TREMOR by D.L. Tricarico

The coyotes behind my house yammer like gossiping schoolgirls. Sparrows zip from tree to tree, sixteenth notes on a staff. Our neighbor’s cat stalks unseen prey in the great green expanse of their lawn. Even our own dogs race through the house, sniffing and searching, as if sensing buried treasure.

“What’s up with the dogs?” I say to my wife, trying to sound casual.

“Don’t know,” she says, rifling through her briefcase. “They’ve been going nuts all day.”

“Earthquake?”

I ask because she’s the animal person, not me. She understands animal behavior.

“Hope not,” she says, uncapping a pen. “Last one scared me to death.”

That was six month ago. We both ended up in the same doorjamb. It was the last time I touched her.

“Can we get this over with?” she says, handing me the pen. “I have to pick up Bree and be at the orthodontist at four.”

“Sure.” I try to be agreeable, though it’s hard.

“Cable people come tomorrow,” I tell her, stalling. “Phone’ll be in on Friday.” My new place is small, but not awful.

She gives me a look, so I sign and it’s done. Fifteen years erased in a pen stroke.

Without warning, my mind ignites with images of everything that man must have done to my wife in the past few months.

A coyote howls in the distance and I wonder when the world will both start, and stop, shaking.

.

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9 Comments

Filed under D. L. Tricarico

9 responses to “TREMOR by D.L. Tricarico

  1. Excellent! I want more, yet this is enough! (gotta love flash fiction).

    I especially like: “That was six month ago. We both ended up in the same doorjamb. It was the last time I touched her.”

  2. i really liked the door jam part and the cable people coming over. even in an earthquake and post earthquake it felt real, like a stale couple, one fighting to hold on but, in truth, really letting go.

  3. Love how the physical tremor became on emotional one. Nice.

  4. Thank you, Len and ganymeder, for your nice comments and for taking the time to read “Tremor.” I really appreciate. And Len, you should know, I feel that “Tremor” was partly possible because of what I learned from reading your stuff. . .and ganymeder (Catherine. . .), I want to tell you here how much I’ve enjoyed your work as well, so it’s quite flattering to have you comment here. Thank you.

  5. Hey Dan,
    I loved this piece when I first read it at FIctionaut (yes, faved it there!) and now reading it here I get why: has all of the sensory and setting details nailed, just enough revealed about the ragged relationship, and the internal thoughts toward the end, mirrored in the animal world is just marvelous.

  6. Love how this ‘Without warning, my mind ignites with images of everything that man must have done to my wife in the past few months.’ comes at the end, and I’m expecting some kind of ignition, and then it ends. A solid story, really well done.

  7. Dan, Loved this at FN, love it even better on subsequent reads. It’s really a flawless piece that packs a sucker-punch. Peace…

  8. Pingback: Week #26 – Animal behavior | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  9. Thanks Robert, Linda, and Al–just saw your comments. I really appreciate your reading time and positive comments. As I said to Len, I’m learning a lot from reading all of your pieces, so thanks!

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