Mark Will Be Home Soon


Connie lay in a daze on the cold floor, watching as the streams of dark red liquid seeped out of the man’s head, merged into a pool, and reached for her hand.

She blinked and braced her arms on the floor as she sat up. She found a telephone on the marble kitchen counter, but the blood was slick, and the receiver slipped out of her hands. She left it dangling off the counter as she looked around. Yellow walls, white tiles, spotless if not for the man who lay on the floor. Her kitchen, but who was he? Connie took a few tentative steps toward him and glanced at the clock. Mark would be home soon.

She dragged the man out by the arms to the garden. She emptied a whole bottle of bleach onto the kitchen tiles and scrubbed the blood off the floor methodically. The fumes clawed at her eyes, but she didn’t stop, not even to brush the tears away as they fell, because Mark would be home soon.

Connie dragged the man into the shed and worked, with only the whirr of the worksaw to accompany her, then she fed him to the pigs, piece by piece. She felt nauseas, but she didn’t have the luxury of vomiting. Mark would be home soon.

The police found her the next evening, and she answered their questions impatiently. “Look, my husband will be home soon. You need to leave,” she said nervously, putting his dinner in the microwave.

“Mrs Hall, your husband didn’t go to work this morning. He’s missing.” The officer sniffed at the overpowering smell of bleach and raised an eyebrow at his partner. “Mind if we take a look around?” She nodded, “Be quick.”

Connie paced the kitchen and twisted her hands. If Mark came home and saw other men in the house…she swallowed. But twenty minutes later, they still hadn’t left. She offered them lemonade as they walked towards the shed, and waited until the rat poison kicked in. She sighed at the fresh mess in the garden, and began cleaning it up before Mark got home.

~ fin ~


Rita Edwards is an art teacher and occasional cynic who lives in Singapore. When she isn’t trying to explain Surrealism to 11-year-olds, she can be found reading, writing and cleaning up after her parrot. She has been published in Five on the Fifth.