Menace at Home

They can feel the heavy atmosphere in the room. Any moment now, it will happen.

He sat down in the dining table and his words were, “That again?”. A remark on the meal. Jessy is standing near the sink, filling the pitcher with water. She did not dare say a word about his remark. She knew his mood all too well. Any word from her will send the plates flying across the room. And they will be frightened. “No, I am not going to give him an excuse to hurt us tonight”, she thought. Little did she realized that the seconds it took her to fill that pitcher was all it take to fuel his uncalled for anger.

“Where is the water Jessy?”, his voice boomed. Frightened of his sudden outburst, little Henry dropped his spoon. Henry wanted to pick it up but he was afraid to move. “He will hit me?”, Henry thought.

“What is it with you and dropping things? I only asked for water. You’re scared of that? What are you? Too chicken? Come here and let’s man you up!”, he shouted at Henry. Henry is only 5.

Jessy hurriedly went to get the spoon and tried to comfort Henry. He was about to cry and Jessy knew that tears will only anger this man even more. “Now, now, no crying little one. Here’s the spoon, be sure not to drop it again or it will run from you.” She said. She was trying to make him smile. She was looking at Henry when splash of water covered her face. It has started.

They all stood up abruptly tipping chairs. The storm is coming. The plates went flying. “Why do you anger me Jessy? Why do you defy me? I am going to teach that shit of yours to become a man and you comfort him like I’m a monster!” He was shouting. The anger in his eyes, the fury in his voice, palpable.

He took some steps towards Jessy and the kids started crying, “Papa no!”.

“Please John, please, I wasn’t trying to defy you. I didn’t mean to. Not tonight John, not tonight, please.”

He grabbed her by the shoulder and shoved her to the nearby chair.The kids were crying, pleading.

“Papa stop, papa no, papa please, stop.”

John went to the counter, looking for something. Something to show them what his anger means. Something to tell them he is the god of this house. Something to tell them he means the lesson learned.

“Kids get out! Now!”, was Jessy’s command to them. The two elder kids went out, Henry lingered. He kept begging. “Papa stop, don’t hurt her! Don’t hurt her! Stop!”

John found that sharp something. “You think you’re a man now? Let’s see what you got!”.

Jessy got up from the chair, hurriedly ran to John, hoping to knock out that ax from his hand. She managed to shake it off his hand while John stumbled to the table. They both got up and tried to get to the ax together. Jessy got near first but only able to kick the ax farther. John got hold of her hair. He pulled her and then pinned her down.

It was a horror show for little Henry. Mama was pinned down, her free hand trying to shield her face from Papa’s blows. The show played on in front of him with no sound but the beating of his heart. Blood flowed from Mama’s broken eyebrow. “Mama, mama get up!” But no words came out of his lips. Now Papa is trying to reach for the ax.

A voice woke Henry. “Henry run! Run Henry!”

Little Henry run for the door, left the house into the cold night. There was no one around. No one to help them. No one to stop papa from hurting her.

Little Henry will have nightmares for a life.


This is an entry for the weekly writing challenge on the theme dialogues. More about the challenge here. This is my first entry ever to any challenge and I am very new to WordPress or blogging for that matter. I have published this flash fiction on another site.