It was deep red; a blot on the blue and white of his uniform and the stillness of the city’s wintry backdrop. A trickle of blood across the Commissioner’s frozen smile. The look of horror caught on his wife’s face, the mayor’s head blurred by its movement.
A moment before, the photographer had been looking through his viewfinder at the group exiting the performance.
A moment before, the passers-by had been thinking about their warm destinations.
A moment before, the police had been trying to locate the Commissioner to warn him.
A moment before, the Commissioner was laughing at such a preposterous idea. Why would Katherine want to leave him?
Katherine had everything. No need to work. But she was desperately unhappy. She wanted to move on from being the trophy wife and was willing to give it all up for Frank, someone who didn’t push people around. Frank would set her free. Or that’s what she thought until her husband was shot on the steps of Philharmonic Hall.
In that dreadful moment she saw her dreams disappear in the smoke of the gun’s barrel, and a new future mapped out; playing the bereaved wife in the glare of the media, answering probing questions about her private life from her husband’s colleagues, and putting up with the Commissioner’s insufferable family.
Good riddance to him but the killer could have waited until Katherine had left her husband.
All this in a moment. Her face a picture of horror. Caught on celluloid. Forever.
Rosie de la Mare loves writing Flash Fiction because it is a great outlet for the weird sentences that pop into her head. She lives in West London with her two children.