Monday, September 19, 2011

And That's All She Wrote {Day 10}

Bria shivered from her resting spot in the pile of petrified wood. Not from cold. Not from exhaustion. From fear.

Max took a swig from his whiskey bottle. "Stop whimpering like that!" He yelled her way.

"I'm sorry." She muttered. "Please can I come inside, Max? I didn't do anything wrong."

Max seemed to contemplate how this idea would benefit him. "No!" He finally decided. "You're lucky I'm even letting you live under my roof."

"I can't even sleep under your roof." She mumbled to herself, afraid that he would get angry if her heard her speak. "May I at least have dinner?"

"No! Now quit your whining and shut your trap. You're getting on my nerves." He spat.

She bit her lip to keep from saying more. Max had been drinking all night. He'd picked up the habit a while ago, though when it was exactly, Bria couldn't pinpoint. It had been a gradual thing, first casually at parties, then late nights with friends, and now every night (and most of the daytime too). She believed that it was a fixable thing at first. That it was only temporary. That he would grow out of it. But by now she had learned there was no hope. Every day she had to walk on eggshells to keep the sleeping giant appeased. She lived in fear of him, and she didn't know how much longer she could do it.

Sure she'd tried to run before. Twice actually. The first time she didn't get farther than the end of the road before she got cold feet. And the second time he'd found her, dragged her home, and . . . she didn't like to think about what had happened. Now she lived and ate and slept and even breathed fear and she hated it. Gosh-flipping-darn-it she hated it but there was nothing she could do. There was no family to live with, no friends to run to. The town they lived in wasn't all that big on security and if she ran to the police, Max would find out.

She was alone.

Completely, utterly, undeniably alone and the realization sent chills down her spine and tied her stomach in knots. She was stuck. Teetering on the edge of a precipice, undecided whether to let Max push her over or simply jump . . . and take matters into her own hands. She needed to make a decision soon enough, she knew that much. These days without food, these nights spent in the cold, though once few and far between, were now much too common.

She eventually feigned sleep and Max went inside. She could hear him rummaging through cabinets and slamming open drawers in search of the brandy she used for cooking. Every word that came from his lips, every sound of a rustling leaf made her start. She eventually decided she couldn't take it anymore.

Silently, slowly, she stood from the pile of wood and backed away from the house, praying the whole time that he wouldn't come out to check on her. When she passed the mailbox she turned to face the road. She was leaving town tonight.

Bria was taking matters into her own hands.

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