by...Lea Anne Stoughton
Image by Fritz Lang
Spies (Spione, 1928)
The bulb over the kitchen sink cast its anemic light over the room. She sat at the table, facing the garage door. Her hands shook as she lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. Smoking was asking for trouble, she knew, but it didn’t matter, not anymore.
The ticking clock echoed in the stillness. He had been gone how long, three hours? She hadn’t thought to check the clock when he left; her attention had been on his hands. But the bar closed half an hour ago, so it would be soon.
She shifted on the wooden seat, trying to find a position that favored her swollen soreness from the night before. She felt dull surprise at the way her body never got used to it, even after five years. She should have bought some cushions for these damn chairs…
A shrill giggle erupted from her, and she tapped off the ash into an empty wineglass. Wine, another no-no. But not anymore.
She fingered the bracelets stacked on her arm. All gifts from him, a few birthday but mostly apologies. She preferred the cuffs to the bangles. They hid the bruises better.
The cigarette was gone, so she dropped the butt in the glass. She lit another. Her hands didn’t shake this time.
His hands never shook. They were strong and hard and so very, very fast.
Headlights! An electric thrill of adrenaline shot through her belly and was gone. Through the door came a slurred litany of fucking bitches and stupid cunts and goddamn whores. She thought she could almost smell the whiskey as he fumbled with the lock.
She took a final drag on the cigarette and picked up the pistol. She steadied her aim and waited.
He finally stumbled through the door and saw her. “Wha th fuck?” His keys hit the floor, leaving his hands empty, hands that were strong, hands that were even now gathering themselves together, getting ready to move so very, very fast.
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