by Janelle Ward

She poisons her husband’s steak.

The process is swift.

It’s wonderful to see him there, unmoving. She can’t stop laughing. She dances a jig around his slumped form. She plays a song to mark the occasion. Pink sings: I can cut you into pieces.

She finishes her steak and wonders what to do with the body. Backyard burial? No need to get her nails dirty. Preserve the manicure in Forget me Not Pink. She decides to put him in the freezer. It’s large enough and he always hated the cold.

This decided, she embraces her euphoria. She whirls like a ballerina around the pantry. She plays another song to mark the occasion. Theory of a Deadman sings: I’m so happy that I threw you away. She sings along. Sprays the corpse with silly string.

The doorbell rings. It’s his sister, Melanie. She turns up the music and answers the door. Hi! she says as she lets in the air. It’s good to see you, Melanie! Yes, we are having a little party! Yes, he’s in the kitchen!

She smiles, showing all her teeth. She hugs Melanie then pushes her into the house. She pours a glass of wine for her visitor. She shares the details. She delights in her success. She explains her plan to move him to the freezer. Her eyes are huge, her gestures manic. She pulls out the garbage bags. One for his head, one for his feet, a few for his body. The bags are white but thick, so his features won’t be visible. He’ll look like a giant polar bear, she shrieks, and toasts Melanie’s wine glass, untouched on the table.

She takes Melanie’s silence as mute admiration; the tremble in her hands as awe.


Janelle Ward is a Minnesota native and has spent the last 12 years in the Netherlands, evolving from carnivorous student to vegetarian mama. Her day job is in political communication. She’s published a bunch of academic stuff but is most passionate about fiction writing. You can read more of her work at janelleward.com
%d bloggers like this: