He palmed her opal earrings as the doorbell rang “Mrs. Larks! Trick or Treat!” called a querulous voice.
“She doesn’t hear you,” Richard muttered.
He found a needle and an ink pen among Sophia’s things then went to the kitchen for ice. Wasn’t this how they did it in the old days? In the bathroom, he marked his lobes carefully. “This is stupid, Sophie,” he told the mirror. But he had promised. He bore the pain of the piercing in silence, though it took too many jabs. Then the doorbell rang again, and he cursed its noise instead of his own hurts.
It was hard to get the backs on the opals and harder still to look at himself wearing a pair of women’s earrings that were not, for all his efforts, even close to the same height. “OK,” he said. “I did it. Now what?”
Sophia manifested in the mirror. “Help me out,” she said.
Richard slammed his nose against the glass. “My God, it is you, Sophie.”
“Help me out,” his wife repeated, extending a hand.
Richard braced himself against the sink and punched through. Sophia broke free in a shattering of glass. It hardly mattered that both of them were bleeding from a dozen cuts. He held her tight as her warmth returned.
Downstairs, the doorbell rang again, and another needling voice, or perhaps the same one shouted, “I said ‘Trick or Treat’!”
“Oh!” Sophia broke away from Richard. “I know it’s been a long day, but we can’t let the children down.” She hurried down the hall, living but not yet fully corporeal, her feet trailing inches above the carpet as she walked.
In addition to participating in the Trifecta prompts, I also periodically join up with the awesome folks over at Write on Edge. (Far, far too rarely these days.) Today, Write on Edge released its second annual anthology of Precipice. There are poems, short stories, and memoir pieces from some of the authors I admire the most online, and I am honored to have not one but two pieces featured between Precipice’s covers. If you have a minute, please, visit the Write on Edge page for download or paper purchase links.