‘Well's gone dry.' She looked at him, and a weaker man would have flinched at the emptiness in her eyes. In the kitchen, he futilely tried the pump. Then he noticed the red puddle on the floor. Went back to her, noticed the stain on her dress.
‘It's okay, there will be more.' He took her rigid hands in his.
‘No. The well's gone dry. You can't refill and empty well.'
‘No, not really. Maybe once.' From the blanket, I gazed over the top of my book at him.
‘I dream about it all the time.' He balanced on the other foot. ‘Sometimes I have great big wings…'
‘Hmmm…' I went back to my book.
‘Sometimes, no wings at all… uh-oh…' Balance gone, he fell.
‘You know, one day you're going to fall the other way.' I didn't look up from my book.
‘Probably.' He laughed.
‘There's only so much skin grafts can do.' She murmurs. ‘I must make
Frankenstein look good.'
‘Did you say something?' He looks up from his computer.
‘What?' She stares at the smooth ivory-colored skin on her arms and the pen held loosely in her hand. ‘Oh... I said I was feeling a little burnt out. Can't think of anything to write about.'
They stopped to watch the sun play across the water. After a moment, she took his hand and led him on.
'I don't see why War doesn't hire Love to lead his armies, she's really good at conquering.
One can of Raid and two hundred or so dead ants later she knows she'll never, ever, call an ant cute again.
‘Are you sure? Maybe you had a piece of food caught between your teeth.'
‘No, he wants me. You should see the hunger in his eyes, he really digs my lips.' Her lips now a bright red, she fluffed up her blonde hair.
‘Hungry? Could still be the food caught in your teeth…'
‘Oh really…' She flounced out of the restroom unaware she had tucked the back of her skirt into her underwear.
"In two years the seventeen-year locusts return. I have to go urban, I have no choice." She remembers the last time they were here and shudders.
‘Yeah, I suppose I am. But that does not make me bad!' Tears flowed from his eyes as his shoulders slumped. ‘I've never harmed a soul.'
‘But still…' She looked askance at his tail.
‘Your kind never could stand anything different.' Wiping away his tears, he turned away from her.
‘Wait… don't go!' She laid her hand on his shoulder. ‘I'm sorry, I shouldn't assume…'
Later, picking his teeth with her finger bone, he belched loudly and snickered. ‘Humans and compassion, their greatest weakness.'
So there we are, two wandering fools dying of thirst, never learning that things aren't always what they seem. Some idiots deserve to die in the desert.
‘Ah… my little deceiver, did you really expect to weave anything else?' He leaned back in his chair with his hands clasped behind his head, but his pretense of calmness didn't fool me one bit.
‘You complicate me. With you there can only be tangles.' Tired of deception, I offered up truth. Pretenses over, he moved faster than I could, his hands encircling my wrists.
‘And what, may I ask,' he pulled me closer ‘is wrong with tangles?'
'Maybe I'm not a mouse... maybe...' She started but her words trailed off as he turned his gaze directly to her.
'What's that? Ha! You couldn't be anything but a mouse. Look how timid and shy you are! My little mouse.' Whatever defiance she had completely slipped away under his ridicule though he didn't mean it unkindly.
Later, as she typed in 'untraceable poisons' into the search engine, she looked at her reflection on the monitor and shook her head.
'He's right. I am a mouse. Otherwise I would use a gun.'
‘I said I was sorry. Christ woman, can't you forget about it?' He yelled back.
‘If you won't leave, then I will… Oh god, what are you doing? Put down the knife…' Desperation colored her voice.
‘I won't let you leave…'
‘Just put down the knife… put down…' Her scream ended abruptly.
Laughing, they snuck out the back door wondering how long it would take their upstairs neighbor to call the police.
'Shhh! No words. Not this time.' At first his kiss was hesitant, questioning... When she made no effort to pull away he deepened his kiss, pushing her against the bookcase. As his mind raced furiously, telling him to stop, that someone could walk in and catch them, his hands kept busy, stroking her hair, caressing her neck, sliding up under her shirt, pulling her down to the floor...
'See? Words aren't always necessary.' He said a little later, his hands still tangled in her hair.
Mine… this used to be mine…
It's cold. Why am I so cold?
Look at me… talk to me… please don't leave meeeeee…
If you listen too long, their words will trap you as their icy fingers wrap around your heart and squeeze tight.
'What do you mean?' He turned to look at her and frowned.
'It's very palpable. Look at the way you talk, you don't ask, you tell and everyone rushes to do what you say. Everything about you exudes confidence. Do you even know when the last time you didn't get what you wanted was?' Her warm smile took the bite out of her words. He watched as she wandered away. He answered her only when she was out of hearing range.
'I remember. I haven't gotten you.'
‘Uh… potatoes.' He replied.
‘No, Zero's already done that. Give me something else.' She turned to look at him.
‘Frenchfries.' He said absentmindedly, reading a message on the DP review forum.
‘No, french-fries are potatoes.' Turning back to her computer, she started to type.
‘Ketchup.' He finished one message and moved on to the next.
‘What did you say after french-fries?' She asked, still typing.
‘Ketchup. Are you just typing what I said?' He looked over at her monitor.
‘Yep.' And she was. She couldn't think of anything else to write.
‘I understand now.' She whispered. In her mind, the Lady and her Horned Consort cavorted and whispered back: Renewal, replenish, rekindle… rejoice.
‘But we may hit a snag here.' Standing next to her, he pointed to the drawing of the rear elevation, his hand brushing over hers. She leaned closer to the drawing, her hair falling forward, hiding her face. He startled them both by tucking her hair back behind her ear.
‘I… um… I see what you mean.' She felt her face heat up.
He turned so she couldn't see him smile. Sometimes there's fire without smoke.
‘A piece of straw, why?' He answered after looking closely at the straw.
‘To me it looks like a bird.' She watched him keenly. ‘A bird, flying towards freedom.'
‘Huh. I suppose.' After looking at the straw again, he shook his head. ‘But it's still only a piece of straw.'
‘Yeah.' Her expression was sad, but he, still looking at the straw, missed it. He's going to lose me, she thought. He never wonders why the birds are always flying towards freedom.
'Simon Says take off your shirt.' The shirt came off and was dropped to the
'Simon Says take off your pants.' The pants followed the shirt to the
'Simon Says spin around in a circle.' He did, glaring at her and she
'Simon Says kiss me.' He did. She sighed, licked her lips.
'Simon Says kiss me again, longer.' He did. Minutes passed. She smiled.
'Again. Longer.' He reached for her and she swatted his hand. With a
laugh, she turned and ran.
'I didn't say Simon Says!'
'What?' The ice in his drink clinked against the glass as he drank.
'It's going to be hot this year. Miserably so.' She turned her face towards the small rotating fan.
'Well, not much we can do to beat the heat except stay indoors, I suppose.' He pressed his glass against his forehead for a second.
'Mmmm... Oh, I forgot to tell you. Your mother called earlier. She's joined a nudist colony.' She adjusted the strap on her swimsuit as his glass hit the patio floor.
'Look out!' He winced as grease splattered onto her arm. She grimaced, but continued with her sautéing.
'No problem. Oops, got to get this off the flame.' She said, moving a pot from a lit burner to an unlit one. In the process, the sleeve of her shirt caught on fire.
'Are you okay?' He asked once the flames were out. She looked at her forgotten, burnt vegetables.
'I never said I was a good queen.'
'Are you okay?' A co-worker asked as she walked by.
'Yeah... allergies.' She answered calmly, but inside she was screaming. It's only a couple of meetings, and then one day, she consoled herself, but the nauseous wouldn't pass. She closed here eyes and swallowed.
'Hey! That's not how the lyrics go!' He sang quickly sang the lyrics the correct way. '...don't mess with Mister In-between...'
'Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife...' She continued as she twirled around the room.
'Now that's not even the same song!' He protested. She grabbed his hand and pulled him around with her. Laughing, he forgot all about the incorrect lyrics.
It was on one of these stops where she heard Jenna and David plotting the
death of Jenna's husband. She listened, appalled. After awhile, she snuck
silently away, shaking her head. Stupid idiots, she thought, fake robberies