Story: After He Cheated

in Featured/Stories/Stories and Poems

At first she felt free, after her husband cheated. Oddly, Vivian found herself walking through a local park in the July heat without a bra on. She simply didn’t give a damn about attire now with her stringy hair and puffy eyes. Above her in the branches of a thick oak tree, she spotted a vibrant red cardinal. In an instant, she threw her palms out as if she might be able to catch the creature, drag it home and let it flutter wildly all over her bedroom.

Next, were the extras, all the tiny extras, stuffing it down, indulging. She drank too much Maxwell House after he cheated. She ate too much chocolate and let the sticky caramel ooze all over her lips. She drank Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon and Smirnoff Vodka after he cheated. It was the satin on her tongue, the silk sliding down her throat, and it seemed to help tame that fury inside. So eventually she slept. Fifty nine hours later, Vivian finally slept. She slept and slept and slept.

Much later, it was disgust. Yes, the disgust crept on in. She ate packets of Mentos to feel clean and washed it down with the lemon vodka. She rode down dusty roads and those black streets in a complete daze. Vivian drove at low, low speeds trying to find the path, this place while the other car horns blared at her. The horns blasted and blared as Vivian’s car slowly veered into the wrong lane, and the oncoming truck swerved sharply to avoid her. The Chevy truck skidded and ran off the median, tumbling over the bank and crashing into a heap of boulders below. It burned below.

And it R-A-T-T-L-E-D her.

Angela Carlton‘s fiction has been published in Every Day Fiction, Camroc Press Review, Pedestal Magazine, Long Story Short, Pindeldyboz, Storyglossia, The Dead Mule, 6S and Coastlines. In addition, she won the Reader’s Choice award with Pedestal Magazine in 2006. Her story “The Beach Cottage” can be found in The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008 and “The Man Named Ray” can be found in The Best of Every Day Fiction 2009. Presently, Angela is in negotiations with a press for a new novel.

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