By John Abbott
She hears the squad cars wail as they speed down her street. Red and blue lights cut through gaps in the blinds. Crime. Some place out there. Far but close…close but far. Her man rides in one of the cars, badge on his chest, gun at his waist. He is in love – with the job for sure – but he says with her, too. At least once a day she begs him to quit, pleads with him; says she’ll do things he has not thought to try. The job chose me, he says. It called me. But still he thinks of her words as he eyes her pale skin through the sheer black gown she wears when it’s hot.
She thinks of him shot by thugs or burned from a fire where he saves a child. She thinks of his grave. Would she drive to be near him that way? How long til she moved on? She knows one thing: she won’t stay here, on this street. She’ll move far from here, far from the noise, the guy downstairs who looks like he makes bombs in his spare time.
Yes, she’ll live near trees and sweet, pure smells – and a lake or stream. She’ll dip her hand in the cold and shut her eyes, try to block out all the time she hung on for the click of his key in the lock and the crush of their chests pressed close, like two halves put back as a whole.
* * *
John Abbott is a writer, musician, and English instructor who lives with his wife and daughter in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His work has appeared in North American Review, The Potomac Review, Redivider, Portland Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Arcadia, Two Thirds North, Midwestern Gothic, Bitter Oleander, and many others. His short story collection is now available from Underground Voices.