Kill My Husband…

10 Oct

Another GSP release from Author of the Week: Stanley Bruce Carter.



Eldelaide Crawson desperately wants to kill her husband, and she’ll do anything to get the job done. But despite her best efforts, Barrett manages to survive her strange and diabolical attacks. And then, just as success finally appears within her grasp, Eldelaide makes a bizarre discovery that changes everything.

Clutching a hideous jade statuette in her hand, Eldelaide Crawson strolled nonchalantly toward her husband. He was seated at his writing table, tapping his lavender fountain pen against his lower lip, his eyes fixed on the sheet of twenty-bond paper in front of him. He didn’t look up as his wife approached; didn’t notice she was holding one hand behind her back.

“Eldelaide,” he said. “If a woman were scaling the apex of her passions, would she be more likely to say Ooh or Ahh?”

Eldelaide stopped abruptly, her murderous mindset discombobulated by Barrett’s question.

“Scaling the apex of her passions?” she said.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And what, pray tell, does that mean, exactly?”

He regarded her with his watery blue eyes, and his thin lips curved into a tolerant smile. “Her climax, my dear. Would the average woman go ooh or ahh or perhaps utter some other exclamation?”

Eldelaide replied in a frosty tone: “I’m afraid I wouldn’t know, Barrett. I’m not an average woman. And I really couldn’t say what sounds I used to make when I scaled the apex of my own passions, for it was so long ago.”

One of Barrett’s carefully trimmed eyebrows arched. “Oh, come now. You’re not quite old enough to be losing your memory just yet.”

“Not quite old enough?”

“Besides, I’m not asking what sounds you personally would make. I’m asking what most women would do.”

“And why do you want this information?”

He waved a slim hand at the piece of paper. “My latest poem is all about the sounds of physical love. Auditations Amorous is the working title. I already have the bodily noises—the slurps and squishes and gasps and grunts and squeaks and creaks . . .”

“Your lovers squeak and creak? Where’s this poem set, in an old folks’ home?”

“It’s the bedsprings that squeak and creak, Eldelaide,” he said wearily. “But never mind that. I need the words people utter during their climaxes. I have the man’s response already—as his procreative urge / swells to its crescendo / his passion starts its surge / and he trumpets forth his bellow. I think ‘bellow’ fits nicely. But I need the woman’s response. Women don’t bellow, of course. Sometimes they shriek, but I want something less animalistic. The word ooh can be rhymed more easily than ahh, but I don’t want to take the easy way out.”

“Sorry. I can’t help you.”

“Oh, come now. Surely when you women get together you talk about such things.”

“Do we?”

“Well . . . don’t you?”

“Are you speaking of harlots in some bawdy house? I would know nothing of that. As for me and my friends, we most certainly do not discuss such personal matters.”

“Oh. Well you’re no help, then.”

He set down his pen, then reached for his teacup and brought it to his lips. He took a sip, held the cup toward his wife.

“I’m empty. Fetch me some more tea, would you? Oolong, of course. You know the way I like it.”

“With absinthe and butter,” she said tonelessly.

“A tablespoon of absinthe and a teaspoon of butter.”

He held the cup a little higher. She did not take it.

“Why don’t you ring for Lisanne?” she said. “Fetching your tea is her job.”

“Why should that poor girl have to scurry all the way up here to find out what I want and then go all the way back down to the kitchen to fetch it when you’re already here? Come on, be a good girl. I need to keep the creative juices flowing.”

Eldelaide took the teacup. It was a lovely thing, over a hundred years old, with gold trim on the rim and hummingbirds on the sides. Imported from Japan, the cup was an exquisite example of Kenzan craftsmanship and cost nearly three hundred pounds.

She remembered the day Barrett brought it home. She’d been delighted at first—so nice of him to remember her birthday, for once, and to buy such an expensive and charming gift.

“What do you think of it?” he’d asked.

“Oh, it’s lovely, Barrett!” she’d replied.

“I saw it sitting in the window of that little antique shop on Headingley Lane and I just couldn’t resist.”
She reached for it, but he turned away, heading for the stairs leading up to his study atop the tower.

“It will look lovely on my writing table,” he muttered.

And that’s when she realized the truth: He hadn’t remembered her birthday. He’d bought it for himself.
Her face reddening, she blurted out: “Don’t you think it’s a bit sissy, a grown man drinking out of a teacup with little birdies on the sides?”

He paused on the stairs, looking at her over his shoulder. “Sissy? My dear, your knowledge of ornithology is woefully inadequate. There is nothing sissy about the hummingbird.”

And with that he’d continued up the stairs, gazing lovingly at his cup . . .

The memory of that exchange reignited Eldelaide’s fury and she hurled the teacup across the room. It struck a bust of Percy Bysshe Shelley and burst into a thousand pieces that sprayed onto the carpeting, landing in a roughly fan-like shape—a fitting continuation of the Japanese motif.

For a few moments, the only sound in the room was Eldelaide’s ragged breathing, until an astonished Barrett finally found his voice.

“Merciful heavens, Eldelaide, if you must get out of sorts during your monthly madness, I do wish you’d confine yourself to hurling non-breakable objects. Or better yet, quaff some sort of palliative. That teacup cost nearly three hundred pounds!”

She replied through clenched teeth: “A non-breakable object. Is that what you want? Very well, Barrett, I happen to have one right here. Have a look at it!”

She took her right arm from behind her back and held up the jade statuette, clutched in her white knuckled hand.

“What an intriguing statuette,” he said, his displeasure giving way to delight. “It looks rather bestial. But I can’t see the head very well. Set it down on the desk so I can get a better look.”

“Oh, you’ll get a better look, all right!”

She raised the statuette high above her head, her grip tightening, her chest tightening even more. She could already see his skull cracking open like an egg, his brains running out like gray yolks—all those precious rhymes and well-wrought couplets oozing onto his blotter. All she had to do was slam the statuette into his head. Perhaps more than once. As many times as it took. That’s all she had to do. And she would do it . . .


This delectable novella is Stanley Bruce Carter at his best. I love the blend of attempted murder, spicy bits, and tongue-in-cheek humor. Try it! Sandra Carter.



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