Fifty Ways To Kill Your Lover

The Divine and not so divine violence


Fifty Ways To Kill Your Lover
by Kaveh Afrasiabi

Can God really tell good music from bad music?


In the beginning was the word, says the Book, but which word and did a sentence follow, and was it funny or all too serious, like Him? You see, this is the question that sort of attacked me one day out of nowhere and, yet, He kept evading my question, so after a while, when I was starting to think vacation and how I should busy myself, being the most workaholic soul in the entire universe, I said to myself: I can be an author! He laughed at me of course and mocked me and eventually we made the bet -- that I would prove my literary skills by getting published by a respectable publisher and, searching the directory, we settled on you, that is why I am here.

Mr. Jenkins was tiny bit bemused but his secretary listening to that raggedy young man showing up unexpectedly was outright impatient. Thank you, but we really have a very hectic schedule, so if you don’t mind please leave and Mr. Jenkins will write a response to your submitted manuscript as soon as possible.

Thank you, I really appreciate your kindness, but since I have no address and worst of all face a tight deadline – you see part of the bet is that I would have a contract before the end of my vacation, which is, if you allow me to inspect my calendar, oh yes here it is, oh my, Thursday.

This Thursday? But that’s three days from now, no that’s impossible. We cannot possibly get to it…

I am sorry but that’s all the time I have, otherwise I have to withdraw the manuscript and approach someone else.

Finally Mr. Jenkins thought a direct input in this amusing, albeit wasteful, conversation with a total stranger who had walked in without a prior appointment.

Young man, do we have your manuscript? When did you send it?

I hope you do, I fedexed it a few days ago.

I see, and what is the title of it.

Fifty Ways to kill your lover.

Fifty ways to kill your lover?

That’s right sir.

Strange title.

Well, it is fifty stories – I put together from best of my recollection.

You mean you have more than fifty?

But of course, actually hundreds, for a small book I figured 50 would do.

Interesting, and may I ask how you came up with these stories?

Absolutely. Personal experience. I was witness to each one of them.


Really, that’s my job, good or bad, some one ought to do it, so it better be me.

Why is that?

Then no one can take your life.

It almost sounds like you think you’re Gabriel, the angel of death.

Oh didn’t I introduce myself? I apologize, my name is Gabriel, but I assure you I am no angel, just an ordinary soul destined to do a very ordinary, though extremely hectic, job.

Well Mr. Gabriel, it is very nice to meet you. As my secretary said, I will review your manuscript and let you know what I think – by Thursday just as you requested. We don’t want to spoil your vacation. We all know how hard you work.

Much oblige. I read the papers this morning and pray the almighty that your country doesn’t ignite another war of choice, otherwise I will have no choice but to rush back to hire some helping hands.

God forbid. We pray with you that it won’t happen.


Thank you again. I am so glad I finally met some one who I can communicate to.

Absolutely, my pleasure. So long.

So long.


What?! Mr. Jenkins had a heart attack? Impossible. I checked the list this morning and didn’t see his name

Well, thanks God he is still alive but under critical condition. Yesterday, he was reading your manuscript when it happened. Now if you please Mr. Gabriel, you really ought to leave.

This is a divine conspiracy. He did it to scuttle my victory. How pitiful. But I must have an answer. You know why.

I know, I know. I listened to your whole story the other day, remember?

Oh yes, of course, I forgot. Now what?

Well, Mr. Jenkins’s silent partner, Mr. O’Brien, is taking over and I am sure once we get over this sudden and unfortunate development, he will get back with you. Now, I do remember you telling us about your deadline today. Is that still in effect?

Unfortunately yes.

Well, in that case, may be Mr.. O’Brien can write a small letter for you.

Excellent. But what will it say? Has he read it?

No, well, he will by this afternoon, please don’t worry about that and let me handle it.

I have complete faith in you. What is your name?


But of course, what a coincidence!

Thank you. So please come back by 4 and I will get you the letter. But wait a minute, before you go, just out of curiosity, I wanted to show you which story he was reading when he had the stroke. Here, story number 38.

38? Oh yes, I remember, the one about -- a publisher who married the daughter of a media moghul and then killed her by arranging an accidental drug overdose, yes I remember that vividly because it happened not long ago and is fresh on my mind. She died a quiet death though, didn’t struggle at all when I was vacuuming her soul in the bottle. Tiny bottles we keep in a big pool, but the upkeep for that is not my responsibility, thanks God. Funny, I rarely thank him for anything. .

That is quite odd. It almost like you ‘re writing about the late Mrs. Jenkins.

Really?! No that couldn’t be. Can I take a look? You see, I was in such a rush to finish these that I can barely recall all the details. Oh yes. Mr. Jenkins must have been quite stunned to learn that I know how he hypnothized her before giving her the deadly potion.

Watch what you say young man, how dare you accuse him?

After a brief pause the secretary felt she need to know more, recalling her boss’s assortment of books on hypnotism he kept rather secret. How do you know such things?

My dear, how many times do I need to repeat myself? I was the life-taker, the executioner, in all of them, including this one, except that I don’t recall Mr. Jenkins simply because I typically don’t pay too much attention to the culprits. I am sorry, I can see you’re very disturbed by what I said. But if it’s any consolation, I don’t expect to be visiting you anytime soon, certainly much later if you lift a helping hand and assist me with the manuscript! Of course, I can’t promise an eternal life but the cycle can be extended quite a bit, so don’t worry about a thing and just give me the contract.

I wish I could, but I don’t make those calls unfortunately. But I do have a voice, so I will read it myself and make a recommendation to Mr. O’Brien as soon as he arrives – which should be any time now..

Very well, thank you for your cooperation. I see you in a little bit then.

Okay but we best meet somewhere else. Shall was say down the street at the Starbuck’s?

Sure, no problem. I don’t like the taste of their coffee but on the other hand they have a new fruit box I like a lot.?

Splendid, see you there at 4.

Perfect. So long. Oh one more thing. Did Mr. Jenkins tell you anything about his impression of the manuscript?

Well, as I told you he didn’t get to finish it, but he got through most of them and I was in and out a lot and only heard him talk about one of them.

Really, which one?

Well, the one about the racecar driver.

I see, it’s number 3.

Actually number 4.

Well, what did he say about it?

He liked it I suppose and, simultaneously, found it a bit bizarre – that the morning paper had a story about it, or rather a similar story.

No, really?! Do you still have the paper? I am so curious.

Here. This one: model claims secret affair with the deceased racecar champ.

Let me see. I can’t believe it. When did this come out, yesterday? (looks up) That’s stooping really low my friend, really low.

Why, what has he done?

What else? You must read the story to know. I tell you he is such a sour loser, you know why: because he doesn’t know any defeat.

Okay, why don’t I? Alright, here it is:

Story no. 4:

“His wife’s pray for a small miracle saved him from a deadly crash and the tire miraculously veered back on the road and Jack was all smiles when receiving the trophy soon after finishing first, but his eyes were bothering him and his wife mistook his blinking for a wink at one of the blondes and, right then and there, wished her prayer had not been answered and, the moment she whispered it under her lips in instant anger, Jack felt a massive chest pain and collapsed.”

Oh my God, are you suggesting that this woman, in the paper, is lying?


But how can you be so sure? How do you know?

Because I was there and could clearly see that Jack’s right eye was bothering him even before he jumped out of his car, but he tried to ignore it and it got worse by the time he was on the podium and I can vouch for him one hundred percent that he didn’t wink at that blonde. In fact, as far as I know he was a devout husband and never cheated on his wife.

So, you’re telling me that she practically killed him by mistake.

Let’s say misperception.

I feel bad for him.

Me too, but trust me, that’s not uncommon at all and I’ve seen far too many such cases.

I am absolutely speechless. Well, thank you for your insight, but I must really get on with my work now, so if you don’t mind.

By all means, see you..


Well Mr. O’Brien, I - actually Mr. Jenkins, had promised to give a reply to that young man by today and I really think that we ought to.

Fine. You made your case. Do me a favor and since I can’t read his hand-writing, do you mind reading a couple of pages for me?

By all means. Most of the stories are a page or two, so it will not take too much of your time. Okay here is one:

Story no 8:

“He went through his inventory of options and entertained a few of them: He could push her down a cliff and make it look like an accident. Or he could drown her in a lake, or even set her on fire, or tear her apart and disperse the pieces, etc. Somehow he didn’t like any of those options and, still so attached to her, he settled on something completely novel: to abandon her deep in the woods, after running her around so much that she would simply burn out. Farewell my love, I hate to part company with you, but my boss has put in the orders for a brand new one and I can’t possibly fathom seeing someone else behind your lovely wheel. Please forgive me my darling.”

That’s rather funny, read me another one.

Okay, here,

Story no. 14:

“After murdering Bob in cold blood, Fred and Janet quietly stepped out of the hotel room and headed for the staircase when suddenly Janet stopped and said, “my god, I left the car’s keys on the table.”

“That wasn’t smart. Let’s go back. Do you have the key to get in?
“No, don’t you?”

“Of course not. I thought I gave it to you.”

“Sorry Fred you didn’t. You can go through the window though. The front porch is open..”

“Okay, hold on to this and let me get through the window. What are you doing? Stop pushing me, help.”

“Bye lover. You can join Bob now and play chess with him in the clouds. He gets bored too easily.” She was now free as a bird, no husband and no lover, just dirt rich.”

Story no. 10:

Let’s bury him alive, said Ester to the butler, who had punched him unconscious, thus bringing an end to his incredibly abusive behavior. Better yet, get some water, would you please, not too much just a couple of splashes to bring him back to consciousness. I don’t want him to miss his own funeral, Ester said and the butler exited the room and by the time he found a small pitcher and half filled it with icy water and returned the master bedroom, he was shocked to see Ester lying dead under the feet of the husband, standing above her triumphantly. She is dead and you have only one master now, me. Your punch wasn’t half as powerful as she thought, I faked it you know. Alright, it’s your choice now, if you want to be free you’ve got to help me, bury her dead body in the garden, will you? The butler nodded and soon he was done with the chore and was throwing the last shovels of dirt when the husband stepped closer to inspect and then, all of a sudden, the butler struck his head with the shovel. Sorry boss, I am just following her order.

You idiot, what order?
To bury you alive.”

Story no. 9

Look honey what I got for your birthday? Richard opened his eyes and was pleasantly surprised to see a miniature head. Oh, this is great honey, thank you, looks marvelous. But wait a minute, you didn’t buy this in the outdoor market, did you?
I did honey? Why do you ask?
Well, because it looks kind of familiar. Wait a minute. I’ve seen this face before, at a village up the river, just a couple of days ago. Come on honey, tell me the truth, how did you get this, and who gave it to you?
Well, I am sorry, may be I made a mistake. You see, after hearing you the other day talking with so much envy about that German anthropologist and his trophy of miniature heads I thought, well you know, that it would be nice if you’d have one as well, so yesterday I gave some money to a couple of the village hunters and they came back today with this, but I thought this was from a long time ago.

Honey, honey, do you realize what you have done?
No, what?
You’ve just started a tribal war. This boy happens to be the son of a tribal chief, and I’m sure they’ll be coming here for revenge, so let’s get out of here before it is too late.

But it was too late and a huge commotion could be heard outside. Richard stepped out to inquire and was told that the two tribal chiefs had agreed to avoid a bloodshed by simply going after the “white witch” who was behind the boy’s needless murder.

But that’s my wife you’re talking about? No you can’t? She absolutely had no idea, please.

It was futile. Soon in front of Richard’s helpless eyes she died a most agonizing death. The next day he drove off in his land rover – with her miniature head on the passenger seat.

Oh honey, I forgot to tell you. I saw you talking to those hunters and then it dawned on me that there is a quick way to separate, you know how fed up I’ve been with your moodiness lately honey. But I really didn’t expect them to come back so soon. How am I going to finish my field research now honey?”

Story no. 6:

“Once again Mindi married a rich man whom she had to kill sooner or later in order to possess his wealth, and that meant putting up with the headache of make-believe love, his nocturnal attention, the engagement and then wedding ceremony, boring honeymoon and, hopefully at the end of the day, an even more boring funeral. Why couldn’t one of them simply die of natural causes, especially Bill who was practically her father’s age. To her surprise though, Bill was a superb lover full of life and enthusiasm, which is why she chose a less painful method of death for him – to throw him off their pleasure boat sailing in open sea, after a final toast of exquisite champagne and then, just as she was about to make her move, he grabbed her arm and threw her violently into the cold, freezing water. “Sorry honey, I’m no millionaire, and really need your money.” And then he turned the sails around, finishing his glass.”

Faith was about to proceed to another story when suddenly the door opened and a frustrated Gabriel emerged nearly out of breath. I’m sorry, I know we have an appointment at 4, but my time is up in exactly twenty minutes and unless I have a signed contract by then, I will lose and He wins.

Mr. O’Brien had no clue and Faith whispered something in his ear which made him shake his head in disbelief.

Do you really think that you’re the angel of death?
No, I never said that, just the life-taker.

I see, and why aren’t you at work now?

Well, are these questions really necessary? All I want is an answer of yes or no to my manuscript.

They ‘re quite funny, at least the ones that I have read so far, but we’re not done yet and as soon as…

As I said, I have no more time left, so please tell me right now, is it yes or no?

Mr. O’Brien paused for a moment and then whispered in Faith’s ear and she looked at Gabriel with a bright smile that made him smile back.

Well, young man, congratulations, you’re an author now.

Gabriel was ecstatic and hugged them both.

We just need to ask you one small favor however, Mr. O’Brien sounded as he was putting the contract on the desk for Gabriel to sign.

What favor?

Actually two. First, we want a sequel and, also, we need to delete story number 4 – you know that silly one about a publisher. It strikes too close to home and, as you can imagine, may not be suitable for our reputation. Since I am told you have plenty of such stories, if you don’t mind, just use another story and we are game.

Gabriel looked at them with disbelief and shook his head negatively. I’m very sorry, but can’t, an author can’t reconcile himself with censorship simply because of some likely or unlikely consequence of his writing. Of course I have a lot of other stories, but it’s a matter of principle sir and I must insist on all of them, without any exceptions.

Well, if you feel so strongly about it, I suppose we can find a way to manage that, so forget about what I said and please sign here.

A moment later, Gabriel, contract in hand, was about to leave when Mr. O’Brien stopped him.
I’m just curious. Can he really tell good music from bad music?

What are you talking about, he’s a master musician, can’t you tell by his opera of violence? But I tell you, he’s a work of art, really tough to work with, but honestly, I’ve seen a lot tougher bosses in your neck of the wood, so bottom line, no complaint.

Outside the building, Gabriel was surprised to see his temporary replacement, G-2, crossing the street and heading toward him.

Hey, where are you going? What are you doing here?

What are you doing here?
Me? Well, I was with a publisher. I’m an author now and have won my wager.

I know, He told me, is kind of pissed off about it. You should know better than to get him angry man. See what you have caused?

Look up. He was pointing at a fire outside a window – the publisher’s.

You won alright, but they paid the price for it.

Sour loser, well, see you soon.

Gotta go. See you at the station, the replacement said and rushed inside the burning building, obviously rather zealous about it.


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Nice story, written well,

by Tyler (not verified) on

Nice story, written well, and nice plot twist at the end...