"I hear the slight rustle of her skirt, and her soft voice saying, “Wait, Isaac—” just before it becomes muffled. So sharply, so unexpectedly does it happen, that it makes me giddy with curiosity; and so, I do what I have to do: I lift the flap of the tent, allowing light in, to peek in on them; and what I see leaves me dumbfounded.
There she is, kneeling down before him amidst ripples of silk. She wraps her arms around his frail shoulders, draws closely and kisses him, long and full, on his mouth. And then, when she rises up, you can see that his face is confused, and his hand is trembling a little."
In this excerpt Yankle describes his mother Becky, modeled after the biblical figure of Rebecca. Her husband Isaac is lying on his deathbed. He is blind, and waiting for his firstborn son Esav to come back from the hunt, so he can give him the blessing. Becky plots to deceive the old man. In my story, A Favorite Son, she goes into his tent to say her last farewell, and just before sending Jacob in to execute her criminal plan, she kisses her husband. Watching this from a distance, Yankle says:
"I have to wonder: What was that kiss? Her way to say farewell? Was it inspired by some old memory, some image of their younger days—or else, was it designed to make him vulnerable, make him ready for me, just in time for my entrance? I agonize, I puzzle over that kiss. Was it act of love—or of deceit?"
If your browser wouldn't play it, try this.