by Susan Gibb



She daydreamed herself shrouded in her loverís arms, felt his warm weight pressing down on her. She imagined the musk scent of him, the soft brush of his mouth on her neck. She was oh-so-tired and her mind slipped like silk in the heat of a slow eastern wind.

People moved around her in a swirl of dry desert sand. The sun wept hot oil on her face. Out of hunger, she drifted away from the day, from the busy yet quiet murmur that floated with the perfume of jasmine in the air. In her mind she was weak from the lovemaking. Placid, and slow. Her fingers sought the curls of his hair, her mouth kissed the top of his brow. Her lips were parched and made no sound, her thirst as forgotten as the years under dreams of desire. 

She stirred as someone shouted, slid back into reverie. Another voice sang in a high-pitched trill. She opened her eyes. In front of her just a few yards away stood her husband, her children pulling at his arms and crying words she barely could hear. Her daughter was sobbing, down on her knees, her small body straining against him. Her son stood firm, both of his hands gripping one of his fatherís. He stared into her face. She saw the conflict within him, his love stretched and hanging torn in the air. Tears locked for years inside her glass eyes crept up and spilled over, leaving large sparkling drops in the sand.

Her husband had never looked this frightening before. His anger was quiet. His anger was all in his face. She could not help but forgive him though he would never forgive her, she knew. Mahmoud stood steady and with a fling back of his arm, their daughter fell backward into the crowd.

She shut her eyes just as the first stone crushed into her jaw.




Susan Gibb is a Connecticut writer of prose and poetry in traditional and hypertext form. She has participated in arts projects and presentations, such as the Hypertext í08 Workshop. She has been or will be published in Blue Print Review, elimae, Bewildering Stories, The New River Journal, metazen, Istanbul Literary Review, Divine Dirt Quarterly, Camroc Press Review, Bartleby Snopes, Microw, The Fox Chase Review, and others.