Will-o’-the-Wisp

by LMG Swain

She was all smoke. A wisp of the woman she once was. She gazed through gin-blurred eyes at the image that stared back at her from the bar’s mirror–an anamorphic fun-house mirror shadow of the woman she once was, the woman she could have still been.

He had been the windmill in her quixotic quest for romance and love–rather, was it romance OR love–could the two ever be imbued, or had too many badly written starry-eyed romance novels misshaped the two words so they were no longer symbiotic; rather, they were now mutually exclusive of and even hostile toward each other.

She feigned compersion whenever he had come home from one of his dates with one of his girlfriends. She had accepted this about him–they had talked into too many late nights about his “love of women”, and he had promised to always come home to her, always and only to her.

She had accepted that about him.

She had accepted the thought, the idea, the image of the mere exchanging, mingling, and pervading of his and her bodily fluids.

After all, it was only sex, wasn’t it? Just sex?

What she couldn’t accept, what gently diffused her cursory compersion about his habits and tastes was the smile upon his lips, the rosiness of his cheeks, and the glint in his eyes when he walked through their living room door after visiting her, and her, and her, and her.

She began to realize over time their marriage was, to him, a drive-thru marriage, a quick in-and-out with no connection or interest with the server at the window. They had transformed from the beginning from a super-sized affair to now nothing little more than a quick cheap burger, small drink, and medium fries.

She was the fun house image that stared back at herself from the bar’s mirror, without the fun–just the hellish distortion.

She had left his body on that god-awful puke green carpet of their living room, the tomahawk from his Native American collection deep-seated in the left side of his head.

The goriness of the splintered head didn’t bother her so much than that the red blood pooling on the green carpet reminded her of Christmas, and that damned smile still upon his blood-rouged lips, the even more rosiness of his red-juiced cheeks, and the insufferable maroon glint in his dead and darkened hemorrhaged eyes.

“Shit,” she said to the fun house image.

“Well,” the perverted image snarled back at her, “at least this time he brought you lilies.”

9:26 AM — 10:13 AM

about 425 words

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