“Your wife was blind?” I spilled my drink as I watched his hands. The Neandertal and I sat at the front of the cavern watching the sun set.
She still is, he signed.
“But she's no longer your wife,” I pointed out.
You are, he acknowledged.
“I must be. I feel like such an asshole.”
Its ok. She survived.
I touched the back of my lover’s head, and caressed the odd, soft ridges of skin that formed a coil pattern beneath his scalp. “Why do you have these?” I asked him.
The Neandertal shrugged. He indicated the ridges formed when he was young.
“Does it hurt?” I asked.
He was silent for awhile. “Sometimes,” he said. He described others in his clan with the same ridges. The Neandertal got up to turn the spit of smoking meat inside. I followed him inside with my drink. I asked him how he lost his children. He looked intently at the spit, slowly turning it, while picking his teeth. Their time had come, the Neandertal signed.
The End. From the short story project “Dysautonomia”The next short story, “A Compromised Subject”, will appear soon in this blog.