He looked at the little red smear on the ivory-white curtain, watched it, and looked away.

“What is it?” she asked. She was sitting on the stool in front of the kitchen island and drinking coffee slowly.

“I didn’t say anything,” he said, looking out the window and pretending the stain wasn’t in his periphery.

“Nothing…” she said. She blew the steam from her coffee. “It’s nothing. I have makeup. No one will notice.”

Richard, who was on the sofa in front of the TV, but the TV wasn’t on, said, “No one will say anything.”

She made a noise, a click in her throat. “No one says anything. Everyone is like you.”

He thought, Maybe, and turned his eyes to the sun, which was edging just below the frame of the window and illuminating the room.

“You never say anything and nobody says anything to you,” she said. “I’m the only one who speaks to you but you don’t say anything to me.”



He said it even though he knew what her reply would be.

“No, not sometimes,” she said, like he knew she would. “You never have anything to say. Not to me.”

He apologized. The centre of his vision bled away like a broken egg yolk. His periphery was still there and so was the stain. The lines on his cheek itched. He didn’t scratch. He thumbed at the dull edges of his fingernails. He couldn’t imagine growing them out any longer.

“You won’t be any less of a man,” she said.


“If you use my makeup.”


“You’re a man. You’re my man.”

“I’m yours,” he said, and his eyes were wet and he didn’t blink and the edges of the world burned away except for a dark sunspot in the shape of the stain on the curtain.




Day 251’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Over coffee,” “The stain on the curtain,” and, “The Sun.”

Subteeeext ooooohhh

– H.

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