FlashFic: Dead Husband

Flash Fiction by JC Rosen

Photo by liz west

She walked into the diner looking like she lost her way to a country club. “My husband’s dead,” she said to no one in particular.

I glanced out the window. A Mercedes was parked haphazardly off near the pay phone. Frowning, I turned back to the woman. People kept their distance mostly, quietly listening in. Alma got her a cup of coffee at the lunch counter and told her it would be okay. Right, her husband’s dead, but it’s going to be okay. That’s Alma for you.

It looked like my breakfast was finished. I hardly had a bite, but duty called. Grabbing my hat, I slid out of the booth. Her tennis outfit was blinding white and diamonds dazzled from her hands, wrist and ears. Her long brown hair was tied back. I made her to be about 35, 5’6” and 135 pounds. No obvious identifying marks. Only thing missing was the tennis racket. And the husband.

“Where’s your husband now, ma’am?” I asked, pulling my tablet and pen out of my jacket pocket.

She was silent a moment, blinking at the coffee in front of her. When she turned to face me, her blue eyes were dry. “In hell, Officer,” she said, as calmly as if I asked her the time.

“Deputy, ma’am. Hell aside, where is your husband?”

“In the car,” she told me, her jaw tightening.

“Keep her here, Alma. Right here,” I ordered. Heading outside, I grabbed my radio. “Need an ambulance at Maybelle’s Diner, Doris. Get ‘em into gear and put the M.E. on notice.” I shoved the radio into its holster and ran the rest of the way.

The silver Mercedes was unlocked. I saw the old man leaning against the window of the passenger seat. Pulling open the door, I caught him. Fingers on his throat, listening at his nose. Nothing. I put my ear to his chest.

Pulling him out onto the gravel, I laid him flat. Training took over and I started CPR, counting out loud, blowing in a breath, over and over. I heard the whine of the siren coming from town. Buddy took over soon as he and Tom pulled in with the rig. Only took three minutes for him to call out, “Got him!”

I hurried back to the “widow.” She didn’t spare me a look, turned on the stool and staring out the window. She was pale as a sheet hung out on a summer’s day, her hands gripped tightly together in her lap. “Ma’am, I need to ask you some questions.”

“Do you have to do that now, Sherry?” Alma asked me.

“Yeah, I do. Ma’am, what’s your husband’s name?” I stepped in front of the window to get her attention. She looked up. Her eyes were hard as the diamonds she wore.

“David Henderson,” she bit off the name, her mouth twisting. “Beat the Devil again, did he?”

“This happen a lot, Mrs. Henderson?”

She looked me dead in the eye. “Three times now. And they say third time’s the charm.”


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10 thoughts on “FlashFic: Dead Husband

  1. John Ross Barnes (@BarnestormJohn) January 18, 2013 at 11:12 am Reply

    Gee Jesse, this one’s a little long innit? Kidding – it’s just right, pretty much perfect.
    Though I do feel a certain longing, as though somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that I’ve just read an excerpt from what will surely be one of my favorite mystery/thrillers – only it’s not available – yet.


    • JC Rosen January 22, 2013 at 1:58 am Reply

      “Yet,” hm? Do I detect a nudge? Might be interesting to explore it. I’ll mull. Thanks as ever, John.

      Take care,


  2. Icy Sedgwick January 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm Reply

    Oh! I want to know how often he does this!


    • JC Rosen January 22, 2013 at 2:00 am Reply

      So intriguing you’d put it that way rather than concluding she does it to him. Everyone likes a villain. Thanks, Icy.

      Take care,


  3. mazzz in leeds January 19, 2013 at 5:09 am Reply

    Ah, she’s a pretty cool character, but I can’t help but root for the old, rich husband 🙂


    • JC Rosen January 22, 2013 at 2:02 am Reply

      I will neither confirm nor deny he’s the victim in this scenario. (Mostly because it’s up to the reader.) Thanks so much!

      Take care,


  4. MarcNash (@21stCscribe) January 19, 2013 at 10:09 am Reply

    Nice, very nice!


    • JC Rosen January 22, 2013 at 2:03 am Reply

      Thanks, Marc, for your RT and kind comments. I appreciate it.

      Take care,


  5. Deanna Schrayer January 20, 2013 at 9:45 am Reply

    Jess, you must give us more! I’ve got to know the story [of their relationship] behind all this. Maybe we’re supposed to detest the woman but I feel a certain sympathy for her. Great story!


    • JC Rosen January 22, 2013 at 2:05 am Reply

      Oooh, sympathy for the wife – very cool! I love hearing different responses to the same story. This could be a fun incident in an interesting community. Perhaps I’ll poke it with a stick in future and see what happens. Thanks, Deanna.

      Take care,


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