Always the Inevitable

Outside the rain is pouring down in sheets. Sylvia has had too much to drink and is taking it out on her nearest and dearest.

“I think you’ve had enough,” says Roger. Roger does everything icily – he’s an intellectual – but he’s at his absolutely frostiest now. The rest of the family is paralyzed.

“Oh?” Sylvia slams her hands flat on the table, and presses down until the joints pop. Her eyes aren’t tracking together, but she’s precise in her movements. “Let me tell you something, Roger. Let me tell you about having enough. Let me tell you, Roger –”

His eyes have gone empty as a salt desert and his knuckles are white around the bone handle of his steak knife. “Sylvia,” he says, warning, just as the lights go out. There’s a scream, high pitched and eerie. Lightning flashes into the room, pinning everyone against the walls.

When the lights come back up, Roger is alone in the room. The French windows are open and the rain has soaked his shirt. The pool at his feet is red, and spreading. “I,” he says, and “Sylvia,” and his voice is warm and human.