13 November 2007

Prose exercise

Jenny lies in bed, her eyes slightly slit watching the narrow band of light at the foot of the door, waiting. The walls creak and windows croak as the wind increases. A shadow crosses the threshold. She shallows her breathing.

A warm, yellow crack opens in the wall. Light tears at night, opening the crack wide. A body occludes the light then quickly fills the crack with darkness again. Lemon, vanilla, and fresh rain give way to sweat, yeast, and stale tobacco as a shadow slides toward her bed.

"Jenny? You awake baby?" asks the shadow.

Jenny focuses on breathing. Keeping a steady rhythm. Inhale, eight seconds. Hold, three seconds. Exhale, 10 seconds. Repeat. In, hold, out. Repeat.

"It's okay, sweetie. Daddy's here."

* * *

Jenny stands up quickly and the room spins. Her shoulder aches and her hand trembles. Finally, she lets go of the knife. Gravity acts strangely in this new world. The wet, sticky blade falls for minutes, hours, months as Jenny relives every horrible moment of the past year. It lands, piercing the inert body one final time and for the first time since the man had come to live with her and mother, Jenny smiles.