“Punishment Without Crime” from Long After Midnight by Ray Bradbury
“You wish to kill your wife?”
George Hill wants his wife dead, yet he doesn’t want her dead. He’s asked a dozen questions about her and gives a photo.
He loves his wife Katherine, but she does not love him. No she has been having an affair with Leonard Phelps, of all people.
When he awakes from his fits and sleep he is brought into a room with KATHERINE!!!
But how can it be? Magic?
No science. Marionettes Inc. has created an android of his wife, a perfect vision. George wants to kill his wife, but not actually kill her, instead having an android created.
But killing an android is illegal. At first George doesn’t want to do it, He wants to take this new wife, new Katherine and live with her. But then she starts talking about Leonard and he does it. Bang shot.
He faints and the next day he awakes. He walks out satisfied, but then he is arrested. He and all the others involved with the plot are sentenced to death.
Even though he didn’t actually kill her, he will pay for the crime. Katherine comes to see him, going off with Leonard, and winning.
Thoughts After Reading:
It was sad but it made me think of Blade Runner. I really wish that George life didn’t have to go out that way.
For more short stories, go to The Tell-Tale Heart
For more Ray Bradbury stories, go to The Veldt
For more stories from Long After Midnight, go to The Utterly Perfect Murder
For more stories where the husband wishes to murder his wife, go to The October Game