TKnC welcomes Angel from across the pond...
An Inverted View of Wives
The crystal ball arrived for me in the mail with no return address on the box. It was a relatively small sphere with an ornate gold-plated base. I couldn’t figure out who would send me such a gift.
I placed it on the kitchen table and sat down before it. My wife, Rachel stormed into the room and stopped short. Her mouth fell open. She locked her earrings in place and smoothed out the subtle wrinkles in her skirt.
“You order that from one of those late-night infomercials?” She wasn’t happy. “I can tell you what your future holds,” she flashed predatory teeth. “A wife with her bags packed walking out that front door.”
“I don’t know where it came from,” I sighed. “You know I wouldn’t spend any unnecessary money given our current finances.”
Two months earlier, I had been laid off from a job I loved, building tractors. My options in the town we lived in were limited. I was collecting unemployment.
“Well, I’m glad you have time to play with toys.” Rachel sneered and tapped the glass surface with a perfectly manicured fingernail. “Some of us have to work for a living.”
She grabbed her car keys off the microwave and slammed the door behind her. A moment later, I heard our SUV crank up and blast out of the driveway.
I propped my elbows up and rested my head in my hands.
“What am I supposed to do now?” I spoke aloud.
Suddenly, a gray fog began to materialize in the center of the crystal ball. Details were slowly spinning and sharpening into flickering images. With growing clarity, the ghostly shape of my wife talking on her cell phone danced before my eyes. She was behind the steering wheel careening side to side on the expressway. Riding shotgun was a good buddy of mine, Steve who lived up the street. He had his mouth buried in my wife’s neck and she was giggling.
Perspective dissolved to the exterior of the vehicle. There was a close-up of the rear, left tire exploding. Rachel swerved, jumped the median, and catapulted into on-coming traffic. The surreal visual culminated with my wife’s lifeless eyes and Steve’s shattered skull.
Within the globe, the misty vapor blossomed into a scarlet prism. Dusky, red light faded to ebony glitter.
I was angry, shocked, frightened.
I tried calling my wife on her cell phone. After several rings she finally picked up.
“What do you want?” She huffed and quietly shushed her passenger. “I’m busy driving here.”
“Uh, sorry.” My heart was jack-hammering. “I was worried about you.”
“Worried about what?”
“I saw you in the crystal ball.” I knew it sounded crazy. “And you were in this—”
“Are you out of your mind, Larry?”
“No. Listen to me.”
“No. You listen to me! I have had just about enough of your bull—”
There was a loud bang followed by screams of terror.
I strained my ear against the phone, but there was only an uncomfortable silence. My hands trembled. I wiped away tears and seized that evil orb with all the intentions of pitching it across the room. At the very last moment, I felt the malevolent object emit a gentle pulse of heat. I paused and set it cautiously back down.
Swirling rivulets of sapphire rain sparkled along the smooth, inner walls and transmitted yet another startling revelation.
In this vision I was laughing, hand in hand with an unknown woman. She was beautiful. She had hair the color of campfire flames and olive green eyes. We ran down the cement stairs of a church and dozens of friends and family blew bubbles over our heads. We dove into a white limousine and drove off into the sunset with aluminum cans rattling from the rear bumper. The prediction gradually melted into a clear transparency of the inverted kitchen.
The static of a dead phone line broke me from my temporary stasis.
My wife and Steve were dead. There were arrangements to be made.
Leaning in, I noticed there was a faint inscription etched around the border of the decorative base.
I see great things in store for you, it read, Love, your future wife.
I was really looking forward to meeting her.
Angel Zapata was born in NYC, but currently resides just outside of Augusta, Georgia. Some of his flash fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming on Powder Burn Flash, Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Tales from the Moonlit Path, Every Day Poets, Membra Disjecta, Flashes in the Dark, and The Absent Willow Review. He is husband to his blond goddess and father of four boys obsessed with all things ninja. Visit his blog at: http://arageofangel.blogspot.com