Flash Fiction - 499 words - Marital communication problems
George's ghost landed on his feet. "Whoa! I hanged myself! I gauged a perfect drop. The rope around the loft's rafter broke my neck. Ha! My fat butt's still swinging back and forth."
The morning sun gleamed through the loft's window sheers. "Whoa, everything seems so much brighter out the window!"
"I'm not even dead a minute!" George's ghost tried touching his bare leg under his bathrobe.
Footsteps tromped up the stairs. "Oh, fun time! Here comes Maddie!"
George's wife, Maddie of twenty years, open the door and screamed.
"Fake, she never cared." He stared at the window. "I can't get over how gorgeous it became!"
"George! Why? Why did you do this?" Maddie asked as she pulled her cell phone from her robe pocket and dialed 911.
"You should call the coroner, Maddie." Maddie didn’t hear, of course.
George moved behind her. "You ask why? You had to have this big house. I told you I couldn't afford it. I said I couldn't afford the salons, the expensive dresses, and shoes, and designer purses."
Maddie talked to the 911 operator.
"The vacations to Phoenix by yourself maxed out the credit cards. Maddie, you spent us into bankruptcy."
"George, you didn't have to kill yourself. Whatever trouble we had, we could have worked it out." Maddie's lip quivered.
"I tried! You're crying. That's a first. Well, Maddie, you lost the house. The guy from Phoenix, your vacation lover, you should call him. Through twenty long years, I never had a vacation.
The ambulance arrived, and the guys tromped up the stairs. "Ma'am, why did you call 911? You should have called the coroner," the EMT guy said.
"She never listens to me," George said.
The man phoned and said the coroner would come soon, and they left after Maddie signed their papers.
"Another bill," George said.
"How will I live now?" Maddie asked.
"About time you got to money." George went to a small dusty desk. When he moved past Maddie, a breeze touched her cheek, and her robe fluttered. She gathered her housecoat at her neck. George waved, and dust swirled off the desk, and it made Maddie bat her eyes.
"George? Did you do that?"
When the dust cleared, Maddie lifted a manila folder, and it held an old insurance policy. George had highlighted a paragraph saying the plan paid in case of suicide after five years in effect.
George's ghost moved to the loft's window and peered out the sheers, and Maddie noticed a subtle change in the room's brightness. "You're in front of the window, George, I see your outline."
Maddie gasped when George spoke aloud. "When we married, we wrote our vows. I vowed to stand strong for you as we support one another, Maddie. I stayed dutiful, did you? Now, I'll see what's outside. It's beautiful out there." George smiled and stepped through the window into the bright sunshine.
"You made that vow, not me," she said. "You didn't listen."