Putting His Affair On Ice #blogbattle #shortfiction

‘Good morning. Ice Agency. How can we help?’

The cheery voice surprised Hortense. She stumbled rather. ‘Oh, yes, sorry. Have I the correct number? My friend, Grizelda recommended you and…’

‘Mrs Grizelda Downton?’

‘Er, technically Mrs Patronise. Grizzy was widowed from Romany Downton last year. Penrose Patronise is her new husband.’

‘Oh?!’ The receptionist sounded surprised and, Hortense guessed offended. ‘Did we not provide satisfaction?’

‘Oh no. I believe she was delighted with the speed and care of your service. No, Romany died of natural causes.’

‘Oh?’ The receptionist appeared mollified. ‘How unusual. Mrs… did you say Patronise?’

‘Yes.’

‘She’s a very loyal customer, one of our gold card denizens. Nothing is too much for Mrs Partonise. I must make a note to change our records.’ The woman laughed. ‘Last time she told us she might revert to her maiden name. It’s been, what seven?’

‘Eight.’

‘Yes, of course. Eight husbands. Those new names can be so confusing. Are you looking for helping moving on?’

‘Well, yes. Grizzy said you have a range of packages.’

‘Yes, indeed. The Cold Ice, a simple procedure. Just elimination. The Sugar and Ice which includes the sweetest of alibis. The Iceberg where even you don’t know what’s hidden beneath the surface, the perfect plan for the first time pre-Widow who isn’t sure how the imminent demise of her husband might affect her, and the new Ice Cube where we package everything neatly into a box and you never have to think about him again.’

‘Yes, well, mine is a little unusual. It’s a bit like the Ice Cube but, well, I suppose you might call it the Dry Ice Cube. Do you allow for variations?’

The woman’s laugh tinkled down the line. ‘Well, we try to avoid them for first time users, because taking out a contract to ice a partner is usually something people find difficult to plan. Sticking with a tried and tested approach avoids things like an unnecessarily large amount of dna being generated and the involvement of the authorities which does rather detract from the whole ‘starting over’ philosophy we at Ice Agency like to promote.’ Her voice became husky and dropped to a confidential whisper, ‘Of course, for a friend of Mrs Patronise, exceptions can be made. Would you like to run through the sort of thing you had in mind and we can then set up for you to meet one of our Assistant Assassins to go through things in more detail?’

‘I rather hoped, after you’ve, you know done you stuff…’

‘We say ‘done our snuff’, if you take my meaning.’

‘Yes, very drole. Thing is, I want to keep him.’

‘I’m sorry?’

‘My husband. I want to keep him. After you’ve done your snuff.’

‘Isn’t the point to get rid of him?’

‘Well, yes, I’d like him fully exsanguinated and all life expunged but then the remains, I’d like to keep them. In an ice cube or better an airtight Perspex box. Somewhere he won’t rot and become smelly. Frankly if you’d shared a bed with a man of his gastric propensities, you’d want to avoid any further aural assaults.’

‘Why?’

‘Why? Oh that’s easy. For years he told me I’d be the death of him. From now on, every morning I will be able to agree with him, something I’ve not felt capable of doing for the last fifteen years.’

‘Splendid. It’s a pleasure to find a client with such a clear plan. How does Tuesday sound? Just a preliminary chat, to sort out the details and provide you with a quote. Will you want us to commission the container?’

‘Please.’

‘That being the case, we will need his dimensions. Does he have any notifiable diseases?’

‘Apart from the wind?’

‘Ha, yes. That apart.’

‘No, none.’

‘And do you want to consider offsetting the cost by donating his organs to the black market for transplants? Unfortunately at this time we cannot recycle his blood but if you considered replacing his eyes with glass matches, the additional benefits of us having his corneas might help?’

‘Can you price either way? Also I was thinking of an official offal send off. Grizzy mentioned it’s popular.’

‘Oh yes. We can recommend some Italian specialists who will cater for up to fifty from the viscera of the healthy terminated adult male. You’re only wanting the husk?’

‘Yes, that’s all.’

‘An after-party should be eminently possible. Tuesday then. Your assassin will be Justin. You’ll love him. Can I mail you our T&Cs and a basic contract to sign in advance? There are some FAQs on our website. Oh, and one thing we’ve found it necessary to emphasise recently.’

‘Yes?’

‘A lot of our clients are wealthy widows and most of our assassins are ambitious young men. We have a strict rule that there can be no relationships between staff and clients. We let the rule slip recently and found ourselves with something of a staffing crisis so we have to insist.’

‘Of course.’

‘Good. Tuesday at 10?’

‘Perfect.’

This was written in response to May’s #blogbattle prompt here.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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23 Responses to Putting His Affair On Ice #blogbattle #shortfiction

  1. Is it wrong for me to have enjoyed this “fantasy” story so much? You kept us “on ice’ and hooked the entire time. Love your imagination! (It IS an imaginary story, right?) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    Too good!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bizzare – but you make it seem so plausible…….. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: #BlogBattle Stories: Airtight | BlogBattle

  5. aebranson says:

    What a chilling story….
    I enjoyed the discovery as I kept reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel says:

    Lol. Is there an assassin tracking app that the woman can use to track the arrival of Justin?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wedding preparations gone to your head?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennie says:

    I think you need to include a laugh-a-thon meter before each blog post, so readers know whether to pee or to grab a tissue before reading. This one was a #9, definitely requiring a pee. Excellent Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great fantasy! You made me laugh. 🙂 I agree with Jennie. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I dunno… would telling the husk she was right, for years, be as satisfying?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gary says:

    Excellent take Geoff. Quite a gruesome nonchalance displayed amidst the humour. Modelled on politicos by any chance that seem oblivious to icing folk in the name of power grabbing? Not that I’m of cynical persuasion about that bunch of (insert words of choice) osiers (predictive text save).

    Proper good take and as someone else asked…do they have apps… your assassin is on drop 5 of 12. You are number 8. They will be arriving between 1 and 2, whereupon security software will explode your phone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Ha love it. I wonder if the deliver guy will leave the hit in a safe place?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gary says:

        Now there’s a write on statement to find out if ever I saw one! Maybe blend his delivery into next months prompt 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        There is a thought. Thank you Gary

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gary says:

        Ha, ha! I do it all the time. In fact it’s created a novel of back story just through prompts. Of course one might also suggest this could be a foil to avoid starting the manuscript. I was hoping it might reveal the idea to be a dead end…. which is another good test of these prompts. Trial and see if you think it’s got mileage. Now, if I could just stop blog hopping I have no excuses for missing another month! Especially when I know what all the flipping prompts are because a third were my suggestions. How slack is that!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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