Home from the War
Patricia Harrington

Cold reality enveloped Celeste.  It seeped into her, chilling bones and frosting her breath.  Cruel, not to be escaped.  But the image of their bodies together--just hours ago--still left her tingling.  She smiled, remembering how passion’s heat had fired every pore, every nerve, causing her to cry to her lover, his fingers touching, caressing.              

Now Celeste folded her hands on her chest, letting her thoughts trail.  She admitted readily to herself, why their love making had been so wonderful.  It was meant to be a cherished memory. One to warm her in nights to come—when she was alone.                 

George lay next to her and Celeste stroked his hands folded on his chest.  She leaned over so that she could rest her head on them.  How wonderful her husband had been, his tenderness, his familiar caresses to her body, his words touching her soul.    She could not have loved George more.  Her childhood sweetheart, back from Korea, with wounded body and pain his constant companion.                

Celeste laid back, pulling the coverlet up to her chin.  Then she turned on her side and  tucked it softly around George's chest.   

She briefly stroked her husband’s cheek.     

He'd been a wonderful lover these last weeks despite his constant pain.  She smiled, feeling content at the charity of what she had done, preparing the poison and putting it into his drink.     

Now George would have no more pain—and she would have the memory of their last night of love to treasure.

First published: February, 2010
comments to the writer: doorknobsandbodypaint@gmail.com