Ed’s Wife and Other Creatures by Vanessa Gebbie


Sometimes Ed finds his wife’s habits somewhat disturbing. Exercise is a good thing; he knows that, it’s just this repetition of walking a square in the middle of the dining room is strange.

“Suze…why not use the lounge. Change of scene. Or the bedroom?"

There is just the possibility that she would concur, even in the afternoon…and if she did walk her square in the bedroom, there is always the chance of geometric games.

However, most of the time she doesn’t seem to listen. Just carries on walking the square, humming something indecipherable.


On bright nights when Ed’s wife becomes an earthworm, he sleeps fitfully. She is easy prey outside.

He has been known to go outside before the morning has quite hardened the night earth, to create tunnels for her, with a biro. But for some reason she prefers to make her own.

He worries too, about her hurting herself on the flints buried deep in the chalky soil. Not because she would die, he trusts her better then that, but injuries could be problematic.

"Suze, stay away from sharp edges…’

Ed can’t help wondering how it would be if there were two of her. Would the three of them get on?


Ed finds that after sex, his wife likes to curl into his side, her legs over his, and fall asleep. Ed loves that. She’s soft, warm, completely trusting. When they have made love in the morning, the sun filters through the curtains and spreads gold over her back.

Trouble is she’s sleeping for longer and longer.

“Suze? That’s sixteen hours now, hon. Maybe…"

Ed hates to disturb her, but his legs go to sleep too. And he needs the john.


Ed’s wife is a very unobtrusive sort, but she does make her presence felt when he wants to concentrate.

For example, she appears between the pages of his books when he is reading on the terrace… and he worries about turning the page in case she suffers overmuch.

“Suze? Isn’t the print a little big for you?"

Apparently not. But she has asked him to read more accessible fiction. She enjoys the texture of runaway commercial successes more than literary works.


Ed’s wife has a tendency to put on a little weight. He doesn’t mind, it suits her…and she seems to want to exercise, so that’s OK. It’s just she wants to exercise at night.


During the day she curls up and sleeps; he often finds her in exactly the same position when he gets home as she was when he left to go to work.

She doesn’t say much these days. She’s taken to gazing at him, unblinking.

Ed has tried to suggest something…

“Suze, what about seeing someone?"

But she hasn’t replied yet. And he doesn’t want to rush her.

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