Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Awaiting Arrival

Jason Huskey

Susan sits alone in the terminal, a tossed salad spoiling on her lap. Her thin fingers fumble at the packaged fork as her heels tap the floor in coded rhythms. Her anxiety spills out like a clock stuck on the same second as the battery dies.

Her husband waits across state lines, rubbing his face as the delay of love works inside his belly. He keeps a begonia bud for her inside his shirt pocket, touching it every urge he gets--every second he thinks the new arrival could be hers.

Susan sits alone in the terminal, soft hands tearing at a pack of Italian dressing; how she found herself in Roanoke, she can't say; couldn't be money, or love, or anything close to life.

Her husband waits in their usual section of the parking lot, always wearing the same denim shirt for her luck. He hasn't seen her in one hundred seven hours--not since the morning she purred for the rising sun.

Susan sits alone in the terminal, wrist-deep into salad, knee-deep into a Harlequin romance, fingers impatient to stroke the hairless flesh of her farmhand lover again.

The low-rent Fabio lives in Memphis.

Her husband waits in Raleigh.

Susan sits alone in the terminal.


Jason Huskey holds a BA in English Literature. His work has appeared in over two dozen journals, including Keyhole Magazine, Thieves Jargon, Word Riot, and Zygote In My Coffee, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Links to his work can be found at He lives in Virginia.

© Jason Huskey

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012