I decided to try a little flash fiction this morning. Not sure I'm totally satisfied with it, but the rules as I understand them are you write as quick as you can, and you finish a story without edits. So here it is. A little over 1000 words so I really need to cut it down some.
The Perfect Murder
Amanda Crawford dabbed her favorite cologne behind both ears, meeting her eyes in the mirror. Excitement glittered there, as well as just a little fear. But then wasn't fear a type of excitement? A few more hours and it would all be over. Her eyes darkened. Damn him. She'd put up with his affairs for years, never dreaming he'd actually fall in love with one of the bimbos. Thank God she'd found that paperwork he'd been planning to give an attorney. She figured he'd planned to tell her tonight after dinner. Or maybe he was going to wait until after they had their once a year obligatory sex and then tell her. You know, one for the road? Jerk.
With one final glance in the mirror, Amanda picked up the package containing George's anniversary present and headed for the door. She'd told him she'd meet him at the restaurant at 6:00. But then she needed to be there just a little early. She'd do her job, and Mark would do his. No connections, no ties, no way to trace it back to either one of them. Two birds with one stone. Perfect.
"Good evening, Ms. Crawford, a table for two?"
"Yes, please, Darcie, and somewhere quiet if you don't mind. It's our anniversary." Amanda smiled, giving Darcie a quick peek at the perfectly wrapped present.
"I have just the place for you."
Amanda followed her to the table, scouting out the patrons until she found the blonde, Mark had described. Perfect. Everything was perfect. She went ahead and ordered for the two of them. After all, after twenty years she should know what George liked to eat. The food arrived, and George arrived right on time, his handsome face creased in smiles as he openly flirted with Darcie. Always the flirt.
"Amanda, you look lovely," George kissed her on the cheek. "And you smell divine. I hope that's all for me."
Amanda smiled sweetly. "Of course, darling. It's our anniversary. Twenty years today."
"Twenty years. That's a milestone." Picking up his glass he raised it for a toast. "Here's to the next twenty years being the best ever."
They chit-chatted throughout the meal, and Amanda waited until the plates had been cleared before handing him his present. "I hope you like it. It's one of those new fangled phones with all gadgets. Takes pictures, video, and surfs the internet."
George immediately started playing with it. "Honey, I love it." He came around the table and kissed her again, this time a quick peck on the lips. "What a great present."
Amanda bit her lip, mist gathering behind her eyes. He could have at least gotten her a present. Twenty years. Selfish jerk.
She glanced around the restaurant and found the waiter refilling the blonde's wine glass. Now was the perfect time. Opening the tiny vial of liquid she held it in her left hand, and smiled sweetly at George. "I'm just going to power my nose and then we can go."
George mumbled something unintelligible still playing with his new toy.
She played her part perfectly, stumbling right before she passed the table. The blonde jumped up to catch her, all eyes on her face as Amanda poured the liquid in the wine glass. "Thank you. I'm so sorry; I haven't worn heels in ages."
The blonde smiled at her, a nice smile before sitting back down at her seat and picking up the wine glass. "That's okay. I'm just glad you didn't fall. Have a nice evening."
Amanda took a moment to study the man across from the blonde who had also jumped up to rescue her. Nice looking guy. Still--you shouldn't cheat on your spouse.
George was still playing with the phone when Amanda returned. Now for part two of the plan. "Ready, dear? And I truly hate to ask, but would you mind stopping by that little pastry shop and picking up a lemon meringue pie? I have the girls coming by tomorrow and I totally forgot."
George frowned, but it was their anniversary and she knew he'd do it, no matter how much he hated the idea. That's why she'd given him his present early. A commotion broke out behind them.
"Oh, my God, she's having a heart attack!" Someone screamed.
Amanda took George's arm, glancing once at the blonde now stretched out on the floor, people gathered round. "Oh, dear, the poor thing. And she's so young."
George glanced at the crowd, face setting in a mask Amanda knew so well. "Let's get out of here before somebody remembers I'm a doctor."
Thirty minutes later having changed into her sexiest negligee Amanda watched the clock, a smile around her lips. She'd opened a bottle of champagne and was sipping her glass when the knock on the door came. Finally. Pasting on a smile, she poured the second glass and headed for the door. She would, of course, drop the glasses and go all teary-eyed. She had been voted most likely to succeed by the drama class.
Opening the door Amanda let her smile slowly fade, eyes widening. "Oh, my God, has something happened to George?" Amanda stumbled just a little, leaning into the door frame.
"Yes, I'm Amanda Crawford."
"Your husband's was shot during a robbery. We'd like to ask you some questions."
Amanda dropped the champagne glasses, right on cue. "Oh, my God. Oh, my God," she cried hugging her stomach, tears streaming down her face.
The officers exchanged looks. "Your husband is fine, Mrs. Crawford. He received a minor flesh wound subduing the robber. A young woman died at the Sante Fe Restaurant this evening though, and we'd like to ask you about this video we found on your husband's phone."
Amanda stared at the video, watching as she stumbled, the blonde and her friend jumping up to help her, her hand reaching out, the liquid pouring into the wine glass. It had been the perfect murder. Except for George, playing with his damn phone capturing the entire thing in living color.
"I want to speak with my lawyer."
The senior officer nodded, pulling a set of cuffs from his beltline. "Amanda Crawford you're under arrest for the murder of Susan Mason, and the attempted murder of George Crawford."