White Lies

‘Did the power go out, Johnny?’ Lisa asked feebly as her husband walked into the dark bedroom.
She’d been calling him since the lights had gone down. Wearily, he’d climbed the steep stairs, torch in hand, his stomach in knots.
Lisa turned her head toward the bedroom window with a frown, ‘Street lights are still on. That’s odd isn’t it?’
Carefully he stepped toward the bed. The smell of sour wine on her breath was overpowering.
Putting an arm around her thin waist, he hoisted her out of the bed, ‘Come on. I lit a lantern downstairs. We can play a game of cards.’
Lisa didn’t struggle, but she began whining like a small child as he’d anticipated.
‘I don’t want to go downstairs. Can’t you stay up here with me? I just want to sleep.’
On and on she complained. Her ramblings fell on deaf ears. John had put up with her terminal inebriation long enough. Lisa was bed-ridden and dependent by choice.
Now John was choosing to ease the pain she inflicted on them both.
Pretending to stumble in the hall, he pushed her down the stairs.

With a heavy heart, he replaced the circuit breaker he’d taken from the safety box and picked up the phone.
‘My wife has fallen down the stairs. I think her neck is broken.’
Falling was just a little white lie, like the white lies he’d told friends and family concerning Lisa’s “condition”. It would’ve happened eventually anyway, John told himself.

© Alison Pearce 2008

White Lies

Alison Pearce

Logan Central, Australia

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Artist's Description

For Star Twister’s 16

Word count – 250

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