“To each his own.” She said. But she was already red in the face with exhaustion. Her lips were dry and, her throat rasping as though she had swallowed sand in her attempt to sate her contempt.

Someone protested at her indignation, a waif of a lad not two stalls across, glaring at her with open mouth and an estranged look in his eye, as if she had taken it upon herself to attack him personally.

“To each his own indeed.” Echoed another. A tall fellow dressed in smocks-and-black. Frock coat down to his knees, and raven tresses spilling from a three-point hat and, over his shoulders.

In a final fit of ire she cleared her throat and spat her sand at his feet. Giving him a look sharp enough to cut his throat.

“And that,” she said, “is for your good wife, and the lies she endures from you!” Her eyes snarled at him, her mouth full of judgement.

The gentleman in black wiped the spittle from his polished slipper on the back of his other stockinged leg, using the woman as temporary prop. Her face reddened further, and for an instant she felt as though flames might issue from her nostrils and venom  from her mouth. She hated this man with every fibre of her being, despising the very stench of his indifference.

“I curse you, old man!” She hissed through anchored teeth.

“You dare call yourself husband to me, you foul-smelling wretch! I have heard my final lie from your weathered tongue. Would that you would rot in the pits of the darkest hell!”  With a sharp movement she flung her heavy skirts in the direction of her will and, staggered off through the parting crowd that had now swarmed about the duelling pair. The air was thick with latent fury, like the charge of a storm before the thunder.

The man dressed in black adjusted his coat, straightened his hat and strode away in his wife’s wake. By morning she will have forgotten it all, and his lies would be as butterflies around her auburn tresses, feigning delights and kisses that she would collect like petals from a flower. She’d hold them close to her bosom like precious jewels, but that with time would temper and harden into razors edges, an arsenal of screaming shards. And although he knew he was to blame, that her contempt for him was valid and true, he could not bring himself to speak the truth because he feared that death would certainly follow. At least this way, he lived another day though his end was almost nigh. One more lie, that’s all, he thought. One more kiss goodnight.

2 thoughts on “Snapshot Story: One more kiss.

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