Fatigue almost got the better of me for today’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I went through several fonts and story ideas to get to this one, which, though the font is whimsical, inspired a decidedly less jovial tale of a husband and the consequences of emotional infidelity.
For Day 11, I chose the font Just For Giggles by Vanessa Bays as my prompt for today’s contemporary romance flash fiction.
I hope you enjoy today’s short story, Just for Giggles.
Just for Giggles
by Anjela Curtis
On our wedding day, my wife gave me an old ornate box sealed tight with a rusted lock.
“This box,” she’d explained, “has been passed down to the brides in my family over several generations. Today, I gift it to you in commemoration of our vows of love, respect, and fidelity. Should the day ever come where one of us suspects the other of breaking those vows, the contents of this box will preserve our marriage and strengthen our bond.”
“Can I see what’s inside,” I asked, curious to know what small thing held such power.
“No, silly,” she said plucking it from my hands to place beside the bed. “I hope to never know the contents of that box. May it always remain sealed.”
I looked at the box and then back at my wife. When she crooked her finger at me suggestively, I forgot the box completely. We were newly-weds. Somehow, she’d talked me into waiting as proof that we were special, that she was special…and she was.
She was the neo-bohemian woman of my fantasies. A gypsy queen garbed in hand-sewn maxi-dresses with the intelligence of an old soul and the heart of a poet. For months, I’d thought of nothing but the moment when I’d stroke her smooth cafe au lait skin while gazing into the sultry dark eyes as we made love the first time. It was that thought that made me want to change my womanizing ways for her, forever.
Now, three years, a mortgage payment, and two midwives had come and gone. With the passing of time, my wild gypsy queen became a toddler-wrangling, gluten-free meal-planning cliché. Though I loved her still, she was no longer the woman I’d married. Exhausted and over-scheduled, there was no longer room for me on her calendar.
I began having emotional affairs not long after our first child. I should be thankful for the mysterious health issues that prevented these relationships from crossing the boundary of “emotional” to blatant infidelity. However, it was difficult to overlook the timing of inexplicably recurring bouts of erectile dysfunction, until I remembered that old box.
On a day when the wife and kids had left the house, I looked for the box. As I had feared, the box’s seal had been opened and its hinges appeared to be oiled. I grimaced in shame, guilt, and fear, knowing now that my long-suffering wife had known of my infidelities all along. However, the contents of the box renewed my resolve to work on my marriage as she’d said it would.
Inside lay an old voodoo doll with several pins protruding from its groin. The number of pins exactly matched the number of affairs I’d tried to hide from my wife. Underneath the doll, was a handwritten note and a wicked sharp pair of scissors. The note read: “The next time I open this box, it will be cut chunks from this doll with my sewing scissors…just for giggles. Guess which chunk will go first?”
2017 © Anjela Curtis