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Belladonna by Sarah R. New

Laura bit her lip, barely able to contain a smile of excitement as she pressed the vintage seal onto the wax, adding her classic red lipstick kiss to the letter. She had been looking forward to this anniversary dinner for weeks. She’d been married to Greg for 25 years, and she really wanted to celebrate.

25 years of a tumultuous marriage. She couldn’t wait for it to be over. Greg’s tantrums had derailed her career as a model, and then as an actress, but she won’t let him ruin anything anymore for her. She heard the door open as she finished getting ready, hiding her secret weapon in her overlarge sleeves. Dressed in her favourite black vintage satin dress, she glided down the stairs, expecting Greg to be awed by her big entrance. Instead, he barely noticed her, just sitting at the table, covered in sweat and dirt, waiting for his dinner. Fury burnt inside her.

“Aren’t you going to make me a drink?” he called as she walked into the room. She felt venom sit on her tongue, but she bit it down. She had to be patient. At least this provided her with an opportunity. As she made his usual gin and tonic, she shook the tiny bottle out of her sleeve and quickly added it to the drink before giving it to him and slapping the letter down on the table.

“What is this?” he asked, rolling his eyes as he picked it up. Making herself a drink, Laura stalked to the other side of the table and sat down.

“Your anniversary present,” she snapped. She could wait until she was rid of it. Taking a long drink of his gin and tonic, he started to rip open the envelope.

“What’s in this drink? It tastes weird,” he muttered as he pulled the note out of the envelope. She didn’t answer as he read the note, only smirked as she remembered what she had written.

Happy anniversary, Greg. I can’t wait to be rid of you.

Greg choked slightly and grabbed his throat. Laura rolled her eyes at his theatrics. Overdramatic as usual.

“What… what did you put in my drink?” he gasped. Laura sighed.

“Nothing much. Blackcurrant and juniper gin, light tonic water… chlorophyll,” she mused. Greg went pale. Greg recently had fancied himself a gardener, but he was painfully amateur, and didn’t understand scientific terms. She knew she could say anything to him and he would panic. There was no need to tell him about the crushed belladonna gin she had specially made.

Laura got up and glided to Greg’s side of the table, grabbing him by his neck. She delighted as his eyes widened, now red and bloodshot, and as he grabbed weakly at her hands, attempting to stop the inevitable.

“You did always say I make the best drinks, right, honey?” she asked, her voice saccharine sweet as the light faded out of Greg’s eyes. She laughed loudly to herself, and dropped his head onto the table with a thump.

She was going to thrive as a widow.

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