The WEP/IWSG Challenge is back. Huge thanks to the organisers and participants. A visit HERE
will give access to a range of talented (so very talented) and
different takes on the theme. I do hope you will visit others and
applaud them. Names will be added over the next couple of days and a
revisit is always worthwhile.
It is early days yet, but I have already found stories to delight me, been amazed by one prompt (with a myriad of rabbit holes for me to dive down), have wept at one and laughed (definitely out loud) at another. There is sooo much talent in this group, and the range of stories is incredible.
As is always the case I struggled with this prompt. I am wobbling on a personal soap box here. Covid 19 has effortlessly crossed borders: geographical borders, borders of religion, gender, age, affluence... However, as is so often the case, the vulnerable in the community are hit hardest. And in many cases, their supports have been removed. Which makes my heart ache.
One group who have been further endangered by the virus is those at risk of family violence. Shelters have closed, funding has been diverted, and families have been locked down together.
At the best of times the phrase 'He/she snapped' used as an excuse/explanation/justification for violence fills me with rage. And this is not the best of times.
past tense: snapped; past participle: snapped
break suddenly and completely,
typically with a sharp cracking sound.
PETER fumed. In the weeks after Sara left the flames of
his initial rage had been replaced with a slow cold burn for vengeance.
dare she! How very dare she! Throwing it all away. Their lawyers had agreed that Sara would have
safe passage and could come to the house in his absence (HIS HOME) one last
time to pick up her clothing, some essential papers and precious mementos. That ugly antique vase that she treasured was
specifically included. Treasured more
than their marriage!!!!
have agreed. He had not. Today was the day.
He left the
house at the usual hour, dressed in his work clothes in case anyone was
watching, parked the car out of sight several blocks away, doubled back, let
himself quietly in the back door and continued his preparations.
instructed what right did they have to instruct him! the clothing she had left behind, her
jewellery, her passport, her tax papers, photos of her family and her laptop
were in the kitchen. In a neat pile. She might not recognise them in their current
form but they were all there. Shattered,
torn, drenched in piss and petrol but there.
The vase her
grandmother left her was there too. He
had spent hours and hours sharpening the largest shard to a razor edge. Shard in hand he went to the darkened front
room and waited.
some more. She was never on time,
something he had often been forced to speak to her about.
pulled into the driveway, the door slammed, and he heard her key in the lock.
headed down the hall to the kitchen he heard her say 'I am fine. His car wasn't here, the house is dark. I will be in and out of here in less than
half an hour. Love you' . He smiled and quietly padded down the hall
the light on in the kitchen, gasped and started to sob. She sobbed and he laughed as he pulled her
into a tight embrace. 'You should have realised just how good your
life with me was' he snarled as he sliced that razor sharp precious memento
across her throat. A plume of blood
arched across the kitchen and he let her drop onto the pile of things she
valued. The gush of blood slowed to a
trickle. Still laughing he emptied the
rest of the can of petrol over her body and stood beside her unlit pyre...
And in his defence the
court was told that the stress of his marriage break down made him snap...
trust him. She knew that he wouldn't
give up so easily. She was a possession
in his eyes, a possession who had no right to seek her freedom. Oh yes, the lawyers had said that she had
safe passage for this one day (so long as she came alone), but it didn't hurt
She got up
early. Very early. Binoculars trained on the front door she
watched the lights go on in the house.
First the bedroom then the bathroom and finally the kitchen. She watched the lights go out again, and saw
him emerge and carefully lock the door behind him. He looked unchanged, and the direction his
car headed was the same as always. She
watched. She waited. There was no sign of him and the house was
still and dark.
hours later the house was still quiet. She got in her car and drove to the house for
the last time. Her phone rang as she
parked. 'Yes mum I am fine. His car wasn't here, the house is dark. I will be in and out of here in less than
half an hour. Love you' .
to the kitchen, turned the light on, gasped and started to sob. She really shouldn't have expected anything
else. Furious and heartbroken she cradled
a sharp and jagged piece of the vase which had always stood in her grandmother's
home. The vase her grandmother had left
her. Her only memento of that precious
woman. It had been so beautiful. Elegant.
Richly coloured in deep, deep blues and burgundies. It had begged to be touched. She had stroked it each time she went past as
a child, and each time she came in or went out the door of the house she shared
board at the kitchen door shrieked a warning.
Still holding that shattered piece of her history she whirled round and
lashed out as he came through the door at her.
Slashed out and connected. A
plume of blood arched across the kitchen, spraying her, spraying the
walls. He collapsed onto the pile of
things she had valued, and the gush of blood slowed to a trickle, then
And in her defence the
court was told that the destruction of all her possessions and her fear of what
he might do made her snap...
Full critique acceptable.