Corsets and Crossbones

Leaves crunched beneath Victoria’s boots as the walked along the windy path up to her house. Wisps of hair fell onto her face from the crisp breeze. Victoria had left Emily’s tea party early so as to make a special dinner for her husband Edgar. It was their anniversary and she wanted to surprise him. Edgar was an accomplished writer with a sweet heart. He had a meeting with his publisher in town that day, so Victoria didn’t expect him home until late. She couldn’t wait to show Edgar her new corset. The two hadn’t been intimate in quite some time.

Edgar was such a hard worker. Victoria didn’t want to quell his dream. But, she was starting to realize Edgar’s passion for her had faded. She was rarely alone with him anymore. He didn’t even ask her for input with his writing. They used to spend hours brainstorming, Victoria the muse. Edgar just needed a reminder of what he was missing.

As she approached the door to her house, Victoria noticed it was cracked open. No one was supposed to be home. Calmly, Victoria removed one of the knitting needles holding her hair in place and entered her home.

Edgar’s waistcoat was hanging by the entrance. He must have just forgotten to close the door when he arrived home. Typical Edgar.

Relieved, Victoria set the knitting needle down in the kitchen and headed for Edgar’s study. Suddenly, she heard movement on the stairs leading to her bedroom and the voice of Edgar’s publisher Leroy. Victoria quickly stepped into the study to remain unnoticed.

“Your new story is a bit weak, Edgar,” said Leroy. “Readers want to be shocked. The mundane is out.”

“I know,” said Edgar, sighing. “It’s like all of my inspiration is gone. It might be different if I could see you everyday.”

Victoria’s eyes widened as Edgar pulled Leroy closer and kissed him. Leroy smiled and tousled Edgar’s hair.

“You know we can’t be together, silly,” said Leroy. “Victoria is a great girl. I feel bad for her. She can’t give you what you want. But, I make up for that.”

Leroy gently brushed his hand against Edgar’s cheek. Victoria stared at the pair in disbelief.

“That you do,” said Edgar, smirking. “But, you better be off. Vicky will be home soon. It’s our anniversary.”

“Have fun with that,” said Leroy sarcastically. “And add some horror to that story of yours. It’s the new trend.”

“I despise gore, though,” said Edgar, wincing.

The two embraced and Leroy exited the house.

Victoria just stood there in silence. No proper lady could get a divorce. Victoria knew she would ruin Edgar’s writing career if she let the public know about his private affairs. She could just pretend she knew nothing of it for now. It was their special day, after all.

Victoria composed herself and walked into the kitchen. Edgar was standing there.

“I know you know,” he said softly. “I love you Vicky. I just get an urge every so often. You can understand that, huh?”

“I can,” said Victoria, staring at the knitting needle on the counter.

“I’m glad I don’t have to hide it from you any longer,” said Edgar. “He inspires my writing the way you used to. This is good for all of us.”

“Of course,” said Victoria, picking up the needle and placing it behind her back. “Success always comes with a little pain.”

Victoria went to hug Edgar, then plunged the sharp needle into his heart. She watched him fall to the ground, the blood spurting from his wound. His frightened eyes met hers.

“What?” laughed Victoria. “I just injected some horror into your life.”

Edgar’s body went limp. Victoria pulled the needle from his chest and placed it back in her bun.

“I should have done that to my last husband,” she said. “Way cheaper than cyanide, too.”


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