A Voice of Reason - Title banner

By Steffanie Laine
12th December 2011

Something for Christmas he didn't expect. Runner up in our Christmas short story contest.

I hope you’re not thinking of changing your mind. Not now. Not after all the trouble you’ve gone to. Don’t be disheartened; the best things in life don’t always come easily.

Just remember why you thought of this plan and how tempting that new life of yours is; no more worries about money, regular meals and they’ll even have the heating turned on all day. The government knows how to treat an old lady, not like that useless husband of yours.

He had his chances. He had a whole lifetime to prepare for old age and what did he do? He did nothing, worse than nothing, he squandered your savings and now you’re left to live out your last days in poverty, too poor and too proud to tell the world of your lonely misery.

You can’t go on like this, you’ve no one to turn to and you’re so very unhappy. Let’s face it, you’re desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures. The crushed tablets in the Christmas pudding was an excellent idea, you were just unlucky he tasted something strange in the mix.

Now don’t get upset. Look at this way, he’s knocked out and sleeping like a baby. The tablets half worked, you just need a back-up plan, a way of finishing the job. Have a sip of the cheap wine he bought you and let’s think this thing through.

Yes, I know you hate wine but you need to steady your nerves. The bottle is in the kitchen next to the red gloves that completed his thoughtless present. There, that’s reminded you hasn’t it? Of all the colours he could have chosen he chose red. Just how many times have you told him over the years? Any colour you like, but not red.

Stupid, stupid man, he never did listen to you. All he has ever done is to take you for granted. No consideration, no feeling and now you can’t bear it if he so much as touches you. There’s no love left in him for you, not anymore.

Nothing has changed, so drink the wine and prepare yourself. You’re not going to like this but the only thing I can think of is to check out his tool box, see if you can find something suitable to use. One quick… well you know what I mean.

Oh come on, don’t back out now. There’s no point in wandering off to the bedroom. Come back and finish things while you still can…


Well done. I’m so proud of you. I must admit your solution was much better than mine, a nice touch of irony about it. Very apt you might say.

Now there’s no point in hanging about. You want to get on with things don’t you? Time to make the phone call and you can pack a few things before they show up. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be returning to this squalid dump, not after today. Go on, make the call now, they won’t bite you…

“Emergency. Which service do you require?”

“I’m sorry to bother you on Christmas Day.”

“That’s not a problem. Do you need fire, police or ambulance?”

“Oh, there’s no need for a fire engine.”

“Has there been an accident? Is somebody hurt?”

“It wasn’t an accident. I planned the whole thing.”

“What number are you calling from?”

Questions, questions, questions. So many questions, but don’t worry, you’re doing fine and listen to how nice the young lady is being. I told you they would be. Now keep going and try not to get confused.

“I gave him pills, but they didn’t work.”

“Do you need an ambulance?”

“It’s a bit late for an ambulance.”

“Has there been a fatality?”

“A fatality? Oh yes, he’s definitely dead.”

“Can you tell me your address?”

“I thought about using a hammer but…

“I’m listening, but I need your address.”

“So I used the ribbon I wore on our wedding day.”

“I understand, keep talking.”


“Stay on the line please caller.”

It’s OK, keep calm. She can trace your address remember? You’ve seen it on TV often enough. Just do as the young lady says and keep talking, let her sort things out. That’s the best thing about this plan; you’ve nothing to worry about anymore.

“I have an address; number thirty two Runnymede Tower?”

“That’s right. Do you know it? I’m on the fourth floor… I think.”

“Police and ambulance are on their way.”

There, told you. Everything will be fine now. Isn’t it good to have somebody who cares for once? Somebody who will get things done and help you out.

“We used to have such a nice house. If only he’d listened.”

“Well I’m listening, keep talking.”

“I’m sorry, but I have to go and pack now.”

“Don’t hang up.”

“Thank you for all your help. Happy Christmas to you.”

Well done. Things will be very different from now on.

It’s all rather exciting isn’t it?

Banner image credits:
Man in Chair - Mistic-dema, Deviant Art
Ribbon - Vogue fabrics

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