By indexer
106 days ago

Your Wish Is ... : a story

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William Carlton was a wealthy man who always got what he wanted – or nearly always. Things went horribly wrong, though, on the day that his beautiful young wife was kidnapped and held for ransom.

She had been what is generally known as a “trophy wife” – regarded as yet another piece of property that was part of his rich man’s image. Her role had been to wear expensive clothes and drip with jewelry as she accompanied him to events and receptions with the sole purpose of enhancing his reputation as a man to do business with.

William faced a dilemma when the ransom demands kept coming. No – the dilemma was not whether or not to pay the ransom, which never entered his mind for a second. His problem was what to do with all those clothes and jewels after she had been murdered, which was clearly what was going to happen - and did.

She had to be replaced as soon as possible, but the ideal candidate was not easy to find. Eventually he struck lucky, and Eva became trophy wife number two. William had grown rich for various reasons, one of which was his refusal to spend money when there was no need to do so. He had already invested many thousands of pounds on all those designer dresses and he had no intention of letting that outlay go to waste. His new wife therefore had to be exactly the same size as his unfortunate first one, and Eva’s dimensions were perfect. She fitted the bill because she fitted the dresses.

Eva was Slovenian. Many of her forebears had been Holocaust victims, and her own parents had died in a ferry-boat disaster some years before. She had been an only child. She therefore came with no baggage metaphorically and very little physically. She was bound to leap at the chance to live in a big house surrounded by every luxury that her new husband considered suitable for enhancing his status. A marriage was duly arranged and Eva moved in.

William knew that one extra expense he would have to undertake would be to improve the security of the house when Eva was alone. A second kidnap would be an inconvenience that he was not willing to undergo, so the place soon bristled with CCTV, searchlights, and everything necessary to turn the place into somewhere that no potential kidnapper would dream of invading.

William did not go as far as hiring security guards – having other men on the premises struck him as an unsafe move. Eva was a very beautiful woman and surely a temptation to any red-blooded male. Apart from that, there was also the risk that a security guy might turn into a kidnapper.

Of course, there was one thing that never entered William’s head, and that was what Eva might have wanted. Not only did all that security make her a virtual prisoner, but she soon came to realise that this marriage was completely one-way. There was one thing that she really desired, and that was a child of her own so that she could have what she had never had in her past – a proper family life.

But that did not suit William.

“You think I want you pregnant”? he said, when she broached the subject. “You wouldn’t fit into the dresses if you were pregnant. No way are you going to get pregnant.”

After many months getting nowhere with this request, Eva came to the conclusion that her only way of self-fulfillment was to get out of the marriage and find a man who would treat her as a real wife and not a trophy one.

“I want a divorce”, she said. “I want you to let me go.”

William laughed. “A divorce?” he said. “Don’t be stupid. How would you live without me? You’ve got no money, no way of supporting yourself, you’d starve in the street.”

And Eva believed this to be true. She was utterly dependent on William, who never stopped reminding her of that fact.

However, William’s real concern was that any divorce settlement would lead to him having to settle a large part of his personal fortune on his wife, and that was something that he could not possibly countenance.

Every request for a divorce from Eva could always be rebuffed. She had no access to a divorce lawyer – William made absolutely sure of that – and so the only way the marriage could end would be if he divorced her.

“Tell you what”, he said to her one day. “I will divorce you.”

Eva was suddenly very interested. “You will?” she said.

“Sure. When you are no longer beautiful, or the dresses are so far out of fashion that I’ll need to buy new ones. But that won’t be any time soon.”

“Please let me go”, she said, “Please.”

And then one day a letter arrived that changed everything. It was addressed to Eva and it told her that a great-uncle in Slovenia had died and that she had been tracked down as the only living relative and therefore the beneficiary of his entire fortune, which amounted to something like £25 million.

To say that this was a big surprise was an understatement. Eva had had no idea that this great-uncle existed, let alone that she was in line to become extremely rich when he died.

This was, of course, a great shock to William, who suddenly realised that he no longer had a hold on Eva, who would now be perfectly able to get the freedom she desired. He needed to think quickly, or he needed a slice of luck.

That morning they drove into town in William’s Lamborghini to visit the bank and discuss what should be done next. An account was opened in Eva’s name and she stared at the computer screen as the money was transferred into it. She was suddenly a very rich woman.

On the way home, William was deep in thought about his next move, and was not really concentrating behind the wheel, when a large lorry emerged from the entrance to the local quarry. He slammed on the brakes and the car slewed sideways across the road, crashed through a wooden fence, and just stopped short of plunging down into the very deep quarry. The Lamborghini was precariously balanced right on the edge. Eva had not shut the car door properly on leaving town and it now swung open. She was flung out and was only prevented from falling to certain death by her seatbelt.

Her screams could be heard all across the quarry as she begged William to pull her back. However, William was aware that any move on his part to drag Eva back might be enough to send the car over the edge, killing both of them.

He was also aware that if Eva died, having not made a will, then he would be her sole beneficiary. That was not a panicking young woman hanging over the edge of a quarry but £25 million, less tax.

There was one thing that William could reach without any danger of unbalancing the car, and that was the release button on Eva’s seatbelt. This had to be the perfect solution – self-preservation and a nice wodge of extra cash. Thus the last words that Eva was ever to hear were those of her husband:

“What was that you keep saying you want me to do? Let you go? For once in your soon-to-be-truncated life, your wish is my command.”
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RasmaSandra You have got to publish a book of your stories. This one had me to the very end, however, being a woman I would have made a bit of a change. Eva was not dangling precariously but just dangling above the ground. William wanting to keep balance released the seatbelt but Eva hit the ground rolling but did not go over the edge. She had kept the car in balance though and it quickly tipped sending Wiliam to his demise. Yay! The rich woman could do whatever she wanted. I do love your ending too but felt sorry for poor Eva. Well that was just my two cents. Looking forward to your next story.😃
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indexer @RasmaSandra Yes - that might have been a better ending in terms of justice, but what I did not state here was that this story was written for my writers' group (which meets on Friday) and this week's theme was "Your wish is my command". I thought that ending with that line as the twist in the tale would be an effective way to do so.

Thank you for your interest. I have thought about producing a collection of my stories, and may indeed do so one day. In the meantime, they are all available on my blog: https://storiesmainlysilly.blogspot.com/...
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RasmaSandra @indexer thank you for the link. Let me say you should self-publish a book of your stories and it is easy to do through Create Space. There is help available for formatting if needed. I had my first book of poems published at the beginning of this year and now I am bound and determined to come out with a second volume of poetry.
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indexer @RasmaSandra I have also been pointed in the direction of LuLu as a self-publisher. Thanks for your mention of CreateSpace.
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