His Living Wife

By Kathleen J. Woods

I have not seen my husband yet. Each night, I await his footsteps, the rustle of feathers outside my door. I lie with my eyes closed against the dark. I am not allowed to look.

They say my husband is a monster. A winged serpent the length of a river. A lion with the snout of a boar. A death’s head, death’s face, the stink of rot. So said Apollo to my father, my father to me. My sisters wept. He will split my throat and take my hair to bed his den. He will lick the muscle from my bone. My sisters wailed and placed a diadem of leaves upon my head. They draped me in white robes and the plainest jewelry. On my neck, a golden seed on a string.

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