(the Search Engine Fiction prompt this week was Wild as the Wind- here's my attempt)
He lost her the second the fight started. He thought he heard the snap of that last straw but in the heat of things it passed unnoticed. Now alone in their one room house, the snap’s memory echoed off the cinder block walls mocking him for his inattention.
What was it they had fought about? A broom he thinks. Something about a broom. She’d pushed him and he slapped her. It felt good. At the time the solidness reaffirmed his rightness in whatever it was they were fighting about.
She stood up from the floor where she fell. Straight and tall she stood, her eyes furious and deadly silent. He was pleased with the flowering outline of his open hand blooming on her cheek, a light red in colour. It would remain a few days, maybe blue-up; he was satisfied with that. It would teach her a lesson looking at it each morning.
She stood still, her hands balled at her sides. “I’ve had enough now.” She spoke in a hard, black, monotone, but he let it bounce off him. Her dramatics were part of the game.
He looked away and when he looked back the door was open and she was gone, out into the heavy noon-day heat. He knew she’d walk and walk through the sand where sweat was not given the chance to runoff , evaporating in the 50 C+ heat before it even formed a droplet. She’d be melting away without even realising it. She’d walk until she collapsed knowing he’d come after her; to save her, he always did.
He’d done it many times before; their strange make-up ritual. He’d carry her bird-light body home and lay her in the zinc tub, stroke her tenderly with bubbles and perfume until the fight washed off and they could love each other again. The finding and the bathing were his own kind of apology, the only one she ever accepted from him.
He waited some before taking off to collect her. He let the bath fill and poured the blue liquid in, splashing it around to form bubbles. He heard the door slam hard against the house and at first paid it no attention. By the time he stood up to go, it was already too late.
The wind had picked up suddenly, wild and raging. Her footprints, his guide to finding her out in the vast Namib, carried on for only three steps and then were blasted away by the fury of the wind, as if she’d been sucked up into the clouds. He called out and his voice was thrown back to him in contempt. The wind was not playing their game today.
He stood a moment allowing the meaning of events to seep through, but the understanding didn’t mean the accepting. Head bent, he set off in one direction then veered toward the opposite. Started back at the house, sitting alone at the edge of the ocean, and ploughed into the wind yet again. Over and over until dark.
Now he sat. The victorious wind still howled in celebration. Sand blew in the open door and drifted in a heap on the floor. Somewhere she was waiting for her apology and he froze statue-still by the thought of it.