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E is for Elongated Man


His first thought of the day is always a variation of "Sue's side of the bed is cold. She must have gone to work early."

Then it comes back to him.

He never sets up a place too many at the table, but his grocery lists are still off. He has learned to avoid mirrors; from his rumpled socks to the irritated skin around his ring, everything in him sets up an inference chain that ends up in Sue's death.

Everything out of place in their home is also a clue, so he cleans up obsessively. He can't avoid thinking about her while he's doing it, but afterward he can be at home.

Sort of. He will try to open a file, work on a case, and a few minutes into it he will wonder half-thoughtfully about the silence, and then remember.

He tries to work, to live, to do the things he knows Sue would want him to, but he's too good at detecting odd things, and there is nothing odder in the world that Sue's absence.

Some nights he wonders if he will end up killing himself, and when, or if he will just crack under the pressure of his grief. He has seen some clues.

.finis.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
__marcelo
Aug. 11th, 2006 11:33 am (UTC)
*g* Glad you liked it!
katarik
Aug. 10th, 2006 05:53 am (UTC)
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

OH OH OH OW. OW.

You do a much better job evoking his grief than DC does. OW.
__marcelo
Aug. 11th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC)
Ralph and Sue's marriage was *good*. It's hard to imagine what must feel like to lose somebody you've been that close to for that long... Scary, too.
jamjar
Aug. 10th, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)
Oh, beautiful. So much pain and so much loss and it never gets any better because at the end of the day, she's still gone.

__marcelo
Aug. 11th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
And then, of course, comes "52"...
mtgat
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
*cries a lot*

Poor Ralph!
__marcelo
Aug. 11th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
*sniffs* Yeah.
petronelle
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
there is nothing odder in the world that Sue's absence

Yes, that. Exactly. Oh, ow. Oh, *Ralph.*
__marcelo
Aug. 11th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
He's a detective -the World's Second Best, they say. He... I don't think he can ever *not* see. It reminded me of a quote of Millay "Where you used to be there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night." Ralph mind's is too swift to avoid the hole.
brown_betty
Aug. 10th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so perfect. I love this so much.
__marcelo
Aug. 11th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
*g* Thanks!
amarin_rose
Aug. 10th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
Ow. *hugs Ralph*
__marcelo
Aug. 11th, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah. It's hard to imagine something worse you can do to somebody.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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