White Picket

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

A silent scream in winter as a woman finds a way to take control of her life

She collapsed, chest heaving, in the unfeeling snow, an unwelcome visitor in the frigid night. The delicate pressure of the midnight freeze touched her bare cheeks, seeping into closed pores. She shivered at the merciless sensation. Snow melted from the inferno within, creeping moisture like an infection into her tight, torn jeans. Her bleeding knee dripped into a nascent crimson pool, transmuting from the crimson boil of urgent anguish to the dull, sharp, crystalline frost of despair as it was enveloped in the white blanket of winter.

She cried in silence, voicelessness exposing the hollowness inside. Long, lurching, inaudible sobs bobbed her hunched back as her face contorted in an Edvard Munch scream. Still, no sound emerged. Nothing disturbed the floating snowflakes from their meander through the sky. Certainly not her. She was insignificant. She was nothing. 

The white picket fence that filled her field of vision separated her from home. Home. Was that what it should be called? A house maybe. Could it be a home when it was shared with a man who had beaten her mercilessly for years? A home would be hers. She could affect it, influence it. She could control what happened within its walls. She yearned for that. Lusted for it. Control. Rest. From the tension that had wound more tightly around her neck with every year of marriage. She had clutched her husband with an iron fist and faith that the rarely rearing monster within him would weaken and die.

She stared at the fence.

Today, she had taken control for the first time, and she felt nothing but the vacuous, bitter cold of shame and horror. Her thoughts returned, again and again to the image of his cruel eyes, twisted in fury, aimed at her own. She watched the slow motion footage of his head caving in under the rigid brass of lamp, swung in defense, swung in desperation. Again, she heard the crunch of his skull, the thump of his lifeless body on the hollow floor.

She saw the pool of vermillion reality as it burned into the retina of her memory and sank into the deepest dark pit of her stomach.

There was no escape, not now.

She stared at the fence.

The fence was suburban perfection, the appearance of normal, the shell of her marriage, while the core of it melted, infected with violence.

Why hadn't she run when she'd had the chance? She could have gone, could have prevented this thing that she'd done. But she hadn't. She had wanted to save him so badly, so badly. He was the love of her life; she was forever committed. He had not been. Not always. But adulterous sins were easily forgiven. She should have been more beautiful, more patient, more kind. She should have been more, but she wasn't. Now he was dead, absolute evidence of her utter failure.

Murder. Murder was with her forever. Its rancid, dull paint would never come off, Lady Macbeth's damned fucking spot.

She stared at the fence.

Its pointed spikes weren't her protection, they were her cage--a cage of her making, voiceless and firm. Her soundless shrieking wail attacked again, more intense than before. Despondency whirled in her soul. It was her fault. She should have been more, but she wasn't.

She stared at the fence.

Fingers and toes were growing numb, rendered unfeeling by the cold of the night. The lack of feeling was welcome relief. Her frozen soul reached for it.

She stared at the fence, suppressing reflexive tremors. She wanted the cold so badly. She craved its aching embrace. She lay back in the snow, arms outstretched. She was an angel of darkness on an immaculate canvas of white, her blond hair a barbed halo splashing above.

They found her body in the morning, skin pale blue with frost, teeth showing in a sorrowful smile, her lavender lips silent, just as they had been before. Just as they had always been.

They shook their heads. She should have been more, but she wasn't.

Submitted: January 20, 2020

© Copyright 2023 HikerAngel. All rights reserved.

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