Softer
by Paolo Bacigalupi

Jonathan Lilly slumped in hot water up to his neck and studied his dead wife. She half-floated at the far end of the bath, soap bubbles wreathing her Nordic face. Blond hair clung to bloodless skin. Her half-lidded eyes stared at the ceiling. Jonathan rearranged his position, shoving Pia’s tangling legs aside to make more room for himself and wondered if this peaceful moment between crime and confession would make any difference in his sentencing.

He knew he should turn himself in. Let someone know that the day had gone wrong in Denver’s Congress Park Neighborhood. Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad. He might not even be in prison for so very long. He’d read somewhere that pot growers got more prison time than murderers, and he vaguely remembered that murder laws might provide leeway for unintended deaths like this one. Was it manslaughter? Murder in the second degree? He stirred soap suds, considering.

He’d have to Google it.

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