Organizing the Satellites

Because her husband refused to splurge (his word) on a mattress for their growing girl, the one queen mattress remained a family bed. Fitting four (husband, daughter, their lanky hound, and herself) was an easy puzzle on paper, their cut-out shapes slipping into allotted slots, but in the darkness, her gravity seemed to increase, her daughter burrowing beneath her while the dog sprawled across the top. As she lay pinned and paralyzed, her husband snoring undisturbed on a wide tract of mattress, she wondered if she could persuade the dog to take her husband’s spot if the space became available.

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