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Black Coffee and Butter Knives

A brief horror story

By Bri CraigPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Image created in Canva

Every night, I kill my husband.

Last night, I smothered him with a pillow.

But the night before, I held him under the bathtub’s faucet.

And before the sun can first greet my cheek, I open my eyes and see the never-ending rise and fall of his chest. He is a thing that is not dead. A body still throbbing with a metronome pulse.

I make him coffee this morning, as I do every morning after I have killed him. And I wonder what he thinks of the hallowed shell of a woman standing in his kitchen, stirring his coffee. I am nothing but noose curls and breakable bones. And yet…

There was an evening where I spooned arsenic into his coffee instead of sugar. Another time where I swirled cyanide in with his creamer. I emptied a pincushion into his cup, in an attempt which was perhaps more or less tactful.

Still, each morning he germinates from the cocoon of his sheets. He ignores the coffee I have placed before him and instead pours himself an uncompromised batch. It’s a dark roast today. Earthy. Fragrant.

I watch him touch the rim to his lips and pull the dark liquid into his mouth. And more than anything, I hope he chokes. No, I hope the water scalds him. No, I hope his esophagus melts.

He sighs this morning, the way he does every damn morning where he is alive and not dead. He opens a window, and a breeze curls around his smile. The birds have a new taunt for me this morning, another song of my failure to kill my husband. Each breath he takes harmonizes with the melody. Each time he touches the edge of his coffee mug to the wooden table, I feel the bile rise in my throat.

I open the painted white cabinets and they groan with the slow creak of my fingertips. When we moved into the house, the cabinets still had their original honey-oak hue. I never wanted to cover the color, but my husband needed to do something to cover the bloodstains.

We have a gun in the basement. One night, I shot him at the dinner table. Another night, I pressed the pistol between his eyebrows. On a different night entirely, I put every bullet we had into that man’s body, and still, in the morning, he opened the Sunday paper and laughed.

I touched the Cornell onto the countertop and stared longingly at the soft white bottom of the bowl. I want to put shattered glass in his cereal, I want to dust his breakfast with curls of metal shavings. I want him to open his mouth and show me his bloodied gums.

I want him to scream.

But so far, whenever I have killed him, he does not make a sound. No matter what I do, his mouth never gapes open. He never screams. And every morning when I wake up, I paw my pillow, aching with regret. No matter how it happened, no matter how I killed him, I never get him to scream.

And so, each time I slipped into the dark unconsciousness, I dream of a new way to kill him.

The toaster clicks, and my husband walks past me like a gust of wind. He ignores the sabotaged breakfast I made him and instead pulls out a thick red jam. The accompanied butter knife is not enough to slit his throat, but I daydream about it anyway.

He slathers his toast until the raspberry seeds puncture the crusty surface of the bread. He sets the knife down and it spins softly towards me. With an index finger, I stop the knife from moving.

My husband stiffens. His eyes bore into the blade. I push it back toward him, spinning it, ever so softly back in his direction.

His jaw tightens, and his chin tilts to the places around the kitchen where I have been. He sees the moved coffee mug, the cabinet left ajar, the shifted cereal bowl… he sees everything but me.

And for a moment he absorbs the evidence of my haunting.

And I see his eyes flash with worry.

And I think he’s beginning to figure it out:

that I’m not going to hell without him.

~

~

~

Thank you!

If you enjoyed this story, check out some of my other horror short stories!

And a special, special thank you to my real-life husband, who is supportive of all of my writing endeavors.... even when I write about killing husbands.... :)

PsychologicalShort StoryHorror

About the Creator

Bri Craig

Bri Craig (she/her) is a variety pack writer. She enjoys writing poetry, webcomic features, humor, short stories, and personal anecdotes. Basically, neither of us will ever know what will be posted next!

Let's connect! More about me here.

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Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (5)

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    I loved your story. This line crushed it: "I am nothing but noose curls and breakable bones." Damn! I had my suspicions at that moment but loved reading every word as confirmation all the way til the bitter end. Simply fabulous. 🥳🤩😎 I write horror stories from time to time, too, and my husband always jokes that I'm "the kindest person sat beside a window watching puppies walk their humans along, all the while smilingly as she's killing loads of folks on the page." It's delightful. I imagine the ones who witness you creating your 'lovelies' would observe much the same sentiment: A wonderful person commanding the darkness with a keyboard and a grin! Please, do continue!!!

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    Chilling!!! This took my mind for an unexpected ride. Loved it!!!

  • Matthew Frommabout a month ago

    Oooo dark and creepy. Nice twist too. Great work as always!

  • Esala Gunathilakeabout a month ago

    It was a wonderful reading for me. Liked it.

  • Moharif Yuliantoabout a month ago

    Do you like bitter coffee mixed with butter?

Bri CraigWritten by Bri Craig

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