We glittered, perfect teeth, smiles, skin. Talk show host gushed and fawned.  We told them embellished anecdotes of lives never lived, created by marketers we didn’t know.  

A two-day stubble became haute couture by week’s end. A feather in my hair, preceded plagues of plucked feathers.

Eye candy to millions, I induced a million nocturnal emissions. A star quarterback, poetry of movement and grace, he proposed. I accepted.

We married in a private ceremony of Royalty, Hollywood Hucksters and Mega Rich. Headline news in a world of famine and melting ice-caps. I looked great. He looked greater because I was on his arm.

It didn’t take him long to cheat, his ego.

Meaningless, he said. Trophies.

Once I was the only trophy you needed, I said and asked for divorce. 

No. He loved me too much.

He owned lots of things, cars, yachts, summer estates.  I was one of them. Some women may have taken on a surreptitious lover or two, revelled in revenge fucks.  I didn’t.

I shrank in his shadow, paled on his arm, faded, invisible. I no longer glittered. It didn’t matter.  Glitter is tinsel.  It was always tinsel.

I read books, hiked wilds, studied. I took joy in those things, none in him. I yearned for wildernesses, brutal, beautiful and honest.

I learned photography. Became good, better, best, sent proposals for a feature on a sporting star.  Adonis in the wilderness, a commercial venture to sell everything from socks, jocks and head bands.  I’d lined up a glittering young star.

I am cougar. Hear me roar.

Hubby was furious. No nascent spark would cast him in shadow. He came to me with apologies.  He was a better subject, carried more gravitas. It was an opportunity to celebrate his image before age sagged him to custard and walking sticks. 

It was about him, the aging Adonis.

We stayed in accommodation of ice beneath a sky of winter darkness. He posed and strutted, oiled and glittering on icy snow beneath the Northern Lights, his shrinking penis hidden behind a hand. He straddled a Mongolian Pony on icy Steppes dressed in loin cloth.  Naked, he skimmed over coral reefs and sunken World War 2 wrecks in the Solomon Islands.

The last location, a glamping site in a swampy wilderness with catered meals . We spent warm tropical evenings on a screened deck and drank wine. He regaled me with his sporting feats. I feigned interests.  Swooned. Batted my eyelashes. I’d heard them all before but they had changed, embellished, hyperbolised.

I collected scraps from the camp kitchen, tossed them along the bank of the river at the same time every day to entice wildlife before my lens. Watched birds descend from the sky and silent shadows creep towards the bank. Checked for scat and footprints.

His oiled body glistened in the sun. Women and men would swoon over that body.  I found it blunt and contrived. The last photo shoot drew near.  The Light would be perfect. Late afternoon mist rising from the water, red setting sun.

For days, I wined him and dined him and sang to him:

Walk with me Adonis-man, Tarzan-man, to the water’s edge, where the lotus blooms and egrets spread their snowy wings and rise like dreams. Where sequined fish rise and kiss ripples on the water’s glassy finish. Recline upon the grassy bank. Stand in marshy shallows as the red sun sets over still waters. Pose for me.

And he did…

Ancient. Four and half million years of predatory perfection. Yellow eyed, dinosaur toothed death crashed the mirrored serenity of water. So sudden, taken by the legs, his face captured on camera. The shock and horror on that smug mouth. Comical. I trembled with laughter. Water twinkled in evening light like glitter. The motor drive clicked frame after frame, until the water stilled, the croc sank with its prize and the surface turned to glass. Every frame a thing of beauty. Light, shade, colour, composition.  Art. Such a beautiful death.  He knew in his final seconds. Tragic.  His fans mourned. 

~ fin ~


Alpheus Williams lives and writes in a small coastal village in Australia with his wonderful wife and their border collie.  His work has appeared in The Molotov Cocktail Winners Anthology, Barren Magazine, Storgy, The Write Launch, The Fabulist Magazine, Phantom Drift, et al.