Monday, July 13, 2009

Entry #96

Prick of a Thorn
by Christina Beal


Rose settled into the cool, soft leather of the desk chair. She pulled her knees protectively into her chest. The only illumination in the darkening room was the soft blue glow of flashing LEDs emanating from the electronics.

Her fingertips smudged the smooth desktop as she pushed her chair into a counter clockwise spin. She always moved in the comforting consistency of counter clockwise.

As the landscape of the room revolved about her, the image of Andrew sprawled on the couch entered and left her vision. The room, usually in rigid order, lay in disarray. The dirt of a tipped potted plant spilled on the polished oak floor. Files flung from North to South had fluttered to rest in random patterns across the room.

Circling back again to Andrew she saw him in a foreign drunken state. Dark shadows played across his face as he lay in quiet repose. His shirt, un-tucked, stained with drops of red.

Rose pushed and spun again, her eyes following the dark line on the floor trailing from the wine bottle and overturned goblets. A growing pool spread with each drip of dark liquid. As her chair slowed to a stop she raised her fingers gently to the growing swelling around her eye. Her breath shuddered and a tear slid down her cheek and landed among the splatter of red stains on her once crisp white shirt.

She sighed.

“It’s going to take a lot of club soda to clean this mess.”

21 comments:

The Preacherman said...

Understated violence supurbly done. I'm not sure I was meant to smile at the last line but I did anyway.

Really really like this a lot.




Four Dinners

Laurel said...

I love the counter clockwise detail, like she wants to turn time back.

So well done.

Therese said...

I like your attention to detail. "usually in rigid order", "files flung from North to South".

Really subtle piece. Really well done. Good job.

Aniket said...

She sure seems to have a getaway plan intact. I wouldn't cross paths with that women... ever.

The ones who curse and shout a lot are still predictable. The calm ones are to be feared. :)

Liked this a lot.

Catvibe said...

Thank you for not letting us see the violence happen. This was really great, I enjoyed it very much. Great last line.

laughingwolf said...

understated elegance...

JR's Thumbprints said...

It's good to know that Andrew isn't dead! Interesting movement in this story.

Hoodie said...

Very nicely done, Christina. Strong detail, a crisp peek into the moment. I particularly like the way the title plays in.

(Its me BTW. I got an entry in last night. 112)

Karen said...

Wow! The detail of the spinning in and out of vision sells me on this. Great point of view; very good writing.

Will Irons said...

i like your writing. riveting!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Wow, great writing, rich, visual, subtle - there's the makings of a great thriller in this. Really strong writing, very well done!

BernardL said...

One too many glasses of wine. Nicely done.

Amanda F. said...

Drunken violence without spelling it out - superbly done.

pjd said...

I hope she gets her glass slipper in the end.

This is, as others have said, properly told. The counterclockwise movement, the fact that she has done this before and has a routine... very well done.

Chris Eldin said...

I also felt this was very strong writing. Elegant, yet powerful. Your attention to detail is superb--just the right balance to ground us without overwhelming us.
Very nicely drawn!!

quin browne said...

i agree on the not letting the violence be seen as crucial to the story.

September said...

This was really nicely written. So much detail. I was wondering why she seemed so calm as I was shown the disarray around her -- and then you hit us with it at the end... great writing.

JaneyV said...

This is a very fine piece of writing. The way you described the spinning on the chair was masterful. It makes me think that what had gone before was doomed to recur - no matter how often she changed the scenery she'd always come back to her abuser.

Very moving.

Dottie said...

This is one of my favorites. The story itself is not complicated, but you lead us to the end with such strong character development and writing. There are no weird twists that don't fit, but it is still fresh and unexpected. Nice job.

jason evans said...

The movements are hypnotic. A ship tossing in the sea. Kind of calming.

High marks for pacing.

Jaye Wells said...

I really liked this story. The ironic last line, the details, it all comes together in a nice, tight package. Great job.