Henry thought of a funny joke.
It would be so easy to veer off the road and hit a tree and kill Maude. So easy because she never wears her seat belt and always sits on the edge of the passenger seat, right up against the dashboard. Or he could slam on the brake.....and out she would fly through the windshield........ No. There's the fork on left at Amberson coming up. All he has to do is pull over. In the dark.......he could ring that ugly neck........
It made him sputter out laughter. He tried to drown it with a hand over his mouth before Maude caught him. She looked over at him, tight-lipped and eyes full of venom.
“Keep your eyes on the road, Henry,” She said. She went back to viewing the passing-by scenery out the window of the passengers side.
“Yes, dear,” Henry said automatically. One of three phrases he said as a robot, the other two : I'm sorry, dear---- and I love you, dear----without much response from Maude unless she was angry at him.
They were driving to see her sister, and how Henry loathed her sister to the point the sound of her very name gave Henry a migraine. Funny, they were just at her sister Ida. They got as far as the county line when she said she forgot her purse.
He hated them both. Ida and Maude always made fun of him. Laughing and speaking simultaneously, always about him. Never in fifteen years of marriage had either one of them had a kind word. He married Maude because he was lonely. And he felt he would never have another woman. He promised her things that he knew he
couldn't deliver, but he figured that was part of the hook. Ida hated him because he took Maude from the lonely decrepit life she shared with Maude. Both together....no amount of good could dissolve that evil.
Maybe, after he killed Maude....he could kill Ida. Maybe get close to her.....get really friendly......she had money....he could get her to put him in her will......
There it was. The fork on the left at Amberson. All he has to do is stop, pull over. It's dark.....just the moon.....He sniggered.
Henry killed the lights, then the engine. Only the light from the moon cast a partial on their faces.
Maude turned to him, a look of surprise on her face. “What are you doing?” She said sternly.
“I think,” Henry put both hands around her throat and squeezed. “It's time we ended our relationship, Maude.”
Henry felt something cold, jagged enter his windpipe. It dug into the flesh of his neck and see-sawed back and forth. His hands fell from Maude's neck, and tried to lift to what was cutting into his neck. Maude watched Henry's eyes roll into the back of his head, gurgle, then sigh the last of his breath. A few drops of blood fell to his shirt collar.
Henry slumped over on the steering wheel, then to the drivers window, his face pressed hard against the glass.
Maude sighed, closed her eyes momentarily.
A pair of hands tried to remove piano wire from Henry's neck, but decided to leave it.
“Really, Maude, ” Ida said. “I don't know you've put up with that fool for fifteen years.”