The sparkle in her eyes

(#FlashFictionFeb Day two of the challenge)

They were back. They had likely never left but Lynn’s recent emergence from an unintended sleeping pill habit gave her seemingly endless hours of darkness in which to watch the sparkles that shot out of the deep corners and recesses of her bedroom closet every night.

She knew not to even attempt trying to discuss them with Walter. He saw them. He saw them and explained them and tied everything up in a tight little Walter-bow. He was a doctor, after all. He dealt in science and fact. He also dealt her a steady stream of brain freezing meds when she talked to him about the sparkles.

Lynn was naïve enough to believe her husband would help her understand the nature of the sparkles. He was a goddamn doctor, wasn’t he? She was certain he saw them because he admitted it to her. He told her, “Lynn, those are bursts of static electricity coming from your closet full of furs and expensive clothes. You know, the ones I buy for you? Should I even bother to take a Viagra tonight, or are we playing crazy again?”

Playing crazy.

Walter’s cold words echoed in her ears as she watched the sparkles whirl and gambol around the closet door. Although she couldn’t seem to focus on any single sparkle long enough to see a form, she knew they were more than static electricity.

Static electricity did not speak. Nor did it tell her things about Walter she should have known but never cared enough to inquire about. Because Walter was a liar, but an incredibly good provider. The less she knew about Walter as an actual person the less she despised his nightly Viagra ritual. He would flourish the medicine bottle like a chalice full of liquid gold and announce his sip from the holy grail of pharmacology to fully indulge in “better life through chemistry.”

It was cute the first time. Endearing, even. But Walter never changed his routine, he never got new material and he never really cared that a 79-year-old year old man with a bad heart shouldn’t be humping like a rabbit every night no matter what chemistry says.

Lynn watched the sparkles fade back into the closet as dawn grabbed the edge of night to drag it away again. Only she and the sparkles knew about Walter’s bad ticker. He was a doctor, for God’s sake, and he hadn’t had a physical since before they got married. That was 10 years ago. Her 30’s had faded into her 40’s quietly while Walter zoomed to the top of the practice earning board. His ex-wife was finally remarried, and he had no children.

No children to claim his enormous wealth. No children to grieve for him. It was all so clear now. And she had the sparkles to thank for it.

Walter came home at the regular time. They ate a regular meal like they did every single regular night of their regular lives. Like clockwork, after his evening cigar and nightcap, he retired to the bedroom. Lynn hoped that just this once he would forgo the Viagra routine. She waited in the hallway, hoping for a change in the cycle of regularity. It might prove the sparkles wrong. It might mean she really was hearing things.

She didn’t have to wait long. The familiar scrape of his nightside table drawer etched her decision firmly in mind. Walter shook the bottle, making the pills rattle like a dog toy. “Lynn, dear? Are you coming to bed? We’d hate to waste an opportunity to live better through chemistry, wouldn’t we?”

Lynn smiled seductively as she sauntered into the bedroom. “Absolutely not, Walter. Take two. I’m feeling wild tonight.”

The End

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As a former transportation industry writer, I learned that a regular paycheck is nice, but writing about something you're no longer interested in is miserable. Apparently, I like writing more than money - so I'm back to freelancing at 52. It's not as altruistic as it sounds, I'm also cranky and difficult and refuse to fit in anymore, making steady employment pesky and potentially dangerous to my psyche.

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