Gloria By Cynthia Griffin

Here is a short story I wrote two years ago based off of a writing exercise I did out of the back of John Gardner’s book the Art of Fiction (a great book by the way and highly recommended by yours truly). In a span of two hours, the exercise took on the form of a suddenly inspired flash fiction story. I submitted it to Pill Hill Press on a whim and they accepted it. This company recently went out of business and the book I submitted to is now out of print, so I decided to post it here for people to read who were interested. I hope you enjoy.

Gloria

The lake was a sheet of shimmering glass underneath the blood red moon as one lonely figure stood trembling from the effort of what he had done. His world shattered in an instant, and quite sure he would never be able to put the pieces back together. They were destroyed forever and it was all her fault. She was to blame for this, not him. An instant of hot rage compelled him to do a thing he would never have done otherwise.

Gloria, oh my Gloria. What did you make me do, you selfish bitch? If only you had stayed away from him, if only you hadn’t lied to me, then you wouldn’t have forced my hand. It really was all her fault. If it hadn’t been for her infidelity he never would have had to do what he’d done, simple as that. This fact filled the terrible hollow in his soul, but only just a little. The rest lay pulsing like a raw nerve in constant agony from her betrayal.

Her body rested now at the bottom of the lake along with the man he found in their bed. They didn’t expected him home that night, and why should they? He’d been on a business trip. He didn’t expected the meetings to be done early, and certainly didn’t expected his attempt to surprise his wife with a romantic evening to end so disastrously. How did it get this far? He thought they were a happy couple, obviously he’d been mistaken.

It didn’t really matter, because the world would never discover the truth. He knew how to do such things being a criminal lawyer. Over the years, he picked up bits and pieces from the long list of clients, the rest he figured out on his own. Now the evidence of his crime lie at the bottom of the lake, he could go back to his life and pretend to be the innocent husband of a cheating wife who decided to suddenly runaway with her lover.

***

 

“Will you please turn that stupid game off and take out the trash? Our guests will be here any minute?” A brunette stood half blocking the flat screen, starring daggers.

Phillip exhaled heavily as he tried to see past his wife’s wide hips, but knew from experience that he had already lost the battle. He’d been at the game for weeks and finally committed the prefect murder and she was ruining it- figures. “Babe, in a moment, I’m almost done.”

She whirled around and pushed the power button on the game console turning the television black. Phillip sunk deep into the couch and groaned. He hadn’t saved in over an hour. He gripped the controller tightly in white fists and plastic cracked.

“Don’t forget the trash,” she turned and left.

Phillip set the now broken game controller on the coffee table and clenched his teeth, “I won’t, Gloria.”

The End

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