Scents of sun, lavender, thyme and chlorine wafted from the garden. Beth and Marvin were sitting on the pool terrace at a sumptuous 17th century Chateau hotel in the Luberon, Provence. Beth was sipping Archange Rouge. Black cherries, violet, liquorice. It was a warm, nocturnal red. She thought about blood. She imagined removing her magenta Malone Souliers stiletto pump and stabbing Marvin in the neck. Too messy. Perhaps she could pummel him with the golden skulls and black jewels on the knuckle-duster clasp of her Alexander McQueen bead embellished clutch. Too much effort. Marvin would overpower her. She would have to take him by surprise. Perhaps later on the golf course, she would invite him into the rough and then club him to death with his steel and graphite Bentley Golf BF1. Unfortunately, the caddy would see. Or maybe as Marvin drifted off to sleep dreaming of the younger women who were better in bed than she was, Beth would summon her strength and lift the weighty bronze, polished nickel and brass Kelly Wearstler Bloque table lamp from the bedside table and accidentally crush his head. Although, that would spoil the sheets, and she was so enjoying the bed linen at this place. It would be altogether cleaner if she strapped her gold Tom Ford 001 watch to a bundle of dynamite placed strategically in Marvin’s Porche 911 Turbo and when the little watch’s blue hands ticked over the mark of ten, that being the number of years she and Marvin had been married, it would trigger an explosion. 

But how sad to lose a good watch like that. B sighed. With one rose-lacquered nail, she fingered her Eleuterio Couture Collection pendulum earrings: her anniversary gift from Marvin: gold with black ruthenium and diamonds. He glanced up from his car magazine and cocked his head to the side, quizzical.
She thought of the text messages she’d seen on his phone from his most recent hussy. True, the earrings were nicely pointy, but it wouldn’t help to stab him in the eyes with them.
‘What are you thinking, baby?’ he asked.
Her laugh was mellifluous.
‘About you.’ Her smile was predatory and she gave him what she thought was a smouldering look. ‘And what I’m going to do to you later.’
He chuckled. ‘Well Ms Missionary, if you weren’t such a prissy catholic schoolgirl, I might actually be excited.’
Ouch. Beth’s hand went to her head where a pair of pink and black Delalle DeFying Glimmer sunglasses rested in her curls and she pulled the glasses down to cover the sting of indignant tears in her eyes. She could’ve strangled him with his silk twill Hugo tie right then and there, but instead she ordered lobster bisque and poured herself another glass of Archange Rouge.


Alex Smith lives in Cape Town with her partner, two sons, a couple of old dogs and a garden full of succulents and cacti. She tutors grammar, writes novels and designs textiles.
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