A Brief Affair

They’d only met once yet she felt as if she’d known him for longer than their three week on-line acquaintance. He was handsome with kind brown eyes, short wavy brown hair and a neatly groomed beard just showing hints of gray at the chin and sideburns.  In a word, he was delicious.

His smile when he’s met her at the parking lot of a park midway between the two of them, had eased her nerves and lightened her day, but his hug, a lingering, warm hello, had recalled her to the excitement of youth and the stirring of long dormant passions.

“I wondered if you’d called me out here to stage some kind of chainsaw massacre,” he joked, as they walked along a groomed trail by a hidden lake in the middle of rural farmland. It was twilight and the sun winked off the water lending an enchanted element to their evening stroll.  

They walked to the edge of the trail before exploring a path off the main trail, walking down a hill to a canopied lane of green leafy branches stretching above them in a bower made for intimacy. They linked fingers as they talked, and she snuck several peeks at his profile when she noticed he was doing the same.  Once they were hidden enough from the main trail, he spun her around and kissed her, a gentle meeting of lips, their hot breaths mating in the cooler air found below the level of the lake.

“That was nice,” she whispered against his lips.

“I wanted to get to know you first before I did that.” She felt, rather than saw, his answering smile curve against her mouth. “Was that ok? Not too fast?”

She shook her head. “No, just right.”

They entwined their hands this time and rejoined the main path, the sun just beginning to dip below the lake’s horizon.

He knew she was married and that her relationship was strained, so he asked her about it and she talked in halting phrases of how their marriage had drifted apart, how the love they had once shared had faded because of anger and distrust. He shared his own past relationship, and she discovered in him a thoughtful, caring companion.

They shared one final kiss as the sun disappeared completely behind the lake. She knew nothing beyond the gentle pressure of his lips and the tightening in her lower abdomen. His farewell hug lingered and his strength secured her to him. It was with some reluctance they parted in the parking lot, but they had made plans to meet again next week. Their parting would not be for long.

Happiness bubbled within her for the first time in almost two years. She had a companion to talk to, a friend to share with, a lover to explore their mutual passion. That night she slept more soundly than she had in years.

The next morning, there was a text waiting for her.

I kept thinking about what you said when the therapist asked you if you wanted to stay married to your husband. You said yes. I don’t want to be hurt if you eventually find you want to remain with your husband, and I can’t be the man to break up your marriage. Call me if you’re ever single.

She wrote back, assuring him she understood and wishing him a good life, but inside she died a little. For while they had talked the previous evening about their marriages, she had said to him she’d told her therapist she wanted to remain married to her husband, but that had been several months previous before she understood their trust to be completely broken. But he was a good man, an honorable man and he was doing what was right. So she lied and said good-bye. She was the married one. She was the one hoping for a relationship where none was possible.  She was the one pretending.  

She returned to the secluded lake the next night, knowing he was gone from her life and most likely for good. The sun dipped behind the lake as it had the night before, but this time, the water didn’t shimmer like diamonds on glass. This time, it was her falling tears which caught and shimmered on her damp cheeks. But no one was there to see it.

As always, she was alone.

(C) Sara Ackerman, 2019


Concert Etiquette

Text with my family last night who was at home while I was @MumfordAndSons concert.

Me: I understand now why some women throw away perfectly good underwear at concerts.

Hubs: Uh…the kids are on this chat.

Me: Haha. Just joking.

16 y/o: MOM WTF

Me: I meant other women. Not me.

16 y/o: Ok then.

Me: My panties are firmly in place. For now….

11 y/o: Ewwwwww

16 y/o: Thanks mom. I need to f %^&ing bleach my brain.



Dry cleaner


I wish there were a dry cleaner for the soul

Wait ten minutes, we’ll mend any holes!

Clean out the soot, remove all the stains

Have it back in a flash, free from all pain.


But then what would I do with a soul sparkling clean?

While my thoughts are riddled, ugly and mean

This pure soul would take a look at the shell

Who’d housed it in good, yet brought it through hell.


It would want to flee, fly far from its home

But knowing to do so would leave me to roam

Without a beacon, some promise of hope

Body without soul is unable to cope


Instead of fleeing into the light

My soul would give over with nary a fight

And so I’d be saddled once more with a hole

Which used to be, once, a beautiful soul.

(C) Sara Ackerman, 2019


Take me Apart

Tickle my toes

Lap over my feet

Lick up my shins

Burn thighs with cold heat


Craddle my buttocks

Release all my strain

Peel back my skin

Expose all my pain


Dissolve my bones

Take me apart

Stop breath in my lungs

Surround my cold heart


Gurgle your way

Through throat and nose

Seep through closed lids

Bring life to a close


Quiet the mind

With your soothing song

Take me away

From sorrow too long


Lift me on cool, salty waves

Carry the seafoam, the debris

The driftwood

And me


(C) Sara Ackerman, 2019


The decision once made formulated with surprising ease. After a decade and a half of marriage, she had imagined it would have been harder to plan her partner’s demise. Should have been harder. Yet once the idea implanted itself in her mind, it grew with ferocious tenacity, its toxic roots wrapping her in the satisfied flush of suppressed vengeance at last unleashed.  

He grunted, and her single-minded focus slipped, allowing her icy, calm reserve to fracture and reveal the loathing she kept hidden when he was around. As if he noticed. Sipping her wine, she regarded the man she had once loved over the rim of her wine glass. Head lowered over his plate, bald head shining in the yellow glare of their dining room light, he shoved his food into his mouth with single minded intensity, the small grunts he made as mundane as the whole of their marriage. As mundane as the day she realized she no longer loved him.

It was a Tuesday last April. He came home from work like any other Tuesday, threw his coat onto the floor and slumped into his chair. He looked tired, and she noticed for the first time how anger and resentment had warped his once handsome face. Deep lines surrounded his eyes and mouth and he sighed, catching her staring at him.

“What are you looking at?” he had asked, his voice flat and distant. No warmth greeted her in his chocolate gaze. No smile curled his handsome mouth. He was a stranger to her. And then she knew.

“Nothing. I’m looking at nothing.”  

“Then stop standing around and get me something to eat. I’ve had a long day.”

As if she hadn’t. As if she weren’t as tired as him. But it didn’t matter. It never did.

At first, she considered ending her own life, but that only ended her misery while causing him a minor inconvenience. No, he needed to suffer as she had done. She wanted to watch him as he died, to revel in the exact moment he realized his life was ending. No one would blame her. He had long since ceased to resemble the man she had married. His twisted sense of justice and fairness had taken whatever love they had once shared and warped it, choking the air from their marriage like strangle weed in a garden once full of brilliant blooms.

“You look tired,” she said, placing her wine glass on the table. “Maybe you should take a bath tonight.”

He grunted his response. Undeterred, she rose and poured the remainder of the wine into his near-empty glass. She gave him what she hoped was a coy glance from beneath her lashes. ¨I can join you.” The startled lift of his brows emboldened her to continue her role, but she feigned indifference and shrugged a shoulder. ¨If you’d like.”

She lifted her wine glass between thin bloodless fingers and sashayed up the stairs, her pounding heart almost eclipsing the hurried scraping of his chair over the wooden floor. His haste amused her, something of which she little experienced. Yet, she had to bite her tongue to stifle a giggle. Nerves, perhaps, or maybe something more. There was some sort of poetic justice her husband would die with a plan of his own creation, a plan he had suggested with arrogant flippancy in the early days of their marriage when all was starlight and moonbeams.

“If you ever want to kill me off,” he had purred in her ear, water droplets trickling down the sensitive cord of her neck, “love me in the tub like this and I’ll be so spent you could push me under with a finger.”

Of course it would take a little more than a finger to finish the job, but she had planned each moment with military precision, starting with when he had walked through the door this evening.

She glided into the bathroom and turned her head over her shoulder to gift him with a sultry smile. Despite her open invitation, he hesitated at the threshold. Loosening the belt around her green silk wrap-around dress, the slinky material slide down her shoulders, caressed her buttocks and pooled around her feet.

Turning, she unbound her hair and swung the heavy mass of thick black curls over her bare back. “What are you waiting for?” she purred.

“Nothing,” he said, pulling his shirt from his waistband and shucking his trousers with fumbled haste. “Absolutely nothing.” He closed the door with his foot and pulled her into his familiar embrace.

“I thought that might be your answer,” she said.

(C) Sara Ackerman, 2019

Mom of the Year

15 y/o: Grandma said we can spend the night, and she’ll bring us back tomorrow afternoon sometime. We’re leaving in an hour.

Me: Really? That’s so awesome! You’ll both be gone for a whole day.

15 y/o: Hey! What the heck?

Me: I mean, I’ve got a lot of important stuff to do.

15 y/o: ….

Me: Fine. Imagine I said something that doesn’t make me sound like a complete jerk.

15 y/o: You love us and will miss us.

Me: Sure, let’s go with that.


Here’s a picture of my important stuff.




I start a lot of stories. Some are to express a feeling in a moment and once the initial need has been itched, I abandon the story. Some stories are left unfinished because of lack of time or ideas. This one was put aside because after writing a descriptive exposition, I had forgotten how I was going to continue. Maybe I will take it up again. If I can determine what is going to happen, that is. 


There was a booth set up at the fair one year, a small tent set apart from the others. Its edges were ragged and the stripes, once a brilliant blue and green had faded over time until the blue and green wove in and amongst each other until it was impossible to tell where one color ended and the other began. A small handwritten sign, almost obscured by the large, overgrown bushes which dwarfed the tent, welcomed all those who believed to finally see.

Curious as to what the cryptic sign meant, my friends and I paid the admission and waited within. It was cramped inside the small tent, and despite the heat from the electric fireplace humming in the corner, I remained chilled to the bone while my two friends removed their jackets, hats and gloves, shedding them much as a snake would its skin until the floor was littered with garments. 

While the other girls chatted in hushed voices, I looked around the tent at the meager furnishings, the worn fabrics draping the sides of the tent from floor to ceiling and the various photographs lining the wall and cluttering the tables. From the corner of my eye, I saw a blur of movement, but when I turned there was nothing there but the gentle swish of the fabric as it moved in time to the swaying of the tent.

That’s when I saw it. Off to the corner and almost obscured by a long drape of fabric, a tall, round table stood apart from the rest. In the center stood a single wooden picture frame, devoid of any photo. It was odd, the empty frame, and I reached to examine it in more detail when she walked in.

She was a small woman with deep brown eyes and curling black hair which hung down to the middle of her back.  Faded denim jeans clung to her hips and thighs and she wore a worn, blue, cotton t-shirt which proclaimed ‘I’m psychic. I knew you’d read this.’ When I looked down, I was surprised to find her barefoot in the middle of November.  The small toes which peeked out from the edges of her jeans were painted a startling purple and adorned with small, metal bands, the only jewelry she wore.

Walking past us, she approached the large, circular table dominating the room. From underneath, she rummaged in a storage container of sorts and soon items appeared on the table: a camera, several small fabric bags, a candle and a crystal ball. She arranged her odd assortment of items on the table, and, as a finishing touch, lit the single candle. When the warm glow of the fire flickered and took light, her back stiffened and her arms stilled at her sides.

“We have company,” she whispered. Her eyes scanned the room but seemed to pass right through us. Before any of us could speak, she motioned to the chairs circling the table. “Please. Sit.”

(C) Sara Ackerman, 2018