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giggling goddess- a short story

Published on October 6, 2023

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John the baker dearly loved the green-eyed, golden-locked “giggling goddess” that was his wife, Margaret. In the mornings, she smelled like freshly baked banana muffins. In the evenings, like whisky and pipe tobacco.

The way she walked, she smelled, she chewed her bacon, it was all poetry to John. From the moment he first heard her sultry voice say, “Do you want fries with that?” over the McDonald’s intercom system, he knew he was in love with her. He had never been more sure of anything else in his life.

Flash forward five years later, John started to feel a strange sense of unease he couldn’t quite place, something was odd about Margaret. She stopped giggling so often. After she would come home from her new job as a state construction worker, she would be extremely aggressive, demanding he be better for her.

He started to consider getting therapy after one particularly bad night.

Margaret came home smelling like cigarettes at a strip club, lazily tossing her hard hat into a pot of fittonias as she plopped down on the couch.

“Where’s my dinner?” she barked.

“The pot pie is in the oven, it’ll be another 20 minutes.”

She glared at him, clearly displeased with this response.

“I come home at the same time every day, couldn’t you plan better?” growled Margaret.

John crumpled. “I’m..I’m... trying the best that I can.”

“Well maybe you should consider trying harder,” barked Margaret. “Have you finished laundry?”

John frowned. “Um...”

“God, what do you do all day? Nothing?”

“I went shopping and I went to the post office an-”

“Enough excuses, just do it.” interrupted Margaret. She turned on the television.

Embarrassed, John turned to attend to the work.

“Not in that shit you’re wearing,” she called after him. “Put on something pretty! You should look nice for me when I come home, I’m working hard to pay for you”

“I’ll try harder next time,” he had said, and that’s when he felt that strange sense of unease.

Today he felt queasy.

This morning he had gone to therapy for the first time. He spent two hours looking at ink splotches and talking about his childhood. When he and his therapist finally got around to discussing Margaret, he was at a loss for words.

“I love my wife, I really do.”

“So you’ve mentioned... but I get this sense that there’s something you’re not telling me.” Dr. Reedsburg had said with his trademark inquisitive and understanding, ‘You-can-trust-me-I-have-a-degree-in-Psychiatry’ look.

“Well,” said John, trying to put his strange feeling to words, “Sometimes I feel like my trying to be my husband.” Dr. Reedsburg probed at him with questions about this, but John tried his best to not answer, wanting to not think contrary of Margaret or get out of his comfort zone. His therapist suggested he try to stick up for his own needs more in his marriage, that he doesn’t have to do everything his wife tells him without question. These words that echoed in John’s ears, giving him that queasy feeling again.

Now John was nervous, Margaret was going to arrive home soon, and, having spent so much time on the therapy, he wasn’t sure he would be able to complete his duties around the house. He didn’t want to use his therapy as an excuse. He didn’t want to tell Margaret he’d gone to therapy at all.

“No.” John said to himself naked in the mirror, “You are not doing this right now. You are not going to freak out. Everything is fine. You’ve got Margaret, you’re in good health, you’re fine...besides not having the house cleaned and Margaret’s shirt sewed or the laundry finished or the dinner made....Fuck fuck fuck!”

So John popped some pills to try to boost his productivity, completing all the tasks he set out to do while blasting some eighties pop music. Uncontrollably twitching as he admired his work, he felt a little better, thinking he may get around to checking that one pie blog he’d been meaning to look at for the past week. As he waited for his computer to turn on, he decided it would be better if he polish the cabinets and floor until Margaret came home.

Margaret arrived home in good spirits. John handed her usual glass of whisky, which she accepted with a smile and a kiss that sent shivers down his spine. He looked blithely at his giggling godess as she looked pensive at her whisky, swirling it.

“John?” she called.

“Yes, my dear?”

“You done polishing the cabinets?”


“You finished making dinner?”

“Yes, the pot roast is being kept warm in the oven.”

“Good. My car is covered in salt, go wash it up.” demanded Margaret.

John appeared as a deer caught in headlights, Dr. Reedsburg’s advice echoing in his head. “Um..”

“It won’t take you too long.”

“But I’d rather eat dinner with you.”

“It’ll be here when you come back.”

“Won’t the car be out there after dinner?”

“No, I’m going out to the club with my girls after dinner, I’m finally getting a day off tomorrow. I told you this yesterday, you must not have been paying attention.”

“Okay. I’m sorry.” replied John, feeling defeated.

He hated the completely clueless look she gave him; like he was talking to a wall, only angrier. “I’ll be right on it. “ he added. “Enjoy your dinner.” Margaret gave him a longing look, biting her lower lip, then slapped him so hard on the rump it hurt as he headed off to the garage.

“I’m such an idiot! She’s working so hard for me, why do I question her?” thought John as he scrubbed. The feeling he’d mentioned to the therapist returned. He tried his best to clear it from his head, instead thinking of pies.

After a few weeks, the abuse became more frequent and intense. Co-workers at John’s bakery started asking about bruises that appeared in more obvious places. John blamed his clumsiness.

John and his therapist talked through some rules to try to help preserve his dignity, such as being able to say “no” to demands made of him and for her to stop calling him a “manbitch” all the time. Unconvinced his patient would follow-through, Mr. Reedsburg gave him a deadline for when he needed to have the conversation.

Margaret had finished eating dinner and was playing her favorite videogame so John was hoping she would be relaxed. After finishing the dishes, John approached her.

Quavering, voice and hands shaking, he began.

“Honey? C-c-an I talk to you about something?”

“Can you we talk about this later?”

“It’s important.”

“I’m kind of in the middle of this level.”

“Can’t you pause that game? Please?”

“Fiiiiine.” she said, scowling as she turned from her game.

“Okay. So first, I love you.”


“But there are some things that have made me feel uneasy...”

He started to explain some of the rules, but this only caused his wife to go into a frenzy. She threw all of their dirty dishes at the dog, waxed John’s mustache off, and then energetically whipped John with her leather belt.

That night, he refused to have sex with her, and she became filled of remorse. She begged him to forgive her, it was nothing, she was sorry, grabbing him and trying to pull him in closer to her. This only hurt John’s whiplashes, giving him the courage to stand up and walk out the house, bringing the dog with him to the motel a few blocks away.

The next morning he came home to a house filled flowers and chocolates. Margaret professed she had finally realized the errors of her ways, she wasn’t feeling herself. She promised to quit her job and stop taking steroids.

For a while, their marriage thrived. John got a job as an exotic dancer at Woody’s show club in addition to his part-time work at the bakery to pay for the bills. Margaret calmed down significantly. John and his giggling goddess went on daily frolics through meadows, past streams and cow pastures. Some nights they’d have moonlight picnics with mulberry scented candles by the lake. Other nights they’d play Halo 3 until 2 am then have drunken sex on the floor.

This attracted the attention of the Stork, who swooped down to their front doorstep, only to be forcefully hit by the door as John and his pregnant laboring wife hurried to the hospital, later delivering a beautiful baby boy they named Gary Stew. They wanted him to be a character with a lot of personality.

John’s giggling goddess proceeded to suffer from severe postpartum depression. Margaret looked at her baby and said she felt no love. She started feeling trapped in her relationships, becoming resentful towards John and Gary Stew. Secretly, she began to take steroids again.

The distraught John wasn’t sure what to do in this scenario. He called his parents and told them about his nights- his wife and baby staying up all night screaming at each other. They said that was normal.

Arriving home from his first day back at the job, he was greeted by wondrous aromas wafting from the kitchen. He followed the smell to discover the kitchen lit by what looked to be a hundred candles, with his wife standing by a gigantic crock pot, humming as she stirred its contents.

“Hey Honey.”

“Suck my fucking dick, John.”

“I love you too, Margret.”

She giggled and then added more salt to the stew.

“So, how’s my boy?” John asked, taking his flour-covered apron off as he strolled over to his wife to give her a peck on the cheek. She said nothing, lifting a spoonful of the steamy burgundy stew out of the pot up to John’s mouth for him to taste.

“Delicious,” he said.

“Delicious,” she agreed.

“So, where’s Gary Stew?” he asked. There was a moment of silence.

Margaret's response was soft and mellifluous. “He's right there in the stew.

“What?” said John, confused.

“You just ate part of him"

"No" said John. "Where is he really?"

"Gary Stew? That's not even a real name. Not even a real baby. It's better this way."

She began to laugh maniacally.

She smiled and returned to humming as she stirred the pot of stew. He realized her humming was a combination of nursery rhymes, mixed with the kinds of coos that had always made Gary Stew smile. It was too much for him. Horrified, John started to back up out of the kitchen.

“Where are you going, sweetie? What, do you not like stew?” John suddenly felt like he was going to vomit, causing him to stagger, falling over in the hall. Tears for his newborn son streamed down his face and he began to dry heave.

Margaret loomed over him. “I’m sorry, honey, here, let me help you up.” She extended her hand, but he didn’t take it, desperately crab-walking back away from it. Margaret sighed, annoyed. “I was hoping you wouldn’t be like this.” Then, she took out a bloody butcher knife and slaughtered him like a farm animal.

Afterwards, she sold all of their stuff and took off to Belize.

The End.