Tears streamed down the face of Beth Page, smearing her carefully applied makeup.  She stood by the side of her husband’s grave, the very picture of the grieving widow (although perhaps her black dress was a wee bit too low-cut for the occasion).

It was no surprise that she was convincing in her grief.  After all, she had practice.  This was the third husband she had buried.  With each death, a few more dollars had gone into her coffers.  The trick, of course, was to make the death appear accidental.

The death of her first husband, Zach, nearly was accidental.  Beth and Zach college sweethearts.  On their honeymoon, they decided to go scuba diving off the coast of Florida.  The couple were accomplished divers, and they took turns inspecting the equipment before each dive.  On the fateful day, it was Beth’s  turn to check the equipment.  She noticed a problem with Zach’s gear.  She very nearly pointed it out, but she was still a bit upset over a comment he had made the night before, so she kept her mouth shut.  Zach’s oxygen tank malfunctioned, and Poseidon claimed another victim.  The life insurance had been more than generous.  Even after paying Zach’s funeral expenses, Beth had a sizable pot of money to work with.  Beth kept a low profile for a year, before telling her friends and Zach’s family that she was going to pull up stakes and move back to the midwest, where her family lived.  Boston simply had too many memories of Zach, and she was overwhelmed with emotion.  That was her story, in any case.

Instead of going back to her non-existent family in the midwest, Beth spent the next few years lying on the beach, getting a tan, reading Danielle Steele novels, and flirting with cabana boys.  She also invested some of the insurance money in herself, using an augmentation to increase her cup size.

The breast enlargement turned out to be a rather profitable investment, netting her a second husband, Phil.  Phil was a Manhattan investment banker.  Beth had tired of Phil within a few weeks of meeting him, but she was intrigued by his collection of art, as well as his portfolio of stocks.  Her lust for his riches made it tolerable for her to consummate the marriage.  Soon after they were married, Beth began plotting against her husband.  In the end, it was not terribly difficult to kill him off.  The man was a slave to his cell phone, and she made a habit of calling him when she knew he would be jaywalking across busy streets.  She would intentionally draw him into arguments until her actions eventually had the intended effect.  A taxi cab hit a distracted Phil as it drag raced with another car, efficiently separating him from his precious cell phone and ending his life.

Beth spent another year among grieving family and friends before once again declaring that she was moving back home to be near her own family.  This time she had enough money for Maui.  Beth was carefully stalking her third victim within hours of landing in Hawaii.  Eldrick had more money than Zach or Phil – perhaps enough money to allow Beth to sustain a pampered lifestyle.

The bodies were starting to mount, so Beth had to excercise caution when killing off Eldrick.  This had to appear as an obvious accident.  She couldn’t risk a clumsy attempt such as cutting the brake lines in his car.  She eventually decided to engage an accomplice.  Beth ensured herself of an alibi by heading out to a night on the town with her friends at the same time that Eldrick was heading off to the course for a solo round of twilight golf.  It was the next morning when they found his body on the 9th green.  His death was ruled a cerebral hemorrhage.  The impact mark on his head indicated that he had been struck by a Titleist ball moving at a very high rate of speed.  Someone had neglected to yell “fore”.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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