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Featured here: These Pretty Roses
These Pretty Roses
"Well, what about him?" I asked her.
I nodded towards the other side of the park. We had a direct view between the rose bushes of a man sitting alone, staring at an area of the lawn a few feet away, and doing nothing much else.
"Oh him? He's easy!" She was practically squealing as she leaned into me.
"I think he lost his job today. And he's wondering what he'll do next" I said.
"Oh please, nothing as boring as that, just look at him".
The sun had spread its arms wide, embracing the world in an afternoon fire. He sat there, wordless and motionless. Hands balled into fists upon his knees.
"He hunts on the weekend" She said.
"What does he hunt?"
"Details!" I implored her. "You're always insisting on details, so tell me, what does he hunt?"
"Oh fine…..birds, he hunts birds"
"Birds?" What kind of birds? Details Mademoiselle, s'il vous plait!"
"Urrrgh fine! Ducks, pheasant, quails roosters, cocks! Who cares! You're ruining my rhythm!"
She became angry with me, she was always slightly mad and I liked that because her accent spilled over her English and mingled with the perfume of her last cigarette.
"Alors, our duck hunter comes home from work early today, let's say one fifteen for details sake, he enters the kitchen where he kisses his wife on the cheek and tells her that he is feeling ill."
"What is his wife doing in the kitchen?"
"Umm……she is baking."
"What is she baking?"
"A cake, a chocolate cake if you must know putain!" Her face screwed up into a mask of almost convincing rage, those long finger nails of hers dug into my arm.
"Well then, where was I? Yes, his wife tells him that he look's ill, and pale too, he looks pale, then she lovingly places the back of her chocolate-cake-covered hand against his forehead and tells him that maybe, he should go and lie down".
"He goes into their bedroom, removes his shoes and his jacket and gets into bed".
"So he keeps his tie on?"
"Yes he keeps his tie on" She snapped, I let her continue.
"After an hour or so, he wakes up. He gets out of bed, puts on his shoes and jacket, straightens his tie in the mirror, (This she said looking directly at me) goes into the closet and retrieves his hunting rifle".
"He calmly walks into the kitchen where his wife stands at the kitchen sink, washing the dishes. He puts three bullets in her. The first two in her back, she falls to the floor wearing her yellow rubber dish gloves, gripping a sponge in one hand and a plate in the other".
She held up her fists in front of my face, imaginary props gripped tightly between her white knuckles.
"He puts the last bullet here" She pushed a finger into the skin just above the bridge of my glasses.
We both sat watching the man on the park bench. It was sometime before she spoke again and when she did, it was barely a whisper.
"He gently places the rifle down next to her and walks out of the house, leaving bloody footprints all the way to the front door."
"He leaves his wife on the kitchen floor and comes here. He sits down on that bench. And has been sitting there ever since".
"Now he waits. He waits and wonders how long it will be until the police cars come roaring down the street and the officers come trampling over these pretty roses with their guns and handcuffs".
"He feels no sadness, no regret, just a sort of morbid curiosity. When will they get here? How many false leads will they follow using all the advanced technology of this digital age when all he did was walk out of his front door and come here to this park? He's not on the run. He's just waiting and wondering."
"Wow" I said.
"You are messed up" I put my arm around her and she moved closer, her head on my shoulder.
"Well you have to be something" She told me.
"Why did he do it?"
"Why did he kill her?"
She took her time responding.
"Because her chocolate cake was disgusting and he couldn't bare the idea of eating it and lying to her
about how much he enjoyed it. It's a horrible thing to lie to the ones we love".