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The Voyeur




Carole Brier




Too many revelers jostled each other at the ‘celebrate summer with the Jackson’s’ August bash.  Booze flowed freely.  The distinctive, acrid smell of pot mingled with cigarette smoke wafted around the merrymakers.


The party was held at a luxurious, starter-castle facing the lake and nestled in the pines.  The dwelling featured stunning views of the lake from every room.   A staircase led to the private dock where a sailboat was moored.  We’d been invited to bring bathing suits for an optional dip in the lake.  Having delivered baby number three, four months ago, I declined the invitation. 


I had inhaled enough second-hand smoke, successfully ducked an over-eager half-drunk groper, and politely but firmly declined a chance to co-chair the annual PTO rummage sale all before midnight.  I needed air.


I slipped out the French doors to the back deck. I was blessedly alone where it was quiet and cool.


I sat down in a sheltered spot on the low fieldstone wall that overlooked the lake.  My eyes adjusted to the darkness; I listened to night noises echoing off the lake and could hear the soft murmur and quiet, gentle laughter of two voices floating up from the water.   The couple was too far offshore for me  to clearly hear what they were saying. They had waded out to waist deep water avoiding easy recognition. The voices seemed familiar, but water distorts sound. I didn’t know who they were.  


Moonlight played on the water and cast the lovers into light and shadow. They embraced in the warm lake lingering ever longer over each kiss.  I was entranced by their apparent, mounting arousal.  Finally, the couple had no choice but to fade to some hidden place away from my prying eyes and consummate their affair.  


Envy washed over me in the moonlight.  We’d once been like these lovers.  We took late night swims and made love on the beach.  Passion cooled with two a.m. feedings, tight finances and fifty hour work weeks.


I reentered the mayhem and saw my husband, Jack, come in and go to the bar.   His hair was wet.   A few minutes later, Marie Jackson came in from the opposite direction.  Her hair was wet.   


And I recognized the lovers. 

 © 2008 Carole Brier

CAROLE BRIER shares...


"I live in South Carolina with my two dogs, Henry and Dixie. Henry is neurotic, Dixie isn't! My short story  The Jacksonville Incident will be published by the Ranfurley Review this month."

MOTIVATION: Replay of a memory...