She opened the door to the end. She could hear her son
splashing in the tub down the hall. She could see the intent
in his eyes, and she only thought, “hush” to her son.
“Don’t let him hear you.” She backed away from the door
and the gun, trying to placate, offering to talk. He had already
made up his mind though, the standard, “if I can’t have you,
no one will.” The shots rang out and stung her face like a bee,
as part of her jaw flew across the room. The end was quick,
but her final thought was her son. She didn’t close her eyes,
until she saw him turn the gun on himself. Her son would be safe.
Karen Silverstrim lives in western New York, spending her time hiking around the Niagara Gorge and teaching history. Karen has been writing for forty-seven years, with publications in newspapers and literary journals in New York, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Canada.
Photograph by Ian D. Keating.