Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mrs. Stopheles' Revenge

In the Southern United States, when the sun shines while it rains, it’s said that the devil is beating his wife. This is the wife’s story.

You all stood around while it happened—mouths gaping and drops sizzling on your burnt shoulders. No consideration for my bruised skin, my dazed expression, or the slap of his red palm. You were amazed and mildly amused and fully aware of the cause.

Your picnic baskets open, lazing on beach towels, skimming over the surface of a lake—what you thought was a meteorological phenomenon briefly caught your attention. But unlike you I take no pleasure in this day, in this sun shining and this rain falling. I take only abuse. How would you like to share your bed with a barbed tail and a horned head on your breast?

It’s gone too far. I’ve had enough.

Hold tight to your piece of ground. I’ll pluck the earth’s core—his domain— send it hurdling through space and dash it against that forehead, between those obsidian eyebrows, over those inferno eyes.

When I’m through, just call it the second big bang.


  1. That's a great saying!

    I like what you've done with it.

  2. Interesting - you took me on such a journey in such a short piece. I love the last sentence - it has great rhythm

  3. I'm getting some great visuals from this!
    Hell hath no fury like the devil's wife...

  4. This is beautiful prose - spare, descriptive. I really like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Great story, Kim. So short and it packs a huge punch. I loved it. I never heard that saying before, and I always love when the sun shines when it rains. Now I'll think twice about it! I think you've beautifully portrayed the wife's anger and fury.

  6. Anton, Michelle, Mazz, Sky and Olivia, thanks for the great feedback. I'm also interested in knowing how widespread this "folk saying" is, or isn't. I appreciate your taking the time to read it.


  7. Not too long ago, it was raining here in DC while the sun was out. I was amazed at the phenomenon and was told that it is known as "sun showers."

    But after reading your piece, I know better, eh?

    Anger, fury, and then taking business into her own hands...good for her!

    Lovely prose.

  8. Not familiar with the saying but your preface helps inform the reader. The voice you create here is very strong, particularly for such a short piece. Great that you can give such a full sense of the characters in so few words. Great stuff.

  9. Hi, Kim - I have never heard the saying, but i'm originally from Ohio. This is a nice little piece - nice to turn the tables - especially when it's on the devil ;-)

  10. Even though I live in the South I've not heard the expression. But your piece nicely captures the ambivalence one (or at least I) feels in the face of nature: beautiful and terrifying, fiercely growing and quietly've gotten me waxing poetic!

  11. Never heard that expression before, but good for her. I hope she blackens his eye.

    Also hope she does something about the weather.

  12. It's time somebody thought about the Devil's domestic arrangements. He'd be pretty lonely without a wife. I like the concept and like the opening allegory.

  13. The final line is brilliant.

    Have you read "The World's Wife" by Carol Ann Duffy? I think you'd enjoy it. It's a collection of poems, all of which (with humour and sarcasm) tell the story of the wives/partners of famous men from throughout history.

  14. Had to share this one with you:

    Mrs Darwin
    By Carol Ann Duffy

    7 April 1852
    Went to the Zoo.
    I said to Him—
    Something about that Chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

    (Taken from

  15. Thanks, David, for the poem and mention of the Duffy book. I'll look for it.