'A Bad Heart' by Emma Collins



It was the shock.  She was barely alive when Ed, her beloved husband (who had made her a cup of tea nearly every morning for twenty five years), came home.  She had fallen next to the telephone.  He stared down at her in concern, hand reaching automatically for his mobile.  He began to dial for help when he noticed the book she clutched.  His special hidden book, with notes on names, methods, length of time to die.  Comprehension struck.  He cancelled the call and looked down at her. 

“You silly nosy old thing” he said sadly. Then he stepped over her and walked into the kitchen.  He sat down at the scrubbed pine table and pulled an old copy of The Times towards him.  He opened it, smoothed the creases out and began to read.  He’d call the emergency services in a bit.  Fifteen minutes should do it, he thought.

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