For the month of April, fellow author, Thea Atkinson is streaking through 30 blogs and flashing us a piece of fiction. I generously offered her a space today so she could expose a piece. My blog will be back to normal tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy and follow the links at the end to see who she flashed yesterday and who she will flash tomorrow. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know if you enjoyed the streak, and you are welcome to tweet it or share it on Facebook. You can also follow the chain through twitter with the hashtag #blogstreak
Spirit of Evidence
By Thea Atkinson
If he didn't know for certain that his wife was long-murdered, he'd speak to the woman in his kitchen. As it was, he ignored her.
He reached into the cupboard to pick out a box of corn flakes, and she, in a tattered housecoat and ratty slippers, knelt purposefully on the linoleum in front of him. He could see the cotton flaps spann out from the corner of his eye, the slippers show their soles, then as if kicked or pulled, one took to the air. It landed on his foot.
"You're not there," he mumbled, shuffling over to the fridge.
Sour milk smells came at him when he pulled at the door, and something else -- some sort of rancid fat stink.
"S’Ok anyway. I don't need no milk," he said. "I’ll just eat them dry." He stuck his fingers in the box, rattling the flakes like gambling chips. Then he picked one out -- the largest -- and laid it on his tongue.
A sound came from where the woman was lying now, flat on her back, one leg straight, the other splayed open. He had a horrible urge to pull her housecoat down; she looked obscene lying there, granny panties -- how he hated those things -- showing. She should close her legs, pull her clothes more discreetly over her body. Nobody wanted to look at an old woman or her crepe-skin thighs, the sagging stomach with a butt-crack of an operation scar running down the center. Or the breasts, once large and exciting, now hanging to her navel, nipples tucked neatly beneath so that you'd never know they were there unless you felt for them. Late at night when the need came in dreams of pert-skinned women rubbed lotion on themselves and on each other and on him. Yes, late at night when all that was there was her flaccid skin so much like an impotent member that you felt sick in the morning when you remember touching it. Sick when the skin showed through her 50-year-old robe. Sicker still when you remember trying, wanting, that even the tissue paper flesh would have been enough for just that one moment. Just once.
And now look at her. Lying there. Head to the side -- the other side -- not looking at you. Not blaming. Looking away as she always did, without words saying, "it's OK, baby. It's OK."
Well it wasn't OK. And that woman lying there on the floor not looking at him, not blaming him, was not her.
She was just some figment of his dreams or wishes or secret desires. Kept impotent within; please God, let them have been impotent.
April 1 Susie Kline (any genre)
april 2 Linda Prather (mystery)
april 3 Sarah Barnard (fantasy)