Night and Day

He has two wives, Night and Day, who share a body but little else. He hates Day, and loves Night, but they come together, a package deal.

He is sometimes cruel to Day so that she'll go away and leave him alone with Night. He thinks Day is a boring fuck, and she maybe loves him too much. One time, he stabbed her in the back repeatedly with a butcher knife while she was doing the dishes. Another time, he threw her off of a double-decker sightseeing bus on their honeymoon to New York City and watched her disappear beneath Broadway traffic. He often tries to drown her in the local swimming pool, holding her head underwater for hours, and he once tied her to the kitchen table and turned on the gas stove, leaving her there all weekend. But no matter what he does to her, Day always returns as though nothing has happened, her love for him undiminished.

Night, on the other hand, is less loyal. It's true that she loves him, that much he can tell, but she has a lot of love to go around. One evening he came home early to find her fucking their teenage neighbor, the one who plays fullback for the high school football team. It has also happened with others; his brother, a couple poker buddies. Night makes love quickly and ferociously, the way an animal would make love, if animals could love. He imagines that she feels the world differently than he does, and this draws him to her, despite everything; makes him want to bury himself deep inside her and never leave.

It is always going to be this way, with him loving only one of his wives. He becomes nocturnal, avoiding Day altogether. He hears her downstairs while he sleeps, watching Oprah and her soaps. Her sounds invade his dreams. He sees a world in which Day exists as a plague, quietly killing entire continents, even though he had actually loved her first, in college, just the two of them, before Night ever showed up. Now he just waits for dark, for Night to come and make him forget about why he hides beneath the covers, sleeping all day.

Night stands in the doorway as he wakes and he follows her downstairs, noticing abstractly that Day never came to bed, and into the yard beneath the full moon, maybe to escape forever to a place where the sun will never rise. He suddenly misses the way Day eats breakfast, reading the newspaper aloud to him, and looks for signs of her in the darkness of the house, wishing she were safe without him, wishing he instead of Night had killed her. But Night has kept him alive for this, and as she places her teeth on his neck he wonders why he always likes the bad girls, why the bad girls are always vampires, and why we can never really have everything that we want.

About the author:

Richard Larson lives in New York City. He is a recent graduate of Hunter College, and he works variously in the film and publishing industries. His short stories have appeared in a variety of little places. He blogs at, and he also reviews books at Strange Horizons.