The Rosary by Robert Kelly, 1985
The magic trick:
Contrasting two people, neither of whom are what they might appear
Creepy, creepy, short, short story.
The man means well but fears something in the dark. The woman longs for a violent death but appears happy in the light.
It’s a very interesting contrast. And that’s quite a trick on Kelly’s part.
It may be that she longed for this silent shadowy assassin to come destroy her, to rescue her from hard work or loneliness or glossy hair. It may be that she posed at the lighted window to woo his attention, and long after he passed still hoped he might be lurking in the rhododendrons.
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