Swift and fierce, you rush.
Stone again transformed to sand.
When settled, a mirror.
Fog billows below majestic mountain peaks.
I claim not ownership of another,
for in forgiveness lies dignity.
No longer do emotions betray
random slips of anger,
unwelcome notions of control;
no more thoughtless infidelity to one’s own weaknesses,
as innermost feelings, are carelessly exposed,
unknowingly laid bare and exploited,
clearly illustrated for the practiced, watchful eye;
to recognize petty motivations,
to take the most basic precautions,
to ignore the triggers and resist the bait,
and in so doing, handily disregard and easily dispose
of the toxicity upon which you desperately seek to thrive.
Exhausted from a long evening spent answering what seemed to be the same questions repeatedly, Jane returned home from the police station to the imposing, Victorian home she had happily shared with her Husband, Ed, until his death last May. Since Ed died, and especially following the horribly gruesome murders of the Matthews family, a family that Jane barely knew beyond her annual contribution to their children’s school fundraisers, Jane had felt uncomfortable living alone in such a large house. The very life itself seemed to have drained from the house when Ed left, and in its place, an uneasiness settled upon its dried, leaf scattered lawn, and its blank, empty windows. Then the break-ins started. Each week it seemed a new house was targeted for random pillaging, and while nothing much was taken, the close proximity in time to the murders was a coincidence which could not be ignored.
As the police sorted the details and searched for motive in the Matthews’ murders, rumors were rampant. Connections to organized crime, the illegal drug trade, and human trafficking were all investigated as potential motives, especially since the Matthews’ sixteen year old daughter, Lucia, was missing, but presumed dead due to what appeared to be a snuff film anonymously posted to 4Chan the morning after the murders. As Jane tried to clear her thoughts of poor Lucia and the rest of her family, she decided to brew a cup of chamomile tea. Her heart literally ached, and she felt as if she may be sick. As the tea pot loudly screamed in the dim lights of the kitchen, Jane poured a cup and headed upstairs to bed.
Back at the police station, line one rang obnoxiously.
“Yes, Jameson, Hi, my name is Janet Simpson. I’m calling because I haven’t heard from my Parents in a couple of days, and I was wondering if someone could run over and check in on them and make sure everything’s alright? I would do it, but I’m out of state and it would take me at least 10 hours to get there.”
Officer Jameson took down the address to Jane and Ed Thomson’s house, and, promised to call Janet immediately with any word. The arriving officers found the doors locked, and everything appeared to be in order. Three newspapers were piled neatly beside the front door, and a cat could be heard mewling pitifully from inside. After repeated attempts to rouse the Thomsons, officers made their way in and immediately noticed the stench. Upstairs in the bedroom lay Ed Thomson, a gun in his right hand, and a wound to his temple. Next to him was his wife of 35 years, Jane, dead with an unfinished book across her chest and a blood spattered cup of tea by her side.
Author’s Note: If you like this story, please consider giving it a thumbs up in the comments section of the prompt “Stuck in a Good Book” over at Tipsy Lit, located
Guns on a shelf.
A box filled with lies.
The preacher says clean house
before everyone dies.
A manipulative woman
a story well told.
Lips red like cherries,
a heart completely cold.
Leave town at once,
fear and confusion in your wake.
Leave terrified children,
their own decisions to make.
Run, coward, run.
You lie to meet your needs.
An empty, soulless shell,
on their very innocence you feed.
A heated topic online,
and without warning the air is gone.
The next palpitation, an endless flutter.
Fluttering down into my belly like a sack of rocks.
Has my heart stopped? What if this is a real arrhythmia?
Shirt comes off, bare breasts to the floor. Cool air rushes from the vent.
I just need more.
I’m here alone with my children and I’m going to die.
I can’t breathe. Here logic does not apply. The only certainty is death.
My heart is fluttering, skipping, beating around.
Changing rhythm with every breath.
I cannot seem to get off the floor.
For as soon as I do, I know I would fall,
and this whole life before me with its beautiful
laughter and happiness would cease to be at all.
Help soon arrives 45 minutes condensed into one.
My heart rate still a mess; and I, still naked and clinging to the
vent on the floor, he wraps me up and leads me to the door.