Author: Jeff Hill

A woman is crouching in the bushes, patiently waiting next to the house of her estranged husband. He has to know, she thinks to herself. The neighbors see her, but they pay no mind. They know she’s harmless, and they know she’ll never actually confront him. But she’s not sure which is worse: the fact that she does not deserve their pity or the fact that they will regret their dismissal. “He has to know,” she whispers to no one in particular.

She walks over to the front door and surprises the few neighborhood watchers out walking their dogs, playing basketball in their driveways, and grilling burgers while drinking beers in their garages. She knocks, then rings the doorbell for good measure. Then she surprises everyone watching yet again, removing each article of her clothing, one by one, waiting for him to open up the door.

She has black ink all over her body, in what appears to be the words of an ancient, long-forgotten, seemingly dangerous language. The beers drip, the burgers burn, the basketballs roll down the driveways, the dogs nervously urinate, and a couple of the neighbors do, too. The door opens.

Her voice is simultaneously quiet and booming, her words seem to enter the whole neighborhood’s heads directly. A jilted lover, a sad separation, a reckless deal, and a town that would soon make national news. The woman will not be ignored. The woman will not be pitied. And as the clouds begin to blacken above her, she says she will not be forgotten.