Story corner

Fade to Black
The force of the front door slamming closed blew an untidy heap of paperwork into a snowstorm of bills and circulars. Brad burst into the living room, nostrils steaming like a bull and grabbed her hard by both shoulders.
“Molly”, he screamed, “you selfish bitch!”
“Why did you do it? I can’t believe it, you murdering cow.” He slapped her sharply across the face, his own cheeks stinging with rage.
“I thought we’d sorted it all out. We were gonna have this baby and be a proper family. My baby, how could you get rid of my baby, without even telling me? I’m gonna make you regret that for the rest of your life.”
She shook, unable to stand up against the weight of his rough, unforgiving hands round the back of her slender neck. A small whimper escaped her lips, white with fear and this set him off again. He slapped her once more, this time on the other cheek. Silent tears tracked their way through the heavily applied foundation on her hot, shameful face.
“Now that it’s gone, you’d better get back to work this evening and earn me some decent money, you skanky little whore. That baby’s had a lucky escape from you”, he added.
She lowered her head, feeling the weight of his hands lift as he ambled towards the kitchen of the tiny flat.
It was no home to her. For it to be a home, didn’t you have to have some sort of love? There was only despair, fear and loathing here. She could run, but, as he would often remind her, there was nowhere to hide.
Once she would have been able to hide inside her head and her heart. Now, she was destroyed, exposed, blown apart like a gaping bullet wound, bloody and raw. Her own fault, she conceded, for getting on the game in the first place, but no one deserves to be raped, much less to conceive an innocent child in the process. She thanked God the client had never found out and she had been able to convince Brad that the child was his. She had no doubt that he would have added murder to his criminal repertoire if he’d ever gotten wind of it.
He slouched back to the dreary, stained couch and flopped onto it, a beer in one hand and began to unbuckle his belt.
“Oh God, no”, she thought. “Not now.” She was still sore and hurt from the procedure that morning.
“Get over here” he menaced. She knew it would do no good to refuse.
“Kneel down”, he ordered. She lowered herself in front of him, expecting him to remove his trousers. “Take off my belt”. She complied, her hands trembling.
He stood up. His eyes were immediately taken hostage by a crazed look, as the belt crashed against her temple, her eyes, mouth, jaw – all smashed to pieces to match her already broken, weeping heart.
As she fell at his feet, he delivered a final blow from his Doc-Martin clad toe and left her there in a crumpled heap amongst the letters, now crimson, with her seeping blood.
He switched on the television, sliding prone on the couch and as the black screen gave birth to its kaleidoscope picture, she closed her swollen eyes and faded to black.

Michelle Eshkeri

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