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The Reason We Can't Have Nice Things

Katina French is an advertising copywriter and author of speculative fiction. She lives with her family in a grey cottage, under the protection of a ferocious Siamese cat. This is her first story at Daily Science Fiction. You can follow her on Twitter @KatFrench or visit her website katinafrench.com.

Dear Henry,
I've been thinking things over since our argument, and I finally recognize the problem in our relationship. The problem is me. I know you've tried to deny it, tried hard to make things work, but it's time we admitted it's over.
It's not that I don't appreciate or recognize your efforts. When the yeti broke out of his pen and totaled your Miata, I think you handled it with remarkable restraint. The time the dragon got loose from the cellar and left the deck and patio set a smoldering pile of ashes? You were the one who suggested we look into recouping some of our losses through the manufacturer's "flame retardant guarantee." It's your practical, down-to-earth attitude I'll miss most.
You've handled everything with admirable grace, and I'm grateful for it. You've always understood my work comes first, because lives are at stake. If I'm not there to capture a loose djinni or talk some sense into an adolescent troll with raging hormones, who will be? How many people were gored the week we went to Cancun together, and a herd of Minotaurs trampled through Chicago?
I know neither of us wants another tragic occurrence on our conscience. Cancun was a beautiful week, but I can't help feeling those strawberry margaritas were tainted with spilled blood. I'll be perfectly honest; they may have been. I still have lingering doubts about the cabana boy. He had the rangy look of a necromancer-in-training.
The truth is, I don't really have room in my life for a serious relationship. I thought I could manage it. I thought I deserved it. But this isn't about what I deserve or need. It's about what you need. Which is to keep breathing, and to not get turned into granite or eaten by something horrific. We both know that's where this road ends.
I would ask you to remember me fondly, but by now the unicorn tears embedded in the paper will have started to seep through your fingertips, erasing your memories of me and the time we've spent together. You'll have a moment of disorientation as the phoenix blood in the ink ignites and burns up this note after you've read it.
Please know I deeply regret any pain--or future episodes of forgetfulness--this may cause you. I promise to remember the good times for both of us.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Author Comments

A friend of mine writes fabulous, gritty love stories about men who drink whiskey and drive pickup trucks. I try to write stories like that, and everything comes out dragons and ray guns. Then again, being a monster hunter is not without its own unique relationship challenges, which I tried to capture in this piece.

- Katina French
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