The river runs red

red water creek

The rusty water ran swift and cold. As red as rooibos, the creek reminded her of the bloody rinse that flowed from her washtub after she scrubbed Hector’s work clothes clean.

After the first, long-ago night that he came home covered in violence, his expression was enough to forbid any questions. Since then she went about her chores silently, leaving his fresh laundry folded and stacked on his dresser each morning.

Standing on the sandy bank, she watched the golden fall leaves float by on the current. Without removing her clothes or shoes, she waded into the creek until she was waist deep in the water. Lying back, her hair fanning around her face, she spread out her arms, allowing the water to carry her body along with the other debris.

The red of Hector’s gore leached from her spattered blouse and blended with the tannins, disappearing with her down the rusty water channel.

The Trifecta challenge this week is: Rusty [ adj \ˈrəs-tē\] 3a: of the color rust
*Photo venue: Blackwater River State Park, Milton, FL. The water is a rusty-red color from the tannins that seep into the water from the hardwood trees that line its banks.

27 thoughts on “The river runs red

  1. sometimes the best thing to do is let go. Your use of the word and the meaning of it was itself RUSTY, the color of blood and use and misuse. Hector’s final act of violence and her first act of freedom.



  2. I love the southern gothic. Do you know Carl Hiassen’s novels like Skinny Dip and Strip Tease? This had that feel, but better.

    Great use of the word. More please.


  3. This is rich with imagery. I was convinced she was going to submit to Hector’s violence obsessed ways, but then she finally stopped the murderer with her own hands. So good.


  4. This has a really desolate feel to it, as if she’s hiding as far away as possible from all the violence. Strong post!


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