1st Prize: £100.00 Tina Bartlett
2nd Prize: £75.00 Lucy James
3rd Prize: £50.00 Mark Stevens
by Tina Bartlett
Harvey would now have a perfect excuse to divorce her, Claudia realized. She had a mental image of him standing over her designer clothes burning them one by one, throwing them with relish onto a large bonfire in their five acre garden. She could even picture the evil grin on his face as he celebrated that he was finally free of her. There was no disputing the evidence; five photos of her in a variety of indiscreet poses taunted her from the oak table.
If only she hadn’t succumbed to Max. He was no oil painting after all but her fantasies had fueled the fire. Plus, it had been nice to feel attractive once more she reflected sadly and it had been a long time since a man had appreciated her. She had gone to Max for his professional services, a private detective who vowed to dish the dirt on her husband. She had begged him to find evidence to help her finish their marriage but she hadn’t expected this sort of evidence. Initially frosty, he had suddenly bantered and flirted his way into bed with her. Their love-making had been less than inspired but better than nothing and she had thought he was on her side.
There was no point putting it off, she’d been caught out. She had cheated on her husband and as much as he had deserved her unfaithfulness, she knew his high-powered lawyer would shred any defense she could afford. The game was up. She ran up the stairs and across the long landing that separated her room from Harvey’s. It had been at least a year since she had been made to feel welcome in his bedroom and she doubted it would be any different now.
Clearing her throat she walked into the room, brazen and defiant. The wind taken out of her sails when she realized that it was empty. Unusually for Harvey, the bed was crumpled and unmade and she wandered towards it, tutting at his messiness. Claudia drew her breath in sharply, Max’s business card lay on the floor just underneath the bed. She knelt down to pick it up and spotted another object further back. Claudia gazed at the item in shock and held up a pair of pants that undoubtedly belonged to Max. She remembered mocking him for wearing Inspector Clouseau boxer shorts and had almost wavered in her desire at one point.
Straightening up, Claudia realized that she was no longer alone. She turned triumphantly, waving the items in Harvey’s direction and watched his face turn ashen.
“It seems our mutual Max was doing a little bit of double-dealing Harvey dear,” Claudia taunted as she walked past him,” Whatever would your board of directors think about you and him….well, I’m sure they will be more than a little shocked- what do you think?
With his face turning red with anger, she sauntered past him, “I think I will have that divorce darling, but it had better be a bloody good settlement figure, as we would not want these little beauties to become public knowledge would we?” She waved the boxer shorts in his direction, “You know Harvey, I wanted evidence against you but I never thought I would end up with evidence quite like this.” And she laughed, suddenly.