A hush descended over the room. The words dripped like poisoned honey from Lorelei’s lips. She let them linger in the silence, her fingers idly tracing the floral embroidery on the edge of the tablecloth. After several long heartbeats, she picked up her wine glass and took a sip.
All eyes turned to her husband Nathan. Lorelei’s words had stopped him dead in his tracks on his way out of the room. The Davidsons’ dinner parties were always an entertaining affair, but tonight the guests were getting more bang for their buck. Dinner and a show. The couple was clearly mid-fight and Lorelei had just pulled out all the stops.
Nathan turned slowly, jerkily, like a wind-up toy whose spring was almost uncoiled. His eyes flashed with danger, sending shivers up the spines of several dinner guests.
“You killed him?” His words came out like slow-motion gunfire.
Lorelei smiled. “Well someone had to. He was old. And he had all that money.”
Nathan moved across the room like fire, lifting Lorelei clean out of her seat. Guests scrambled out of the way, huddling together, mesmerized by their own fear.
“Who said you could play God?” Nathan growled, “He was happy. He wasn’t in any pain.”
“But we were,” Lorelei purred, “and isn’t it so much better now? Look at this house, look at all the fine things we have.”
“He was my father,” Nathan said through gritted teeth, shoving Lorelei violently back into her chair. “You did it for all of this?” He gestured around the room, disbelief etched on his face.
When she nodded, Nathan grabbed the nearest object and threw it against the wall. Shattered fragments of antique China rained down on the floor. A rare sculpture from the 1920s followed, as did a pair of exquisite Fabergé eggs. When his hands reached for the pink Depression glass, Lorelei leapt to her feet.
“Nathan stop!” Her voice no longer dripped with poison or with honey. She sounded genuinely frightened. “Please. We have company.”
As if waking from a dream, Nathan looked at their dinner guests, cowering rapturously by the door. He sank down into a chair, the pink glass still clutched in his hands.
Quietly, Lorelei escorted their guests to the exit, offering subdued apologies with fretting hands. When the last guest was gone, she made her way back into the dining room, dropping to her knees beside Nathan’s chair.
“I think that went well,” she said, smiling up at him.
Nathan laughed and stroked her hair, “Indeed,” he replied, “but I don’t know how we’re ever going to top this dinner party.”
Lorelei’s eyes twinkled. “Oh, I think I might have an idea or two.”
This is my submission for this week’s Speakeasy challenge #95. Submissions must be under 1000 words and must begin with the following line: A hush descended over the room.
In addition, submissions must reference the photo prompt, which is the following image: