Word of the Day
by Dan Dillard
Glorious. It was the only word Phillip could use to describe the day. Warm sun on his face and not a cloud in the sky. The breeze was cool, but just enough to give him a lift as he went. He thought of Alison and the way her brilliant red hair shone on a sunny day, so stark in its contrast with her cream colored skin. Blue eyes like the heavens he was staring at in awe. He caught his reflection in the mirrored windows of the passing building.
Unglorious, if that was a word, would be the one he would’ve chosen to describe himself before. His wispy hair fluttered in the breeze like cobwebs. His thin arms and pudgy belly belied the body he’d once had. She had chosen him, fifteen years her senior, and that was all that mattered. He couldn’t wait to see her again. Soon, he thought. Very soon.
A bird caught a moment of his attention, mesmerizing in the apparent ease with which it flew, cutting through the air like a fish through water. There one second and gone the next. Alison, he thought.
He watched cars go past. People walking, some stopped to watch. What, he had no idea. It could only have been the shocking beauty of the morning and the promise a new day brings. He wasn’t even angry anymore, that had all passed. Soon he would be with Allison, stroking her hair and her smooth skin and all would be right again.
She hadn’t looked shocked to see Phillip. She hadn’t cared, or even allowed a skip in her stroke…in fact, it seemed to increase her ferocity and she moaned louder. Then both of the man’s hands were on her hips, thrusting and pulling her, grunting like an animal. Grunting, Phillip thought and smiled.
When the heavy base of that lamp crushed Alison’s skull, he had stopped grunting. Then it was screaming. Suddenly, she was no longer sexy. She was repulsive with her brain seeping through her skull. She was no longer desired with the red blood pouring through her orange hair. Her convulsions were no longer orgasmic, but involuntary in a different sense. Her partner slid out from under her. She was Phillip’s again, to have and to hold. The naked man looked ridiculous with his erection and horrified look on his face. Soon enough, the erection left, and fear was all that remained.
“Get out,” Phillip had said and the man obeyed.
Alison had fallen forward onto the pillows and her blood created a halo around her head, red as the sin she’d been caught committing. Phillip was glad he’d forgotten his cell, glad to know the truth. He picked up the phone and tucked it in his pocket. Then he kissed her on the head, smearing red on his lips before walking out.
Again, he checked his look in the last of the mirrored building windows that flew by at terminal velocity. This time, he liked the smile on his face. He was content with the wisps of hair and the paunch. Content with his choice. Content was the word he would use to describe himself at that final moment. He hit the ground with a muffled thud knowing he would be with Alison for eternity, and no one could take her from him again.