Setting the table

by Lori Hoeck

Coffee in hand, she watched the morning clouds first glow pink, then slowly fill the sky with a canopy of fire.

“Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” The old timers’ saying made her wonder, did the sky know her heart?

Even with the warmth of strong coffee, she shivered, but not from the cold. The handgun on the kitchen table lay ready. She hoped she was as well.

Her friends all said she had choices, but from her viewpoint there was only one. He’d already made it clear he would never let go, never stop looking, never give her up. She’d lived through enough blood, bruises, and broken bones to know what he could do.

It was time to put a stop to it all.

Down the hallway, she heard their son stir in his bed. His birthday was next month, “The Big Fife,” as the boy called it.

At least this birthday wouldn’t include a trip to the hospital with the smell of cake and blood mixed together.

Visions of that day burned resolve into her soul. She carefully set down her coffee and picked up the weapon. It felt right in her hand, heavy and durable.

Then she heard it. The motor of his pick-up truck coming down the road, gears down shifting to make the turn into the driveway.

I will enjoy selling that truck, she thought, if only to never feel the fearful anticipation again.

She heard the door open on his truck but not shut.

He must be drunk. Again.

Then she heard the front door burst open with a kick, followed by the sound of a shotgun being cocked.

As he made his way through the house and toward the kitchen, he crowed triumphantly,  mockingly, “Honey, I’m home!”

Her jaw clenched. Not for long.
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As an EMT who has responded to more than one domestic violence scene,  I don’t advocate this response, but I can understand it.

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck

{ 1 comment }

Writer Dad May 5, 2009 at 9:24 am

That’s awesome Lori! I LOVE what you’re doing with this site. There really should be more stuff like this on the web. Unless there already is and I’m too dim to find it.

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