This piece is written in response to a Write on Edge writing prompt to start with the sentence, “His crossed arms answered her question before she spoke.” 450 word limit with a focus on dialogue and body language. This was painfully difficult since I never write fiction and rarely even write in the third person. But the point was to try something new. So I did.
Dare Double Dare
His crossed arms answered her question before she spoke.
She asked anyway. Better to hear his answer than just suppose it.
“So you’re going to stay here even though…………..”
“Sure. Where would I go? It’s my house, too. I should just move out because you decided to fuck everything up?”
He shifted his weight, still leaning against the stove. One of the burners started the tick, tick, tick that signaled the flow of unlit gas.
“You’re going to blow the house up, leaning like that.”
“You already took care of that. Our house is pretty blown up if you ask me.”
He turned to reach for a glass from the cupboard, poured himself a Scotch, sat down on the kitchen stool and waited for the next foray.
She made the motions of starting dinner, taking the old black iron frying pan down from its hook over the radiator, and rummaging in the refrigerator for the chicken breasts she’d bought that afternoon.
“Where’s the olive oil?”
“How the fuck would I know? You’re in charge of the olive oil, the regular oil, the peanut oil. There’s an oil, you’re in charge of it. Isn’t that how it works? You’re in charge?”
“Jesus, you don’t have to be so mad. I’m just trying to make dinner here.”
He got off the stool to reach for the bag of Doritos on top of the fridge, a subtle insult to her cooking.
“Is there any way out of this? Is there any way that you aren’t so mad at me?”
He went back in the refrigerator, getting on his knees so he could look long and hard behind the yogurt, the radishes, and the eggs. He stood up with a bag of Habanero chilies.
“You want hot? Here’s hot. Why don’t you cook these for dinner.”