Saturday, December 15, 2012
Many thanks to Meg, Ken and the crew at Connotation-Press for repeatedly publishing my work. http://connotationpress.com/fiction/1668-maryanne-kolton3-fiction
Ellis watched from a cushioned window seat across the room, as yet another grad student managed to push his way into the crowd surrounding her husband. Amusing, she thought, the way he drew people to him like metal filings to a magnet. Zzzzzzzzt! They became attached to him for the evening. Yes, he remained erudite and charming. Yes, he was still handsome for a man of advancing years and yes, he continued to radiate an aura of scholarly gravitas that managed to intimidate them.
She was elderly, the oldest woman in the room and the only one carrying a handbag. She kept touching it as if to make sure it hadn’t vanished from the pillow next to her. She massaged her temples for a moment - academic social gatherings still tended to give her migraines.
Her friend, Max Richter, head of the Anthropology department, had been one of the few people able to resist becoming ensnared in the net of charisma cast by her husband, the Pulitzer Prize winning author. That was the single reason Ellis had slept with Max off and on over the years, until his death ten summers ago.
The rest of them knew her husband, Charles Brinkman, as the shape-shifting persona he summoned for them. And, they adored him. Of course, they didn’t have to share a house with him, bear his children, put up with his bullying anger -- his “creative angst” as he referred to it --and nurture his monstrous ego for all these many years.