“Please,” I shrieked, “please stop!” but he kept hitting me. It began with a slap across the mouth for a simple comment. He backhanded me when I mentioned the bathroom sink was beginning to clog. He took it as an insult, told me I didn’t respect him and the hard work he put into keeping this dump livable. I could see it in his eyes, as soon as my lip began to trickle, the blood excited him. Trying to diffuse the situation, I told him it wasn’t his fault, and I would make sure a plumber took a look at it right away.
He called me a stupid cunt. I tried to run, but he fisted my hair and dragged me across the bed. Yanking my head backward painfully, he screamed at me to open my eyes and look at him. I didn’t want to; I knew what he would see.
As soon as he saw the fear in my eyes, a grin spread across his face, his breathing began to quicken. He jerked his arm viciously, snapping my neck even further. Then the first punch fell; it crushed my nose and I began to gasp for air as blood poured down my throat. Eager to cause more pain, he punched again and again until I couldn’t breathe and began to choke. Then he threw my head forward; the blood gushed from my lips, my wracking cough enough to tell him I could take more.
Walking around the other side of the bed, he again used my hair to drag my struggling body onto the floor. I heard my hip snap upon contact with the hardwood. He did too. I looked up through swollen, battered eyes and gurgled, “Please…” It was all he needed to enrage the indignant fire that burned within him. Lifting me to my knees, his first kick landed in my broken hip. He released me, and I flopped onto my back. He began to stomp my body. Trying desperately to get away, I rolled onto my side. Blinding pain shot through me as the pieces of shattered bone in my hip shifted. I tried to curl into a fetal position, but he reached down and broke my arm so I couldn’t protect my head. I could feel his hot breath as he hissed, “You’ll never disrespect me again, bitch!”
The beating seemed to last forever, the ferociousness of his attack unlike any I’d experienced before. And there had been many, for greater indiscretions than this. Somehow, I managed to push myself backward toward the wall with my good leg. Watching my pathetic attempt, he slammed his foot into my curled midsection, hurling my body into the corner I hoped would be my salvation.
With my back to the wall, I lay there barely breathing. I could see nothing out of my blood-smeared swollen lids, could form no words with my destroyed jaw. Both arms and one leg were completely useless; a soft mewling escaped my throat. I heard the bathroom sink turn on, heard him wash his hands under the running water. When the water stopped, I listened as the drain slowly dispelled the water with a slow suckling gurgle.
Hearing his boots clomp back to the bedroom, my wrecked body began to shake uncontrollably. In a casual tone, he mentioned that he might need to call a plumber about the drain just before his boot crushed my esophagus. While I lay there wheezing in the fading light, I listened as he whistled to himself, changed his blood-spattered clothes and went out for the evening.
© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.
Coffin Hop Goodies!
How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2013 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}
Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…
and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song
plus the blog for the writing group I belong to:
Pen of the Damned
and all the other amazing hoppers on the Coffin Hop list!
October 29th, 2013 at 3:04 am
Story is sad and horrifyingly true, sounds like it could happen.
October 29th, 2013 at 9:02 pm
While this is fiction from a twisted mind, its also a reflection of a hard, vicious reality for many. I hope you found it well conveyed in my voice.
October 29th, 2013 at 5:22 am
Such a terrifying tale, shocking in its intensity, and really leaves you with chills running down the spine.
October 29th, 2013 at 9:00 pm
It is a shocking piece, but I shy away from no horror topic. And this is truly horrific.
October 29th, 2013 at 8:22 am
Love the emotion theme!
October 29th, 2013 at 8:58 pm
It’s a very strong one, I hope I conveyed it throughout the piece.
October 29th, 2013 at 9:41 am
Wow…violent, brutal, cold, blatant…I could describe this prose a myriad of different ways…of course, what is disturbing is that LOVE does not stretch the boundaries of belief – that in itself is a sad, sad thing. But as is your way, Nina, you write flawlessly with undisguised emotion; with a measured detachment. LOVE may be hard for some to read, but I find it unapologetically perfect!
October 29th, 2013 at 8:58 pm
Thank you, Joe! I wish this was a further stretch of the imagination than it truly is for some. If one person reads it and opens their eyes… well, I’m just a horror writer, right? Making a difference in someone’s world may be aspiring for too much. I’m glad you were able to see through the atrocity to the true nature of the writing; a (hopefully) well-told piece of horror. And you are absolutely correct in stating I make no apology for telling this particular indecency in such a way.
October 29th, 2013 at 10:21 am
I’d have to say this is definitely your creepiest, Nina. Remind me to never piss you off! Very well-written, which is consistent in everything you pen. I love your style and voice. Call me a groupie, if you must, but I’m definitely a huge fan!
October 29th, 2013 at 8:49 pm
I have groupies and fans? I’m tickled pink!! (Well, any color other than pink – I really don’t like pink) Thank you for complimenting the way I conveyed this particular horror, and for your much appreciated support! 🙂
October 29th, 2013 at 11:57 am
A chilling depiction of a terrible reality. Excellently written.
October 29th, 2013 at 8:44 pm
It is a reality that happens far too often, perhaps not these circumstances, but certainly not far enough from what many live with. And if I can wake one person up with this piece, then job well done. Thank you for the compliment on the writing! Much appreciated!
October 29th, 2013 at 12:59 pm
hmm a bit intense for this time of day. Got my heart pumping let me tell you. He what?? Went out for the evening ??? One of your best yes indeed. And I will gladly join your fan club
October 29th, 2013 at 8:41 pm
Thank you, Sue. There is much to be indignant about in this piece – no matter the time of day. I’m happy I was able to convey it so well. Woot-Woot! I have a fan club??
October 29th, 2013 at 8:15 pm
Holy crap girl! I think I’ll have nightmares. Amazing style!
October 29th, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Yeah, I think I left the fuzzy-bunny far behind on this one… Thank you for stopping by and reading, and the compliment on the writing style! Much appreciated!
October 29th, 2013 at 10:26 pm
Very brutal. Very real.
October 30th, 2013 at 8:13 pm
That’s very true… the human creature at its most cruel. Detached ambivalence for the humanity of another.
October 30th, 2013 at 1:39 am
Wow! Very intense! Very real, very good! (lots of verys!) 🙂
I’m wondering … just to play devil’s advocate for a moment … do you have any reservations when you write a story like this? Does it cause any conflicts, like wondering if people read this not as a lesson on violence towards women (which is very bad), and read it as some sort of validation? Does that make sense? I’m not sure I’m asking my question well…
October 30th, 2013 at 8:08 pm
Thank you for all the ‘verys’, John! I appreciate it.
I have no compunction what-so-ever about writing this type of piece. Everyone should know the cold, hard reality of what some allow themselves to live through. I don’t perceive it as an endorsement any more than an author who writes about blood-letting, or feasting on human bones does.
In describing it from a simple, direct, detached and uncomfortably aware point of view, I hope to open the eyes of those who look away from this sort of thing and think ‘well, it’s their choice to live with it’. While I agree that it’s true (you can only be a victim the second time if you allow it), I also believe that a lesson can and should be learned from this type of telling. It’s real, it’s horrifically atrocious, and only the abused can stop it from happening – but that doesn’t mean they may not need a little help. It is in no way a validation, its a hope that even one person will open their eyes and decide not to be the victim any longer, or help someone they know and care for to come to that decision.
Whew… gotta climb back down from my soap box now! Thank you for discussing the issue openly, I appreciate honesty and directness above all else, John. 🙂
October 31st, 2013 at 9:49 pm
I get the reason you’re writing it … as an awareness raiser. And, I think that is a good thing. And, you don’t sound like you’re on a soap box.
I guess I was thinking about my own experience in writing … I recently wrote a post about how I felt conflicted about writing stories where the villain is mentally ill — psychopathy, schizophrenia, etc, while being someone who has his own mental illness (mine is depression and anxiety). I’ve also written posts trying to advocate for people with mental illness, so, when I had an idea for some stories in an insane asylum, it seemed to conflict with that advocacy.
I suspect it’s all because I just think too much and over-anaylzie things too much. 🙂
October 31st, 2013 at 10:35 pm
You’re not the only one with that opinion, John. We all have our crutches to bear, and personally, I believe in writing about mine. Many of my more personal pieces seem directed towards a lover or someone very close to me (not this one), when in fact they are directed towards an unborn daughter that I’ll never know. But to understand the meaning behind them, you’d have to know that more about me – but they can still have beautiful meaning to the unaware while allowing me to work through my own pains and wishes. So if you feel a need or compulsion to write about mental illness in a story about an asylum, I say (pardon me) but screw those who don’t get it. I always say I write for those who enjoy my writing, not to appeal to those who don’t. Be yourself, write what you want and need, and if some don’t like it, so be it.
We published two books about insane asylums (Mental Ward: Stories for the Asylum; and Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past) and we caught a little public heat over it as a ‘topic not to be made fun of’. But what those who would judge it that way don’t understand is that there is no ‘making fun of’ involved. The authors who wrote the stories did so for their own reasons (be it simple fiction or not) and each is a work that inspires thought and consideration, and sometimes just imagination. But none of it is meant in malice or to cause harm. Too many people just simply don’t get it… or what a positive outlet fiction can be in a fairly ugly reality.
I write horror, I’m not afraid of any subject, but I refuse to watch the news. Not because I don’t care, but because the gleeful feeding frenzy of human atrocity sickens me. That sounds a little backwards, but when you think about it, the news is delivered so dispassionately, or with a zeal of interest, that the actual issue at hand is often lost to the thought of ‘how much play can we get out of this’. To me, that’s false. I’m not saying all newscasters are dispassionate, but I do believe the majority are more interested in how clean their teeth are than the baby they are talking about found stuffed in a garbage bag.
Sorry to babble, but never sorry to be honest. 🙂
October 30th, 2013 at 4:40 pm
This was a particularly dark story for me. Much of the horror that is out there is painted with fantastic elements of supernatural and the improbable because it’s riveting. We put a devil’s mask or demon’s paw print on something aweful and it terrifies us. But truth is so much more visceral and repugnant.
It’s the reality and shocking frequency of this subject that makes this story so dark and chilling. I’ve worked on some horrific cases and have seen things that you wouldn’t believe. We are the monster. We are the greatest fearmonger. Maliscious and vile, the ugliness of reality is the scariest shit of all.
I enjoyed the way you created and showed the emotions and pain in this tale. Some writers make it so easy to empathize with the subject of the story, and it was painfully easy to feel this poor woman’s misery. Very well done!
Finally, I swear I didn’t intend for this reply to be so long, there is merit and strength in airing humanity’s ugly laundry. To skip a subject because of it’s horrible nature does not diminish or address the problem. It does us no good to pretend this kind of stuff doesn’t happen. We write of brutality not to glorify it, but to place its repulsive head in our conscious mind.
October 30th, 2013 at 7:52 pm
Agreed 100%! Humanity has nothing to to with being human, its knowing how to behave like a civilized being and treat others with respect. If you can’t achieve that, then you are merely human.
I know too many people, both women and men, who allow and excuse this type of behavior. And while my ending may have been extreme, the detached emotion felt by the female ‘victim’ is all to real for many. This is a topic that infuriates me, and I’m almost sad to say I sat down and wrote this in about 20 minutes. It should take longer to imagine this level of cruelty, and the docile acceptance.
This is most definitely an issue that deserves a spot light, and by showing its cold, hard, ugly, truth, maybe it will shake someone lose of their own bonds knowing one day they could easily be that dying body in the corner. Once, is once too many, and once is always a gateway to the next time… There is no such thing as ‘never again’.
Thank you for your thoughtful post, it should be spoken of and not shied away from. I appreciate it very much, Zack!