Three stories by Vallie Lynn Watson

Grace is Wasted

They left town for the day, for the night, left work, left husbands, left wife, left town for city, a clean city where they could walk long blocks. It was supposed to be their last time together and it was, though they’d said that several trips before. They made out in a library, behind shelves, then over burgers and beer-pitchers, a black guy grinning gold tapped on the restaurant window and high-fived them through the glass. They raised their mugs. He took off his cap and twisted his neck, pointed to the cross shaved into the back of his head.


Secrets Sleep in Winter Clothes

They wanted to tell Tyler, the kid who checked them in, their secret. They wanted to tell anyone, maybe so someone would stop them before it was too late, maybe so someone would grin in camaraderie. But no one in line looked at them for conversation, and Tyler was friendly but ready to help the next nameless couple behind them, so they got on the elevator, alone, and pressed their bodies together through their long coats, and kissed up seven floors. The doors opened and she took him by the gloved wrist, led him down the hall to their room.


Romance and Illusion

They decided the hotel would be their forty-hour playground, decided that they shouldn’t risk leaving the hotel even though they were in another city. They walked up and down identical hallways, opening doors marked “employees only.” They got caught kissing in the 16th floor housekeeping closet. He constructed a scavenger hunt that ended with her in a stairwell wearing only a long sweater. They moved the bed up against the window so when room service came, asked that the tray be left in the hallway. The person who brought their food slid the slip under the door for their signature.

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  1. This was lovely. I’d read more about these people.

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