• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
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Her Comic Valentine

She's on her knees, hands bunched beneath chin, eyes shut. Muttering.

He can't drag his gaze from the fields outside, rows of brittle brown. Don't matter what she asks for, crops are charred.

He takes a stick to Samuel, beating like the sun. Says he'll knock sense into the lad, but all she sees are ticks on ticks, stammers and fits. And falling down. And still he blames her God.

Next year, only the harvest spills across his hands; their girls nudge and pinch through grace, on a rare day spared of chores.

She consents to stand beside him, between meals, whilst a likeness is sketched.

The artist frowns, something's off: bring a pitchfork, he says.