Using surroundings, body language, visual cues and blocking, in addition to the spoken words, show us who they are and what their relationship is without coming out and telling us!
I'm offering the following: Snake-Charming
She lit a cigarette and sucked a long drag before reaching up to pull the toggle for the ceiling fan. It emitted a high-pitched squeal as the blades wobbled loosely in their orbit around the dying sun of a light-bulb. She didn’t care about the smoke drifting from her nostrils into my face. “Comfortable?” she asked, condescendingly.
“Mrs. Davies, I really should be leaving,” I said, gripping the straps of my purse with uncertainty. My leg started bouncing like a jackhammer.
“I know, Pet. We have to wait for my husband.” A smile slithered onto her face, baring the lipstick smear on her fangs. “He’s the one with the...money.”
I wanted to bolt. I needed my money though, so I remained in the fifties-era plastic and chrome kitchen chair trying not to focus on the second-hand danger of the vent-less room or the annoying whop-whop-squee of the ceiling fan. Seconds crawled by like years and the swirl of the cigarette smoke was dangerously hypnotic.
The phone rang; the shrill noise cutting through the stuffy silence. She answered it immediately, “Hello?” Her features flashed darkly before she turned away, the tired telephone cord wrapping about her waist like a snake coiling about its mother. “Honey, do not lie to me. Working late is not an excuse for you anymore.” Her whisper was harsh.
I glanced into the living room, knowing the door to freedom was mere steps away. Mr. Davies always worked late. He came home in the mornings however, after Mrs. Davies left. Sometimes brought home companionship. I kept my mouth shut. I was only there for his invalid mother.
“You think I don’t know!” the snake hissed. “The damned caregiver Brad!”
The mistress wasn't me but I no longer cared. I ran.