No Sharp Movements

He gets up early but returns to be to hold her during the first moments of her awakening.

She dreamed, she says, that a friend who survived breast cancer exposed red teeth like gumboils and said, “It’s irreversible.”

His fingers draw circles on her back, then pinch her lightly.

She curls into the familiar warmth of his body and its caves. He caresses her under the elastic of her pajama pants.

She pops herself up on her elbows.

“Hold your fire, dragon,” she says.

“You shouted with pleasure the other day.”

Her left eyelid pulses. She says, “I’m feeling lazy.”

The teeth weren’t red exactly, but a shade of burgundy. Oh, that painful smile.

“When we have sex, you always…”

“I don’t miss it yet.”

She’d love a cup of coffee now. For lunch they will have mofongo and a salad. She wants to be sure about things.

He retreats carefully, no sharp movements, and sits up with his legs over the edge. “Okay, I’ll wait for your signal.”

A dream is just a dream, and yet it still feels like a menace.



Avital Gad-Cykman is the author of the flash col­lec­tion Life In, Life Out, pub­lished by Matter Press ( Her sto­ries are upcoming or have been pub­lished in Prairie Schooner, The Literary Review, Ambit, CALYX Journal, Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, Prism International, Michigan Quarterly Review and elsewhere. They have also been fea­tured in antholo­gies such as W.W. Norton’s International Flash Fiction Anthology and The Best of Gigantic. Her work won the Margaret Atwood Society Magazine Prize, was placed first in The Hawthorne Citation Short Story Contest, and was a finalist for Iowa Fiction Award for story collections twice. She lives in Brazil.