Shane Ryan Bailey

It was late and his wife hadn’t come home. Fearing there’d been an accident, he called her cellular, then her work number. (No answer.) He tried calling friends, hoping she was with them. (She wasn’t.)

When he heard her car pull into the drive, he rushed to the front of the house and stood at the screen door, peering out. There, in the glow of the porch light where moths eddied and large insects hurled their bodies against the screen door, he saw his wife—or what seemed to be his wife—limping up the sidewalk with her hair mussed, lipstick and mascara smudged, her face twisted in an expression of bereavement. The front of her blouse appeared to have been ripped open, exposing the bra. He stood still, holding the door closed, as if his own wife were a beloved pet, now rabid and needing to be shut out.

Shane Ryan Bailey has fiction published or forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Evergreen Review, Quarterly West, Salome Magazine, and elsewhere.