The Quotable

The Last Knife

She thought about it. She thought about it during dinners with her husband and her mother-in-law, who was quick to offer that the meat was under-done, the vegetables over-done and why did she have to feed them broccoli anyway? She thought about it while she watched the TV shows that she hated but her husband loved. And she thought about it while her husband climbed on top of her on Saturday nights, his beer breath and sweaty skin making it difficult for her to breathe.

She stood at the kitchen sink, arms deep in the hot, soapy water, sweat snaking its way down her face. Her husband sat in the living room watching TV and shouting his commentary in to her, his voice blending with the television and the street sounds coming through the open window.

She wondered if there was a knife left in the sink. She imagined it drawing across the flesh of her wrist. She could see the blood flowing into the dishwater, blossoming like a flower at first, then spreading until the water changed from dingy gray to a washed out red. I will, she thought. If it’s here, if the knife is still in the water, today will be the day.

She slowly reached in the soapy water and pulled out a cup, then a saucer, wiping each one carefully before rinsing and stacking it in the drainer. Each dish bringing her closer.

Until finally, the last plate washed, she stood with her hands in the water. She rubbed her fingertips together, feeling the slight residue of grease that remained. Carefully, she slid her hands across the bottom of the sink, hesitating at each nick in the ceramic. Then, with a sigh, she pulled out the stopper and watched tiny waterspouts form as the water emptied out of the sink.

Tammie divides her time between writing fiction, and the day job that pays for that privilege. She has studied under author Tim Farrington and has completed her first novel. Educated initially at Marshall University, she believes that learning never ceases and constantly looks for ways to improve her craft.

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Issue 4 - Beginnings and Endings