IRENIC by Sean Ennis
Sad! Grace’s first husband died when he lost control of his car. A hornet had gotten in. She obviously survived—seatbelts, people!—as did the bee. She believes herself to be the only woman widowed in such a silly way. As a child, I was stung on the face at an apple orchard, and my limited knowledge of melittology informs me that I am now immune. Thus, our romance.
Today, we’ve planned a lunch date and then we’re going to buy some quasi-legal drugs. We’re looking to giggle. I have never been married before but came close-ish. I’m also going to experiment with different settings on the dishwasher, for Grace.
When there’s a full moon, like tonight, Grace leaves a jug of water and plate of special stones on the deck to charge up in its light. I have very few opinions about this practice. I let it proceed as if she asked my permission.
The woman I almost married still thrives presumably. But, lo and behold, my memories of her are evaporating. I recall she had IBS and intense freckles on her shoulders, but I can’t conjure up her face. Is this an effect of Grace and her magic rocks? Again, I’m ok with it.
She was widowed at 24, and I met her on the steps of a university building while she was near completion of her program in grief. I invited her to a party I was throwing and she didn’t accept. What happened instead: I gave an idiot a whole bottle of scotch to just leave my apartment. Love was not ready.
Grace wears black all the time and, oh no, it occurs to me now she may still be in mourning. I don’t think highly of this guy or appreciate him. He was in my way and may still be.
Can you imagine? A bee!
We also have tickets to Angels in America performed by puppets tonight.
When I stop to reflect on why we have such a busy day planned, oh god no, it’s the anniversary of the accident. I don’t even want to look at a calendar.
What little I know about the deceased. People, take your lives seriously because they might end up a joke.
Sean Ennis is the author of CHASE US: Stories (Little A) and his flash fiction has recently appeared in Pithead Chapel, Diagram, X-R-A-Y, HAD and New World Writing. More of his work can be found at seanennis.net