your husband is a crocodile tonight

Competition Eleven Winning Story: Your Husband Is a Crocodile Tonight by

Looks like he could bite, tapping on the steering wheel, looking down his long snout, his oily musk filling the space between you.

You put a hand on his knee to calm your own nerves and he bellows. As if there’d never been gentle rubbing and bubbles in murky waters, as if you’d never twisted for hours on backseats, listening to the radio spin out songs of love.

When you arrive he’ll flash those sharp white teeth and the guests will say how handsome he is, ignoring his armoured skin and obvious lies. He’ll place his hand on the small of your back. The women will tell you how lucky you are.  He’ll grip your arm and warn you to go slow. He’ll spit, his eyes black diamonds.

Lightning fills the car, outlines the snout, the tight lips, the grimace.

You imagine him in bars downtown, prowling, knocking things over with his broad, muscular body; the swish of his tail.  A woman’s sitting at the bar drinking Martini. She leaves a blood-red mark of eagerness as she silk-slips off the barstool.

You can’t imagine he’s kind with them. You hope he doesn’t hurt them. He always says that storms should be kept behind closed doors. You imagine him turning them to his liking, riding them, power rippling his long back.

Poplar trees line the road to the villa, swaying ferociously in the wind. You hear music. You see yourself dancing on the terrace as rain thrashes, mud drenching your long dress. Lightning again. He turns to look at you, sneering. You could throw yourself from this racing car. You let an inch of static in, feel the vibrations coming in waves, wait for the storm to begin.





Julia Ruth Smith is a mother, teacher and writer. She lives by the sea in Italy. She has recently been published by FlashFrog Lit Mag and Reflex Fiction and will appear in the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology in the Autumn. You can find her on Twitter @JuliaRuthSmith1 or at the beach…



Photo by Sebastien Varin on Unsplash



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