This is a piece of a story. Like a snapshot, really.  Just a page of someone’s life.

It doesn’t have an introduction, and it doesn’t have a conclusion either.  Don’t ask me about them, because I don’t have them.

I spent a lot of time thinking about Spencer and Bess and how I could try to resolve their problems.  But nothing came of it.  Just this.  At first I was a little upset about it, but now I’ve come to terms with it.  Sometimes things aren’t meant to become anything more than what they are.

I’ve decided to call this little snapshot “Without.”  Enjoy!


Spencer stared blankly at the television. Something terrible was happening on the news; buildings burned, smoke billowed, people ran… but was it really all that terrible? After all, this was the news every evening now. And compared with what it felt like to have your own door slammed in your face, an explosion was trivial. Nothing felt quite like being shut into your apartment, trapped behind glass and screen and words of iron, and watching that grey and black plaid trench coat walk away with those tangled burgundy curls.

The curls! Spencer shook his head, as if by doing so he could shake her out of his mind, and changed the channel. Cooking. He hated cooking channels. She hadn’t liked them much either. There they were again, those lovely curls, framing her face. It wasn’t the prettiest face; they weren’t even the prettiest curls. But that wasn’t really what he had fallen in love with, and it wasn’t what he missed either. Spencer couldn’t quite put into words what he missed so much, but he knew without a doubt that Bess had left a void in his chest, a gaping hole. Every day it grew and grew… how many days had it been? Six? Seven? Could it have really been a week? She had never been gone that long before. Spencer changed the channel again—a documentary of some kind. He turned off the TV, and silence settled on him like an itchy wool blanket.

A week. The word seemed so harsh; that hard k sound at the end sounded like the screened door slamming behind her: clack! Spencer sat there, smothered in silence, and closed his eyes. He replayed their last conversation—their last fight— paying attention to every painful detail. Yes, she had said she was leaving and not coming back, but hadn’t she said that before? And she had always came back… she’d never been gone more than two days. Maybe this was different. What had made it different? And why didn’t she at least answer the phone…


Yup, that’s it.  No more.  Short, isn’t it?  Let me know what you think.



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