The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
“Listen you little cunt. The next time you leave your crap in my way, I’ll…I’ll burn that doll of yours,” Boyd growled. His clenched fists promised worse.
The hate from his words burned Jess’ heart. The man never smiled, never said anything kind, and never cared about anyone but himself.
She still couldn’t figure out why Mom married him. As bad as he treated Jess, Mom got far worse. She, too, seldom smiled anymore.
Mom’s eyes, when they weren’t downcast, were dull and sad. Mom’s perky haircut was now long and stringy like jagged blood streaks against her pale, freckled skin. Boyd forbid her to cut it or wear the makeup she loved. A dab of perfume was met with a hard slap. The last time, he dragged her by the hair into the kitchen and scrubbed her neck with the steel wool pad. Jess hid under the dining room table and cried.
Today, as with most days, Jess couldn’t wait for Boyd to leave for work. He was always there when she got home from school; morning was the only time she and Mom had together. Today was special though. If things worked out as planned, they would never have to see Boyd’s face again. If they didn’t, then it would be another beating and things would go on as was normal these days. The chance to be rid of him was worth the risk.
After school, Jess skipped home. However, as she rounded the corner of her block, she paused a moment. There was a police car in the driveway of her home. Mom walked in hancuffs so Jess ran to her.
“I don’t know what happened,” Mom said to the officer. “I didn’t poison his coffee. I swear!”
Jess hugged her legs tight and sobbed. “I’m sorry.”
Fiction © Copyright Kim Richards
Image courtesy of Marge Simon
About the Artist, Marge Simon:
A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor. Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com
Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.