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byThomas Sullivan

Man, oh man was my wife teed off. There we were, standing in the kitchen trying to iron out our differences, but the lingering issue had finally driven a wedge between us. These spats were par for the course, usually arising after a day or two of uncomfortable silence and furtive glances. Normally, I could sand away her suspicions. It was rough and took balls, but I could pull it off. But not today.

“You goddamn putz!” my wife screams. She reaches down and grabs the caddy off the table. That stupid little tea-holder was the makeup gift I bought after the last close call. It cost me a lot of green. I dodge sideways as the box sails past my head.

“So what’s next, buddy,” she barks, “You gonna lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuuff ? Not a chance, buster.” She glares at me and then spits her gum onto the counter.

I put my palms up in front of my chest pleadingly and say, “There’s got to be a fair way to settle this.” But I’m not much of an actor and my words don’t come across very convincingly. But then again I don’t think even Bogey could pull this one off.

“Get out!” she screams, pointing toward the door.

I hesitate for a moment, planning my next move.

“Just do it!” she roars, spittle flying off her lips.

When I start to say something she lunges at me like a tiger. Her claws hook into my face. I slice a hand through the air, dislodging her hands. I stagger back against the wall and touch my cheeks. There’s a hole in one.

I’m quickly losing my grip on the situation and this hell-house is starting to feel like a trap. Sweat starts pouring down my face and the room starts spinning. I race across the kitchen, blast through the door, and bolt for my SUV. I yank open the door, look down at the seat, and recoil in horror. Someone has placed a bloody dog leg on the seat, mafia style. I scream, grab the limb, and pitch it across the driveway into the yard. It lands next to the chaise lounge and the handy cap I always wear to protect my face when sunbathing naked. Then I jump behind the wheel and squeal down the driveway.

I swing onto the street and drive, baby, drive. I’m breathing hard and can feel the blood course through my body. But when I eventually start to relax, all I feel is small. Very small, like a pebble on a beach.