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She traced a path across his chest with her fingers, a satisfied smile on her lips.

“Has he asked you to go hunting with him?”

He looked down at her. “What? Who?”

She propped herself up her elbow. “Stan. Has he asked you to go hunting with him?”

He looked uncomfortable. “Well, yeah. I dunno, though, it’s a bit weird. I mean, he is your husband.”

She smiled coldly. “That’s why you’re going to go.”

He frowned as she sat up and reached for her handbag.

“Here,” she said. “Buy as much whisky as you can. Go hunting with him. Get him drunk.”

He stared. “I don’t follow.”

With a roll of her eyes, she thrust a handful of notes at him. “It was in that thing you were watching, on the teevee. The fantasy thing, with the Sharpe fella.”

He looked blank.

“The squire got the king drunk, and the boar killed him. So you get Stan drunk and then, you know. Hunting accidents are more likely when you’re drunk.”

“You want me to have an accident?”

“Not you, dumbass. Him.”

“Oh. Oh! Right, I get ya.”

She shook her head as he left. He was cute, but he wasn’t too bright.

A few days later, when they went hunting, she spent the day with her fingers crossed, planning her future of freedom.  She almost screamed when she saw them both come home, safe and sound, with some dead animal strapped to the roof of the car.

“What happened,” she hissed, dragging her lover aside while her husband was in the bathroom. “You were supposed to get him drunk and-”

“Ow,” he said, clutching his head. “Not so loud.”

“Why the hell are you drunk? He looks fine!”

He looked as if he might throw up. “He watered it down,” he whispered. “Every time. I… I didn’t take any water…”

Frustrated, she turned on her heel and left him to his pain.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: The Temperance card is usually depicted by a somewhat androgynous person pouring liquid from one chalice to another; an often-used depiction of moderation, as wine is watered down from a chalice of water.)

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