Sunday, August 2, 2009


I wasn't sure about posting this here. If you hate it, I won't be offended. It's a very short story I wrote about a month ago. It's a bit depressing and there's no humor in it.


She looked at him, this man she once cared for, and imagined him choking on his own blood. She despised him, loathed him. His touch made her skin crawl. His drunken slumber was loud and his limbs flailed. If she were stronger, physically and emotionally, this would be over tonight, but she was weak, dependent on him for everything. She had let him run her life. He kept her from having any friends of her own, moved her away from her family.

She hated herself almost as much as she reviled him. She knew better than this, had been raised better than this. Why was she here? Surviving her childhood had not been easy, had she learned nothing from it? Why didn’t she grab the kids and run, somewhere, anywhere? She knew there were places that would take her in, protect her. Why was she so afraid to leave?

Tonight he had come home drunk, again. When they had first married, he had agreed that if he were ever to come home inebriated, he would sleep on the couch. He knew how the smell of alcohol made her think of her father, how it triggered the fuzzy memories of which she wanted no part. Tonight he didn’t sleep on the couch. He came in to their bedroom, held her down and forced himself on her. The violence of it seemed to increase his pleasure.

Still she couldn’t do more than imagine the knife slitting his throat. She was a coward. She deserved what he gave her. She cried. She thought of her mother, miles away, slowly dying of cancer. Her mother was a strong woman; so much stronger than she could ever hope to be. She put on some clothes, careful not to rustle the fabric.

She went to her children’s bedroom. Her precious, beautiful children. Thank God, she thought, they sleep so soundly. Please dear God, she pleaded, don’t let them ever find out how he behaves when we’re alone. She put the blankets they had kicked off back on them. They slept as fitfully as their father. She went to the bathroom.

No bruises. He never left bruises. Bruises would have made it easier for her to leave him. She suspected he knew that. She knew that he would apologize in the morning. She knew she would say that she forgives him. She knew that she would not forget. She knew he would overcompensate for his behavior for a week, and then it would start again. He would hurt her again, as he had before. He would force himself on her, as he did before. That was how they had conceived their middle child.

She went back into their bedroom. He was still now, in a deeper calmer sleep. She lay down next to him and wept herself to sleep, terrified to stay and terrified to leave.

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