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Mystery inspired by a mysterious photo

"Sister Sweet" by Leslie DeBauge

Flash #252 - September 2015

Orig. appeared Apr. 2003

Flash 179: mystery inspired by a mysterious photo

Sarah, it's true. He's still cheating on you," Leslie said. She shook her glass to emphasize her comment.

"But I love him! And we've been in counseling; Peter swore it was over." Sarah sighed and drank more deeply from her wine glass.

Leslie sighed. "Look, I hate to show you this but..."

Leslie tossed Sarah a photo. The woman's face was blocked, but Peter's grin and the compromising position was fully visible.

"My friend saw them together at a party and took the photo... I didn't want to show you, but..."

"Oh God! I can't believe it--" Sarah's face turned pale.

Leslie shook her head. "I can't stand the thought of him hurting you like this."

"What can I do?" Sarah moaned. "He'll be home soon, and I just can't face him right now."

"Well, you could show him the photo, and then kick him out," Leslie said thoughtfully. "Or, you could scare him first...

"I'd like to kill him! But he's shameless... but scare him-- yeah, I'd love to do that... he deserves it."

"You could fake a suicide. That would get him..."

Sarah hesitated. Her eyes gleamed. Leslie refilled their glasses.

"Particularly if I could convince him for even a few minutes that it was his fault."

Leslie leaned forward. "You could write a detailed note, outlining how he drove you to it. Even your therapist would believe that, right?"

"Definitely. In fact, he was the one who prescribed sleeping pills for my anxiety. Okay, I'll write the note, and you take out my pills."

Leslie took the pills from the bathroom and went into the kitchen. "Do you want some more wine?"

"No, thanks."

"Oh, come on; I just opened this bottle! It'll do you good. We can't save it now that it's open."

Sarah sighed and took the glass. She drank half of it and sighed. "You know, it's not going to look real. He'll walk in, turn on the light, and see me breathing."

"Let's unscrew the bulb in the ceiling light, and you can lie in the shadows. He'll see the note first, and get a huge shock!"

"Right. Let's do the light, and then I'll lie down. I've drunk too much."

Sarah found a stepladder, and climbed up to loosen the light bulb while Leslie steadied the ladder. She tripped on a step coming down, and collapsed immediately onto the sofa.

"I'm ready," Sarah sighed. Her head sank into her chest as she nodded off.

An hour later, Peter walked in, saw Sarah on the sofa, and read the suicide note. He felt Sarah's pulse and looked around.

"Where are you? How'd it go? I don't think she's breathing..."

"You tell me, sweetheart." Leslie walked in, holding the incriminating photo and kissed him. "The hardest part was getting her to drink from the other wine bottle, but she was so drunk she never tasted the poison."

Peter hugged her exuberantly. "What should we do now?" he said.

Leslie smiled dreamily as she looked at the picture from over his shoulder. "I think I'll frame this photo... I look pretty good even though you can't see my face."

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