Welcome to the Spot Writers. The prompt for this month is “New Year’s” and this week’s post comes to us from Kathy Price.
A Clean Slate
by Kathy Price
The snowflakes continued to drift down through the still night. She couldn’t decide if the silence enveloping the woods was a comforting stillness in which she could find refuge or simply a brief pause before the next onslaught, a pause which would allow the storm to gather strength. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she sagged against the pillar on the porch. Were they tears of loss or tears of joy? God knew there had not been enough of the latter in her relationship with Mark. Her shaking hands caused the ice in her glass to rattle as she brought it to her lips. Smooth and cold, she used it to sooth the cut on her mouth, hoping the cold would keep it from swelling too badly. Throwing the drink back in one swift motion, the alcohol burned her throat but did little for her courage. How could she face the chaos in the living room? In the kitchen? She was going to have to do it sooner or later, so, taking a deep, ragged breath, she turned and headed back into the house.
A cozy fire flickered with the promise of warmth and welcome, but then crackled, and spit an ember out onto the hearth. How very well it symbolized her husband, Mark: a promise of comfort but a very real potential for destruction if not controlled or contained. She stepped over his body to brush the ember back into the fireplace and looked at herself in the mirror above the mantle. Already the skin around her eye was turning a deep purple and the eye had almost swollen shut. Her lip was bloody but what made her tremble was the amount of blood splattered on her face, clotted in her hair, drenching her clothing. This was not how she had planned for the evening to go.
“Bong, bong, bong . . .” The grandfather clock in the hallway started to strike twelve, but instead of a passionate lover’s kiss for luck and a sip of champagne to toast in the New Year, Gwen found herself alone, but free. She decided to take a shower and wash it all away: the blood, the pain, the fear. She wanted to start 2015 with a clean slate. Mark was gone and could no longer hurt her. She would face the music of his death with a lighter heart, knowing he would never beat her again.
The Spot Writers:
Catherine A. MacKenzie