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Death By Scrabble
Tile M For Murder
by Charlie Fish
It’s a hot day and I hate my wife.
We’re playing Scrabble. That’s how bad it is. I’m 42 years old, it’s a blistering hot Sunday afternoon and all I can think of to do with my life is to play Scrabble.
I should be out, doing exercise, spending money, meeting people. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone except my wife since Thursday morning. On Thursday morning I spoke to the milkman.
My letters are crap.
I play, appropriately, BEGIN. With the N on the little pink star. Twenty-two points.
I watch my wife’s smug expression as she rearranges her letters. Clack, clack, clack. I hate her. If she wasn’t around, I’d be doing something interesting right now. I’d be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I’d be starring in the latest Hollywood blockbuster. I’d be sailing the Vendee Globe on a 60-foot clipper called the New Horizons – I don’t know, but I’d be doing something.
She plays JINXED, with the J on a double-letter score. 30 points. She’s beating me already. Maybe I should kill her.
If only I had a D, then I could play MURDER. That would be a sign. That would be permission.
I start chewing on my U. It’s a bad habit, I know. All the letters are frayed. I play WARMER for 22 points, mainly so I can keep chewing on my U.
As I’m picking new letters from the bag, I find myself thinking – the letters will tell me what to do. If they spell out KILL, or STAB, or her name, or anything, I’ll do it right now. I’ll finish her off.
My rack spells MIHZPA. Plus the U in my mouth. Damn.
The heat of the sun is pushing at me through the window. I can hear buzzing insects outside. I hope they’re not bees. My cousin Harold swallowed a bee when he was nine, his throat swelled up and he died. I hope that if they are bees, they fly into my wife’s throat.
She plays SWEATIER, using all her letters. 24 points plus a 50 point bonus. If it wasn’t too hot to move I would strangle her right now.
I am getting sweatier. It needs to rain, to clear the air. As soon as that thought crosses my mind, I find a good word. HUMID on a double-word score, using the D of JINXED. The U makes a little splash of saliva when I put it down. Another 22 points. I hope she has lousy letters.