She remembered her parents coming home from the party early, her mother switching on the bedroom light, finding her that way, legs splayed, saying now she'd done it, ruined herself, boys will think she's dirty, calling her "pervert." The girl was so young then. She had to look the word up the next day.

During school years she got skinny and fat then skinny again. She learned the importance of adaptability. In a man’s world, she discovered that a girl could have the things she desired. Her mother was wrong and she would prove it.

Her husband’s name is Julian. He creates abstract paintings of animals doing human things but with a twist, such as one piece where a big breasted robin drives a school bus through a cloud or another where a cobra cuts snowflake patterns out of a piece of paper using a blowtorch. She met Julian at a showing and told herself if this one loved her she would marry him and be a better person.

Up late, in bed, he’s reading a book about Klimt. “Hey, Baby,” he says.

Even with just a single bed light turned on, anyone can see that he has the sweetest honey dew eyes. The sight of him like that—bare-chested and ready to be wounded—slices her resolve and she panics, mistrusting herself for once, uncertain if she will tell him or not.

“I waited up.”

“You didn’t need to.”

Her husband has a studio in town, but sometimes the muse strikes him at home. She sees he’s started something new. It might be a wolf. Yes, it’s a wolf seated at a slot machine, tongue lolling. Instead of paws, the wolf has fingers formed out of female breasts.

She takes off her clothes for the fourth time today.

“How was work?” he asks her, and she says, “You know.”

“You want to tell me about it?” he asks, and she says, “No. No, I really don’t want to.”

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State. His work appears widely in print and online at places like Moon Milk Review, Connotation Press, Pure Slush and others. He's also an editor for the literary journal Metazen. You can follow Len here.

© Copyright Len Kuntz 2012