The Bad Seed

​I’m going to kill you, I thought with all the seriousness I could muster as I peered across the table into the aging face of my curmudgeonly husband. I had never had a more sincere thought. I wanted him dead, like yesterday. His beady black eyes, razor-thin mustache, and shiny bald head gave him a macabre appearance, as if he was an over-the-top clichéd villain from some ancient black and white movie. 

Die, you miserable old bag of bones. 

I smiled lovingly at him and sipped champagne while pretending to actually enjoy his company. I had become an expert at pretending and hiding my true intentions in plain sight.  

I’m going to bury you and salt the earth so that nothing will ever grow from your wretched remains. 

I watched his wrinkled, peanut-colored hand reach for his champagne flute. I hated Robert’s hands because those hands pawed at me daily like he was a wild animal in heat.  Maybe I’ll hack them off with an axe and then slap him across the face with them. 

With an almost choking disgust, I watched Robert grab the glass with exaggerated effort.  He sometimes feigned feebleness for effect or to make light of our significant age difference, much to my chagrin. I didn’t need a constant reminder that Robert was old. All I had to do was look at his weathered face to see that he was aged. 

Robert raised his glass and smiled the way only an old fool would.  

A fool and his money would soon part.     

“Here’s to you, my love,” Robert said in that sappy tone that I despised. “You are everything an old man could want and more.”  

There’s that word again—old. 

I offered a tepid smile and raised my glass in mock celebration. While Robert was toasting our relationship, I secretly prayed for death. When the time was right, like a thief in the night, I would strike; or, at least at least Marquis would. 

“Here’s to us, baby,” he said. I tried not to choke on my words.  “We need to start thinking about a vacation. Where should we go? Paris? Monaco? Milan? Durban?”

“Robert,” a wispy voice called out from behind us. Before I could fully turn around, the figure had moved closer to the table and was facing Robert with outstretched arms and a wide grin plastered across his plastic face. It was Bernard, one of my least favorite people in the world. “Robert, I’m so happy that you stopped by on a day when we are all celebrating your generosity to our community.” 

Robert stood slowly and was pulled into the embrace of this sloppy giant, and they kissed on both cheeks. Bernard’s thick French accent made his sentences choppy and almost unintelligible, not that he was saying anything of any importance. I hated most of Robert’s gay-faced, pompous friends, but I especially loathed this piece of Euro trash. Every time we dined here, Bernard fawned over Robert like he was royalty. 

As much as I hated Bernard, I hated this terrible little canteen more. Bernard was the owner and proprietor and it was supposed to be the trendy it spot, but this quaint little cafeteria was nothing more than a cramped box with a few garish velvet curtains strewn about; it looked like it had been decorated by a one-eyed gypsy. For me, the food didn’t fare any better. The overpriced faux French food tasted more like it was out of Paris, Texas, rather than Paris, France; yet, for some reason that remained incomprehensible to me, Robert insisted on coming here and it remained one of his favorite places in the Georgetown area of D.C., in spite of its myriad of shortcomings.

We were celebrating because Robert was featured on the cover of Washington Metro, a local magazine, and had been honored earlier in the day by the mayor at a ceremony because he had donated a million dollars to some shelter for gay homeless teens. Big deal, I thought as the award was being presented. Now, the whole city was acting like Robert’s shit didn’t stink, but I knew better—I knew the real Robert Douglas. It annoyed me that the city was treating him like royalty. 

It annoyed me more that Robert spent all that—money that would’ve been mine—for a local headline.   

“Where else would I be besides my favorite place in the city? We had to stop by for one of your decadent desserts. Bernard, you remember my husband, Blues.”

“Oh yes,” he said with a hint of shade in my voice, “so nice to see you again.”

“Likewise.” I smiled, picked up my glass and turned so that I could mumble bitch under my breath.

“I am so happy for you. You looked so handsome and debonair on the magazine cover. You are a treasure to the community.

”He’s a treasure alright and I’m ready to bury him.  

“I do want I can. There is so much need out there.” Robert’s false modesty sent a wave of nausea to my stomach. He may have had the whole city eating out of the palm of his hands right then, but Robert didn’t give a damn about those kids. What he cared about was money, fame, and his reputation. Every good deed he did was done with a self-serving purpose. I seriously doubted that he had ever done a good deed in his whole life without expecting something in return. 

“Well, I’ll let you get back to your dessert,” Bernard said with his back turned toward me.  “Order whatever you like. I’ll take care of the bill.”

“Bernard, I couldn’t let you do that.”

“I insist. You’ve done so much, the least I can do is pick up your check,” he replied.

“Well, if you insist,” I inserted. Robert had spent enough money already, and I was not about to let him pay for anything in this place. Bernard smiled delicately at him and flitted away. 

“Now, back to us.”  Robert picked up his glass again and started babbling about love and happiness, but I tuned most of it out; I simply sipped. 

As the cool, bubbly champagne coated my throat, I watched him closely. I prayed that the next bite of food Robert stuffed into his mouth would lodge in his throat and choke him to death—that would at least spare me the process of murdering him. Plus, if he choked to death now, that would remove me from the god-awful position of having to sex him when we got back to the mansion. If I had to look at Robert’s flabby, naked ass one more time, I might have vomited. 

I watched with keen interest as Robert picked up a chocolate-covered strawberry from the silver serving tray and took a bite.

Choke! Just die, you miserable old bastard! Just die!

T H E   O F F I C I A L   S I T E