The Authors
INTRODUCTION: The English Professor

INTRODUCTION: The Common-Law Wife of Old Trout

She adjusted the focus on the binoculars. “Oh my god.”

A low groan came from below in the cabin. “What are you doing? Are you—stop it.”

Though her mind flashed the brief thought of drugging him with the leftover vicodin she was saving for a special occasion—what could be more special than that, she asked herself—tying something heavy around his neck, like that insanely heavy cast iron skillet he was so fucking proud of, even though everything fried in it tasted like old trout—and pushing him over the side.

“What do you think I’m doing?” she said.

“What do you think I think?” he snapped.

She simplified her previous fantasy to just beating his head in with the aforementioned skillet, though she doubted she could lift it up and down more than once or twice, the thing was so fucking huge.

After all, he had convinced her they had to barter their child for this fucking boat. They could make another child, he’d said. The boat will save our lives, he said. We can go to a better place, he said, where a child can grow up safe and sane, he said.
But then they stopped having sex, so a second child had yet to appear.

The crunch of his skull under the weight of the skillet. It might only take once. It was really fucking heavy.

“Did I tell you what Gunther did yesterday?” she said. Gunther and Dieter were what they had dubbed the two men on the houseboat she was watching.

“Do I want to know?”

Yes you fucking do, she thought.


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