Redemption garden - part II

A sure invitation to death, he knew, this barren wasteland which spread before him at the door.  A vast and endless desert which had taken the lives of innumerable travelers and tradesmen, noblemen and adventurers alike.  Should he tempt fate he knew the only thing that awaited him was an agonizingly slow death as the sun slowly baked his body and drained him of his fluids, while the evil predators of the parched hell waited to pick his bones clean.

And still he took a tentative step forward, because despite all those vivid and horrifying images of his potential demise which danced unbidden through his head, and despite the burning sand which scalded the bottom of his foot through the hole in his sandal, despite all that, he nearly made a break for it anyway.

Because none of that could possibly have been as bad as living another day under the same roof with that troll he called his wife.

Finally the burning sands forced Jack back into the relative coolness of the doorway, shaking his hot foot with such vigor that his sandal flopped onto the floor.  He bent to pick it up and then peeked ruefully through the hole and out into the sunshine beyond.  He sighed and muttered aloud, "Soleless... just like that corpulent sow to whom I am chained."

Sole and soul are completely different of course, but what is syntax in the name of comedy?  He slipped on the sandal, wiggled his toes, then closed the door with all the gusto of one closing the last door of his dreams.

From the other room, deeper in the house, a keening screech assaulted his ears, "Jaxanadu Peevles!  Come here this instant!"

Jack's shoulders slumped in defeat at the mention of his proper name, for the only one who called him that was the one with whom he shared that ring on his left hand.  And judging by the sound of her voice, he knew he was in trouble for something (picayune no doubt), yet his feet lacked the courage to take another step toward the voice of his betrothed.  The mere thought of her name often sent his lunch rising to his gullet these days and he was loath to share the same oxygen with her; it was as if the room had suddenly been injected with poison every time she walked in.

The End

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