Welcome Home – Flash Fiction #1

I wish I didn’t have to be here, in this place. It really is the last thing I wanted, but I don’t actually have any options now. He’s made sure of that.

I hear the car pull up, and a smile spreads on my face. He’s finally home.

In this dark space, I cannot see much, but at least I can see the door and the lounge room.

I just hope Ella did decide to go to that birthday party.

The door opens, and Benny steps into the threshold. His dark complexion and black hair were a direct contrast of his black-framed glasses and wiry physique. He really is a sliver of a man.

I take a slight breath and listen to my heartbeat raise in pace.

Benny stands there for a moment. His head glances from side-to-side. It’s highly irregular. I hold my breath. Did he hear me?

Benny shakes his head, adjusts his shoulders, and closes the door.

As he walks through the house, I hear the shuffling of his left foot and snarl at it. It’s a fucking put-on. No need to continue with the ruse in closed doors. God, he’s such a drama queen…

I hear beeps of sound. The TV is turned on, the sound of the cordless phone being taken off the charging pad, and his computer booting up.

Then I hear him fall into the sofa downstairs.

I push open the door more and leave the closet. There, at the bottom of the stairs, sits my husband. He is slouched on the couch, his feet propped on my coffee table, and his laptop positioned on his lap. I don’t know how many times I told him not to do that. I sneer. He’ll regret it today; that’s for damn sure.

The TV volume raises, and I hear a commercial with that annoying lizard in the background.

The phone rings, and Benny barely moves to grab it off the couch beside him.

“Yeah?” he pauses.”Calm down, calm down.” 

The volume of the TV lowers as he presses down on the remote.

“Really?” He pulls his cell phone out of his pocket.

“I’m sorry, dude. No reception half the time. It didn’t ring. What’s up?”

Suddenly a special news report bursts onto the screen. “We break this normally televised program to bring you a special news report.”

Now’s my time. There’s no other way about it.

I creep down the stairs. All of the noise in the house is muffled, but I know what they’ll be saying. Three escaped inmates.

I pull my hands out of my pocket. 

Two in custody. 

The sounds of distant sirens don’t stop me. My feet are delicate on the surface of the steps.

One still at large. 

I reach the bottom with delight. The metal in my hands feels alive.

Considered armed and dangerous.

Benny drops the phone and jumps to his feet. His about-face is the fastest movement I’ve ever seen him do. His face was full of terror, and he had every right to be. In my hands, the .45 was ready to be fired.

“Don’t do it, Rosie!” Benny cries.

“You took everything from me. I’m not an abuser,” I say, ending with a growl. “I did nothing to you that you didn’t deserve. You worthless shit.”

I punctuated the last with a pull of the trigger.

The bullet hits his chest, and he falls back onto my coffee table.

I scream and jump forward. It was pure marble! The blood would surely stain it. He gasped and gargles. The blood spills out of his mouth.

“You can’t even die with dignity.”

I push him off the table with a kick and he lands with a grunt and groan.

The sirens draw closer. They’ll be here any minute.

He tries to move, but I put my foot onto his back and wipe down the table with my free hand.

“Ella,” Benny finally utters.

His hand stretched towards the TV cabinet.

I look up and see the happy face of our daughter there. The photo was at least 2 years old, but it’s still my little girl. For a brief moment, I am remorseful. What have I done?

My foot comes off Benny’s back, and I sit on the couch. 

She saw all of it. I remember. I remember her screams. They’ll haunt me for forever.

The sirens end. I glance out the door and see them spilling out of the cars.

I guess Ella doesn’t have to worry about Mommy being mean to Daddy anymore.

The metal sure feels cold on my temple…

 

For my first story of the year, I’m taking a page out of Stephen King’s On Writing. In it, he gave a writing prompt about a man who beats his wife, gets sent to jail, and then escapes to kill her. It’s pretty standard fare, but then he asked the reader to write it in a different perspective, reverse roles, and make it their own. I am not big on writing thriller, but I had an instant idea of how to write it. So today’s story is just that. Hope it’s coherent. hehe

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