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A Helping Hand

A HELPING HAND

Joanna sat in her study with her fifth cup of coffee for that night. Her husband Gerhard was fast asleep upstairs and so were the children. Go on, you can do it, she urged herself. She lowered her eyes to the .45 pistol on the desk. She had sneaked it away from Gerhard’s closet when he was showering earlier in the day. The pistol had a silencer in it- Gerhard always kept it in the nearest safe place- the closet- in case there was an intruder.

 

Joanna let her fingers close around the cold metal, knuckles whitening as her grip tightened. All she had to do was go up the stairs, into the bedroom and fire a single bullet. It would be so easy, killing Gerhard. Just as it should have been all along, for all these years.  Joanna had stopped eschewing the thought of murdering her husband when she realized how much she had suffered at his hands. She had left everything for him- a promising modeling career, her city, even her family. In return she had seen days and months of abuse- the beatings, the insults, the excuses she had had to give for her bruises…

 

No more, she vowed. Steeling her nerves, Joanna got up and walked quietly into the dark hallway. The sound of swishing fabric made her whip around as a blurred neon shape moved into her field of vision. Thankful of her sharp reflexes, Joanna tackled the intruder. “Don’t move, I’ve got a gun!” she warned in a harsh whisper, cursing her luck. Of all the nights, this had to happen now!

“And I’ve got a knife.” The intruder said in a trembling voice, familiar to Joanna. Her eyes better adjusted to the darkness now, recognized the person below her. “Sadie?” she cried softly. “What are you doing here?” Joanna helped her husband’s secretary up. “Don’t try to attack me again.” She told the sniffling girl, prying the knife out of her fingers.

Switching on the lights, Joanna turned back to Sadie with a raised eyebrow. “Well? Explain, or I’ll call the police.”

“No, no, please don’t do that!” Sadie burst into tears. “I…. I came to kill you.”

“In this costume?” Joanna felt a wry smile tugging at her lips. The glow-in-the-dark jumpsuit would make it difficult for anyone not to see it coming their way. “Nice camouflage.”

“What?” Sadie sniffed. “Neon is the new sexy! I ordered it online just last week. Priority shipping.”

“So why did you want to kill me, Sadie?”

The pretty girl looked bitter. “Gerhard- I mean Mr. Adler told me to.”

Joanna narrowed her eyes. “So he wants me out of the way.”

Sadie nodded. “Mr. Adler and I… we’ve been having a secret affair. He told me he loved me. He gave me this-“ She fingered the delicate silver chain she was wearing- “and promised to marry me if I killed you.” She started crying again.

Foolish little thing, thought Joanna with a mixture of amusement and contempt. She decided she had to finish Gerhard off that very night. If she missed this opportunity, she knew she might not get the courage again. Only, what was to be done with the silly creature in front of her?

“Two pairs of hands are better than one.” The words escaped her mouth before she could stop them.

“What do you mean?” Sadie cocked her head at Joanna, looking at her with wide blue eyes.

“Well Sadie.” Joanna tried her best to sound convincing. “Gerhard doesn’t love you at all.”

“Of course he does!” Sadie bristled. “He told me so. And he got me a Porsche a few days back!”

“Darling, that’s nothing. He got me a 10 carat diamond ring from Tiffany a while ago.” Said Joanna truthfully. Gerhard had always been particular about giving expensive gifts to make up for being the world’s worst husband.

“Oh! A diamond!” Sadie sounded outraged. “He certainly never got me one…”

“See? There’s the proof.”

“How could he lead me on like this?” Sadie raged. “I want to kill him now!”

“As I said Sadie, two pairs of hands are better than one. Let’s do it together.”

“What’s in it for you?

“Despite appearances, he isn’t all that good to me either.” Joanna pulled her robe aside to reveal a yellowing bruise. “I’ll split the insurance with you, fifty-fifty.”

They shook hands.

A Bee Gee’s song played in Joanna’s mind. She smiled. No more Stayin’ Alive for Gerhard.

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This was written for speakeasy #152 at yeahwrite. The challenge was (a)to write a piece of fiction or poetry,750 words or less(mine is 750 including the title)(b)to use the sentence ,”“It would be so easy.”,anywhere in the piece and (c)to make some kind of reference to the media prompt, which this week is a video for ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees.In case,this challenge interests you or you would like to read what others have written,click on this link http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/152-open/