That Feeling: Hard-Boiled Flash Fiction By Stephen Golds

That boiling, tumorous feeling in your guts, it never goes away. It doesn’t fade. It doesn’t soften. It never lets up. Like a starving rodent, it’s always there, gnawing away at your insides with black, rotten incisors. I’ve tried every act of consumption to alleviate the pain. Legal drugs. Illegal drugs. Alcohol. Sex. Religion. Junk food. Politics. Friends. Suicide. Therapy. Counseling. Psychology. Travel. Exercise. Justice. I even gave it time.

I tried every fucking thing there was to try but that feeling of losing someone you loved, someone you lived for, it never fucking goes away, because the very person that you existed for has ceased to exist. I’m left with the only option still on the table.

I’ve been watching your house for hours. Since sunrise. It’s a beautiful place, your home. The kind of place you’d see on a soap opera. White walls, red door. White picket fence, red roses. It’s really something. I saw you leave for work this morning. It took me a while but I know your routine down to the minute now. I know your daily appearance like it’s a mirrored reflection of my own two years ago.

I tried every fucking thing there was to try but that feeling of losing someone you loved, someone you lived for, it never fucking goes away…

Sharp suit, fifty dollar haircut, Italian necktie, leather briefcase. The image of a successful person. You’ve done well. You had your troubles in the recent past. Your problems. Addictions. But you’ve overcome your demons and you’re on the straight and narrow. It’s certainly commendable.

I sink lower into the drivers seat of the rented car and watch you stop comically, slapstick, turn on your heels and jog back up the garden path to kiss your wife. It’s endearing almost. You kiss your wife’s mouth, you kiss her swollen stomach and she laughs so happily, I hear it through the glass of the rained-stained windows and over the whirring of the air conditioner. You’ve really got it made. I envy you so fucking much that it makes me dig fingernails into the flesh of my forearm until I draw blood.

I sink lower into the drivers seat of the rented car and watch you stop comically, slapstick, turn on your heels and jog back up the garden path to kiss your wife.

I watch you get into your funeral colored Mercedes and pull out carefully into the avenue, sounding your horn to the tune of ‘a shave and a haircut’. Your wife stands there stroking her stomach, her smile so white, her lips so pink, hair colored like a tree in the fall. She’s really stunning. She has that glow that all women get when they’re pregnant.

You drive away so cleanly. You’ve learnt a lot from that night. It’s evident. I wonder if you ever think about my wife or our child that was growing inside her.  Do you ever think about her laying bloody and broken at the side of the street? You never even stopped. She might’ve been saved if you’d sobered your coked-up, whiskied mind and stopped the car and just helped her. I want you to know. I want you to feel like I do. Every fucking day of this living death.

I grasp the claw hammer so tightly in my fist the bones click together and ache. When I ring your doorbell your wife will answer the door and then you’ll know. You’ll know that feeling in your guts. You’ll know it never goes away.

You’ll know.

*****

If you’ve enjoyed That Feeling by Stephen Golds, you can check out our free digital archive of crime, thriller, and horror flash fiction here. Additionally, premium short fiction published by Mystery Tribune on a quarterly basis is available digitally here.

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