by Lori Lou Freshwater

Her bulldozer of a husband died five years ago. But she stayed with him for years and she was his wife and their mother and their grand-mother, and she performed with the gentleness of a floating feather and the kindness of the spring breeze which carries it. She smiled, and never did any harm. She loved, but never too deep. After her husband's reign ended when he dropped to his knees in the kitchen as life choked out of him, she didn't change much except for the big white oceanfront house that she built. It was lovely and airy and stocked full of sweet food the grandchildren loved to eat and toys they loved to play with. She passed the time by collecting smooth sea glass along the shore. It wasn't long before the first large vase was full with the dull colors of glass made quiet by the grit of the sand and the surges and groans of the salty seawater. After that, she began to fill more and more vases, giving them away and starting again. One morning she was on her walk, gathering up the sea glass that had been brought to her, when she was hit by the sharpest pain in the tenderest part of her foot.

She felt the warmth of blood and she ground her teeth and she looked down at the jagged broken shell pushed into the sand by her weight, and she looked at the sea, and she screamed her spite.