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Dire Acts
by KJ Hannah Greenberg




Sam: “A bird cage, a rock, and a palm tree. How quaint.”


Genevieve: “You wanted a tropical vacation. The virus means no flights, no cruises. I figured we could pretend.”


Sam: “And if I open the cage?”


Genevieve: “Don’t!”


Sam: “Oops! I did. Now we’ve just one bird.” Sam moves to kiss Genevieve.


Genevieve: “Stop! We might be seen. The curtain’s wide open”


Sam: “Everyone knows. Ever since we were returned from that account in upstate New York…”


Genevieve: “That was more than five years ago.”


Sam: “Yup.”


Genevieve: “Anyway …”


Sam: “Thanks for the festivities. Nice for our anniversary. I almost couldn’t come – Sonya stayed home with Ralph in the end since our sitter seems to have caught the virus. This is so much better than sharing a restaurant dinner with her”


Genevieve: “I’m sorry.”


Sam: “Not me. Three’s a crowd. How long do you think she’s known?”


Genevieve: “Long… all that talk about the value of an open marriage was just for her to save face.”


Sam: “Right, I told you about that.” He fingers Genevieve’s collar. “Anyway, want to play dress-up?”


Genevieve: “Don’t have that app.”


Sam: “Sometimes, you’re weird.”


Genevieve: “As you like.”


Sam: “So, should I divorce her?”


Genevieve: “Poverty doesn’t become you. How would you buy your fancy clothes and expensive wines?”


Sam: “Poverty doesn’t become you, either. Like this?”


Genevieve: “Sparkly!”


Sam: “I’m sorry about the bird.”


Genevieve: “Just a prop. No trouble.”


Sam: “Social distancing at the outdoor bar?”


Genevieve: “I’m tired. I had to fire two people given the slump. I hope we stay afloat. Upper management’s due to receive salary cuts.


“How ‘bout we order delivery from Jungle Birds. They include Campari. That would fit tonight’s theme.”


Sam: “I shouldn’t have stepped on the budgie. Really, I’m sorry.”


Genevieve: “Things happen. I love you.”


Sam: “Sleep with me?”


Genevieve: “Did you finally get your shots?”


Sam: “Nope.”


Genevieve: “Deal breaker. Oh, look, my sister’s texting. Excuse me.”


Genevieve walks into an adjacent room.


Before Sam leaves the apartment, he again opens the cage.


The second bird hops to the edge of the cage’s door.


Sam grabs that budgie and Sam squeezes it to death before letting himself out. “No happiness, here.”




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