Thursday's Three Word Wednesday

I felt like I’ve slacked off by providing a couple of prompts with stories from the archive. The words over at Three Word Wednesday are efficient, optimize and treacherous.
So, here’s a fresh, bonus, 3WW, just on Thursday.

The Clock’s Ticking

Strategic alliances meant nothing. Treaties, papers, rings, all out.
The situation was treacherous, changing by the second.
Battle lines were drawn, tensions escalated. An ambush erupted in the bathroom, as he brushed his teeth. He took a lot of fire, released none of his own.
He felt the most efficient tactic was silence. He set up his own demilitarized zone within the kitchen, where supply routes were still open. He took that eerie calm before what he knew would be a massive firefight to rest, get some chow. He poured cereal in a bowl, milk – and while he knew the maneuver would bring a response – ate noisily over the sink.
She was built for this war. Not a combat veteran, not by a long shot; be the truly indoctrinated, the real believers, know how to optimize resources. She’d amassed an arsenal, and she was ready to unleash it. The skirmish in the bathroom was just a probe.
She brought the blitzkrieg to the kitchen, weapons hot, guns set for automatic fire.
He was defended well, dug in, his silence a perimeter that was all but impenetrable.
She retreated, regrouped. Gathered intel.
It was on another probe that brought the response in kind, hurtful words tumbled from his mouth, the cereal bowl tossed in the sink a little too forceful.
She was wounded. Immediate evac to the bedroom.
He pulled back to the garage.
The Cold War began.
But in such close quarters on a rainy Sunday, the stress was a living, breathing being. They had to escape the trenches, where passions cooled. Olive branches were offered, domestic détente.
He fixed the wobbly casters on the dining room chairs; in response, she made him a tunafish sandwich, with pickles and that grainy mustard he liked.
The house was still DEFCON-4, but the lines of communication looked to be clearing.
Then, an uneasy truce looked to be breached, when she unexpectedly fled to the family room and covered up with a blanket, hugged a large box of tissues.
He sighed. Went to the kitchen. Filled two coffee mugs with ice cream (her favorite, mint chocolate chip). His presence was announced by the clink of teaspoons on the ceramic mugs.
He held one out to her, looked down, cleared his throat and began what was to be several hours of delicate negotiation.
“A baby, huh?”


pia said...

Was not expecting that ending :) But when I reread it, it made perfect sense

Zouxzoux said...

Verrry interesting! I didn't expect the ending either.

Hal Johnson said...

That was delicious.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I was definitely expecting something else. Silly of me, since I should know by now that you always spring "something else" at the end.

Life without Clots said...

thanks for being upfront, and again, you have a knack for the unexpected.

Anonymous said...

Cold War. Defcon. Evac. then with all the tenderness a tunafish sandwich can bring... Fabulous. -Meg

Daily Panic said...

i can understand where the tension entered and disappeared and gentleness returned, very nice story.