Stained Lips

She dabs her lips with Faithful Fawn. He hovers behind, runs his fingers through his graying hair, eyes fixed on his reflection. How do I look? Her mouth forms a perfect “O,” presses shut. Handsome. He points. When you move your mouth that way, you look like a fish. Her mind recedes to their rehearsal dinner. The baby photos her mother had blown up. Adorable, she’d said when she saw his. Your forehead’s so high, he’d responded. She drops her stained tissue in the toilet. Flushes. What’s that lip color? he asks. Fawn, she answers, and flashes her broad smile.


Jan Elman Stout writes short stories and flash. Upcoming work will appear in Pithead Chapel. Jan is Submissions Editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. Her Twitter: @janelmanstout.

Photo Credit: Beret Olsen

4 Responses to “Stained Lips”

  1. cathy Holleb says:

    Love it from beginning to end. I would love to read the story that follows because there is trouble lurking!

    You go, girl!

  2. R.Gene Turchin says:

    Well done, succinct. Perfectly sets the move.

  3. Jon Remington says:


  4. JC says:

    I love this. You perfectly captured a troubled marriage.

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