by Gita M. Smith

They had been wintering on the Cape under gunmetal skies for a month, just as they’d always done since falling in love. Lou said he was tired of deserted beach walks and the thin fare on the menu at Maxie’s, and he needed to go back to the city, anyway, on business. Elana loved the coast in winter, its dunes under frost, the burnished browns of sea oats, all of which she would paint when she regained the use of her right arm. The stroke had aged her immeasurably and had left her right side slack, her vision and speech impaired. There would be no painting in her future, nor walking on the beach, not ever, they both knew. That is why she stayed behind, and that is why he left her there, the lightweight Ruger within reach.


Gita M. Smith is a former reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She lives in Alabama where she teaches writing at a University. After writing millions of non-fiction words to earn a living, she is relieved to finally be able to make things up.