Bonfire of the Vanities
‘Forgive me?’ Patrick sipped his beer, eyeing Pauline
‘It was a mistake. I’m so sorry.’
The frontdoor bell went. ‘Later,’ she repeated.
Mike and Michelle stepped inside. ‘We brought fireworks. How’s the bonfire?’
Pauline shrugged. ‘Poor.’ As Mike went to find a beer, Michelle mouthed, ‘You OK?’
Later, ten couples huddled around the feeble fire. Patrick, now drunk, said, ‘The fire’s shit. We need more to burn.’
She waved at the garage. ‘There’s some stuff I’ve packed for the charity. It’ll burn.’
Patrick threw the parcels onto the fire, each one going up in a rush to encouraging cheers.
Later still, Patrick draped himself over Pauline as she cleaned her teeth. ‘Have you forgiven me?’
‘You might want to forgive me first.’
She smiled through her toothpaste. ‘The stuff you burnt?’
Horror crossed his face; he yanked open his wardrobe, his shoulders relaxing as he saw the lines of cashmere and silk suits in their usual spot.
Pauline reached past him, pulling one to one side. It had been neatly cut in half. ‘Just like how I felt when you told me,’ she said.
This short story is in response to Jane Dougherty’s prompt, here. The word count is 188