Thursday, 16 December 2010

LADIES' DAY by Ian Ayris

Ladies' Day

Virginia Westlake. Poor Virginia Westlake. Thirty years a golfing widow.

Her husband, Derek, was a big man at the club. Spent his life there. Meetings for this. Meetings for that. Ladies' days and Open days. Captain's days and Charity days. And he told her all about it. Every last detail.

She smiled. Virginia Westlake, smiled. She nodded. Every inch the devoted wife.

'That's nice, dear,' she'd say. 'Lovely, dear,' she'd say.

And the more he talked, the more he looked straight through her.

Derek finished his cup of tea.

'I'm off now, dear,' he said. 'To the club. Committee meeting then a round with Bob and Charles. Don't wait up.'

She followed him out to the hallway. Watched him check his clubs, one by one, and lump the bag onto his shoulder. He moved towards her.

'Goodbye, dear,' he said.

And he pecked her on the cheek. An empty gesture if ever there was one, she thought.

'Have a good game,' she called out after him as he ambled down the front path. Have a good game.

He raised a hand in silent salutation, packed the clubs into the boot of the car, and was gone.


'Ladies' Day tomorrow, dear,' Derek said, the following lunchtime, mopping crumbs of tuna sandwich from his mouth with a paper towel. 'You're paired with Irene Timms. Perry's wife. She works at the charity shop.'

Virginia Westlake couldn't care less about Irene Timms and her fucking charity shop. Or fucking 'Ladies' Day.

Derek rose to leave.

'Don't wait up, dear,' he said. 'I'll have dinner at the club.'

Virgina Westlake followed him out to the hallway. Watched him check his clubs, one by one.

A pause.

'Dear? Have you seen my -'

Half turning, he caught a final, horrified glimpse of his dear wife swinging the nine iron into his face. Virginia Westlake put the next ten minutes to good use, battering him to death.

Time well spent, she thought, and she laughed and she laughed and she laughed.

Then she sat on the bottom of the stairs, put her hands to her face, and sobbed her heart out.

Ian Ayris lives in London with his wife and three children. He has had over twenty-five short stories accepted for publication both online and in print. His stuff can be found in the Byker Books' 'Radgepacket' collections, A Twist of Noir, Curbside Splendor, Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers, Pulp Metal Magazine, The Flash Fiction Offensive, and Waterhouse Review. He will shortly have stories up at Powder Burn Flash, Yellow Mama, and in print in Out of the Gutter Issue 7.
Ian can be found hanging around at


  1. Simple, yet so very effective.

  2. Very nice, Ian. Now I remember why I gave up golf.

  3. Cheers, Col. Cheers, Alan. Does my utter hatred of golf come through, do you think ? :)

  4. Sad and poignant, but so very satisfying! I love the way you started so gently, then piled on the hurt and cranked up the tension. And she won't even have to waste tome trying to get the blood out of his Pringle sweater ...

  5. Cheers, Julie and Sam. Just the very mention of Pringle jumpers gets me jaw all clenched, Jools. And don't even get me started on them silly trousers.

    Sam, could never even bring myself to take the game up. Just couldn't . . .

  6. Well done Ian. Good to know some else despises golf and all it stands for, as much as I do.

  7. Cheers, Paul. Boom! Boom! :)

    And Sean, a man after my own heart, mate. A man after my own heart.

  8. Hmm,, It seems like a three iron might have been more effective, no? cracking tale Ian. Just have to love a links tale.

  9. I'm giggling at Paul's comment about the hole in one!

    I could feel this seething passive aggressiveness from Mrs. Virginia Westlake. And I love the repetition of her name. It builds intensity.

    In the end, revenge didn't feel quite as good as she'd hoped it would and huh, good luck explaining that to the police, Mrs. Westlake!

  10. Straight shot to the green is a lesson that one shouldn't putter around with his wife's feelings or miss high tee on her special day and always treat her in a fair way or . . . sorry, have to stop now because my wife says my puns are sub par and I . . . ouch! she just hit me! A double eagle of a tale, mate. laughed a lot . . . except for that last line.

  11. I guess she was tired of him playing golf. She got her point across. :-)

  12. Classic Ian Ayris. Brief and poignant and clever. Really enjoyed this one!

  13. Definitely saw this building up to something, but didn't see THAT coming. Sad, yes, but I suppose enough is enough. Everyone has their limits. Perhaps a word or two over morning coffee instead might have done the trick though... Love this!