Today’s picture prompt and story starter (the bolded out part of the story in the beginning) are from Claire Goverts, a great A to Z challenge supporter for me last year. The picture is what drew me to these prompts. The word prompt is very unrelated to the picture, and I hope that helps rather than hinders my writing!
His curses and jibes had sent her curling inwards, hardening. His love would chisel her out, give shape to her limbs, her exquisite breasts, her smile, her eyelashes, her voice. He would bring her back.
He looked up at her as she sat on the steps of their hillside home, her gaze distant, unseeing, her face vacant in the fading sunlight.
These days she spoke only when asked a specific question, and then only in a subdued monotone. She did not anger, did not show hurt except when he slapped her around to get a reaction. Her sobs, though visible, never broke the silence. She did not look up at his apologies, she ignored her favorite dishes he cooked to win her back, she lay nerveless in their bed as he made love to her body. Her lips curved up at his gifts, as if she had learned how to smile from a book, never having seen one herself.
As the red in the sky faded, he walked into the garage at the back, and brought out the canister of petrol. Its smell brought up his gorge as he soaked in it–his clothes, his hair, his heart. He would bring back the fire, he promised himself, as he cried to her, the man calling for his muse.
The hillside echoed with their cries, the flames rose, and she ran to him. The evening sky turned red again, and this time it continued to burn.
As a co-host, I end with A to Z Challenge reminders:
3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.
Certainly captured the menacing quality and the awfulness of 'battered-wife' syndrome. Thanks for posting this. Short, short fiction is great to stumble upon when scrolling through blogs.
Potent… and tragic!
Another excellent piece!
I can't say that this is my favorite kind of writing…BUT I DO know well done…and this was well done!
Wow, this one is powerful. Even though the punch is with the fire at the end, I especially liked the part about carving her back out of the stone he had turned her into.
Wishing you continued success with the A to Z challenge,
I love the idea of "bite-sized" stories for the a-z challenge!
Another well done story of… death… 😉
Oo-er, that is upsetting! And I'm about to go to bed!
Very powerful. Are all your stories horror?
i enjoyed the bit at the top about aspirations. It struck me that aspirations, of course, are always preceded by inspirations.
My blog address, as prompted, is: http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com
I'm enchanted by the beauty of the wood grain in the photograph. It looks like a designed paper instead of wood. The juxtaposition of the color red in the male external with moods that suggest a cooler color in the female is very powerful in the writing. What a treat to visit your blog. Thank you. New follower, waving from my position in the 600's of the A to Z.
Gorgeous writing. I read it twice. What imagery! Wow!
Does music inspire you to write as well?
This is raw, devastating piece that by turns horrified, fascinated and made me a sad. What a gift you have.
I'm speechless at the ending but it is fitting. Great craftsmanship!
I love that last line – I felt the longing "The hillside echoed with their cries, the flames rose, and she ran to him." Powerful piece.
Very well done, and very sad. Thank you for sharing.
Powerfully tragic piece. There's no coming back from that.
You are a great story-teller. THanks for stopping by my blog and have a great weekend.
This piece immediately reminded me of a Shakespearean tragedy, which is was, that he'd harmed her to a cold and hardened heart and seemed to know only his fire would bring her back…just sad. Your writing, though, emotionally packed.
Wow. Surprise ending.
Wow! that packs a heck of a punch! nicely done.
Amazing! Definitely very well done!
There are quite a few e-zines that love this kind of short fiction, dark and brooding. Well done.
Another powerful, vivid piece! And what a terrible ending.#
A to Z Blogger
Oh amazing, you have such talent 🙂