Torn Asunder by Amy Grech

Punk Noir Magazine

Shelia Kiernan gets ready to turn in when Robert, her husband of seven years hops in the shower. His iPhone won’t stop chirping, so she while he’s no doubt rubbing one out, his, dastardly deed, obscured by steam and quickly washed away without a trace; she grabs it from the nightstand, easily guesses his passcode, 052665, his birthday and swipes through his text messages. Her jaw drops when she sees several salacious sexts from Melanie Montgomery, his Physician’s Assistant. A wildly successful Cosmetic Surgeon with a Park Avenue office in Manhattan, his day typically starts at 6:00 a.m. and often ends at 10:00 p.m. Grueling hours. Looks like he’s found a convenient way to ease all that pent-up tension.

She comes to bed dressed in her alluring, silky red teddy, brown curls caress her shoulders; her husband reclines in bed busy with his iPhone, tucked in, all warm and toasty. Shelia quickly reaches under the burgundy comforter, between her husband’s legs and finds that she can’t hold his attention.

“I’m really not feeling it! Can’t you see I’m busy?!” Robert, a fiery redhead, roars, grabs her arm and clamps down with a vice-like grip.

“Oww! You’re hurting me,” she yelps, drops the comforter frozen, like a statue.

“You asked for it!” He grits his teeth.

Shelia rolls her eyes.

“Why don’t you make yourself useful for a change and bring me a nightcap? Dewar’s, rocks. You know how I like it.” Robert scowls.

She sighs. “Yeah, just what the doctor ordered.”

Shelia storms out of the room, snatching her bottle of Ambien from the bathroom medicine cabinet along the way to the full bar in the living room. She sighs, pulls a frosted highball glass from the shelf, takes some ice from the mini-fridge, and plunks the cubes in. Clink! She takes six pink pills from the bottle, slams them down on the bar. Raising the glass, as if making a toast, a long-overdue farewell. The highball glass collides with the bar, in one fell swoop, pulverizing the pills into a baby pink haze. Shelia gently lifts the glass and sweeps the remnants in.

A Hooters matchbook rests on the cold, black marble next to Robert’s precious bottle of Dewar’s. That gives her an idea. She pours Scotch over ice, smiling for the first time in months. A quick stir with an orange swizzle stick, also from Hooters, helps mask this potent nightcap murkiness. Shelia grabs the matchbook and takes a quick detour to the garage for some lighter fluid, next to the grill in the corner before delivering the drink to the good doctor.

Drink in hand, she saunters back into the bedroom and hands him the glass. “Bottoms up!”

“It’s about time. What took you so long? It’s not brain surgery for Christ’s sake! I’m dying of thirst!” He grabs it without a shred of gratitude.

Shelia chuckles. “You can’t rush perfection…I wanted to make your drink extra special…”

“Whatever. I don’t see what’s so special about it,” Robert mutters, then chugs it like a frat boy, wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and slams the empty highball glass down on the nightstand next to his phone.

“Oh, you will.” She winks.

He frowns, suddenly concerned. “What’s that lighter fluid for?”

Shelia smirks. “I know how much you love barbecue! You’re in for a hot time tonight.”

“It’s a little late for a barbecue. I—” His eyelids grow heavy; he collapses in a haphazard heap.

She opens the lighter fluid and douses her husband with it before striking the match against the cover; it hisses to life, reeks faintly of sulfur. Shelia tosses it in Robert’s lap, where it ignites with a dramatic whoosh! As bright yellow flames hungrily engulf him, Robert regains consciousness, shrieks, flailing furiously on the bed; a charbroiled Irish bastard getting his just desserts.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Never trust a man who succumbs his lust!

Amy Grech has sold over 100 stories to various anthologies and magazines including: 
A New York State of Fright, Apex Magazine, Flashes of Hope, Gorefest, Hell’s Heart, Hell’s Highway, Hell’s Mall, Needle Magazine, Punk Noir Magazine, Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, The One That Got Away, and many othersShe has work forthcoming in the Even in the Grave and Under Her Skin anthologies.

Amy is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers who lives in New York. You can connect with her on Twitter: or visit her website: