Writing

Reading Sundays: THE MARRIED MAN (Part 7) a short story by Cynthia Sally Haggard

She folded her arms, and glared. “Robert Prisley Caveley, I declare you are one of the selfishest individuals to ever inhabit this earth. You don’t care about me. You want to move on because you’ve found someone else.”

“Beat—“

“Don’t you dare deny it.” She picked up a rolling pin. “Or I’ll brain you.”

I hadn’t noticed the rolling pin until now. Was she joking? I looked at her sharp visage, harsh lines outlining her nose and mouth.

“Beat, there’s no need to get so het up.”

“I’m telling you, if you say one more word—“

“What are you going to do, Beat?”

She brandished the rolling pin. It would have been as funny as a Punch and Judy show except for the expression on her face. Her blue eyes glittered with a hard, almost demonic quality. There was a flush of pink on each narrow cheek, but it didn’t make her look more attractive, it made her look mad. Without a word, I fled upstairs, fumbling for my haversack, throwing in my belongings.

When I came downstairs, Beat was standing in front of the door, rolling pin in hand, barring the way.

“Beat, let me out.”

“If you think I’m going to let you visit your fancy-piece, you’ve got another think coming.”

“Come on, Beat. Let it go. It’s over.”

“I’ll never let you go. Do you hear me? Never.” Usually when someone tells me ‘never,’ I know they don’t really mean it. But when Beat said it—it’s hard to explain. It’s almost as if her whole body gave meaning to her words. I had the eerie feeling that I was in front of some creature I couldn’t comprehend, like an adder whipping its head forward to bite. [To be continued.]