This is a story of the evil goes on behind closed doors. The sort of evil that might be triggering for some. Just to let you know.
image: @ Mara Eastern
The first time, I didn’t know what to do. I strapped on noise-cancelling headphones, turned the volume up full blast. And tried to pretend. Pretend I didn’t recognize the sounds. The raised voice and fist. The whimper, the cry, the pleading. Upstairs but could be in the next room, this room. I knew I should act, but . . .
Next time, I called the cops. He must be flinging her around the living room, crashing her into glass, banging her up against the wall. Things went church silence when he opened the door. I crept out to the landing to listen.
“Sorry officers, some bitch like the one downstairs is just too nosy. Wife’s a drunk – falls down all the time. Staggering so bad tonight, broke the glass table top.”
“Ma’am”, one officer asked, “You look pretty cut up.” He saw the bloody footprints, hand prints, the pile white towels turned red.
“No sir, thank you. Just a few cuts. Need Band-Aids not ER.”
I tried to give her literature surreptitiously when picking up our mail from the boxes – she shook her head, pushing the woman’s shelter’s material away.
I’d wait til his ultraextraheavydutyskullkickingboots slammed on each stair on the way down. Then, I’d go up and plead with her to open the door. Ashamed of her bruised looks, she hid behind the door, til I convinced her to let me in. She talked. I listened, told her of options when she was ready. I gradually told her my story so she could see that she wasn’t alone.
He’d threatened me, of course, but I taught myself not to fear his sort through self-defense, and mental strength. And a gun. The gun. The one that disappeared. The one they found by her feet.
He was splayed in a pool of congealing blood on the floor. She looked up at me with tearish eyes “So sorry about your gun. . . .But it’s the little one,” she rubbed her stomach, “Couldn’t let him hurt the little one.”
Written as part of a series of the evil that dwells out there. Without zombies, mages, dragons, orcs, vampires, werewolves, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Evil is upstairs. In the family. Behind the computer screen. While stories written of the dark arts frighten, the world behind closed doors should scare you more.
Behind Closed Doors is the theme of this week’s Tale Weaver. This is just one story. Oh, god, there are so many more.