/’skAn/ : a loosely coiled length of yarn or thread wound on a reel

A Burden Shared

“Looking for this?” said Cynthia, behind him.

Startled, Philip whirled on her. With a jaw clench, he regained his dignity and held out a hand. Into his palm, she placed a dram of clear liquid in a stoppered glass vial. But, as he began to close his fingers, she closed hers first and grasped his hand, vial and all.

“Were you planning something without me, dear?”

“Why, not at all darling,” he said, struggling for calm. “But, you know, it only really takes one of us to do the final deed. I thought I’d come to you when it was all over.”

“Oh,” she said, staring, never blinking. “Was that your intention?”

“Of course it was.”

“Well, I’d hate to see you troubled with the burden all alone. So, I thought I’d come find you first.”

“What a pair we make – but you’re too considerate.”

“No, I insist we share. We do it together.”

“Very well. I’d hoped to spare you this.”

“Spare me nothing but the end of this charade. Let’s go.”

Philip finished the sandwich and, with Cynthia in tow, carried the platter to the den.

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