I haven’t posted any of my writing lately. This story I am about to share is titled, “broken”. It is a story about a mother, her husband, and her daughter. Lauren fears her husband is cheating on her. Our story begins with the mother in the basement. She is busy humming along to showtunes while her daughter is woken up by the noises and the odd sounds filling the room.
Gretchen opened her eyes. Everything was still a bit blurry but in time, the world around her will come in focus. The last thing she remembers was sitting in her room, playing with her toys. Next thing, her mother entered the room, screaming about how ‘daddy is a selfish asshole’. Her vision isn’t the best at the moment but her ears work perfectly. She can hear her mother whistling show tunes. It was faint but she can hear the muffled sound of someone struggling to talk, almost as if they were asking for help. “Oh, you’re awake.” Her mother stops. She puts her hands to her waist and smiles at Gretchen. “Good timing. Any longer and you would have missed the show.”
Gretchen sits still. She can’t move. She can try but the rope is tied too tight around her. With each passing moment, the memory of what happened began to sink back into her brain. She remembers the toys she was playing with. She remembers her mother bursting into her room. Her mother seemed different. Much like her father, and his slurred and incoherent speech, that’s’ exactly what she was doing. Her mother was drunk; far too many sips from the wine bottle. Gretchen looks down at her arm. Even though she couldn’t make out her arm, the throbbing pain that it was generating throughout her body is enough to send her weeping. She didn’t weep. She didn’t shed a single tear. She sits quietly as her mother whistles songs from South Pacific.
Gretchen’s mind wanders. She finds herself back in her room. The pain in her arm was from her mother’s grasp. With her mother in an inebriated state, her judgment was slightly askew. She grabbed Gretchen by the arm and dragged her out. Gretchen was pulled, kicking and screaming away from her toys. Gretchen held tightly onto her stuffed rabbit, Fluffy but as her mother yanked her out of her safe haven, he fell out of her tiny hands when she was slammed into the door frame.
“Stop crying! Don’t be such a little bitch!” Her mother pulled Gretchen down the hallway, leading her way towards the winding staircase. “You’ll understand, Gretchen. You want to know what real pain is!? Do you really want to know what being hurt feels like?” Gretchen’s right arm flailed about. She cried for her mother to stop. But the cries were in vain. No matter how much she cried, no matter how loud it became, her mother would shush her with a quick and violent yank. Her mother was standing at the top of the stairs. She took a deep breath then wiped her brow. She grabbed onto Gretchen’s free arm and started to descend the staircase. She took a step.
Thump. Gretchen’s buttocks hit the wooden steps hard. Her mother took three, quick steps.
Gretchen bawled. She asked for her mother to stop. She begged, pleading to her mother, “I love you, mommy! I love you!” Her mother scoffed. A slight, smirk crossed her face. “You’re a liar. You’re just like your father. You just spit crap out of mouth to shut me up.” She stopped. She looked behind her at the remaining steps. She counted them. She’s lived in the house for nearly eight years but never once counted the steps. “…seven, eight, nine…twelve.”
She looked at Gretchen. Her daughter’s eyes said it all. “Okay, princess. I’ll stop.” She let go of Gretchen’s arms and walked passed her, heading back upstairs. She stopped. She sat down next to Gretchen and held her. Even though her mother was hurting her, she still needed that comfort. She clutched her mother tightly, wrapping herself around her. “Why did you hurt me, mommy? Don’t you love me anymore?”
She smiled at her daughter. Wiping the tears away from eyes, she pulled Gretchen away to look her in the eyes. “Mommy still loves you. Mommy just feels sick.” She stood up and looked down at Gretchen. Gretchen was still whimpering. “I want Fluffy.” She put her thumb in her mouth and curled her upper lip.
Her mother rolled her eyes. “Oh, please. Don’t act like a fucking baby.” With that, she put her foot against Gretchen’s face, covering it completing. A single pushed and Gretchen was sent tumbling backwards, twisting and turning in all positions, till she landed hard on the floor. Her mother’s face held no expression. It was a blank stare. She stood on the steps, looking down at her daughter’s, unconscious body.
If you want to finish reading the story, Broken. It is a word document. Not my best but I am my toughest critic.