• Jeff South

Blogtober, Day 12

Word of the day: Dance

Leslie inched toward her shaking husband. She tried not to focus on the sharp steel blade in his hand or the way his chin quivered with fear. They locked eyes and she held out her hands.

“Honey?” She measured her breathing. “What are you doing?”

“I just want it to stop hurting. The voice told me this would make it stop hurting.”

She couldn’t believe what she was hearing or seeing. The man she loved and adored, the father of their child, appeared to be willing to sever his finger or maybe his whole hand just to relieve the pain of a tiny splinter from some old chair. His normally calm face was now replaced with one of sheer terror. His eyes danced wild with fear. His breathing was erratic and labored.

“I don’t know why I am doing this,” he whispered. “Something is telling me to do it, but I’m fighting it.”

Leslie approached him with caution, worried that a sudden move on her part would bring that awful cleaver down on his hand. She took one tentative step and then another until she was by his side. She placed a loving, calming hand on his forearm. The other arm still held the cleaver.

“Marty. I’m going to reach over and take that from you. Okay?”

He nodded.

“Don’t panic on me. Just let me take it.”

She reached over, pulled the meat cleaver from his hand, and sat it down. Her husband collapsed into her arms, sobbing.

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