The darker stories

When my husband comes home, while stars still blink in the black east and the sun is at work offering light to other lands, he slips between the sheets and his skin is cool. He burrows against me for warmth, smelling like cigarettes and laundry soap. A heady combination.

What happened last night? I ask.

“Not much.” He pauses. “A chick got stabbed.” It’s nearly an afterthought.

He tells me it has something to do with an argument and meth addictions.

One woman sliced open another woman’s leg, nicking an artery. He says at the hospital she was holding her leg, blood running down it, and asked why it was bulging on one side. Then, the blood began squirting out and the doctor told her to prepare for surgery. The woman just wanted to go home.

If you go home, you’ll die, the doctor told her.

My husband said she had tattooed the words “Wrong” on one leg and “Turn” on the other.

These are the stories he brings home.

One time, a man hadn’t been seen in three days. The neighbors, or maybe a distant family member, were getting worried and deputies were dispatched to his home.

When they broke open the door they found the man pickling in his bathtub, water long since turned cold. On the stove, his dinner continued to cook, the smell of burning food masking the creeping odor of decay. 

 

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