Melissa Llanes Brownlee
My Kuleana

Melissa Llanes Brownlee - My Kuleana

Fiction
Melissa Llanes Brownlee is a writer born and raised in Hawaii. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas,… Read more »
James Gyure
The Meter Reader

James Gyure - The Meter Reader

Fiction
James Gyure lives, writes, and makes wine in western Pennsylvania, where he had a long career as a college administrator.… Read more »
Allegra Hyde
Why I Killed My Canary

Allegra Hyde - Why I Killed My Canary

Fiction
Allegra Hyde’s short story collection, Of This New World, won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award and will be published… Read more »

Why I Killed My Canary

Allegra Hyde

My husband’s affair thrilled me. Seeing him skulk around—the coded phone conversations, the late nights—I felt a passion I hadn’t in years. Not for him, but for the affair itself: the heat swelling in the space between us. Ten years we’d been married, neglecting to have the children who might have filled that chasm. But now: the affair. To imagine his mistress was exhilarating, like the joyful wince of getting spanked. No doubt she was prettier than I. Younger. Studying cultural anthropology at Smith, performing violin concertos on weekends. No doubt she kept her mouth sloppily lipsticked and had pale ears like little mushrooms. “Mon petite truffle,” my husband would whisper, leaning across tables in dim tavernas. Whispering, though surveillance was improbable. The taverna was three cities removed from where I waited, half-asleep in our livingroom, my knitting needles dropped to the floor. And yet, in a way I always dined with them, didn’t I? I made my husband sweat, made the pretty girl wonder. Of course I’d heard. Of course.

What I enjoyed most, however, was imagining the moment the pair parted. Not because I liked to see them separate—this was a trial for them and I—but because of… Read more »