Orpheus in Hell

Orpheus in the Underworld, Linda thought. Frank warbled and waved his arms like a malfunctioning octopus to Offenbach’s “Can-Can” booming on the stereo.

“Ignorant swine will know the ‘Infernal Galop’ when I’m through with him…” Linda mumbled through clenched teeth.

Not that Frank heard above the jovial din.

Rain pattered on the roof, and the wind drummed against the windows to the beat of the music. Linda stared at Frank; contempt raged in her eyes like the lightning zig-zagging through the storm clouds. Thunder rumbled as the pressure in her head increased, her heartbeat rose with the music’s crescendo. 

Her ears burned; Frank was at it again. He had a new girlfriend. He always blasted his music with the same piece on repeat when he cheated. Jackass hadn’t realized Linda had put two and two together long ago. Each new song meant a new girlfriend. And each tune represented a memorable feature. This new floozy, Linda seethed, was leggy.

Indignation sizzled.

While most people pictured frilly skirts and bloomers, tonight Linda imagined ten different murders, each one more violent than the last. But the bastard just wasn’t worth it. Yet, when he flaunted his clandestine relationships in her face, when he blared his music on repeat, Linda took comfort in fantasizing about a slow and torturous death.

The “Can-Can” restarted and Linda pounded on the steak with her tenderizer in time to the music, beating the anger out of herself with each thud.

“That’s such a magnificent piece!” Frank cheered as the music ended.

He noticed the thick piece of meat on the cutting board, “Steak for dinner? Nice!”

Linda forced a smile.

The rain stopped.
Frank checked his watch.

“Oh, darling, I’m sorry,” he said in his most apologetic voice, “I forgot I had an, um, an engagement tonight, an office thing. We can eat it tomorrow, right?”

His puppy dog eyes oozed imitation honey. 

He turned off the stereo, grabbed his jacket and headed out the door.

Linda washed her hands at the kitchen sink. She opened the cabinet where she kept the cleaning supplies (the best Frank repellent), grabbed the new locks she’d bought, and got her screwdriver.

Hours later, Frank cursed when his key wouldn’t open the door. The rain was beating down again and he rang the doorbell. 

No answer.

Sopping wet, he peeked through the sidelights; Linda sat on his favorite armchair, curled up with a book by the comforting fire.

The gale swirled around him. He pounded on the door.

Linda glanced up. 

Their eyes met; he motioned her to open the door.

With a satisfied smile, she turned off the lights.

Frank stood in the driving rain, soaking with bewilderment.


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