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The Widow, A Short Story

Sweet and sour scents, perhaps even considered tangy, haunt the hallways as a starvation settles in. You can hear it scurrying in the ceiling, pecking and plucking at drywall leaving behind bite sized openings that suck at my cottonmouth tongue-just like a lonely Frenchman or a hound in Pavlionian possession. The hunger of the house howls with unsettling intention. I leap and quiver, stride and jiggle making the most of the empty air surrounding my freshly widowed manor. I undo my messy curls in expectation of a handyman's arrival. See the sinks are all rusted and he should be arriving anytime now. It’s been reeking for days of sewage and something like raw meat left out on a desert highway which I wonder if he took to get here.

A large vehicle pulls up in the driveway-which you can always tell the size of the car based on the sound it makes when it digs into the gravel road. Now it’s time to staple your skin back and spring up an invitation of a smile.

“Mrs. Da-rI-anne?,” he sputtered.

A pudgy blue capped plumber stood closely behind the door frame like a caricature of his own profession.

“COME IN!” I liked the way he called me ‘MRS,’ it felt so natural to be the apostrophe ‘s’ to another man’s ‘MR.’

“You said you had a problem with the bathroom sink now?” he asked while pulling out a miniature notebook and pen.

“-KITCHEN SINK too..” I said while adjusting my robe.

“Anned kitchen sinck-Okay noted. Wha dontcha show me the bathroom sink first and a’ll take a look at what a’m dealin’ with-you said it was a clog botherin’ yuh?”

“Yes! We’ll just take a left now at the corner here and-”

“Alrighty ma’am-give me about fifteen minutes to analyse this here premises and prep my workin’ area,”

“Could I offer you any tea or coffee in the meantime? I bought bottled water since the whole sludge disaster so?”

“Sure, I'll take you up on a coffee-one milk two sugars please, mama always said I like it sweet,”

“Oh of course!” I said before skimpering off into the lavish hallways disdain with my dishonesty.

I have been using bottled water for years now but the sinks are a convenient excuse. Feeling an overwhelming sensation from within I re-apply some rouge in my room leaving behind hard speckled spots of product. Placed like music notes across the lines of smudged mascara, an orchestra of powdered perfection but then a suffocating silence yanks at my throat. A tugging at my cords like a coachman and HIS carriage. With a mouth wide open I swallow air to release a Niagara of tears. My black silks dance across the walnut floors while toes peer out from underneath, playing hide and seek with the whimsical textiles, ever so slightly, poking out like sharpened teeth. I run out of my room to prepare coffee and tea. Kettle, on. Hand cream, on. Oh what to do next-has it been fifteen minutes yet?

“HEY-hows it going?” I skuttle in on my feet of fire.

“You do appear to have a clog ma’am, you actually caught me on my way to ma truck to grab some handy tools of mine that’ll get this sink up and runnin’ again.”

“Oh…Perfect! I’ll have drinks out by the time you're back!”

My empty skeleton travelled to the kitchen, as if clinging to a clothing hanger. By the time the plumber finds his way back to the front door I’ve conjured up an array of caffeinated options, like a good wife would. Out of herbal teas, espresso shots, and options of lattes, the man grabs some strawberries and a black coffee- OF COURSE with a greedy grabful of sugar packets (we only carry brown) and 4 little finger milk cartons (2%...expiration date: unknown).


“Thank you so much ma’am I truly do appreciate it…Shouldn’t be too much longer before I’m all done here!”

“Almost done! What do you mean?”

“-I’m still workin’ on the bathroom sink now don’t you worry ma’am,”

“Ah-yess the bathroom… DON’T be shy to call for me if you need anything, it's MY PLEASURE,” whispering as my lips come together.


No longer living pictures of my husband leave clear cut stains across the furniture. His smell still lingers and passes like smoke. And when he can’t leak through the vents in a gaseous state he’ll find himself uncurling and unveiling across the scrapped up wallpaper-and now I presume he's in the piping. The space his body once existed in, now amplified gleams of fresh vacancy-yet the reminder of his voice it is a paralysing scream that slides in and out of my realities. In those moments I reach for steady metals and for mice to meet their blade. I beat their small breasted bodies like a drum until the squealing overcomes HIS excruciating presence. The wailing walls stretch out at me as I charge past their spaces. Hot in a rush to plug up these pipes so that this plumber man can stay with me persistently. Might I ask him if he's got a family-or a boyfriend to sleep with? So I steal his cable cutters and usher them to life. I wonder if he has a family, I wonder if he has kids at home? I look at my masterpiece, a breathing wall with its pores ever so perfectly peeled raw. I go to town on the circuitry, snip-snapping at its arteries.

“MA’AM? What the he-Ell are you doin?”

“I need an electrician can't you see!”

“Let me call one for you a’ve got a buddy,” he says dashing out the door.

“Who did he leave me for? Ah but a number?”

“His name is Ed and he’s a real expert!”


But your all I need can’t you understand that…can’t you see?

But Ma’am I am not the man you need…perhaps a doctor would do you good too you seem awfully slim to me


So the sinks are all unclogged but now the rooms are all dull and dark. A graveyard for the smells that once ran ramped. Now to clog em up all over again. Send another man in! A plumber-electrician hybrid I hope they make those out there! Give him double the trouble and a place to stay when he's done. To keep him all day and warm/safe from under the sun. For theres a war out there and in this dusty cave of a manor I have decent shelter. To join these flesh eating walls is a nightmare I shudder. So bust open the ceiling door up to the attic. Grab a handful of mice and start the cycle from the beginning. Soon enough all this house will be rodent meat and pot pourri. For I am a lonely house widow

Suffering silk in a hazy meadow

Running like sheep

Curtseys and cheese


She's the glimmer to my gloss

A walking albatross

Greedy for seaweedy and all the fish at bay

She gulps em down so slick and so gay


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ur killing it kat <3

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