REVERSAL OF FORTUNE - KELLY WHITLEY
“The divorce is off.”
Portia narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean, ‘the divorce is off?’”
Linus paced around the penthouse. “My attorney called. Marty said she escalated the terms of the will. I have to be married for over a year and still be married on her eightieth birthday, or I can’t inherit. You can’t tell her we’re considering filing for divorce.”
“We have filed for divorce.” Portia bounced her foot up and down.
“A reversible mistake.”
“The marriage was reversible. Divorce is permanent. Per-ma-nent, Linus. You’re going to have to improvise.”
“Improvise? How am I supposed to improvise being married?”
Portia studied her fingernails. “Then improvise being divorced, because that’s the reality.”
“You have to help me, Portia.”
Portia strolled to the window and looked out at the city lights. “Why should I lie for you?”
Linus whirled around and pointed his finger at her. “Money. I’ll pay you. A million dollars.”
Portia snorted. “Yeah, right. You don’t have that kind of money.”
“I will. If I fulfill the terms of the will, I’ll inherit ten million on her eightieth birthday.”
Portia smiled at her reflection in the window. “And you’d pay me to go with you to this birthday party and pretend to be married?”
Linus came up behind her and kissed the side of her neck. “Yes.”
“Mmm. Two million dollars.”
Linus’s lips missed a beat, then resumed nuzzling. “Two million. Agreed.”
Portia gathered up her purse and headed for the front of the penthouse they’d once shared. “It seems our divorce was reversible after all.”
Linus blew out a breath and held open the door for her. “It appears so. I’ll pick you up for the party on Saturday.”
“Don’t forget my check. Tootle loo!” Portia smiled sweetly and got in the elevator. On the way down, she flipped open her cell phone. “Marty? He went for it. I’m on my way down. Go ahead.”
In the underground parking lot, she exited the elevator and waited for Linus’s attorney in her car. Five minutes later, Marty slid behind the wheel. He tucked the gun and the silencer under the seat. Portia raised an eyebrow, and he nodded.
“You’ll inherit. Too bad Linus didn’t know about the untimely death clause in the will.” Marty kissed her and started the car.
As they drove away, the elevator opened behind them. Linus staggered out, bleeding from the gunshot wound in his belly. He raised the remote and pointed it at the retreating car. As the explosion knocked him back against the concrete, he grinned. “Too bad you didn’t know about the murder of spouse clause, bitch.”
BIO: Kelly has been writing for years, but is new to the art form of flash -- the shorter, the better.
OPEN SECRET (1948)
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