La Femme Assise

Celeste had never found another one like it and she’d looked whenever she passed by an antique store or a flea market. Dennis, who hadn’t a sentimental bone in his body, had saved the ring as a surprise, so she’d first beheld it as he slipped it on her slim finger during their wedding ceremony at Brooklyn City Hall. 

She’d sobbed at its beauty and elegance. Though most of the guests in the tiny chapel probably assumed she’d cried because she was marrying Dennis, a good catch, a CPA. Their thirtieth anniversary was coming up in October. Maybe they could go on that trip to London he’d promised five years ago, if he could get away from the office. 

The ring was part of her.

“God damn, Lady. It’s stuck. I don’t have all the fucking time in the world.”

Celeste considered explaining to him the more he yanked at the ring the more swollen her finger became, but it didn’t seem the best moment to make suggestions. He squeezed her nose harder. She expected the crack of bone any second.

She heard a different sound instead, a click followed by a flash of metal sliding against metal. She detected sudden movement and felt a pinch on her left hand, as when the doctor gives you a shot. Then her hand felt cool, almost cold. He released her nose only to smash his fist into it. The punch arrived like slingshot from hell and her face was instantly on fire. A sharp metallic taste flooded into the throbbing pain. Her nostrils were blocked and she had to inhale hard through her mouth to fill her lungs. 

She heard and felt things cascade down the steps: paper things, metal things, plastic things. Her things. A small, light object was placed on her chest, almost gently. For a second, she thought help had finally arrived, but it was just her smelly attacker deserting her. A tangle of hurried footsteps ascended and gradually faded into silence.

cont. p. 5

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