I have a new free read to share! Welcome to Phases of Moon, a new paranormal tale where I delve into my own version of werewolves that’s been sitting on the back burner for longer than I prefer to admit.
This story will be part of the flash fiction group, Wednesday Briefers. Every Wednesday, I’ll be posting a chapter with a maximum of 1000 words, giving you an ongoing taste of this serial. The short format keeps me committed to regular posting and continuous story telling. A win-win for everyone!
Wednesdays will be set for 1000 word installments and the remainder of the chapter will post on Thursday.
This week, we’re back to Sawyer…
Part 10 – Chapter 5
Yanking on his tie, Sawyer fought with the knot as he opened his front door. What a horrible day which only became progressively worse as it dragged on. Hours would be wasted tomorrow double checking his work to clean out the errors he suspected were left behind. One thing after another went wrong until the end of office hours. He may have been the assistant manager, but the day left him feeling like a new hire with no experience.
He should have known it would all crash and burn when he overslept and didn’t have time for his morning run. The rushed morning left him arriving five minutes late. Since it was unheard of, his coworkers couldn’t stop teasing him over it.
Then the manager dropped the bomb about wanting all the teller evaluations and branch efficiency reports two weeks early so he could go on a family holiday. The extra workload threw off his meticulously crafted schedule and he spent the entire day scrambling to keep up and making mistake after mistake. Some people had no consideration for careful planning.
At least now he was home and the crappy part of the day could come to an end.
The sun sat high at this time of the summer, so more than enough light streamed through the house without turning on a lamp. Finally freeing his tie and the top buttons of his shirt, he found Jada in the living room, sitting in her favorite armchair. Hands together in her lap, she stared out at nothing, looking pensive and rigid.
“I didn’t expect you to be home” Sawyer said.
Jada’s body was barely moved by her shrug. “My client’s pre-approval went to hell and they cancelled.” A crinkle formed between her eyebrows. Jada’s voice was soft and disconnected, the way she did when the current conversation had nothing to do with her thoughts. He came around beside her and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder, only to feel the twitch under his palm.
“Is something wrong?”
The crinkle between her brows became a deep crease, and she rubbed her hands together. “Sawyer, we need to talk. Sit down.”
“Well, this can’t be good.” He took the seat opposite, trying to keep his voice light in spite of the twisting sensation in his stomach.
“I need to just come out and say it.” Jada took a deep breath and released it with a gentle grace. “I want a divorce.”
The world stopped for a moment before Sawyer could even respond.
“What? You can’t be serious.”
“We’ve grown too far apart to keep this up.”
His pulse quickened in an ugly way. “Is this about the slasher flick I didn’t want to watch? Because I can still do that if you want.”
“I wish it were that simple.”
The seat cushion’s corded seam dug into Sawyer’s palm as he gripped it while rummaging through his memories, hunting for the thing he did wrong. They loved each other, gave each other space to explore their varied interests, what more did they need? In his eyes, their marriage was perfect. Only one thing came to mind which could undermine it, so he blurted it out.
“Is there someone else?”
Jada’s shoulders slumped in disappointment. “No, Sawyer. There isn’t and never was.” Closing her eyes, she exhaled, and the air rolled into a sad chuckle. “In fact, at one point I thought you were having an affair.”
“Why would you think that?” Sawyer bristled. He would never do anything of the sort.
“You’d become so distant. We were spending less and less time together, and our sex life dried up.”
Crossing his arms over his chest, Sawyer huffed. Discussing intimacy always made him sound inadequate. Not all relationships centered around mindless passion. “Maybe my sex drive isn’t that high.”
“I thought of that. I mean, we were never going at it like bunnies from the start, but it turned into next to nothing. And you didn’t seem to care.”
“Of course I care.”
She raised a hand, palm out in defense. “I didn’t say I had any proof. I was just feeling a little insecure, so I projected. Anyways, one night you turned me down, and the next day I had a cancellation and came home early, so I figured I’d show you what you’d missed out on. You know, rock your world and get us back on track.” Pausing, she turned her head away, drumming her nails on the armrest. “I found you in the bedroom… masturbating.”
Sawyer’s arms fell to his sides as the room closed in around him. Heat flushed his skin and sweat burst down his spine, wetting his shirt. He didn’t say a word, because he could picture the scene clearly in his mind, and he could read the unspoken betrayal. He prayed she wouldn’t continue.
Jada cleared her throat, before she ruined his hopes. “You were really into it. The magazine you were looking at. I don’t know that you’d ever been that excited by me.”
“You watched?” His accusation did a poor job of deflecting and Jada didn’t let it stop her.
“It was the most action in this house in months and I wasn’t even involved. Besides, you were so into it, you didn’t even know I was there, which now that I say that out loud, sounds like really horrible justification.” A tiny sniffle escaped, fracturing the bravado she tried to wield. “Anyways, after you finished, you went to shower, so I dug out your magazine. I admit I was a little pissed off. I wanted to see what kind of smut you were into. What kind of skanky whore got you so hot when you wouldn’t even touch me.”
Her eyes watered, but the first tear didn’t fall. “It was an mens underwear catalog. With all the porn out there, you’d been reduced to using that, probably because you could hide it that way. Or deny it.”
chapter 5 continues on Thursday…
Stay tuned … more story to come tomorrow (Thursday) with a new chapter next Wednesday!
Until then, check out the other weekly posts at the Wednesday Briefs