Halfway through Malachi by Melissa Goode

Cindy was halfway through  when she called it a night. She shut the book and turned out the kitchen light.

Jon was in bed already, his eyes closed, just as she knew he would be.

“Did you know—” she said.

“Not the bible, Cindy. Please.”

“Well, why would you say that?”

“I know you’ve been reading it. Out there. In the kitchen. At night.”

“Alright then,” she said and got into bed. “I was going to say, did you know you left the lights on inside your truck?”

The quilt, blanket and sheet flew back. “Fuck. Why didn’t you tell me?” he said, and fled the room in a t-shirt and boxers.

Cindy rubbed cream into her hands. “I am telling you,” she said, although he would not be able to hear her.

“The lights are not on!” Jon hollered from the front room.

“Better check the truck,” she called, “the batteries might be gone.”

Her last word echoed in their bedroom—gone. It boomed.

He was swearing, swearing, swearing when he came back down the hall and into the bedroom for his coat, his jeans, his goddamn boots. It was early December. It was snowing. He must have said Jesus Fucking Christ at least ten times. He left for the cold dark.

Cindy brought her hands to her nose and smelled Yardley English Roses. She thought of Julie Taylor lying in her bed three houses down, lying, and she thought of two of the abominations listed in Proverbs—one, a lying tongue, two, a heart that devises wicked plans. Cindy had thought that next time it would be his tires, but now she wasn’t sure.

Gone. Gone. Gone. Malachi, the final book in the Old Testament, was almost done and she was ready for the New Testament, for the love. She tipped her head back, right back, to face the headboard and remembered he used to make her do that with just his tongue.

Melissa Goode’s work has recently appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, New World Writing, Split Lip Magazine, WhiskeyPaper, Atticus Review, (b)oink, and Jellyfish Review, among others. One of her short stories has been made into a film by the production company, Jungle. She lives in Australia. You can find her here: www.melissagoode.com and at twitter.com/melgoodewriter.

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