Short Story


Duke had been married to Sally for twenty years before she died of cancer. To his extreme unhappiness, he found out that Sally didn’t believe in sex after marriage. During those twenty years, Duke tried to get sex everywhere, but Sally checked on his every movement and every minute. She examined his cell phone and social media every fifteen minutes. Because she had a lot more money than he did, he stuck with her for the financial benefits, but he longed to cut his leash.

After his Sally died, Duke feverishly pursued his freedom to the limits. The first day he arranged for an escort, but she came with her boyfriend who beat him up and took his money. Next Duke came home with a drunk that he met at a bar. Before they could get to the bedroom, his hookup became sick and after her projectile vomiting started, they decided that it was a bad idea to proceed.

A week after that Duke’s boss Sheila agreed to go drinking with him after work. On their way to a local dive bar, his car was T-boned. Duke had one lung punctured and Sheila got a broken arm from the crash.

When Duke had healed adequately he went to Aphrodite’s Men’s Club and got a lap dance. Afterwards, someone stabbed him in the dark parking lot. It hurt like hell, but it was a minor wound.

The morning after, he got a call. The caller ID was Sally/Heaven.

When he picked up he heard a spectral Sally “Damn it, I told you no women. The next time you try to hook up with someone, you and the woman will die a horrible death, and your afterlife will be hell. You lied when you said there would be no women after me. You even used that corny quote from ‘Titanic’ ‘Our love will go on’”. It must have been all about my money.”

Duke gave up his earthly possessions and joined the Immaculate Monastery. After his earlier painful experiences, he found that keeping his vow of silence much harder than giving up sex.