by Walter Conley

He thought that she was lazier than he was lame, so he challenged her to a walk. The start and finish line would be his garden, where the Potentilla atrosanguinea matched the belt-loops on her pants, but nothing else that either of them wore. Halfway around the house, she slumped into a hole and shattered her ankle. It took everything he had to pull her out. Both crippled now and spent, they crossed the edge of the garden in a dead-even draw. The flowers, without having done anything to further identify themselves with their surroundings, found that they matched not only the belt-loops on the woman's pants, but the blood in her left sock and splotches of color on the pairs' hot and huffy cheeks.


Walter Conley can't remember where his work has appeared or even writing this story. He currently publishes the ezine disenthralled.