The house had been tidied. The fire had been lit. The kitchen was warm with the aroma of Shepard's Pie a– Ezekiel's favourite. Mrs Young was a good wife, real good. She muses at her reflection. Some powder here, a little lipstick there. Red. Deep, passionate scarlet. She loves the colour. Pity.

Yes, she's a real good wife who treats her husband like gold. She flicks an invisible speck of lint off her pale dress. Perfect. He deserves it, don't he? Such a busy man. She arranges her auburn curls neatly over her delicate, pale collar-bones. She has to look her best for her Ezekiel.

It's five-forty five. He'll be here soon. Better fix 'im up his drink 'for he arrives. He's home at six every evenin', no matter what time work ends. Busy, busy. People to see. He'll come home, sit down in front of the fire and leave his shoes beside his chair.. He'll sit there, sweet-smellin' and smug and she'll ask ,"Busy day, sweetheart?"

He'll moan about insubordinate inferiors and traffic. She won't bother him with the trivialities of her day. She'll be sympathetic and rub his neck, pretend not to notice the pink smudge on his starched collar, the collar she'd washed and ironed herself. It's a ghastly shade, the smudge. Cheap-lookin'. As cheap as the sickly sweet scent that will cause her fingernails to dig into his shoulder blades a little too hard.

"I'll go get your brandy, shall I? I fixed it real good tonight."

She wonders if the others treat him this good. She'd bet her bottom dollar not one of 'em had ever fixed his brandy this good.

She'll watch as his cheeks redden. Her scarlet lips will curl into a smile as he clutches at his gut. She'll saunter to the kitchen – dinner's ready! – as he retches and gasps for breath. Some men just can't hold their arsenic.

She narrows her darkly-lined eyes at the mirror and pouts her red lips. Yes, it's a pity that it's the only red she'll see tonight. But she was always one for elegance. Besides, the carpets had just been cleaned. Pity.


A/N: Yes, it's inspired by that song from Chicago.