Sunday, April 22, 2007

Entry #12

Break
by Joni Haws


She stands stiff-limbed and tired at the kitchen sink, facing the window turned mirror in the dark of evening. A pale ghost stares back at her, hollow eyes shrouded in limp bangs. The ragged blouse. A mottled bruise. She holds her fingers beneath the faucet and waits for the water to warm.

…his hands on my thighs…

Her eyes drop, crawling over each greasy dish and rust-bottomed pan, each grimy crack in the countertop.

…under my shirt…

She thinks of his stained hands, blackened nails. Everything he touches remains oily, smudged. Dirty. Like the soiled tools on his workbench.

…stinking breath on my neck…

She sees her hands are shaking.

...in my hair…

She clamps her eyes shut. His voice floats through her mind like unsettled dust.

…I know what you want…

Her own voice is screaming. CRASH – a plate. CRASH – another. Another. Another. Awakened by rage her bare feet carry her over broken ceramic, wooden floor, cement stair. Grass, gravel, asphalt pass beneath her, the corpse of a house forever at her back. She will not stop. She gulps the delicious air, arms pumping. She will not submit. Not anymore. Yes, he will come, but she does not care. She is exultant, for she knows that however it ends now, she is running toward freedom.

13 comments:

Jaye Wells said...

Powerful story, Joni. I really enjoyed it.

kgilbert said...

I got a lump in my throat after reading this. I wanted to scream, "RUN!"

Loved the style.

You made my skin crawl with those italicized lines. That guy is a creep.

Very effective writing.

Sam said...

Yes, very effective, tense writing - and a great premise.

Bernita said...

Marvellous beginning.
Consider stopping at "not any more." Don't think you need the reiteration to drive the point home.
Well done.

Verilion said...

This is incredibly powerful. The italicized lines just made my skin crawl. Well done.

Scott said...

I like the intensity level that you maintain throughout, and the ending really works for me too. Either way she will be free.

Beth said...

I agree with Bernita ... ending after "not anymore" leaves that kind of cliffhanger. When running from something like this thoughts are usually fight or flight based ... without true rationale or deep thought. This is my experience, anyhow.

September said...

Intense. I could feel hating that man. Powerful stuff.

Fence said...

Definitely agree with everyone who called it powerful. Some great descriptions there as well.

Terri said...

Wow. This one left me feeling empowered too, well done!

The Wandering Author said...

Great story! You left me hoping she gets away, and he can't catch up with her. To make a reader care about a character in so few words is very difficult, but you managed it.

Susan Flemming said...

I like the build up to her decision to run. Your use of the italicized lines was very effective.

jason evans said...

Her express thoughts and implied thoughts/emotions are expertly woven. The opening paragraph was perfect.