She stood in front of the window naked and watched the blades. He was right; they were moving, but slowly. She turned the switch from on to off and back. “That won’t help. It’ll either start up or it won’t.”

“How do you know?”

“I know these things.”

She watched the blades begin their almost undetectable motion. A low grinding noise came from the fan. “Maybe if I–.”

“Just come back to bed.”

The blades didn’t move any faster.

She lay across the bed on her stomach angled so she could see the fan. He pressed his body into her naked back.

It was hot without the fan. Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. There was no perfect season for sex. They had a video, hidden in the bottom of a desk drawer. It was frightening to know it was in the house, let alone to watch it.

“Ow.” He bit too hard on her shoulder and pinched the skin.


When she was single, one of her married friends asked whether she thought it was cheating to think about someone else while you had sex.

“Turn over,” he said.

She flipped onto her back and listened to the grinding of the fan, like a car that you needed to get out and push.

“You’re beautiful,” he said and she knew he meant it every time.

A cool breeze raised the hairs on her arm. She arched her back and closed her eyes. In the window, the blades of the fan began to whir.


About the Author: Robyn Ryle started life in one small town and ended up in another just down the river. She teaches sociology to college students when she's not writing. The rest of the time, she spends with her husband, step-daughter and two peculiar cats in their 140 year old house. Find her @ and @RobynRyle.

Story Song: "All This Living" by The Black Lillies