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New Stage
חיפוש בבמה

שם משתמש או מספר
סיסמתך
[ אני רוצה משתמש! ]
[ איבדתי סיסמה ): ]


מדורי במה







אהוד רטנר
/ Marriage Made in Hell

I came home exhausted and threw my black gown over the
living room sofa. It's a tough job, being the Grim Ripper,
and it never gets easier, especially when you're supposed to
hide it from your wife. Giving my gown a second look, I
winced and transferred it to the laundry basket. "She's
always giving out to me for leaving my stuff around", I
grumbled to myself quietly.

"How was your day, sweetie?" my wife called out from the
study.

"Just OK. You know I don't like my new boss," I replied
grudgingly.

"And I got the impressions that Mr. Flu is such a nice guy!
Thanks again for bringing me to that cocktail party last
weekend," Sofia's voice echoed through the apartment.

"Hmmph. I did not have a choice, really. And you can call
him 'Elric' -- don't think I didn't notice your overly
friendly manners with him, Sofia. Besides, it's not like he
calls me 'Mr. Dunnham' when he gets home."
"I don't like this tone, Mark. Besides, is it my fault he
was so charming? I always enjoy a great conversationalist.
Besides, chatting helps me forget my pain," she replied,
needlessly reminding me of her constant discomfort, due to
Stage 3 cancer.

She always nags me for not being more talkative, being in my
own world; no matter how many times I explained to her how
introvert I could be, she doesn't get it. At least she's
getting a good dose of alone-time, since she started working
from home. It's one of the many benefits her generous
employer provides. Thanks to our new daily routine, Sofia
complains less about the treatments she's getting, but from
time to time we still have arguments. Empathy to her
sickness can last for only a while, and the counselor we're
seeing wasn't much of a help so far.

"So other than disliking Mr. Flu -- sorry, Elric -- how was
your day?" she said, her tone getting softer now.
"Meh. I got the side project started and it's going well,
only it requires putting in overtime. No additional pay of
course, so don't even ask about it. It does mean I'll be
home later than usual in the next few weeks."

I couldn't tell her the details, I thought as I rinsed the
sickle in the kitchen's sink, making a conscious effort to
avoid clanking metal-to-metal. When I heard her getting up
from that springy chair in the study -- I should fix it
sometime -- I hurriedly washed away the blood, so she won't
suspect anything.

"How was your reaction to the pills this morning? Any
better?" I asked without turning to face her.
"The bucket in the study could tell you the story. It's
still bad, but at least I can hold it in until you were gone
to work, so don't worry about that," she said snarkily. If
only the bonus Elric said he'll give me would cover the new
medicine, that would help her so much. Help us. This disease
has torn into our marriage, and we're not getting any
better. She's not getting any better. And there are so many
costs involved: on top of the psychotherapy fees we have
increased insurance premiums, mortgage rates and all the
other wonders of being middle-class in a mid-size city.

"I'm just going to have a quick shower, will you start
setting up the table for dinner?" she asked.
"Sure thing", I attempted to give her a quick kiss on the
forehead but she was already turning away from me. I was
left with the soup in the kitchen to boil; the pot with some
extra garlic, and myself with my own dark thoughts.

Last night's death-list, provided by Elric, was a messy one:
an old woman with dementia; two mobsters who decided to
duel-it-out; and one suicidal teenager. Being the devil's
advocate -- pun intended -- is not fun at all, and actually
hard: I'm supposed to be hidden until the critical moment in
which I reveal myself, giving the final blow, always to the
neck, 'relieving them from this miserable existence' as my
contract stated.

I was so distraught and lost in own jumbled mind that I did
not notice Sofia, wrapped in a towel with her back to me.
"She's getting so skinny", I thought. "And yet she's
cheerful, how about that?"
"Honey, can you pass me my brush? It's next to the green
sofa", she asked.
I reached to my right and stubbed my toe against a heavy,
bulky object. Sofia stretched her arm without looking and I
handed her the hairbrush while bending to inspect the odd
suitcase stashed under the sofa. It looked like a
military-grade encasement, if I know my Hollywood gadgets
(and I should: in past life I was an assistant producer to
some mediocre douchebag). In wonderment, my eyes traveled
upwards, expecting to see Sofia back. My jaw dropped when my
forehead bumped against the barrel of a 0.44 Smith & Wesson.
"What the fuck, Sofia?!"
"Shut up. You've seen things which you shouldn't. It's
wrong, but I can't keep you alive now," Sofia said.
I raised my hands, pleading look on my eyes. "Since when are
you a hitman -- or hitwoman -- is this a joke?"
"No joke. I'm doing this gig ever since we need the money,
you idiot. And, apparently I'm quite good at it: only last
night I took out two people in one go. And they weren't even
any good to society: just two plain mobsters."
"Wait, what? You did not kill them. I'm quite certain.
You're not a killer, are you?"

She smirked, her ever-so-annoying self assured grin turning
her beautiful face to an ugly one. "Of course I did. What
makes you think I'm incapable of doing so?"
"Maybe I was there. Maybe I know exactly the cause of
death," I tried miserably to put on my best self-assured
tone. She can't have done it, right?
Sofia replied with her usual arrogant tone: "Pfft. As-if.
You faint when you see a tiny drop of blood, Mark. I can't
even imagine you dealing with such guys."
Silently I reached to the bucket under the sink, and pulled
out the silver scythe Mr. Flu has given me. Sofia jumped
back, as if bitten by a snake.
"Who gave you that?" she asked. "I demand you tell me right
now!"
"It doesn't matter." I had a sense of calm: being able to
surprise her put me at ease. I could never surprise her, not
on birthdays, not on anniversaries; it's frustrating to know
she was always one step ahead of me.
"It doesn't matter," I repeated. "But let's say this is
related to my latest project."
"I'll show mine if you show me yours," Sofia said. "That is,
I'll tell you where I got my weapons. I think you know the
guy," a mischievous glint sneaked her eyes.

There was a part in my mind that already figured things out.
It couldn't stay quiet any longer and I blurted out, "are
you working for Elric Flu as well?"
She laughed, almost an evil laughter, if such a thing
existed outside Disney films. "But of course. Funny you
still call him that."
I rubbed my temples, trying to maintain sanity. My eyes
darted around the room and fell on the coffee table, where
the New York Times crossword laid open (yes, another painful
cost: annual subscription of 515$). The last clue I got
stuck on was some odd anagram.

Sofia still had that terrible smile on her face, and worse
than that, her hand still held the gun firmly. "Not Elric,
not Mr. Flu. It's Lucifer, Mark. I don't know why I married
such a stupid dork, really."
As she raised the gun again my phone beeped. A text message
from Mr. Flu's private number, the one sending me names --
'death lists', as he called it. The last thing that crossed
my mind before Sofia's bullet was that single name: "Mark
Dunnham".







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בבמה מאז 17/7/17 8:41
האתר מכיל תכנים שיתכנו כבלתי הולמים או בלתי חינוכיים לאנשים מסויימים.
אין הנהלת האתר אחראית לכל נזק העלול להגרם כתוצאה מחשיפה לתכנים אלו.
אחריות זו מוטלת על יוצרי התכנים. הגיל המומלץ לגלישה באתר הינו מעל ל-18.
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