EXCERPT FROM SUBURBAN SOULS
The moon shone brightly though the curtains. Full moon. Gauzy curtains. Queen bed. Elsewhere in the house the children slept. He lay heavily over her body. He smelled of his own odor and of men’s cologne. His face was focused with effort, his eyes closed as if he were imagining someone else as he rose above her like a warrior. Was he imagining his former sweetheart? The one who had jilted him? Or a forbidden blonde fraulein from his childhood? He thrust deep inside her, again and then again.
He gave a final thrust then remained quiet, his sex still hard, and her body quickened into spasms, and something in her, too, released, and she gave a deep sigh. He wrapped his arm beneath her neck, pillowing her. “Did you come?” His voice held an unaccustomed tone of tenderness.
“Yes,” she murmured.
He rolled over, his back curled against her, and soon began to snore, while she lay awake and gazed at the beam of moonlight. Desire still ran through her body. A nameless fear seized hold of her.
She clung to the comfort of Saul’s warm body and nudged him in the ribs.
“What is it?” he murmured.
“Tell me everything will be all right.”
“Yes,” he mumbled.
“Saul, tell me.”
“How do I know? Gerda, let me sleep.”
For a long time she lay awake. She bit her lips to keep from screaming. Finally she went into their bathroom and washed off the liquid between her thighs. Examined herself in the mirror. Haggard face. Dark eyes. Wild blonde hair. Took a sleeping pill from the cabinet and swallowed it. Wandered into the kitchen. Three a.m. The moon shone even more brightly in the kitchen, lighting the stainless steel appliances, the stove, the refrigerator. Shining instruments. Pitiless, she thought. Pitiless and shining.