New Secateurs For Christmas

Photo – Amy Reese


The nice policeman wants me to go up the steps with him. Says he’s something to show me in the garden.

Used to keep here and the garden so pretty back then. Len always said we had the best back garden in the whole of London.

Not been out here for more than twenty years. Not since the night he told he was leaving me for another woman. I was in the garden. Pruning the roses with those secateurs he’d bought me for Christmas. Next thing, they’re stuck in his chest. Told everyone he’d left me.

Wonder who found him?



A 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers


  1. aliciajamtaas

    Sorry to be picky but this sentence “Not since the night he told he was leaving me for another woman” begs for a ‘me’ or something to make it a bit more clear.

    Otherwise A wonderfully creepy story. Twenty years is a long time to go scot-free.


    1. Mike

      Thanks for your comments Alicia.
      You’re right, this sentence does seem a bit ‘clunky’. Possibly – “Not since that night when he announced he was leaving me for another woman.” I did think -“Not since the night he told me he was leaving me for another woman”. Possibly a ‘me’ too many.


  2. elmowrites

    Ohh, she’s creepy this one. I like how she seems a little confused, although if that’s the impression you are trying to give, I think you need to spell it out a little less at the end. “Told everyone he left me” seems a lot more aware than the rest of the piece.


    1. Mike

      Thanks for the feedback Jennifer.
      I was trying to get across the fact that she’d down exactly what she’d done back then and hid it from the neighbours by making out Len had left her. I wanted to make more of that line “Told everyone he left me.” because I knew it seemed slightly out of place. Would have liked to have written something like – “Told the neighbours he’d left me in case anyone got suspicious” but I’d run out of words!


  3. lillian

    Well first let me say, I always learn something from these prompts…and in this case, I looked up the meaning of “secateur.” If figured it was some kind of a tool or knife….but it’s all the more meaningful to see that it is a pruning shear. As in, let me prune you right out of my life, since you’ve stepped out on it already! A crime of passion with a pruning tool. Oh my.
    C: I too stuttered a bit in my reading over the sentence “Not since the night he told he was leaving me for another woman.” The character speaking has a certain voice here — “says he’s something to show me…..Told everyone he’d left me.” Maybe shortening that sentence to “Not since the night he said he was leaving. For another woman.” Or….”Not since the night he said he was leaving…for her.” Just a thought.
    I enjoyed this very much. Especially the simplicy of her responses…in words and actions, then and now. “Wonder who found him?”


  4. bykimberlylynne

    Anything with “secateurs” gets my attention – I wish we used the term here in the US. At the opening, I saw the narrator as a girl, and the cop with nefarious intent, so nice twist of the shears there. “Not since the night he said…” perhaps, though I don’t have a problem with her short, disjointed manner of speech. I think it adds to her character: a bit confused herself, but aware and, ultimately resigned.


  5. gahlearner

    I didn’t see it coming either, the surprise, and the voice is great. Since that sentence with the leaving is so important for the whole context, maybe if you exchanged ‘told (me)’ with ‘confessed’ or something similar, you’d get it more smoothly. I think she pretends to be a bit dotty, but she isn’t. Great story.


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