“God damn it Bean, what the fucking hell is your problem?” Jed yelled as Bean lunged at him, both of her clenched fists raised in his face, covered in rich earth with bundles of thyme gripped in her hands. The smell of it made him hungry despite the savage look in her eyes and he almost asked her if she were going to make tomato sauce tonight, but thought better of it.
“I am going to kill you Jed. Gut you like a god damned pig on the altar. Do you hear me? Do you have that registered in your thick good for nothing skull?”
Jed backed up from Bean as she advanced on him. He had no idea why she was frothing at the mouth and waving Italian herbs in his face, but he could tell she was adamant about something. She had a ripe old bee in her bonnet.
Bean moved closer and closer and she could feel her own heart beating out of her chest in rage. That flea bag dog of his had dug up her herb garden again and shit all over her sage. She had had enough of it. She had warned him time and again and she couldn’t take no more. Bean could feel her hair plastered to her forehead, could feel the flush in her cheeks like hot slaps to the face. She hurled the thyme at him from across the room.
“Your bastard dog has done it again Jed. Where is he? I am going to skin him alive and leave his still shaking carcass on the seat of your precious pick-up!!”
Jed, not knowing what else he could do but get out of dodge, ran up the stairs and hid in one of the bedrooms. This was a cowardly thing to do, he thought to himself, but when Bean got this mad there was nothing else you could do but disappear and hope she settled back into sanity. But this time, his cowardice enraged her even more. He could hear her heavy footfalls on the stairs coming after him.
Bean started opening doors in the upstairs looking for the lame husband she continued to carry around her neck like a millstone. The first room was empty and dark, and she listened for the sound of his breathing in the absence of light. When she was satisfied Jed wasn’t in there, she closed the door with a loud bang to let him know she was coming for him.
She opened the second door and her three children screamed in unison as the light from the opening spanned across their huddled shapes in the corner. Bean noticed how small and curled they were and for a moment her heart softened at their tiny limbs, at their flexibility, at their golden hair hanging gingerly over their eyes, and how they clutched each other in fear. She would not stay in this moment long, because each of them had his nose and the sight of it reminded her of her hunt. She had a fox to find.
Jed could hear Bean outside the door, listened as her muddy hands slipped on the glass doorknob, and knew he was in for it. Bean relished the click and release of the door’s mechanism and swung the door open slowly. It hit the bedroom wall with a dull thud. Backlit in the center of the room stood Jed. His chest was heaving and she could see the tremor of his fingers as he held them out in front of him as a barrier to her wrath.
She advanced towards him and all Jed could concentrate on was the fact that her breasts quaked like omelets too hastily turned and how it would be nice if she wore a bra once in awhile, and how nice it might be between them if she cared about herself a little more. He was so lost in this thought about her drooping tits that he didn’t see her raise the shovel until it was too late. The steel spade echoed in his head before he lost consciousness.
“Get up motherfucker and take it like a man.” Bean yelled, but Jed didn’t move. She got down close to his face to feel his breath on her ear, but did not bask his hot, sick wind. His eyes were stuck open with horror and shock. Bean stood up and the shovel fell from her fingers with a clanging.
“God damn dog,” she muttered.
Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Zygote in my Coffee Online Issue #128, 2009