The couple sat at dinner they were eating steak. He was halfway through his and she was a quarter ways through hers she wasn’t sure if she would finish it. Their silverware scraped the bottoms of their plates nails on chalkboards metal chains clanking she sighed.
“Did you hear about the man who stole his lover’s corpse from the graveyard?”
He stopped eating looked up at her.
“I was reading an article online,” she said and knowing this routine it was nothing to worry about he went back to looking down at his plate and eating, “about this man, in Asia, I think Thailand, maybe something somewhere else, whose wife had died.” He ate his steak chewed on it and it was tough. “And he was so overcome with grief that he went to the graveyard and dug her. Dug her up.”
He nodded his head he took a piece of steak at the end of his fork and used it to scoop mashed potatoes onto it then dipped it in A-1 sauce tangy and salty and sharp put it in his mouth and started to chew more.
“He took her home,” she continued as she picked around the food on her plate with her fork not really aiming at anything almost avoiding the steak in the middle, “and he put her in bed. She was decayed, you know, her insides were rotting out, she had fluid in there to stop it stop the rotting but it wasn’t really stopping it, it isn’t supposed to last more than a few years.”
“It’s supposed to last forever,” he said with a mouthful of mashed potatoes and steak which was nearing the gristle end of the steak but he didn’t have any peas in this bite the peas just sat on the edge of the plate untouched but he didn’t look up still.
Their kitchen was small and the table didn’t really fit in it.
“Well, he kept her in his bed for five years, even though she was decomposing, he lay next to her and he kissed her and held her and I don’t know if they made love but I would think that they did, how could you lay with someone for that long and not? It’s weird to think because she is just there but if he is comfortable to sleep with her next to him even though she is coming apart then he must be okay with are you listening?”
He looked up from his plate.
Their house was small as well.
“Anyway. That was the story I read and I wanted to tell you what I thought about it.”
Their bed wasn’t.
“Well. What did you think about it?”
She shrugged and jabbed her fork into a tender piece of steak that was cooked rare just the way she liked it even though he liked his well done but she liked the redness of the steak how it still looked like the thing it used to be not some unrecognizable thing that most people don’t even like it when it gets that way but he did for some reason.
“I thought it was romantic.”
He looked up at her as she took a bite of steak the piece of rare fleshy dead animal danced between her porcelain teeth he watched her chew chew chew the meat in her bright shiny teeth and he could feel the blood.
Warren Buchanan is a Bay Area writer who writes short fiction, flash, novels and screenplays. He got his MFA from Saint Mary’s College and a BA in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount. His mother is very proud of him.