Thursday, February 24, 2011


Last week we talked about balance in a partnership, particularly our own. This week we want to share a short story whose theme is all about equality.

Angelica Hart and Zi

"You know you have to do it." He shared that look he learned from his mother.

"I can't." She wanted to channel the Paris Hilton spoiled debutante persona.

"But we've agreed on taking turns."

Jillian hunched her shoulders, the tension gathering in her chest and radiating to her back, wishing she never proposed such a consistently equal balance in all things. It was originally her idea to make certain they each did their share of chores and responsibilities. "I'll take the next two turns." She tried to negotiate.

"We promised to never do that." Brice handed her the bottle of poison. "I took care of Mandy, now you have to take care of Charlie." He canted his head in that way to say a deal’s a deal.

Sunlight announced itself, streaming into the already bright and cheery kitchen, all contrasting against the stark horror of her words. "It’s murder."

"You're exaggerating.”

“No, it is murder.”

“It's self-defense." He eyed her bandaged hand. "He did that to you, you can't escape that fact. Take your apt revenge."

She stared at the floor, not quite resigned. "Please... I just can't."

He touched her hair, floated his mouth over hers in the most gentle of kisses. They had been together for so long, yet there was always this wonder and awe when they touched. "I'd give in this one time, darling, I would, but I don't have the time, I have a flight to catch.”

As if a staged play, a knock sounded at the door.

Brice glanced over his shoulder. "The shuttle's here." He pulled her against him, squeezed, and gave her a bye-got-to-go kiss. "Be brave."

"You'll never look at me again in the same way."

"Do you think less of me for getting rid of Mandy?"

She shook her head, not speaking and understanding.

"We do what has to be done. Besides, in all truth, it is...."

"I know," she interrupted and sighed, "My turn."

Another kiss and he was gone, leaving Jillian alone with the gruesome task. She stared at the bottle of poison, found the skull and crossbones overkill, and nearly laughed aloud at her thought. Taking a deep breath, she ignored any sentimental thought attached to the task ahead. She tried not to remember the fun times with Mandy and Charlie, those times before they betrayed Brice and her, the times when it was all fun and all play. She probably should have never talked Brice into allowing this peculiar couple into their home. In the end, it was her own fault, and now she had to do the right thing, that which was right in a very loose connotation of the word.

After gathering up the items she needed, she added the poison last, squeezing her eyes shut against a sudden prick of tears.

About to call for Charlie, he surprised her by entering the room.

"Would you like something to eat?" she asked feigning a smile.

He stared and she could see the manic look which had taken hold of him of late.
Knowing she had no choice, Jillian placed the trap on the kitchen floor and waited for the second of their once pet rats, who had escaped and turned feral, to take the poisoned bait.

The end

Reiterating last week's quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson on the point of balance, “Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.”

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi
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