"Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen," he said while clasping his hands together on the table. His aviator eye glasses had a pale orange tint to the clear frames. His comb-over attempted to cover up his severe receding hairline. He silently picked up his fork and took a bite out of the lasagna.
“How do you like it, Jack?” asked his wife.
“It is very good, Sabine,” he said, continuing his meal. Her black hair flowed down to her back, creating soft waves. She smiled in response and started her dinner. In public, no one would have thought that Sabine would have married him. She towered over Jack, and seemed like complete opposites. She was outgoing and beautiful, and he was an introvert and ordinary. Although they were both in their mid-thirties, Sabine looked considerably younger than Jack. Rumors spread that she was a gold digger.
“Okay, well I’m going to bed,” said Jack. He cleared his plate and walked into the bedroom. As Sabine finished clearing the table, she heard, in the distance, Jack praying some more. She put the dishes in the sink and made her way to the bedroom.
“Good night, honey,” said Sabine. She waited for a response, but no sound came from Jack.
The next morning, Jack woke up at exactly seven-thirty. Sabine had already left for the office. He made himself an english muffin and sat down in a nearby chair, reading the newspaper. Sabine had wanted to buy antique furniture to fill the large house, to make it seem less empty. But their debt kept them tight on money. The inside of the house was empty and quiet. The outside was uninviting and isolated. It was the only house on the cliff, overlooking the sea. Vines crept up the edges and the house seemed to moan in the wind. The gargoyles’ grotesque features intimidated all visitors of the couple. Jack inherited the house from his father, who mysteriously died of schizophrenia. For having a large debt, Jack and Sabine looked pretty wealthy.
Jack walked out to get the mail and shuffled through the ads and bills. He stopped when he reached a letter about Sabine’s bank account. “Curiosity didn’t really kill the cat,” he said while opening the letter. This wasn’t the first letter of Sabine’s he has opened. Being a banker, Jack had an odd curiosity for money other than his own. The letter showed Sabine’s bank account status and the new cosine with Oliver Wolfe, Jack’s good friend. Jack furrowed his forehead and thought, “She won’t share her money with me, but she is willing to share her money with Oliver?” Jack folded the letter into his back pocket and placed the rest of the mail on the table in the foyer.
By the time Sabine arrived home, Jack completely forgot about the letter. A day of demanding customers and appointments left him exhausted.
“After my shift ended, Anna and I caught up over coffee and crumpets! Did you know, that they moved to Indiana and came back within a year! I cannot believe..” Sabine’s voice droned on and on in Jack’s head as he sipped his coffee.
“Remember, Sabine, church service starts at nine sharp, tomorrow,” he said.
“...I know, Jack. We’ve never missed a service before. Why do you think we would start now?” she asked.
“Oh, uh, well it’s important, so...remember.” Sabine gave him a fed-up look and walked away.
The next day at the church, Jack and Sabine watched as the donation baskets circled the room. Jack began to take out a twenty dollar bill when Sabine took the money out of his hand.
“Jack, we need to start decreasing the amount of money we donate,” she said, with a serious look on her face.
“What’s wrong with twenty dollars? I have been going to this church since I was six years old. We should to support it,” he replied.
“Jack, we need to save as much money as possible, nowadays.” She took the twenty out of his hand and threw a dollar note into the basket. Jack stared at his wife in awe as she walked back to the car, unphased by her minuscule donation. She waved at Oliver on her way to the car. He was a popular travels agent, and he was also a frequent attendant of church. Jack grumbled and remained in a bad mood for the rest of the day.
The next Saturday, Sabine walked out of the bedroom wearing a skirt and formal top. Her bright red lipstick contrasted with her black hair, making her look vampy. She looked even younger than she looked before.
“Jack, I’m going to dinner and a movie with Susie. I’ll probably be home pretty late, okay?”
“Okay, just remember, we -”
“Have church at nine sharp. Okay, okay!” She turned on her heel and flew out of the house, jumping into her car.
The next morning, Sabine was nowhere to be found. “Sabine?” he called. Jack was steaming, not only because she wasn’t home, but she was also going to miss church. When he arrived the church, he saw Susan sitting on a bench.
“Hello, Jack! How are you and Sabine? I haven’t been at church in a while because I went on a trip to Costa Rica. We need to catch up!” she said. Susan was the bubbly type, not someone Jack usually mingled with. Jack looked at her with confusion.
“Wait. You mean you didn’t go out with Sabine last night?”
“Well, no. I haven’t. Why? Isn’t she here?”
“No.” Jack was starting to feel queasy.
“Seems as if Oliver isn’t here either,” she said. “We always sit next to each other. That man is quite the flirt!” added Susan, beginning to blush. Jack furrowed his brow and walked away. “What could those two be doing? Sabine isn’t the type to cheat, is she? No...no. That isn’t it.”
When he arrived back home, he saw a new vase of orchids on the foyer table. He searched the house and found Sabine in the kitchen, wearing the same clothes as she did last night.
“Where were you?” he asked carefully. He slowly took a step towards her.
“My car broke down on the way home, so I stayed in a hotel. You see, Susie lives in the next town over so-,”
“You LIAR!” he boomed, his voice echoing throughout the enormous house. “Susan hasn’t seen you in weeks!” he added, taking another step towards her. His eyes were so wide that they seemed to bulge.
“That’s, that’s not possible, I-” she started, but was interrupted when Jack grabbed her shoulders and started to shake her.
“Answer me, woman!” He said in a rage.
“Susie is different from Susan at church! They aren’t the same person!” she yelled. He kept shaking for a moment, then released his grip from her shoulders. Sabine rubbed her shoulders and stretch her neck, looking at her husband with disgust. Jack ended up making a bed on the couch that night, but it took him hours to fall asleep.
The next morning Jack’s eyes flew open. He dreamed that he saw Sabine and Oliver together, flirting in a dimly lit restaurant. The last thing he remembered before he woke up was the sight of Oliver leaning over and kissing Sabine. “This must be a sign! She must be having an affair! That filthy woman..” He leaped off of the couch and ran out the door. His eyes darted around the yard until he found the nearest bush to a living room window. He crouched behind it and waited for her to wake up. He knew she was awake once he heard footsteps in the house. He watched her read on the couch, he watched her drinking tea, and he watched her watching T.V.
“She must be doing something behind your back,” said a voice. Jack jumped a little and looked around, but there wasn’t anyone to be seen. His eyes focused back on Sabine.
“She’s lying to you,” said another. Jack looked around in horror.
“She’s cheating on you! Do something about it...Do something about it...” Jack had a dreaded look on his face. But the look of dread quickly changed to determination. He looked animalistic while he thought of an idea. He began to snicker as a car drove up the drive way. The car door opened, and Oliver stepped out. Jack stared at Oliver as he walked up to the front door and knocked on it. Sabine greeted him warmly, and she led him inside. Jack intently watched them sit around the coffee table, moving sheets of paper around and scribbling on them.
“Watch how they flirt,” a voice said. “Look at how she looks at him.” Jack’s eyes showed nothing but wrath. Oliver stood back up and walked towards the door. Sabine waved goodbye as Oliver drove away. As Sabine began to close the door, Jack jumped out of the bush and stuck his foot into the door way.
“Jack, where have you been?” said Sabine. Jack didn’t say a word as his hands made their way around her throat. Her eyes grew large and she began to kick and flail around. Once she became limp, olive released his grip. He threw her over his shoulder and put her in the car. He drove and drove, passing signs that read, “Satan’s Gorge.” He stopped the car underneath a large tree and looked over at Sabine to see her still unconscious. He quickly took out the shovel and began to dig underneath the tree. He dug past the mangled roots and rocks and when he was content with the size of the hole, he walked back to the car. He opened the door and dragged her out and into the hole.
As he filled the hole, Sabine began to regain consciousness. She took a deep breath right when Jack shoveled a pile of dirt on her face, causing her to fill her lungs with soil. There was a blank expression on Jack’s face as she wheezed and coughed up a mixture of dirt and blood. Jack continued to fill her grave even when her breathing stopped. He silently walked back to the car, and drove back home.
He sat in the kitchen drinking coffee when he noticed the papers. He picked them up and read, “TRIP FOR TWO DEAL. DESTINATION: EGYPT.” Scribbled underneath was, “Sabine pays : 600, Oliver chips in : 300”
Sabine wasn’t cheating. Oliver was helping her pay for a surprise trip.
Jack took the papers, and he walked out to the backyard. He walked to the edge of the cliff and said, “Lord forgive me for I have sinned,” and threw himself over.


Be as brutal as possible!