Flash Fiction Challenge: Death by Hot Tub

Mountain view Hot tub flash fiction writing prompt COPYRIGHT KS BROOKS 2015-06-19
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

A divorce was out of the question. There was no way Tom was giving Heidi one red cent.

He promised her he’d stop cheating. He said he wanted to try again. He told her everything and anything he thought she wanted to hear just to get her to go on this “rediscovery” weekend with him up in the mountains.

His plan was to slip some ecstasy into her drinks, get her rip-roaring drunk, and then drown her in the hot tub. That way, it would look like an accident. He could keep all his hard-earned money and wouldn’t ever have to look back. Now, he just had to get her drinking…

Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture and the written prompt above. Do not include the prompt in your entry. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

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9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Death by Hot Tub”

  1. ***FINALIST***

    “Chardonnay?” inquired the waiter.

    Tom nodded towards his glass.

    Heidi placed her hand over hers. “No thank you.”

    “One glass is not going to kill you,” Tom prodded.

    “I cannot,” Heidi responded sternly. “Do you remember when we had a few drinks before you left town? I should have known better.”

    “Let’s not go there. We’re here to find a way forward. I want to make this work.”

    “I have to tell you something Tom.” After a short pause and a deep breath, “I’m pregnant.”

    Tom stopped breathing as if his central nervous system was rebooting. “OK. We can make this work.”

    “I know we will Tom. Let’s just go back to the room. I’m not feeling too well.”

    Signaling the waiter, Tom asks for the check and two bottles of wine. “For me,” he addressed Heidi.

    Sitting in the very hot tub Tom planned to use to clear himself of any post-marital hindrances, Tom tried to douse the nervous fire burning in him with the smothering comfort the Chardonnay brought.

    “One last drink Tom,” Heidi demanded as she handed him a refilled glass. “I’m going to take a shower.”

    Tom began dozing off as Heidi watched from cracked open bathroom door.

    Thirty minutes later, a frantic Heidi called the front desk. “My husband is not breathing. Oh my God. Please help.”

    Heidi stood up from the side of the hot tub. She returned the phone to the receiver. Then she drank a glass of wine before help arrived.

  2. “I brought your favourite,” Tom said to the living room as he uncorked a bottle of white wine. Heidi cheered from deep in the vacation cabin, proving Tom still knew his wife could never turn down a glass of her choice wine. With his lips twitching into a corrupt grin, Tom sprinkled a crushed pill into the golden drink on the right. He stirred the recipe with his middle finger and holding both glasses, returned to the living room.

    Heidi was in her bikini, stepping out onto the deck where the hot tub sat. Tom followed her outside and set the wine on a tray above the bubbling water, admiring its bright lights. Turning back to the cabin to close its glass door, he smiled. It was time. Tom watched Heidi sink into the tub’s warm water—the blue surface shimmering on her skin—and proceeded to join her.

    As he climbed into the humming pool, Heidi handed Tom the glass on his side as she took the one he’d purposefully placed closest to her. Their glasses clinked. Heidi couldn’t hide her smile, making Tom feel almost guilty. Almost. He eyed her as she sipped, then waited for the drug’s eventual hit. Nothing happened. Instead, it was his vision that swooped out of focus.

    Heidi pushed her cheeks into a grin. “Lets switch roles tonight,” she said. “I want to be the one to leave you breathless.”

  3. ***FINALIST***

    Heidi twirled the stem of the wine glass, smiling at the shining liquid. “The light is so beautiful out here.”

    “Go on, hon, enjoy. That was the best Chablis Grand Cru I could find. Had to get your favorite,” Tom said. “Just wanted you to know how sorry I am. I want this to work out for us.”

    “I appreciate it.” Heidi sat back in the hot tub. The sky overhead was clear. The mountains embraced the glistening constellations in the sky. The moon had yet to rise from its slumber.

    Tom struggled to conceal his eagerness. Only a few granules of the fine powder didn’t dissolve. They lingered at the bottom of the glass, sparkling in the hot tub’s light. Stop staring at the glass and drink up, he thought.

    She let out a long breath and stared straight up. “Draco.”


    “The constellation above us. Draco. The dragon.”

    Tom squinted. He never learned any constellations other than the Big Dipper. “Right.”

    “I guess it’s time.”

    “For what, love?”

    When Heidi faced him, Tom gaped. It must be a trick of the light. Her eyes changed to that of a serpent’s.

    “Je suis Melusine.”

    The sudden anxiety ached. “You’re what?”

    “I’ve been cursed for centuries. It’s always the same with you men. It breaks my heart.”

    The shadow unfurling underwater was serpentine, graceful. “All I want is to go back to Avalon.”

    The lower half of her scaled body gripped him and began to pull him under. “Au revoir.”

  4. As the sun went down evening’s cool mantle settled in. In the mountains, clear, cool nights followed the warmest summer days, making the hot tub on the porch that much more inviting.

    The Alpine retreat was a good investment: a tax write-off to entertain clients, doubling as a luxury getaway bonus for the company’s high achievers. Tom had been a Wall Street stock speculator through twenty years of stressful toil, long hours, and dealing with the resulting blood pressure and peptic ulcers. No way was a messy divorce going to part him from any of his hard earned wealth.

    Although no longer the flawlessly beautiful, nineteen year old super model Heidi was still a very attractive woman, and Tom’s attentive, penitent husband performance was easy to fake; he would stop cheating, he would do anything, whatever it took, to get their marriage back on track.

    The meal, the Champagne, the amour; everything was going according to plan: she, giggling like a school girl; he, laughing, pretending to be right there with her – while inside, remaining cold, calculating, plotting her murder.

    Two little pills dropping into a glass…

    Two naked bodies slipping into the hot tub…

    A head being held under…

    One naked body emerging from the hot tub…

    …Heidi smiled, had he really thought she’d been fooled by his pretense of remorse, declaration of love and eternal devotion? He had woefully underestimated her – fifteen years of constant, flagrant, philandering had eroded her naivety – switching glasses had been easy.

  5. I wait until my wife’s third drink before slipping the ecstasy into her glass of Merlot.

    We sit in the hot tub as she drones on and on about some boring subject I couldn’t care less about. I take several glances at my watch and think, if this drug doesn’t take effect soon I may just strangle her with my bare hands.

    Finally, she stops speaking and gives me an odd look.

    “Tom, did you slip something into my wine?”

    “Don’t be ridiculous Heidi.”

    “I feel really dizzy and disoriented,” she says attempting to stand.

    “Let me help you.” I reply pushing her over the side of the tub.

    Her head strikes the concrete and I notice her neck resting at an awkward angle. I feel for a pulse, but there is none. Lucky break.

    While waiting for the paramedics, I replace her ecstasy tainted glass with one she had used earlier. The paramedics arrive and pronounce her dead.

    One hour later Detective Davis arrives, takes one look at me and tells I’m under arrest for murder of my wife.

    “What?” I reply in disbelief. “Where’s your proof.”

    “Before coming out on this retreat your wife called me and told me if I found her dead to look for the tent in your pants.”

    “What the hell does that mean?”

    “She told me if she suspected you were out to harm her, she would slip Viagra in your drink.”

    He stares at my crotch and says, “Guilty as charged.”

  6. “Maybe it’s been my fault all along.” Heidi felt both guilt and shame.

    Tom didn’t know. She couldn’t LET him know. Heidi was a closet alcoholic.

    Her therapist had prescribed Antabuse to aid in her recovery. She knew how violently ill she would become if she imbibed just a sip of alcohol.

    She watched as Tom poured himself a glass of Perrier water at the pool-side bar. He filled her glass with vodka and a hefty dose of colorless ecstasy liquid.

    He returned to the hot tub and flashed a wry grin. (This oughta do it, he thought.)

    Playfully he dipped his head below the water’s surface. Heidi quickly switched their glasses.

    He emerged from the bubbling playpen. “Drink up, Honey,” he laughed. “Cheerio!” Tom quaffed his entire drink at once. “Cheers, Baby!”

    “Tom, I have to pee!” Heidi pleaded. “I’ll be right back!”

    Ten minutes later, Heidi returned from the restroom. She found Tom’s lifeless body rolling face-down in the turbulent waters of the Jacuzzi.

  7. I watched curiously as Tom glided across the elegant bamboo floors.

    Earlier in the night, as we dined over French cuisine and sipped expensive white wine, I couldn’t help but notice that he had a certain air about him. Initially, I had mistaken it for a childlike giddiness, which seemed to grow much more intense with each glass of wine he offered.

    By the time we’d reached the condo, he was practically glowing with anticipation.

    Now, I watched with humor as he paced back and forth; a look of sheer panic washed across his face.

    “Is everything okay?” I asked, sliding down the wall of the pool until I felt the cool water lap against my neck. “You look tense.”

    He stopped at the open sliding glass door, bottle of wine in hand.

    “Just looking for something.” He said as he stepped into the pool. “I’d pour you more wine, but it seems you’ve misplaced your glass.”

    I couldn’t help but laugh, immediately eliciting a look of confusion as he nestled in beside me.

    “What’s so funny?”

    I nodded towards the water.

    Towards the tiny bag bobbing across the surface, two tiny pills enclosed within.

    “Is that what you were looking for, sweetie?”

    His eyes widened. A flood of emotions swept across his contorted face.

    Surprise, that I had learned his secret; the whole reason he brought me here.

    Shock, from the jagged stem of the broken wine glass as it slid delicately between his ribs.

  8. ***FINALIST***

    Marriage Rediscovered
    Heidi stepped into the hot tub, settling down into the 104 degrees water. It felt wonderful.
    Tom thought, as he looked at her from the table, pouring the packet of ecstasy into her Martini, ‘now I’ve got to get the bitch drunk, drown her, and end this stinking marriage.’
    He sat down inside the hot tub and handed her the drink that would set him free. “Let’s toast to saving our marriage.”
    “Tom, I’ve got something important to tell you.”
    “What’s that, sweetheart?”
    “I’ve given our marriage a lot of thought, and I admit it, I’m the reason it hasn’t been working.”
    “Oh, don’t worry about it, honey. I forgive you.”
    She set her drink just outside the tub on the deck. “I know my drinking is responsible for all our problems.”
    “I like your drinking, Heidi. It doesn’t bother me.”
    “No you don’t. You’ve told me a million times you hate it.”
    “Oh, come on,” he said, picking up her drink and putting it into her hand. “Join me in a toast to the recovery of our marriage.”
    “Tom, I can’t.”
    “What do you mean you can’t?”
    “I’ve joined AA. I admit it, Tom. I’m an alcoholic.”
    “Don’t be silly,” he said. “You’re not an alcoholic.”
    “But, honey, I am, and I’m quitting. I’ll never drink again.” She tossed out the liquid from her glass and set it down. “To us, sweetheart, to our marriage rediscovered.” She leaned over and kissed him sweetly on the lips.

  9. ***FINALIST***

    I knew it was a lost cause. I wanted a divorce but he had no plans to give me one and not one red cent either. He was sorry. Ok, I told him: prove it. How ‘bout a romantic weekend away? he said. Ok, I didn’t believe him but was curious about how he planned to do it.

    I knew he had cheated on me with my younger sister, Karlie. He got the idea for how to kill me talking up Karlie. She’s a huge rave fan.

    After we checked into the Hotel in the Woods, we drove around to our cabin. I went into change. He went out to look at the hot tub. When I got out there he was testing the water.

    “How is it?” I asked.

    “Excellent,” he said. “You get in and I’ll get the drinks.”

    Then I noticed an electric leaf blower on the deck. Curious.

    He brought the drinks out and joined me in the hot tub. I took the drink and while he was reaching around to get his drink, I poured half of mine out. He looked back around at me.

    “You must be real thirsty.”

    “Yes, I was thirsty, but now I have to pee,” I said, getting out of the hot tub. On the deck, I turned to him.

    “You know, Karlie tells me everything.”


    “Here,” I said. “This will blow your mind.” I gave the leaf blower a kick and it landed in the hot tub.

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