Dying for a Cigarette

by Rod Drake

She arrived for our meeting fashionably late, as was Faith’s way, at a Starbucks, so everything would be public and witnessed, if that’s a word. She was breathtaking, as always, the source of her power, and now four months after marrying me, Faith intends to take at least half of my considerable fortune in our divorce. The divorce she filed for, charging mental cruelty and neglect, after she had affairs with the pool boy, tennis coach and who knows how many others on my payroll. Faith sits, crossing her long legs exquisitely in the short skirt, notices me smoking and asks for a cigarette, just like I had hoped, so I push the pack across the table to her. I light it for her, good manners to the end, and Faith tells me that as soon as the divorce papers are final, she is flying to Europe for a long vacation, meeting a young count on the Riviera, so would I please sign them and let her get on with her life. I tell her I already have, Faith kisses me on the cheek gratefully, gets up and waves goodbye with her nearly gone cigarette in hand, all the untraceable and lethal poison now in her system, her two days or so of unimaginable and incurable agony soon to begin; I toss the pack of poisoned cigarettes into the garbage as I leave, humming a happy tune.


Rod Drake believes in the law of karma.