by Michael Morse
“What good are they if you can’t eat ‘em?”
Gallant tossed the stones into the water, picked up the seaweed, shook off the sand and ate it. All of it. He didn’t offer Beatrice a thing. Ever.
The stones sank to the bottom of the pond, nestling into the mud. Beatrice stripped off her clothing and dove after them. Gallant watched from the shore. After a few minutes he dove after her, grasped her hair and fought for the water’s surface. Beatrice didn’t offer any help; she never did. Eventually, he broke through, inhaled sharply and pulled his wife’s head above the water. She didn’t take advantage of the air, having made her decision the moment she saw the stones.
Gallant waited a moment, found treading water increasingly difficult, then let her go. She sank, and covered the pretty stones with her dead body.
Back on shore he shook the sand and fleas from his tenth wife’s wedding dress and stuffed it into his pack.
There will be other wives.