Flash Fiction – ‘Enough’

[It needs a little redrafting but I think it’s pretty good… Hope you guys think it is too]

He lost it. I could tell by the look in his eyes; I’d seen that look before. They say that eyes are the window to the soul, and looking at his eyes I could see that his soul was a raging fire; a fire about to get even bigger. As always I had done nothing in particular to start that fire, he just took offence at every little thing I was doing. This time I hadn’t set the table to his standards, there was not enough salt in the beef stew I had made, the dumplings were too stodgy. If he could pick fault he would.

“Well do it your fucking self!” I yelled, snapping in frustration at the constant put downs.

I snapped, so he snapped. His fists came down on the dining room table, creating an earthquake of cutlery and dishes.  His voice strained in anger, yelling about my uselessness. With a dislike of confrontation, I walked into the kitchen, holding back my tears; maybe he could extract the salty taste from them and add it to the tasteless stew.

Angry that I had walked away from him and his ranting, he came bursting into the kitchen behind me. His strong fists turned me around to face him; his nails clawing at my shoulders. His rage spat in my face like the venom that it was. His eyes black and empty, staring furiously into mine. He ceased shouting for a moment, and looking at me intently, raised his arm, bringing his open fist across my cheek in one swish movement. The pain was not immediate but the sensation grew, heating my entire face. I turned my back on him, leaning on the worktop; he started again with his ranting. Grabbing my arm, he tried to turn me around to hit me across my other cheek, make things more symmetrical. He liked symmetry. As he turned me around this time, I managed to grab a knife that was on the side waiting to be washed up. I held it up to him, daring him to make one more move against me.

Thinking me weak, I could feel his grip tighten on my wrist in his hand. He was trying to stare me down but I stood there, trying to have a look of defiance about me, rather than the look of a scared little girl. The silence between us broken as his free hand whipped through the air. I closed my eyes, preparing for contact between his fist and my nose; instinctively I bought my knife-wielding hand up to protect myself. In doing so, the blade sliced through him. I’d never seen so much blood. Recoiling at what I had done, I ran out of the house, leaving him kneeling on the kitchen floor, trying to stem the bleeding with a dirty old tea towel.

I ran away, and never saw him again.

 

* If you liked this flash fiction, there are plenty more to read over at my 365 project… http://flashfiction365.wordpress.com

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