Saturday 11 May 2013

Abused - MWBB - Winner!

This was my entry to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster competition, which brought me my second win of the year!

The prompt was a song:
“Sea of Love” by The Honeydrippers

Paul laid the lace dress out slowly on the bed. It still looked as fresh and white as it had done that day. He could still see her in it. She’d wrapped it up so carefully in tissue paper; smoothing it out, making sure there wouldn’t be a wrinkle in it. He unfolded the sleeves, pulling them out gently, and running his fingers along the edge of the shoulderless tops, and then along the sweetheart neckline of the bodice. He loved the sensation of it and remembered how it’d felt under him that night when they’d returned to their hotel room to consummate their vows.

She had talked about how she’d wanted her daughter to wear it on her wedding day, and how she wouldn’t mind if had to be altered a little. But there had been no daughter or son, so the dress had remained untouched.

Paul was secretly pleased; he wouldn’t have wanted to see any other woman in it, it would’ve detracted from the sweet memories it held, and he needed those memories to hold on to. He had to try and salvage something from the ensuing years of pain.He turned the dress over, being careful not to crease it, and started to undo the tiny buttons that ran down the back. One by one it opened and he smiled as he remembered how it had exposed her back that night, to his kisses.

Once he was done, he stepped back wondering how he was going to do this. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it’s what she would have wanted.

Paul lifted her up and if it wasn’t for the dead weight of her, he imagined that this was pretty much what it was like to dress a mannequin. Her limbs were rigid and unyielding now that the rigor mortis had set in. He lay her face down on top of the dress, managing to slip her lower body into it without much trouble and buttoned up the lower half. The arms proved harder with the sleeves catching on the puffy skin, and trails of clotted blood ruining the purity of the white.

When he finished he was sweating and trying not to cry. He hadn’t meant to hit her that hard; he had just wanted her to stop. He had tried several times over the years to get her to, but any attempts had only led to more beatings.

It had started after the honeymoon with the odd belittling comment that would get more hurtful. Then the verbal abuse had followed along with the odd thump. By the time they’d lost their third child she’d leave him black and blue, and once or twice unconscious.

It was the lack of remorse that had finally tipped the balance for him – that and finding a confidant, someone else who understood what it was like to be brow beaten, quite literally, by your wife. He never imagined it would be in the work place though. George struggled to keep explaining away the bruises on his neck and face too.

So when she’d started that morning raking up the same old stuff he just couldn’t do it anymore. And when she’d lunged at him in the kitchen, his hands had reached out and grabbed whatever was nearby. The first swing had knocked her sideways, but only caused her to falter, so when she came at him again he’d swung it at her head. He’d never imagined that frying pans could do that much damage.

Paul turned her back over on the bed, and looked at her crooked face as he heard the approaching sirens. He wondered what they would make of all this. He knew he’d left it a little long before calling and that it would take them a while to reach him out here in the sticks, but he wanted her to be ready, it’s what she would have wanted. After all that’s what she used to say the most, wasn’t it?  “You’re useless Paul, never ready for anything, or anyone; you’ve never got your shit together.” He was happy to prove her wrong today. 

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