Academic journal article Hecate

Fever's End

Academic journal article Hecate

Fever's End

Article excerpt

Once I had two husbands.

The first I married wearing red in the sunshine after the storms. And we laughed and kissed and told ourselves how lucky we were the storms had passed.

The second I married in tears, asking forgiveness for my temper and sharp tongue. He looked down at me, a carving of temperamental granite, and told me what I was.

Where we lived, two husbands was too many, so my two husbands and I packed our things in overflowing boxes that smelled like regret and moved to the jungle where no-one would see how many we were. We put our stinking boxes in the furthest place we could find and never looked at them again. And as the jungle overgrew we didn't bother to trim it back, too afraid of the sharpness of our knives to care about the tangled darkness.

First Husband hated the darkness. He thought about leaving once. He watched as the bus went past, staring intently from the edge of our vine-filled asylum. Second Husband stood by him, always the stronger of the two, and smiled.

I wasn't there the day I was half-widowed. Didn't even notice he had died, even as the rot of his corpse hung like the smell of a fetid swamp.

"You killed him," I whispered, afraid. Second Husband sneered. No-one had died, no-one was dead. We would move his body to the table and eat with him. Everything would be fine. We would move his body to the couch, to the bed, to me, to heal.

"What if I can't heal him?" He's dead. Larvae eat his tongue. Unspoken. …

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