I debated for quite a while whether I should give some sort of background of each story as I post it, but that feels like I’m apologizing for posting my exploration of dark emotions AND it’s not giving the reader any credit. So, here’s the first in my series. Feedback welcome: the point of practicing is to improve, after all.
That face isn’t mine anymore. I didn’t mean to call her here; I tried to send her back. But it’s too late. Her grip is so tight, and I’m tired.
I shattered it today. The bathroom scale dented the wall and the mirror exploded. He didn’t notice.
She stared back at me from every damned fragment down to the smallest sliver… thousands of hateful green eyes gaping at me from the floor, blinking in silent malice. They started dripping and I crumpled, trapped in a sea of bleeding eyes on the bathroom tile, and cried.
She’s taking over now, inexorable. She’s in every shiny surface, every piece of glass. He’s been texting more, disappearing into his office for hours every day. I know what he’s really doing: escaping his crazy wife and talking to his girlfriend. I’m not stupid dammit! She came when I asked for help, promising he’d never hurt me again, he’d have eyes for me and I wouldn’t need to worry. I was low and petty. I believed.
The bitch is laughing at me, unblemished behind the glass. My hair is too far gone to comb, my body reeks, and my face is a greasy, gaunt mess. Worry knocked off the weight I’d gained since we were together, but he wouldn’t want me now even if I could be as perfect as her. I am, apparently, quite easy to set aside.
I sneer at her reflection: the marble and silk façade won’t catch his attention any longer. Even she’s lost to him now, trash on the roadside as he moves on to another stop. He hasn’t spoken to me in days. I wonder when the divorce papers will show up.
I’m so sick of it all, exhausted, done. I strip my filthy clothes and throw them in the garbage can: I refuse to go out like this. Standing under the hot shower, I can finally ignore her taunts and wash the scum from my body, the clotted grunge from my hair and face. The water runs red and swirls down the drain.
She’s laughing again. I tell her to fuck off and go away. I don’t need her anymore. I don’t need him anymore. I’m finished. The cold water is a good, firm slap.
For the first time in years I feel better. It’s time to move on, to be alone. I’m ready to tell him. I put on the robe he bought for our fourth anniversary and unlock the bathroom door, but she has a sly look about her. And her teeth are red.
Why are her teeth red?
I stare at a pink smudge on the tip of my finger. Her leprous eye blinks at me from the corner on the floor, winking in a shard, jagged and smeared. Outside his office on the floor, a trail of footprints stains the carpet.
He’s in his chair. I think he’s been there for a while now. I can’t stop screaming, and she rises from the bathroom glass to calm me. She takes my hand in one of hers and strokes my face gently with the other. Then she puts the silver splinter in my hand and smiles, beautiful and wicked, pink tongue peeking between her fangs.
I don’t feel the blade go in, but I know she’s won. She’s home, inside me, and we lie there. Together.