Thursday, February 14, 2013

Head Over Heels by John Winn

He pushed her off the balcony. He pushed her off the balcony and didn't see it coming until his hands pressed against her back and she tumbled end over end onto the concrete patio by the pool.  A sliver of moonlight shimmered as the water bobbed up and down. Brody's sandy hair billowed in the wind as he breathed in the salt air. The starkness of it didn't fully sink in until he leaned over the railing to get a glimpse of his wife's crumpled body.
Even in death Skylar struck a pose, skin glistening in her Day-Glo nightgown. Her form was beautiful, legs posed akimbo like one of the many photo spreads she shot for the big fashion magazines. Despite the blow to the head, she looked strangely peaceful down there.  Brody half-expected her to get up and smile as usual, but he knew better.
He only wanted to confront her. The rumors of infidelity had been swirling for months, first from, then from.  Brody assumed it was all lies and half-truths made up to boost circulation and ratings. Skylar was always off modeling for some big shot photographer somewhere.  Germany, Japan, New York, it didn't matter. The lengthy separations bothered him, yet Brody of all people understood the demands such a life entailed.
Only when he stumbled on a clip of her in a three-way with two guys on the Internet did he seriously question the nature of their relationship.
Even as their court date loomed, he drove over to the mansion they once shared, hoping to appeal to the better angels of Skylar's nature.  Despite his fearsome reputation as a studio executive, he was a pragmatist by nature. Both he and his wife had prenuptial agreements.  No matter the outcome, a costly divorce would annihilate them both.  The resulting fallout would dog their careers for the rest of their lives.
Even as he approached the front door, Brody hoped that an eleventh hour deal would be reached.  Skylar's warm smile as she greeted him at least gave hope that a compromise would be reached before the clock struck twelve.
As they talked in the study upstairs, Brody gradually realized how off the mark he was. Skylar was calm as always, but there was no trace of the happy, bubbly model he once knew. Her voice was as icy as her pale blue eyes. In not so many words, she let him know coldly, dispassionately that she was going to sue him into the Stone Age. Yet despite the not-so-veiled threat, Brody never let on about his seething anger.
His eyes flared as he watched her step onto the balcony. Something odd came over him as thought of his wife walking away wife his future in her hands. The forty year-old worked too hard to see his life crumble like this. His legs quaked as he walked toward her, overwhelmed by his reptilian brain.
Skylar never saw him coming.
Everything seemed to slow down as she tumbled toward the asphalt below. A visceral scream rent the air as she fell to death. She hit the ground with a thump, bleached white hair falling over her face. It was all over in a few seconds.
Brody couldn't believe it.
He fished his cell phone from his jeans pocket. He could call 911, but what could they do? There was no point in reviving her. He'd have to explain how she fell off a three story balcony, not to mention the fingerprints on the back of her nightgown. Oh, and the pool of blood gathering beneath his late wife's head.
But there was person he could call.
"Hey, Sam," Brody dialed his lawyer. "It's me, Brody. Look, there's been a situation. Mind if I swing by your office tomorrow?  It's not for the telephone."
As Brody hung up, a gnawing realization tugged at the back of his mind. Brody let out a howling laugh. When the sun rose tomorrow the whole of Hollywood would realize how radioactive he was. There would be no more deals to ink, no more films to green light. As a studio executive, Brody was good as dead.
It was mutually assured destruction.

1 comment:

Katherine Tomlinson said...

Love,love, love the title. And the writing. And I wouldn't be so sure that Brody's Hollywood career is over.