When Love Was Like a Grenade
by Elizabeth Board

Blood spatter graffitied the bathroom wall. The gun still clenched in his now cold hand and she was in the middle of it all. Gauzy white dress becoming filthy with the blood. She was a shockingly calm angel in the center of the chaos of blood and bone and brain. She was picking up pieces of skull to try and hold him together. She'd run in after the shot, which came after they'd fought. She'd promised herself she wouldn't hurt him, promised herself she'd take him away from the fighting rehabilitate him with marriage and childish love-lust. But she had just brought on more verbal wars, her throat bruised from his physical attacks and his arms scared with her disdain. Love was like a grenade for them and it had seemed so perfect, once. He accepted her and she held him. But no shrink could analyze and no pill could tame his innermost pain which was now written in brilliant red on the walls of their shared spilt level suburban home. Bits of brain the slugs in the tile. Was this love, or just his final mind game? Her eyes melted and the tear drops scattered the gore. If she pressed his disfigured head to her chest hard enough, maybe the pieces would glue back together. She should get some paste, maybe.