Two short stories for the whole month, and some very eager person jumps the gun so I'll take it slowly and try to make it last. I'll make this post only about the first story. Mary Maloney loves her husband and goes to a lot of effort to make her home a comfortable and pleasant one. Meadow said she spends her life playing a role. That is true; as true it is of any person. Today, a career woman multitasking could also be playing a role. After a point, she may not want to do it all but she continues because that is a role society /family expects her, a smart woman, to play. The better she plays the role, the more she believes in it. If Mary was playing happy families, she believed in it wholeheartedly. She had reason to also. Patrick was home punctually, they shared a drink, talked after his first drink was over, went out every Thursday, and most important, she was carrying his child. I don't think Mary was playing a role. I think she was genuinely happy in her marriage and she loved her husband, and looked after his comforts. So she went into shock when Patrick told her he would leave her and callously added, But there needn't really be any fuss. I hope not anyway. It wouldn't be very good for my job." Still in a state of shock and disbelief, she goes to prepare the meal. She isn't really thinking; her actions are automatic. But when he rejects her a second time, by telling her he was going out, she hits out. He is looking out and she strikes. It is an impulse; it is not in cold blood. She would have cooked the lamb, if he had not said, "For God's sake," he said, hearing her, but not turning round. "Don't make supper for me. I'm going out." Until this point, the author tells us, she is in shock. The violence of the crash, the noise, the small table overturning, helped bring her out of he shock. She came out slowly, feeling cold and surprised, and she stood for a while blinking at the body, still holding the ridiculous piece of meat tight with both hands. She realizes she had committed a heinous crime and is prepared to hang but there is the child she is carrying. she knew quite well what the penalty would be. That was fine. It made no difference to her. In fact, it would be a relief. On the other hand, what about the child? Whatever she does after that is to save the child. She is the wife of a detective. She knows about alibis and disposing off weapons and uses this knowledge to save her child. For me the most important sentence of the story is the last sentence; it makes the story open ended. And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle. Does she turn hysterical and confess?