Amid the ruins of broken crystal, stained with lipstick, ran a river of spilled champagne, soaking gently into the floodplain of the carpet, the fallen panties their delta where it pooled and fizzed before going flat.
There had been a small murder in the night. The useless rope now untied from around her throat, lay careless and inviting on her still breasts. She had watched her lover's stiff nipples soften as the blood pooled toward the bottom of the body.
With deliberation, she placed her allowance on the bedside table. Crisp bills next to the empty bottle, the scattered pills, the crumpled diaphragms and disposable gloves.
From the closet, she selected her husband's two best ties. Raw silk, very long and thin. A birthday present, she remembered, from leaner days. She used to tie them for him, sealing each fresh morning with a kiss. The ties knotted in her hands, becoming a rope. Black and red stripes twisted together. She couldn't remember the last such kiss.
The business was the doorknob was more difficult. She had to kneel, at last. On her knees again, the crack of her ass pressed against the edge of the door. Assuming the familiar position. From her point of view, opposite the bed, she was eye-level with her lover's splayed legs, the cold wet mystery hiding beneath that curling hair. She breathed deep, and leaned forward.
The knot tightened. The ties held. The burning started before she thought it would. Like diving into a pool, holding your breath as long as you can. Until you can't. Tears came, eyes stinging, mascara running.
She wondered at the tableaux, and who would see it. Her eyes floated for a moment from her lover's still glory, to glance at the clock. Wondering if he would arrive home on time. A slight delay in the plane. A few extra minutes at the baggage carousel. Can't get a taxi. Traffic. A moment to tip the doorman. The slow rumble of the elevator, neighbors getting on and off, off and on. Her vision narrowed as she stared back focusing in on her favorite corpse. It had to look right, when he came home. If he made it in time...