Elle hated the way they looked at her. She despised it. For the past twenty years, no one spoke to her, maybe a wave here or a nod, perhaps a casual hello. Nothing more. Yet the looks they gave her gnawed at her. When would it end? If they only knew the truth
Another month passed and fall took its toll. It didn’t matter. Elle tended to the outside of the house, raking leaves, pulling the dead flowers, trimming her bushes. She loved being outside, in any temperature. As she edged the driveway, Paul pulled in.
She stood and brushed herself off. “You’re home early.”
“Let’s get inside.”
Elle turned, went up the steps, and inside the house. Paul followed closely behind her. Elle pulled off her jacket and started toward the kitchen.
“Where’s my dinner?”
She stopped and turned to him, “you didn’t say you’d be home early, so I didn’t start it yet. I’ll start it right now.”
His eyes narrowed and his breathing increased. Elle darted her eyes to his hands, they were ball into fists. She took a step back, tripping in the doorway and falling, hitting the hutch beside the doorway, knocking the pictures over. The family photo fell to the floor sending shards of glass everywhere.
“Clean this up. Now.”
“I’m sorry.” She turned to get the broom and dustpan.
“Forget making dinner. I’m going out.”
He turned to leave, and Elle thought she got lucky. But she couldn’t have been more wrong. He turned back and let a backhand fly, striking her across her face.
She screamed. “Don’t touch me.” And backed away from him. She’d had enough.
“What are you going to do about it?” He reached out, grabbing her arm.
Elle twisted and tried to get away. But the beating came. One of the worse ones he’d given her. Face, stomach, cuts from falling on the broken glass. She screamed louder, and he slammed his fist into her jaw, breaking it. He threw her to the floor, and she banged her head. Blood gushed from her jaw, and the break in her leg. She tried to scream, but he’d covered her mouth with his hand. The room started to spin, her stomach throbbed, the pain spiked in her leg as he stepped on it. “Please…”
Paul laughed, “This is all your fault. You deserved it,” and walked out the door.
Elle couldn’t move. As much as she tried, her leg, her arm, it kept her down. Maybe she could reach the phone in her pocket. Pain shot up her leg, into her back. Her head pounded. She managed to pull her phone out of her pocket. The pain unbearable.
The room spun, but she managed to make a call. Elle told her everything. Especially where to find the diary she kept detailing Paul’s abuse for the past twenty years. Each breath sent piercing pain in her chest. This would be the last time he’d hurt anyone.
Regrets. She had several. Especially staying with Paul. Now, it was too late. Elle closed her eyes and drew her last breath.
Each week Soooz features an image and invites you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Please put your piece (or a link to it) in a comment on Soooz’s blog or email it to her by 4:00 pm EDT on Thursday, August 20.
Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to Soooz’s blog page would be much appreciated.
She will be sharing all entries received, and, her own contribution on her blog.