The Dead Wife (Part 4)

Day 18

Rick’s head hurt. He rolled out of bed and tried to stand, but a wave of pain forced him to sit back down. He tried to remember what had happened last night. He knew he had drUnk a lot. Besides that, he wasn’t sure.

He stripped off his clothes and took a shower. Closing his eyes, he let the warm water flow over him. Gradually, his body relaxed.

He cracked his eyes open and glanced down. His eyes popped open, and he swore.

The water flowing over his body was dyed rose-colored. He looked up at the shower head. No pinkish water.

He touched his face and neck, searching for a wound. His fingers found a small cut on his neck, and pain flared up his neck, through his jaw, and into his brain. He jerked his hand away. There was blood on it.

He scrambled out of the shower to check his wounds. Looking at his reflection, he could see small cuts on his neck. They were superficial and had stopped bleeding.

“What the …?”

Last night was hazy. It was possible he had hurt himself in a drunken stupor. It had happened before except he had found bruises, not small cut. He couldn’t figure out what made the wounds on his neck. He put salve on the cuts and walked back into the bedroom.

Rick stopped beside the bed.

His brain started whirring, and he felt hot. He had dreamed about Min last night. She had walked into the bedroom and climbed into bed with him and then … he shuddered. His stomach clenched, and he felt sick.

Had he dreamed that? Rick wasn’t sure. His recollection of last night was fragmented after he started drinking. Memory was wet and malleable.

Rick hit himself hard on the head. “Get to together, man. Your wife is dead.”

His brain must have been misfiring. The stress and alcohol had made him hallucinate about his dead wife.

“My brain doesn’t know she’s dead yet,” Rick thought.

He walked slowly to the refrigerator and grabbed a beer.

He realized the kitchen was clean. He never cleaned up when he was drunk, and he was fairly sure he hadn’t this time either. His plate from last night wasn’t sitting on the kitchen counter, and the wine bottles were gone too.

Rick checked the cabinet they usually kept wine bottles. He opened the cabinet door and saw two half-finished bottles of wine. He remembered buying three bottles but didn’t remember how much he drank.

“Someone else was in here,” he thought.

He checked the windows for signs of forced entry. None. He inspected the front door. He didn’t have a dead bolt so all someone had to do was get past the lock on the doorknob. The lock, however, was secure and undisturbed. He opened it and stepped outside.

His gaze fell on one of the stones beside the steps. He stepped down and lifted the rock. Under it sat the extra house key. Yet, the key was relatively clean like someone had used it recently. The metal glinted in the sunlight. He brushed his finger over the jagged alligator teeth of the key.

His brain coldly processed the evidence and presented the answer. “Somebody used this key to get into the house, and, instead of stealing something, they put the wine away and cleaned up my dishes.”

Finally, he put the key back and went inside. He slumped onto the couch. His head ached, and he couldn’t stop thinking about Min. Her gravesite had been vandalized. Somebody had tried to dig up the casket. Rick paused. Did the caretaker say someone had been digging? He couldn’t remember.

Suddenly, he wished he hadn’t drunk so much. His brain couldn’t process it all. It was like someone had dumped a bucket of water on a computer’s motherboard — the circuits were fried and sparking in frantic little circles.


Confused? See part 1 of “The Dead Wife” at

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  1. love the alligator teeth description. 🙂


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