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No Way Out

By pillango All Rights Reserved ©

Drama

Short Story

The key turns in the lock of the front door and even from all the way up here, through wood, metal and plasterboard, it revs the engine of your heart, pounding it into fearful fight or flight life. 

The duvet, moments ago warm and faking safety, now feels part clammy with fear and part shackled prison. 

You've timed it. From key in door to foot in bedroom doorway takes around four minutes. So you have four minutes to go over your options. 

One, lay there, pretend you are asleep. Sometimes that works.

Two, spring into elated partner-mode and greet them mid-stair, praying for a happy mood.

Three, just pray. To what, to who, you're not quite sure any more.

Four, check out. Go numb, passive, submissive, limp. You once learned in a talk on car accidents in school that you should never tense for impact. It only causes more damage. 

Time does that cruel dance it often does where four minutes feels like both four seconds and four years simultaneously. 

You've had time to go over your options and now you go over your whys.

Why is this happening?

When did everything go so wrong?

What did I do wrong?

Will tonight be the night that I...

A dry swallow is followed by a forced, shallow breath, and you screw your eyes up, wishing yourself away, any where, any other life.

Your mind races back to earlier, sunnier days when touch meant love, not bruises, and looks of promises for later meant cries of wanting, not of hurting.

When did it all go wrong?

When did you go wrong?

Memories of the way your left eye teared up and swelled, your cheekbone reverberating painful shoots up through your skull and down through your teeth. Of the agony of straightening up from the cramping bruising of your stomach and the Tim Burton-style rainbow of black, blue and yellow that you inspected later, wincing as the arnica you dabbed on got into your broken nail beds. Of how you should probably get that damp patch under the window at the bottom of the stairs checked; it's funny what you notice when you're winded, on your back, after falling down a full flight of stairs. 

This is your fault. 

You did this. 

You made this happen. 
There is no other way.
Memories of the vicious words in your ear reminding you to keep silent. Of pointed remarks in front of neighbours and possessive ones under the gaze of the A&E nurse. And your fake smile. 

Spread so wide you felt your cheeks might split open. Which they have done, from time to time.

No way out. 

From the pillow through half-hooded eyes you watch as the handle on the door slowly lowers and the bottom of the door skims in deceptive gentleness against the soft carpet beneath it.

You hold your breath.

Please. 

Let it be a good mood night.

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ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...

cicheah: Very well-knit story which sustains one's interest from beginning to end. Most enjoyable and a pleasure to read.

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Liz Aguilar, author of To Have And to Hold a fast-paced, gripping, adrenaline rush from start to finish, one of perhaps the finest pieces of writing I've ever read, in particular because of its' telenovela-like feel, May she continually find success as an author. Bravo my dear, bravo!

rajastreet: I enjoyed this piece! I loved the treatment of time and the premise! Some of the wording seemed a little out of place, but easily overlooked for a good a plot.

Lea Sutherland-Doane: I love this story and it hurts me that it is on a cliff hanger. Please write the next story fast so I can enjoy more of your wonderful writing skills. Your writing skills are amazing and I cannot wait to read the sequel, I promise that this is the best book I have ever read and I love it will al...

Anno_Dominii: So I have read this twice now so I can give the best review!First, I really loved this. I couldn't stop reading it the first time, it was spellbinding. The story moved at a good pace, not too fast and each chapter caught the readers attention with some new development or twist. I loved Aurora an...

RodRaglin: Sounds like an interesting story, LesAnne.Here are some things you might want to consider when you revise this draft."Show don't tell." You've probably hear this before and wondered what's the difference? Well, the difference is as a writer you're telling your reader what's happening rather than ...

aeratheninja: Interestingly enough, this story touches on different psychological states and was very informing, on top of being a solid story. Although somewhat predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this; I could feel the fear and the frustration of the characters, and was happy when they were happy.Even ...

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Jessie: I wrote a review on fanfiction but I thought it would be fitting to write on on here too :) This story was honestly stunning. I am a budding writer myself and to read this- to FEEL this- reminded me of why I am honoured to have this passion and drive for a craft that is just so raw and beautiful.

drainwater411: such a great read for me. I loved how you had to figure out who everyone was and kind of got a sense of who they were throughout the book instead of just telling all about the characters in the beginning, it helped you really get to know them and grow a connection with them. the relationships bet...

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