Our flash fiction challenge this week at Terrible Minds was to illustrate ‘our’ (I say collective, as a writing community) love of profanity. No, not all of us swear, and some of us are quite creative with the profanity (like Chuck Wendig, whose use of monkey and the effword [Misery, anyone?] make me laugh. Now, this is a bad challenge for me because I am actually trying to stop swearing; after all, I have a 15 month old who is absorbing everything I say, but oh well. She can’t read this 🙂
By the way, want to win a free eBook copy of Stolen Prey? Click the picture on the right and read how. It’s easy. Win Stolen Prey eBook!
The plan: dig a hole and throw the fucker in it.
It all sounded so simple.
Lying on my back now, sure of a fractured skull, and that the cool liquid flowing around me was blood rather than the shallow river water, I tried to recall what had just happened. I was likely to die, but maybe I could find my cell phone lying around here somewhere, call the ambulance.
Trying to kill me was his first mistake. I found out the asshole had been cheating on me for the past two years. So, I kicked him out of the house. That was my first mistake. The relentless piece of shit would never back down from a fight, from the opportunity to claim his place in nature as the alpha-human. Never mind alpha-man; that wasn’t a title great enough to suit his ego.
My second mistake was thinking that our property, twenty acres of forested land cut in half by a narrow winding creek, was actually a sanctuary. Once he was gone, my home became a danger to me. Lurking behind every tree, the cause of each creak on the staircase—in my head, he was everywhere.
A week into our break-up, I still couldn’t sleep. Under my pillow, I kept a ten-inch chef’s knife, my hand perpetually clasping the handle, even when I managed to drift off.
That night I did manage a bit of shuteye, until about three in the morning, when a gloved hand clasped over my mouth with the strength of vice grips. In the darkness, I couldn’t see his face. He must have unplugged the nightlight in the hallway.
I tried to scream but realized its futility. The nearest neighbours were a kilometer down the road, likely to mistake my cries for those of coyotes.
In his right hand, he held a knife, smaller than mine, but no less lethal. At once, I tried to roll away from his plunging hand, but the blade bit into my right arm. The burning agony nearly stopped my heart, but the organ regained speed when I found my own knife under the pillow.
I grasped at it and began stabbing at him, hitting nothing but air and mattress. He darted away from the bed with the speed of lightning and fled the room.
I jumped out of bed, bleeding from my right biceps, and grabbed the telephone on the bedside table. I dialled 911. I didn’t hear anything the operator said, only her voice, and that was all I needed. Actually, for all I know, the voice could have been a recording.
“The fucker just tried to kill me!” I exhaled breathlessly into the phone. “He’s stabbed me, and he’s still in the house somewhere!”
The garbled reply meant nothing to me.
“8234 River Road, north end of town! Hurry, I have a knife and I really don’t want to have to kill him!”
The police showed up, swept the house, found no one. They suggested I stay at a friend’s house. I politely nodded and let the ambulance take me to the hospital.
I should have listened to the police. Even three weeks later, they hadn’t caught up to him, had no leads. Other cases gained priority. I continued living at my house, because I, too, am not one to back down from a fight. I merely changed the locks and installed a security system.
But as time went on, rather than cooling off, my anger grew into a beast. The mother-fucker wants to kill me? I should have killed him when I found out he was cheating on me with that fat whore from town. What the hell did she have over me? And then, he had the nerve to try to kill me? Oh, how the tables would turn.
My arm was still sore, but there was no time for whining. I found the spade and went for a walk in the woods. Initially I stuck to the trail, which ran along the river, but then I veered off, making sure to pick an area where no branches could be snapped off trees or bushes to leave evidence of passage.
So deep into the forest, in a small pit formed by draining rainwater from the neighbouring field, I began to dig.
My plan: dig a hole and throw the fucker in it. I would draw him here tonight and kill him.
Now, I’m not the strongest woman you’ve ever come across, but I’m not the smallest or the weakest. I’ve always been a hard worker and the pumping adrenaline triggered by thoughts of my upcoming plans helped in the process.
Somewhere on my walk back home, late in the afternoon, I heard the snapping of branches in the trees to my right. Along the river, the thorns grow thick. I couldn’t see what the source was; squirrel, man, coon? My limbs were suddenly seized by adrenaline, as though I’d shot it directly into my veins with a hypodermic needle. I had the shovel; that was weapon enough. I turned to face the trees, and there came another snap before me.
I was sure he was in there. I had been sure. But something smacked my head from behind so hard just then that I heard the crack of my skull in my ears. White, red, and black dots invaded my vision, blinding me.
When I could see again, I was lying on my back in the river, the water tinted red. I was bleeding out of my head; that was the only explanation.
I peered through blurred vision up at the trail and saw the back of a red baseball cap—his Detroit Red Wings hat—as it disappeared from view.
I felt my pockets for my cell phone, but it was not there. I spotted it lying on the riverbank.
But soon the world began to fade, allowing me no time to grab for it. That fucker.
© Lindsay Mawson 2011