1. any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion: paroxysms of rage.
  2. Pathology. a severe attack or a sudden increase in intensity of a disease, usually recurring periodically.

Matthew loved lazy Saturday mornings when he could sit with his wife and enjoy a simple breakfast. He gazed at her as she sipped on the remainder of her coffee. It seemed like a cliche, but she truly was as beautiful as the first day he’d seen her.

Even her hands were stunning.

Matthew raised her left hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers. A sticky film of that morning’s blackberry jam clung to his lips.

“I feel like I won’t be able to make it another week without getting my nails redone,” she muttered, taking a sip of her coffee.

Primping and beauty products were his wife’s obsession.

“Yeah, that’s what our neighbors were just saying, when I came in from my jog this morning.”

Kally’s coffee mug paused midair.

“Come again,” she prompted.

“Oh, they just mentioned how they can tell what day it is based on your scheduled beauty routine,” Matthew said, swept up in the intensity of his wife’s deep brown eyes.”They were outside packing their SUV for some camping trip and said that it’s obvious you’re in your element here in the city.

He grabbed their empty plates from the table and placed them in the sink. The sudden popping of splintering china exploded throughout the kitchen.

Matthew whipped around to see his petite wife breathing heavily as she stood at the table, her face flushed, her small hands balled into tinier fists.

He had the sinking feeling that he had secretly married the female version of the Incredible Hulk, only now the secret was out.

“That’s it!”

Even her voice seemed strange. He wanted to make a joke, refer to her as Dr. Banner, but five years of marriage had taught him that there were certain times when jokes were better left unsaid.

It seemed her breathing was shaking her whole body, or maybe it was the tangible rage written throughout her expression.

“Babe, um… are you okay?”

He was shocked by this unexpected paroxysm. Usually, she was the calm one.

“Um, Kally–”


“They were joking; babe–”

“No! You tell those Shaw-Henneseys with their trendy hyphenated last name that we are not backing down from a challenge. I am still the same girl who did 4H, camped in the woods and filleted my own fish and I am not going to let those two think they’ve got something on us just because we live in the suburbs and I only use Burberry nailpolish when I get my nails done on a regular basis!”

She shook her head adamantly, but to Matthew it looked like another head could burst forth from her neck at any moment.

“We will defend our family name!”

She made it sound like they were going off to war.

“Get the tent and your knives ready.” She was seething now. “We are going camping.”

Matthew watched as his wife exited the kitchen. He shook his head in disbelief as she went upstairs, displaying the full weight of her wrath with every step.

Only later, as he went to clean up pieces of the broken mug did he see drops of Kally’s blood on the floor.

The thought of his wife ever going camping had never crossed his mind, but going camping in this emotional state seemed to have the makings of  disaster written all over it.

“So, I’m guessing there are some things we didn’t talk about during premarital counseling,” he pondered aloud.

Matthew sighed heavily as he cleaned up his wife’s blood, praying she wasn’t about to draw anyone else’s.



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