Mid-week Blues Buster, Year 3 week 2


I didn’t cry when he finished. I wanted to – it hurt so very much – but the tears just wouldn’t come. He staggered away, pulling up his pants and laughing, not once looking back. I laid there, face pressed into the rough bark and slimy moss, legs splayed obscenely to reveal tearing and blood, but he wasn’t afraid of what would happen if someone found me. A man like him wasn’t afraid of anything.

For a while, I thought about staying where I was. Eventually, the flesh would rot from my bones, and I wouldn’t be an emblem of meaninglessness. I could have died for any number of reasons, laying here against the oak, and all would be washed away. But I was young – the blood between my legs was the first that had been there – and the will to exist is strong.

Then I thought of running. Somewhere there had to be a place where I would be safe. I had seen such a small part of the world. But I didn’t know where I was, much less where anything else was. What would happen to me in a new town? A young girl, dirty and hungry, with a torn dress and no trade?

Then I thought of hiding. There were animals in the forest. And plants. I knew the penalty for poaching on this land was death, but the forest was large, and I wouldn’t need much to live. But I’d never be able to start a fire – the smoke would give me away, and the winters would be cold.

Then I thought of killing him. I’d killed lots of bugs. And some mice which had broken into our pantry. And a cat once, when it had a broken leg and couldn’t hunt and kept mewling the baby awake.

As I imagined my hands thrusting a sword into him, drawing more blood from his flesh than he could have dreamt of spilling from me, I realized I’d gotten up and begun moving back towards the village. He’d see me again later that day, but I wouldn’t be the same girl he’d left in the forest.


Thursday Threads, Year 3, week 2


I heard the thump-thump-thump of her feet behind me and cursed under my breath. All week long, she’s mesmerized by singing ducks, and now that I needed a half-hour to get something done, she wanders away. “Daddy, what are you doing?”

“Just fixing the bed, sweetie.” I didn’t want her to see this. Though she probably – hopefully – wouldn’t understand what I was doing, she might repeat it to her grandma. That’d be awkward.

“Were you jumping on the bed? Mommy tells me that if I jump on the bed, I’ll break it.”

“Uhhh, something like that, honey.” Well, not really. The bed was actually fine.

“Will mommy yell at you?” If I do this right, she’ll yell – though not really *at* me.

“No, sweetie. Mommy asked me to fix this. She’ll be happy.”

“Okay.” Her little arm dashed out. “What’s this, daddy?” Before I could react, she screamed.

“My hand is stuck! Daddy! Daddy! Get it out!”

“I will, Janie. Hold on a second while Daddy gets the key. I know that hurts.” I released her little arm from the handcuffs and rubbed the skin to get rid of red marks. “Is that better?”

“Yes.” She was still teary, but she’d be fine. “I think I’m gonna go watch more duckies.”

“You do that, honey. I love you.”

When she was gone, I checked the chains I’d installed on the bed. They were in good and tight. And, boy, was mommy gonna get it tonight for sticking me with this.