perfectly safe.

"Hey where you at?" her husband yelled.


"What the fuck you doing?"

"I'm in the bathroom," Marie said. "What you want?"

Her mind raced: Kill him. Stab him in the eye. Push him down the stairs.

She couldn't believe what she was thinking.

She walked toward the kitchen; she used this as an excuse to curb her urges. She thought perhaps if she didn't see him then she would not want to kill him. Though she could not avoid the living room. He looked up as she entered.

"You did what you had to do or you just been fucking around the house?" he said.

"No, not yet. I'm waiting for my momma to call" Marie said. "She not back yet."

"Well what the fuck she doing?" he said. "I'm telling you Marie, I don't want your ass out all time of the night no."

"Ah, your ass" she said. "I do what I want."

"Fuck you." he said.

I don't need his ass. She thought. If I kill him, what would happen to me? What would happen to the kids? If I'm caught then maybe my sister would take care of them? Could I get off on an insanity plea? I hate my husband. I hate my husband. I hate my husband. She repeated to herself like a mantra.

" Marie," her husband said. "What the fuck wrong with you?"

"Nothing," she said. "Why you have problem?"

"You sitting there on your ass. Why you not cleaning something? Why you not cooking? They got shit for you to do round her yeah. Lazy ass."

"Your ass," she said. "Leave me alone."

"Come here." He gestured.

Marie didn't move.

“Damnit, I said bring your ass here.”

She walked over very submissively; head hung low and positioned herself across his lap. At his first stroke across her buttocks, her eyes became glazed and watered over. She knew she was trapped. Sporadically she flinched when his hand made impact with her bottom. Her breathing was heavy and fixed. He never once stops his ever quickening rain of swats until Marie's butt was swollen and terribly red.

Suddenly he stopped.

"Why you make me do this?" his voice was cold. "Your fucking ass don't listen."

"I'm sorry," she cried. "Please no more."

“Get the fuck off of me.” He pushed her to floor.

Unable to speak, she rubbed her bottom in silent pain as she watched her husband retire to their bedroom.

Marie was very quiet. She moaned in silence. She always cried like a child after one of these “episodes”, her husband being a strict disciplinarian punished Marie on an almost daily basis. Which Marie found perfectly ridiculous. A grown woman getting punished as a child would. Worst of all, she allowed this to happen.

“Nothing is going to happen to me from now on.” She mumbled to herself.

“He is never going to hurt me again.”

She looked fierce.

“Marie?” her husband barked.


“Bring your fucking ass to bed now.”

“I'm coming,” Marie said. “I'm getting something out of the kitchen.”

“Diphenhydramine, doxylamine, antihistamines, chlorpheniramine and hydroxzine.” She muttered. “Sleeping pills. That will do it. Yes, in his water.”

She smiled.

Her husband entered the kitchen.

“What the fuck is your problem tonight woman?” he stomped over to her.

“Didn't I tell you get your fucking ass to bed?”

“I am I was just getting something to drink.”

“I'm coming I just need to get my food ready for tomorrow.”

“Well when you done, get your ass to bed. You hear me?”


She started thinking fast. Stab him, poison him, bash his head in, drown him, and cut his throat, burn him alive.” She paced. “He'll be dead and no one would suspect you.”

Everyone knows he abuses me. I just finally snapped is what I'll say. I don't remember. I blacked out and when I woke up he was dead.

I'll go through with it, Marie thought. What does it matter what happens to me ? as long as that man is dead and the kids to their homework, of course.

With eyes full of tears, she thought and thought about how and what time this murder would occur. “I would hate to do it in the morning. That would just spoil the whole day.”

Perhaps at night. She thought. Yes, at night. I'll make a big production of it. No, I'll keep it small and let the police make all the ruckus about it. Yes, yes indeed.

Carefully, cleaning her kitchen with a smile and humming to herself she retired to her bedroom. For a minute she paused to stare at her husband she did love him in a way and was still firm in her decision. She picked up the covers and lay down for the night with a happy smirk on her face and drifted off in a sound sleep.

She did not her husband rollover and silently place the pillow over her head.

He was happy in his decision.

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The following comments are for "Quirky"
by Bran

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