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How She Loved Him, by Tiffany Grimm

#322: Isinglassed Pulse, by Josh Stein

With a startled gasp, Enora shot up in bed, her small hand flying to her bosom. Her ragged breathing filled the room until Enora felt her heartrate slow. As she lay back against her pillow, she glanced to the other side of the bed. An undented pillow lay pristine and unused for these last 6 months. Her eyes wandered over to the picture on the bedside table. Ah Jord, her beloved husband of these last 50 years. Enora’s eyes misted over as she remembered their wedding day. She was clad in her grandmother’s gown and Jord was dressed in his Sunday best. Fifty years later, she could still see traces of the young man he used to be in the photo by the bed. Face scrubbed and beaming from the picture across to her, Jord smiled at her as Enora lay back down and drifted to sleep, thinking of her late husband as she nodded off.

Ah Jord, how she loved him.

They married young. Enora was happy running her own home. She felt a sense of accomplishment when the tantalizing smell of fresh bread would fill the home or when the last tiny stitch was placed in a multipatterned quilt to adorn their bed.

Jord was many things, but a handy man he was not. He worked hard at the little bank in town—reasonably good with numbers but hopeless around the house. Oh, he always tried his best but somehow the window shutters never hung quite straight, letting in a chilly breeze in the winter evening. The back door didn’t quite close properly, allowing all the neighborhood cats to wander through her clean kitchen.

Enora laughed gaily at the memory of how angry she would become with all those little cat paws pouncing on her bread dough or nibbling at the still warm dinner on the kitchen table. She smiled at the memory of frigid winter nights as the air whistled through the windows, icy tendrils slithering under the bed covers. Oh, how she would rail at Jord in the dead of the night. Not that Jord minded. He slept the sleep of the dead.

Ah Jord, how she loved him.

Enora thought fondly of her husband as she plucked runner beans from the vine. Bumbling along in the garden, Jord would weed, his large mustache trembling like the bees dancing around their vegetable plants. The fact that he pulled more vegetables than weeds was another matter entirely. He did love eating the vegetables even if he couldn’t discern a tomoto plant from a weed—

even with large plump tomatoes hanging off the stems.

Ah Jord, how she loved him.

She thought of how he tended to the woodstove in winter. Off in his own world, the fire either died a sputtering slow death or Jord would ply the fire with so much wood it suffocated in on itself.

“Oh, silly Jord!” Enora reminisced.

Or how he would “chop” wood out back for their woodstove. Standing in their little back yard, arms straining from the lack of real physical labor, he would bring down the ax with a resounding thunk. Missing the wood entirely of course. But oh, how he tried. Enora never wanted Jord to feel underappreciated. Her eyes glinting, she would watch him struggle unknowing of her own struggle not to push him out of the way and do the job herself. Enora was handy with the ax, cutting most of the wood to heat their little home. It really was a surprise the day she went out to help him with the latest woodpile. A surprise when his confused eyes turned to her as she raised the ax high above her head. Surprise was the last look Jord had as the ax came whistling down upon his head.

Ah Jord, how she loved him.

Loved him to death.


Tiffany Grimm is a library assistant with Manatee Libraries. New to Florida, she's enjoying the sun, lizards, and books. She is currently working on Masters in Library Science.


Josh Stein is a lifelong multi-mode creative artist, musician, writer, professor with multiple advanced degrees from the University of California and the University of Liverpool, and adult beverage maker, residing in Napa, California. With formal training in calligraphy, graphic design, and color work; more than two decades as a researcher, teacher, and writer in cultural analysis in the vein of the Birmingham and Frankfurt Schools; and a decade and a half as a commercial artist and designer for multiple winery clients; he brings his influences of Pop art, Tattoo flash and lining techniques, and Abstract Surrealism and Expressionism to the extreme edge where graphic design and calligraphy meet the Platonic theory of forms. The resulting metallic and fluorescent inks and acrylics on canvas delight and perplex, moving between the worlds of solidity and abstraction.


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