Saturday, December 19, 2015


Dexamethasone. Coumadin. Aspirin. The substances keeping Chuck alive thinned his skin to tissue. So when Maureen heard Honey's yelp at the bright sound of an ornament splintering, she whirled, snapping, “Careful, dammit.”

Blood sluiced from Chuck’s hand. “I didn’t—” he began in shocked tones.

Thirty years offers ample opportunity to strop one’s tongue. Infection. Inconvenience. Idiocy. Maureen berated him for each.

“But it was—”

“Are you stupid or just making a special effort? Clean it.”

Alone in the bathroom and examining the half-dozen new slashes on his arm, Chuck finally finished the sentence: “The dog, Maureen. The dog.”


Paula Gail Benson said...

Loren, I like so much how you juxtapose the dialogue and narration. The lists not only help develop the characters, but emphasize the passing of the years together. And, of course, the culprit had to be the cat! Great story!

Loren Eaton said...


Thank you! Also, you've alerted me to a ... potential interpretative dilemma that I never considered. I've changed four words. Tell me whether or not you think they put a different spin on the story.