“Oh, god!” I howled in our honeymoon bed.
Ten minutes earlier we were simply lying there, enjoying a quiet breather. That’s when she caught me by surprise, grabbing my right foot. I reached for hers but she’d already pulled her knees up in defense. Game on. Soon we were twisted around each other, rolling over and back, laughing so hard that, when I stiffened from the sudden sharp pain, my shouts were dismissed as a strategic ploy.
“Time out!” I yelled. “I’m serious, stop!”
On top now, she pinned my arms to the mattress. After all those times during our courtship that she’d asked me to stop and I had, here she was, swinging her hair across my face. Even later as she drove to the ER effusive with apologies, she couldn’t disguise the glee in her giggles.
Surely, those who were on duty that night remember the kid with a mustache walking gingerly up to the admissions desk, and the girl with long, blonde hair who did all the talking.
“Yes, we’re on our honeymoon, but at the time we were only having one of our...honestly, it was just a little, you know...tickle fight!”
“Is that what you call it?” mused one of the nurses, setting off a chorus of woo-hoos, wisecracks, and much hilarity all around.
The doctor turned to me, and winked. “Who won?”
of my rib
collection of haiku, earthshine (Snapshot Press, 2017, in its 4th printing), is the winner of the Touchstone Distinguished Book Award for 2017 (The Haiku Foundation), an Honorable Mention for the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award for 2017, and an Honourable Mention for the Marianne Bluger Book Award for 2020 (Canada). Brickley’s haiku, senryu, haibun, and book reviews have been published in leading haiku journals and anthologies worldwide. One of his haibun was nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2018), another for The Best Small Fictions 2019 (Sonder Press).
Author’s website: www.chuckbrickley.com