To be published by the Bethlehem Writer’s  Roundtable on October 1, 2020

The puffy clouds that dotted the midday sky had grown dark, ponderous, pregnant. In the fall, storms here in Upper Michigan were unpredictable: This one was gathering inland, behind Sally as she stood gazing off the front porch. The wind came in fierce staccato bursts, putting a ragged chop on the lake.

She had grown up spending summers at this spot, the youngest of siblings who grew up swimming and kayaking and playing endless games of Monopoly. At 14, had her first kiss on this porch – and was spared the ensuing groping of the 17-year-old who had taken her canoeing when her father cleared his throat on the other side of the door.

Six years and most of college later, Ted had seemed different, handsome and hunky but wooing her respectfully through her senior year, a passionate and satisfying lover when she was ready. Only after marriage did she learn that his appetite was insatiable, no matter how ardently she tried, that he was an incorrigible philanderer.

She peered into the gathering storm.


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