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There was no book that taught you how to properly apologize to a woman you done wrong, at least as far as Bart knew. And, really, that kind of book wouldn’t have done him any good, anyhow, on the count he didn’t know how to read.

What Bart did know was he had a piece of work to finish, and then he’d have to face his beloved Charlotte. Have to look in her cold blue eyes and tell her what he had done, and what he was about to do.

Normally, any kind of work went slow, but on that starlit night, the task at hand died all too quickly. Before Bart could get his wits about him, Charlotte’s door was creaking open.

Dread clutched at his belly as she lurked in the shadows.

“Honey,” he said, “I’m sorry for what I done to you before.” Simple and direct, the best he could do.

Charlotte remained silent, and Bart took her hand in his, rubbing his fingertips over the wedding ring he had given her in happier times.

He brushed the dark hair from her eyes and was relieved to find them closed, but the bullet hole he’d put in her forehead gaped in accusation.

Bart shuddered and cast his gaze toward her cold hand. He slipped the ring from Charlotte’s delicate white finger and jammed a boot heel in the damp earth behind him. He risked one more glance at his dead wife there in her grave.

“And I’m sorry I gotta take your ring, darlin’, but I’m gettin’ married again and I can’t afford another one.”

He slammed the coffin lid shut and scurried out of the mud, more convinced than ever he’d never really know how to talk to a woman.

Published inFlash Fiction

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