housewife – moonwalk – dog – basement – conclude
alien – ignore – lightning – embrace – time
She called them ‘moonwalks’ whenever she took the dog out at night, regardless of the lunar cycle. Deborah found solace in the silence of her sleeping suburb. She walked in the middle of the street and let Sidekick off the leash. He was well trained, obedient. He listened; she always thought he was grateful for his life. While he sniffed the neighbours flowers and peed on the trees, Deborah cleared her head in the cool still air of the night. It wasn’t lightless; a storm brewed above the farm fields that extended just past the dead end of Merger Street. As the pair returned from their walk, sheet lightning was brightening the sky and the sight filled Deborah with an alien sense of power.
“Why can’t you just be a good fucking housewife?” is what he had screamed at her before she dented her favourite nonstick pan off his skull.
Sidekick joined her, sitting diligently at her side as she now roused him in the basement. She waved the long-gone-cold steak and potatoes she’d made under his nose until his eyes squinted open and he straightened his head on the support post he was tied to. He mumbled in confusion first, then rattled off threats and curses at her. She ignored him. Finally, he quieted, and she fed him his dinner. Then she sat on the bottom step across from him under the fluorescent bulbs and said “I’ve concluded that I want to be a widow.” And he strained against the restraints and spat across the distance so some saliva landed on her dress.
When he quieted again she said: “I think it’s time.” And he was silent. “Sidekick,” she said, “bite.” And the dog did, for she’d been training him at home during the day.
Then, when it was over, she brought her partner into one long embrace.