Compulsion

Reads: 54  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 4

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Warning: This story is about a woman pushed to the limit by domestic abuse. It is fiction, but it does happen.

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Compulsion

A girl can only take so much before she cracks. I warned him and warned him, but he just kept on pushing. Thump; his fist in my stomach. Thump; his fist in my jaw, this time so hard that it sends me over sideways. I didn’t curl up fast enough to prevent his boot from making contact with my head.

Lie still! That’s all I need to do, and being dazed it’s really not so hard. My eyes are closed and yet I can tell he’s had enough and that his angry outburst is over. The fridge door opens and closes. He pulls the tab from a beer can and I can hear him swallow some of it before he leaves the kitchen.

It doesn’t take a genius to know where he’s gone or what he’s doing. The television blares out with fake laughter which he joins in with.

I’m safe enough for now.

Pulling myself up onto my knees, I wipe the blood that is dripping from between my lips. Has he done some internal damage? No, two teeth and a split lip. Okay, I’ve had much worse than that. All I need to do is to wait until my head clears enough then I can stand up, make my way to the bathroom and lock myself in there.

Except I don’t. There is no conscious decision to pick up the knife that is laying there on the kitchen counter. It’s like something takes over... some compulsion.

He’s so lost in the laughter he does not even hear me enter the room and I don’t have to sneak my way towards him. My arm has a mind of its own now as it reaches forward, knife in hand to stab him.

That gets his attention. He looks at the blood, his for once, and then he stares at me, roars in anger. I didn’t do much damage. He’s right, I am a coward, a useless piece of shit that can’t do anything right.

Or is he. Maybe not, for suddenly my arm is moving again before he has a chance to take the knife away from me, and I am stabbing again. Over and over, now. It’s like I’m stuck in some kind of repetitive compulsion. If I stop stabbing, he’ll get up and the beating he’ll deliver will be so much worse than any of the previous ones.

I never meant to do it. Honestly. But now that I’ve started, I just can’t stop.

 


Submitted: October 25, 2020

© Copyright 2020 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Joe Stuart

I'm not sure what to say about this story, Hully, except it is so sad that sometimes a woman's only escape is to commit murder. I just wish there had been a better way for her. I have no pity for the husband, but it's hard to get away with murder no matter how justified.

Sun, October 25th, 2020 9:49pm

Author
Reply

It is, and I never meant to imply that she was right in what she did - more that each and every one of us has a limit of how much abuse we can take before being driven over the edge into insanity.
Thanks so much for reading, Joe.

Sun, November 1st, 2020 3:31am

Craig Davison

Very, very powerful. I really like it.

Mon, October 26th, 2020 1:23am

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for giving it a read. Totally fiction, but it does happen.

Sun, November 1st, 2020 3:29am

Mike S.

Sad but excellent tale, Hull

Mon, October 26th, 2020 7:39pm

Author
Reply

It happens. Thanks, Mike.

Fri, October 30th, 2020 9:59am

Mark A George

Good story, Hulla. You were right in your warning sentence, that it's fiction but does happen. For a number of years I worked in the domestic violence field and the stories I heard were ugly and sad and mean. I worked with the abusers, mostly men. I like to think that the woman in your piece had exhausted other avenues before she did what she did. But police, a protective order and even an arrest isn't a guarantee of safety. In a story sequel she might get an attorney and plead self defense...the multiple stab wounds would necessitate a plea of temporary insanity due to trauma and making a case that she was in fear for her life.

Wed, October 28th, 2020 4:51pm

Author
Reply

Yes, that's what I thought. But I wonder if the insanity would be temporary, or if the damage would have sent her over the edge long-term. The story was completely fictional, but I know that these things do happen, and not just between husband and wife.
My intention was never really to take her side, but to show that each and every one of us does have a personal limit of how much abuse they can take.
Thanks so much for reading.

Fri, October 30th, 2020 9:53am

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