Under This Cover of Quiet
by Amy Guth
Originally published on Six Sentences:
In a family of many hushed secrets, only so many years could pass before the cracks would begin to show, and usually started with the creative girls. Though her aunt had been dead for two years, Shifra knew the cracks the family silently covered just afterwards were beginning to resurface and felt them heavier on her shoulders as her wedding day loomed ahead of her. The moments since Shifra spoke thudded on with painful, tense silence as the women kneaded and chopped, sliced and boiled, all of them ignoring the obvious, trying hard to cook it out of their minds. "You can't cook all of this because I am not going to marry Daniel so there will be no wedding and I don't care what any of you tell me or each other or the rest of this crazy neighborhood." The women, all pulling nervously at the edges of their long skirts and looking alternately at the floor and then at each other, let out a collective sigh and shifted nervously as her mother prepared herself for words to come. "Shifra, look what became of your aunt when she refused to marry."