500 Word Short Story
The Death of Steven Henley
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

It was a slow death.

Everyone at the table agreed on this point. A glass was raised and a toast was made. “To Steven Henley. May his death be only temporary, his passing but a moment in time.”

Steven Henley. To many he was a champion. The type of person most men looked up to, and wanted to be. He was young, handsome, smart and witty. A ladies man with money to burn. There was no doubt about it, If anyone was to live the Life of Riley it would be Steven Henley.

“I remember the day things first turned South for ol' Steven,” recounted one of the men at the table. “Steven showed up right here at the Schooner with a new girl wrapped around his arm. She was a sweet looking thing. Seemed friendly enough, although, if I do recall, she was a little acidic when it came to having a sense of humor. I seen her give Steven “the look” that evening when he came back at her with some friendly banter over something she had said. Steven shrugged it off, but I'm sure he felt the sting.”

Steven did feel the sting that evening.

His new girl, Evelyn, had latched on to him several days earlier. She knew a good catch when she seen one. Steven took the bait and never knew what hit him. She set the hook hard and refused to give the line an inch of slack. She played him well. Evelyn was the one who insisted on going to the Schooner that night. She wanted to let everyone know that Steven was no longer available. She had exclusive rights and would use them as she saw fit.

That night she put out the “No Trespassing” sign on her new piece of private property.

Over the next six months his friends saw less and less of Steven. They were surprised and a bit leery when the wedding invitations starting showing up. It was a proper and expensive affair. Evelyn would have it no other way. She had reeled in her trophy catch and now she was proudly holding him up for all to see.

The marriage was a stormy affair from the very beginning. Whenever Steven tried to be his own person, Evelyn shot him down. Yelling, door slamming and pouting was a nightly routine. Steven couldn't take it any longer. It was only when Steven threatened to leave that they came to terms. They worked it out, or should I say Evelyn worked it out. She agreed to give Steven some peace. In exchange Steven agreed to hand Evelyn his last vestige of independence, both his balls and his backbone.

The few friends that remained couldn't believe the change. Steven Henley was not the same and the change was not for the better. Over time, they too slipped away from Steven.

Steven Henley may not have realized it, but he had died. His friends knew it and they mourned his passing.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.