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Fiction #465
(published December 17, 2009)
by Thomas Sullivan
Man, oh man was my wife teed off. There we were, standing in the kitchen trying to iron out our differences, but the lingering issue had finally driven a wedge between us. These spats were par for the course, usually arising after a day or two of uncomfortable silence and furtive glances. Normally, I could sand away her suspicions. It was rough and took balls, but I could always pull it off. But not today.

"You goddamn putz!" my wife screams, "what am I, huh, just some old bag you stick your wood in whenever you feel like it?"

She reaches down and grabs the caddy off the table. That stupid little tea-holder was the makeup gift I bought after the last close call. It cost me a lot of green. I dodge sideways as the box sails past my head.

"So what's next, buddy," she barks, "You gonna lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff ? Not a chance, buster." She glares at me and then spitzer gum onto the counter.

I put my palms up in front of my chest pleadingly and say, "There's got to be a fair way to settle this." But I'm not much of an actor and my words don't come across very convincingly. But then again I don't think even Bogey could pull this one off.

"Get out!" she screams, pointing toward the door.

I hesitate for a moment, planning my next move.

"Just do it!" she roars, spittle flying off her lips.

When I start to say something she lunges at me like a tiger. Her claws hook into my face. I slice an arm through the air, dislodging her hands. I stagger back against the wall and touch my cheeks. There's a hole in one.

I'm quickly losing my grip on the situation and this hell-house is starting to feel like a trap. Sweat starts pouring down my face and the room starts spinning. I race across the kitchen, blast through the door, and bolt for my SUV. I yank open the door, look down at the seat, and recoil in horror. Someone has placed a bloody dog leg on the seat, mafia-style. I scream, grab the limb, and pitch it across the driveway into the yard. It lands next to the chaise lounge and the handy cap I always wear to protect my face when sunbathing naked. Then I jump behind the wheel and squeal down the driveway.

I swing onto the street and drive, baby, drive. I'm breathing hard and can feel the blood course through my body. But when I eventually start to relax, all I feel is small. Very small, like a pebble on a beach.

Thomas Sullivan can be found online at editred.com/tmpsull. His work has appeared in Word Riot and 3AM Magazine, and his memoir of teaching driver's education, Life In The Slow Lane, is forthcoming from Uncial Press.

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