As I lay next to her, gazing without interest at the pages of a magazine (no pictures, especially not of women, Muriel was very clear on that), my eyes strayed to her neckline once again. This time, I saw the thread once again, hanging tantalizingly around the back of her neck.
Ever so carefully, I lifted up my hand, reaching for her neck. Muriel, engrossed in her novel, didn’t even notice as my fingers closed around the string. With the ease of years of practice, I carefully tugged, pulling just hard enough to smoothly extract the thread without causing the line to snap.
The thread slid out smoothly, piling up in a thin coil of thread on the bedspread. Muriel kept staring straight forward, not turning. I kept on pulling. I stared at her, trying to figure out to what was connected to the thread. It was still the same light color, the same color as Muriel’s skin.
Suddenly, as the I pulled, I saw Muriel’s face seem to collapse, folding in on itself like a dropped handkerchief. I gasped, held back a scream, but my fingers continued to tease forth the thread. Managing to pull my eyes downward, I now saw that the line of string led directly up into Muriel’s face; I was unraveling my wife!
Still acting as if they had a mind of their own, my hands continued to pull on the string, now coming out in big handfuls, efficiently reducing my spouse to a pile of tan thread. The entire process was surprisingly fast, taking no more than a few minutes. At the end, I was left with nothing but an empty bathrobe sitting next to me in bed, a dropped paperback novel, a loose pair of reading frames, and a large pile of loose thread.
For several minutes, I sat, staring blankly at the pile of thread that used to be my significant other. A hundred thoughts were warring in my head. In the end, however, I brushed the pile of string off the bed and turned over, clicking off the light. I had no trouble falling asleep.
I awoke the next morning, at first unsure if I had merely dreamed the events of last night. The large pile of tan thread sitting on the floor beside my bed told me otherwise. I glared at the string. Even in death, Muriel had found a way to drag on me, to bring me down. I swept the pile of string up into a dustpan and threw it away. A fitting end for my wife, I decided.
As I sat and ate my breakfast, munching on my toast, I worried whether the authorities would come calling, questioning me about my missing wife. As I sat and thought, however, I realized that there was no one else to worry over Muriel’s disappearance. She had no close friends; indeed, I couldn’t remember the last time she had invited friends of any kind over to the house. She sat at home while I headed off to work, and aside from occasionally composing shopping lists, she didn’t seem to do much at all. If I didn’t report her missing, I don’t believe anyone else in the world would ever notice her absence.
Now, things are starting to get interesting! Stay tuned for the next installment!