"The fault, dear Benjie, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Honest-to-God, that's the line Cheryl uses to break up with Benjamin. She is, after all, starring in the play.

And to hide his too-real wound, to cover the flow of heartsick blood, Benjamin--mere understudy--resorts to clowning. He puns. "What's that you say? We're underthings?"

Cheryl sighs deeply. "Yes, that's exactly it. We are under things. Burdened. Weighed down. There's so much pressure. That's the most unkindest cut of all." A perfect tear rolls down her perfect cheek.

Somewhere, afar but audible, the groundlings honk like goslings and blow their noses in their sleeves.

About the author:

Hollis Seamon is the author of Flesh: A Suzanne LaFleshe Mystery (Avocet Press, 2005) and Body Work: Stories (Spring Harbor Press, 2000). Seamon's stories have appeared in many literary journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, The Greensboro Review, Fiction International, The Nebraska Review, Calyx, 13th Moon, The Hudson Review, and The Chicago Review. Her work has been anthologized in The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, Celestial Electric Set, The Strange History of Suzanne LaFleshe and Other Stories of Women and Fatness, Food and Other Enemies, A Line of Cutting Women, and Sacred Ground: Writings About Home. Seamon is a recipient of a grant for fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She teaches writing and literature at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.