Anna quietly slipped out while he was still sleeping. He’d seemed a nice enough guy. Sam? Steve? Saul? She knew it started with an “S.” A pink glow spilled over the edge of the Atlantic. Brisk salt air filled her lungs and she savored the taste of the new morning.
The brick steps chilled her spine as she sat to pull on her boots. She pushed the crisp bills down deep to her ankles where the money would be safe. She wasn’t the only one who walked these streets at this hour.
At home, her babies would still be snuggled deep in slumber and smelling of cotton candy dreams. They would sigh at the touch of her lips and the warm curvature of her body as she slid beneath the covers, encircling their bodies with her own on the pull-out bed they all shared.
Anna’s mother would rise first, set the kettle to boil. She would find the stack of bills Anna had left on the kitchen counter, and though no one could see into their fifth floor walk-up window, she would pull down the shade.
Jayne Martin is a 2017 Pushcart nominee, 2016 winner of Vestal Review’s VERA award, and a 2018 Best Small Fictions nominee. Her work has appeared in Literary Orphans, Spelk, Five-2-One, Midwestern Gothic, MoonPark Review, Blink-Ink, Cleaver, Connotation Press and Hippocampus among others. She lives in California where she drinks copious amounts of fine wine and rides horses, though not at the same time. Find her on Twitter @Jayne_Martin