Winner by Francine Witte

Winner by Francine Witte

Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two flash fiction chapbooks. Her full-length poetry collection, Café Crazy, has recently been published by Kelsay Books. She is reviewer, blogger, and photographer. She is a former English teacher. She lives in NYC. 


Terrance liked to win at things. Didn’t matter what. He would make a contest out of anything. Who could stare the longest. Who could eat the most dessert.

Today, he has challenged his fifth wife, Lola. She has also been married five times, and Terrance thinks it’s time to break the tie.

He could simply file for divorce and marry Pippa, the evening waitress down at Fug’s. Bruce, his lawyer already has papers drawn up just in case. But Lola is a worthy opponent, and this divorce will have to be won.

Now, it just so happens that Lola is the perfect wife. Could have been a lifer. What a shame.

He tells Lola what he’s up to. Perfect Lola understands and suggests that they see who can stay underwater the longest.

They have spectacular break up sex and head on out to their backyard pool. Perfect Lola has had her eye on Hector, the pool boy, and she is determined to win this. She takes a lungful of air and winks at Hector, who is standing dutifully by.

Minutes pass and Terrance springs out of the water like a beach ball. Lola, however, is flower dead. Her arms and legs splayed out like wilted petals on the waterskin.

Hector scoops her out with his pool tool. Terrance looks on. Droplets of water that look almost exactly like tears falling from his eyes.

It suddenly hits Terrance that a better contest would have been to see which one of them would live the longest.

That one could have taken years.

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