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art by Seth Alan Bareiss

Trophy Wife

Following the accidental recombination of her DNA, Samantha Murray has emerged as a slightly sticky but highly productive version of herself. She is a writer, actor, mathematician, and mother and lives in Western Australia in a household of unruly boys. You can follow her at mailbysea.wordpress.com.

It's considered impolite to mention her extra arm.
He wore her heart on his sleeve.
It was where he kept all of his trophies. Stitched on to the ceremonial garment that proclaimed him Gar-rag the Victor. He had seven now; seven life organs from seven species from seven planets. Seven was lucky, he knew that too, and he held himself with more than his usual pride.
Let those who watched envy him.
He had warmed to her planet; it reminded him of his own home, something about the openness. He had undergone the change to appear as one of her species, of course; the form was lighter and less cumbersome than the last few he had assumed.
He put out his call through their finicky language and sent it out over their communication channels. He showed an image of himself. Many of them responded. He had heard some call it the Battle of the Sexes, and the thing that he had been best at, since he had spawned, was battle.
Then he found the perfect one.
What made her just right he could not have said. She chewed at the end of her fingers quite often, and she looked up at him quickly and then down and away.
They walked at the edge of the landmass, where the water that stretched out was the same color as the eyes of his current form, and the fine sand underfoot was the same color as the hair on his head. Her eyes and her hair were not these colors; they were the light warm shade of the fur of his previous conquest.
That last time he had won a match of speed and strength with the sharpness of his claws and the need in his gut.
Here he understood the rules were different.
He liked the place by the water; it stirred something in him. She said she liked it too and bared her teeth.
She told him many things; the things she wanted and the things that had wounded her. He listened because he liked the sounds her words made, and he watched how she moved her head and fluttered her hands.
He took her back to the water then and waited until their small sun had sunk half down into it like it was fire drowning.
Then he looked directly into her eyes and said I want you to give me your heart.
And more of the water that was so abundant on her planet came out of her eyes and streaked down her face.
And she said that she would.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, October 15th, 2012


Perhaps I should have called this story The Perils of Internet Dating! I got the kernel of this story while working on another more cumbersome one. I jotted down a couple of lines and then left it for a month. Getting to write "Trophy Wife" was my reward for finishing the other story. I realized after writing it that it really was the story of the woman and (not just literally) her heart.

- Samantha Murray

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