This snap fiction story (what’s that?) was inspired by a picture I took when visiting family. There was a spectac­u­larly melted blob of paraffin on the table and I thought: what little tale could I find here?

Goings-on Before Breakfast

When she woke up again, his arm was still draped across her breast. His breath smelled of her toothpaste.

She pulled on his fingers one by one until he opened an eye.

Howdy pardner.”

Well howdi-doo, straynger,” he mimicked her cowgirl shtick.

She stretched her neck to look sideways. 4:51 AM. She took a deep breath, but it sounded like a sigh. Maybe it was.

You need to go.”

Now hold yer horses, lassie.”


Now it was his turn. Let’s call it another deep breath, she thought. Funny how, after so many years, even a simple exhalation can convey meaning.

Are you okay with this?” He nudged her chin with his nose.

It was good. It was nice. It was…” Comfortable, she thought. It has been comfortable and that was the problem.

He’d put his finger on her lips before she even spoke.

Don’t say that this doesn’t change anything. I know that.” He edged a bit closer and planted a kiss on her shoulder. The right kind. Businesslike, affir­mative, conclusive. “It is what it is.”

She looked him straight in the eyes, for the first time.


I’d like to see her though. Maybe just a moment, before breakfast.”

Funny how, after one more night, even a simple silence can say it all.

You’re right,” he said. “Things are going well. Forget that.”

Good,” she said, and ran her flat hand along his side, his butt, his leg. “It is what it is.”

They both chuckled.

He pushed himself over her, kissed her mouth, licked her tongue. She pulled him in between her legs, reached down and guided him. He filled her and lifted one leg over his shoulder, going deeper.

Suddenly, she froze and stared at his face.

Hey, before we went upstairs…”


You did blow out the other candle, didn’t you?”

Say what?”

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Father, son, husband, friend and writer by day; asleep by night. Happily pondering the immortality of the crab wherever words are shared.

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