CONTESTS

Gone Flat

MIREILLE SMITH

First prize winner of the 9th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.

Dinner for one and a couple of wedding rings on the Goodwill pile. And all because he found the body in my trunk.

He couldn’t stop gagging but to sputter on about betrayal and crime and morality, packing his bags with the speed and force of Cupid’s crossbow. He said he’d noticed my tire was flat, figured it would be a nice surprise to change it for me. (I’d have been surprised, all right. He hadn’t changed anything more complicated than a light bulb since I’d known him. It’s not an insult; his hands were just made for things other than labour.) No, he’d been digging around with a stolen shovel, prowling my territory. He had crept across the border from ours into mine.

We had shared our lives and, consequently, our surroundings and possessions. Together, we’d also shared separateness: respective sides of the bed, TV chairs, sections of the newspaper, underwear drawers, and cars (with each its trunk).

I remember we used to go dancing, the smoke encircling us as we circled the dance floor. Afterwards he would breathe into my ear that he loved how the smoke in my hair made me smell like a bad girl. I told him I would never lie to him. He said he would love me forever.

Instead he slammed the trunk shut without even asking me why it was in there.

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