Joyce, the Badger Mouth wins and her husband Ralph goes fishing. Unlucky for both, Genghis Kahn returns from the Netherworld to intrude in their lives. He kills her husband, and prompts her sisters to intervene in Joyce’s hurting marriage. Joyce goes crazy to search for Ralph in a violent storm. When she finds his body, Genghis shows up and tries to convince her that suicide is the only solution.
It was a hot and muggy September day in Chester, Missouri, and it seemed to make the argument hotter. She watched as her husband, Ralph, stomped down the drive and got into his truck. He was 34 and he walked with the same ambling gait as when she first met him in college. He combed his thick brown hair in a nearly identical style, with the wave in front. He was not overweight. However, he had high blood pressure, which was controlled through medication. Outwardly, he was fine, but inwardly, she knew he suffered a great deal of stress. She knew she was the cause of some unnecessary stress, but she could not care less at the moment.
"I don't care if you ever come back!" Joyce shouted through the closed screen door. "Why should I? You can go to die somewhere and make us both happy!"
He slammed the truck door and squealed the tires as he pulled from the curb. She turned away, glared at the sink full of dishes, gave them an obscene gesture and walked to the living room. She sat on the sofa with folded arms and stared at the wall over the stereo.
"Why do I let him get to me?" she muttered.
"After so many years, why can’t I stop it from happening? Why? Mom never liked him. Maybe she had more vision than I, or possibly mine was blurred by lust and rebellion." She sighed and leaned back “Why try? Why don’t we simply walk away? That would stop the arguments. Kill them before they start.”
With her head tilted back she could see a cobweb at the top of the curtains in her picture window. She closed her eyes and reminded herself to clean it, when she felt like it. “I haven't got this frustrated for a long time. What ails you? Besides Ralph? When was the last time we made love? That seems to quiet the disputes for a time.” She thought hard and could not remember the last time. “Was it three or four months? Is that the problem? Why hasn't he bothered me? Does he have another woman on the side? Do I care? Maybe I like it this way.”