The neighbours’ kids were out there playing with their puppy again. Sounds of laughter and tormented yips, mingled with the scent of marigolds and the coolness of summer's last breaths, carried through the open window. Dinner plates stood at ease in the drying rack, squeaky clean, no evidence of the half-eaten roast, while breaking bubbles whispered in the sink.
Emma plunged her reddened hands back into water so hot she could barely stand it: it was no less than she deserved. Her fingers found the cloth and a steak knife, and as she took the knife out of the water, orange sunlight glinted off its lifetime guaranteed serrated edge. It was one of a set, a wedding gift from one of their friends. One of his friends. She wiped off the suds and set it to dry.
The white detergent bottle perched on the window ledge brought to mind her tiny ceramic Madonna on the dining-room sill. She’d have to wash the blood off that, too.
Emma cursed the day she'd stumbled upon that article in Cosmo, "12 Ways to Spice Up Your Love Life." Number five had been, "Reenact a sexy scene from your favorite movie."
Emma had expected Phil to pick a scene from a romantic movie like 9 1/2 Weeks. But Phil had chosen the crucifix scene from The Exorcist. Not having a crucifix handy, Emma had been forced to improvise with the ceramic Madonna. She was still sore.
The only consolation was that next time it would be Emma's turn to choose the movie. And macho Phil would be spending the night on Brokeback Mountain.
Opening: ril.....Continuation: Lightsmith