A promise written in stone

Before her family and God, she promised “to have and to hold, for better, for worse.” Then he broke her heart and her nose. She promised “for richer, for poorer,” not knowing that he would be fired again and again, gambling away what money they did have. She promised “in sickness, in health,” telling herself…

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Yellow slick

I tried telling people that the bruises were from my clumsiness, or that I merely bruised easily. No one believed me. The tiny, evenly spaced, purple ovals, the exact shape of an angry fingertip, erupted on my arms regularly, often with the previous alien markers not completely faded alongside the newer ones. As a child,…

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Passion flower

He hung in tatters above her, wielding guilt like a weapon. Twisting the blade a cruel turn, he accused her of terrible betrayals. He flung her love across the room, demanding she confess her infidelities and deceptions. The more she struggled to convince him of her devotion, the more fiercely he denied it. Tearing at…

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Father

“We called him Father, never a childish diminutive like Dad or Daddy. One of the newbies once called him, ‘Pop,’ by accident. Maybe it was a dim memory from his ‘before,’ but Father’s lesson taught him that informal nomenclature was a sign of disrespect, and would be appropriately punished. “It followed that we were each…

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House warming

Crossing through the doorway, the smell that greeted me was redolent of wet leaves blanketing the floor of a deep, dark forest – a sweet and earthy fragrance. The wild woods were taking over the ruins, reclaiming what it could. From the road, the abandoned building showed little resemblance to its former self. As I…

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My own jailer

Knowing our volatile history it was an understandable question. A simple statement of a few short words. Yet, it was that one word that caught me off guard, instead of “leave,” or “runaway,” which would imply I have power over my fate. That it’s simply a matter of walking out. By its mere definition –…

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