These Are The Good Old Days

Sunday Scribbling Prompt# 198: Good Old Days

LeeAnn washed the rest of the dishes.  George didn’t like it when the kitchen was a mess. It had been a bad day.  The car had a flat.  There was no way they would have enough gas to make it to payday.  There had been enough money for booze, though.  He’d been drinking and she could hear him slamming things in the bedroom.  He took some pills, too. She dried the last dish and hung the dishtowel on the rack to dry.  She wiped the already clean counter one more time, nudging a canister back in line. George was coming up the hall now.  He stopped and punched a hole in the cheap paneling.  She came around the counter just in time for him to look up and the expression on his face made her run out the door.

LeeAnn had never run before but something in his eyes made her feet start moving before she had time to think about it.  She took off into the woods behind the trailer.  She had only made it a couple of feet when his hand yanked the back of her shirt and their momentum caused them both to hit the ground, him on top of her.  He yelled and got up, jerking her with him.  “You running away, LeeAnn?  Huh?  Where you gonna go?”

His arm went back and she saw the hand coming at her. Things went black and then sparkly.  It felt like her eye had exploded.  He drug her back to the trailer and up the steps, slinging her at the living room.  She crawled to a chair and pulled herself up into it, folding her legs up under her and wrapping her arms around herself.  She didn’t move, didn’t make a sound.  She watched him as he sat on the couch, staring out the window.  She waited.

George came over to LeeAnn and pulled her up and hugged her.  The usual apology plus explanation about how she shouldn’t have run.  How he wouldn’t have gotten so mad if she just hadn’t run.  How it was really her fault after all.  She hugged him back.  It didn’t mean anything. She closed down and went somewhere else.

They went to bed and he held her up against him.  She was still until she heard his breathing change.  She eased his arm off of her.  He mumbled something in his sleep and just in case, she told him she had to pee and would be right back.

LeeAnn slipped quietly from the bed and went into the bathroom and turned on the light.  She touched her face. Her eye was swollen shut.  She opened the cabinet and reached behind the cleaning supplies for the bandaid can where she had stashed a little money.  She pulled on the jeans and tee shirt that were folded on top of the dirty clothes basket.  She stopped in the hall and listened. She slipped up to the kitchen and got the can of charcoal starter out from under the sink.  She sprinkled it down the hall on the carpet and took their marriage certificate and rolled it up.  She struck a match and lit the paper on fire and set it on the carpet and threw the rest of the starter on it.

She closed the door behind her and stood for a moment in the front yard until she saw the flames.  The old trailer would burn quickly.  The cool night air made her swollen eye water and it stung.  She started walking and singing quietly.

“Anticipation…Anticipation is makin me late, is keepin me waiting.”

12 thoughts on “These Are The Good Old Days

  1. missalister

    Go LeeAnn, go! What a tornado of a story, Dee! I hate the term “Well done” because it’s become cliché, but you really “done well,” did this story up slick-like, professional. Love this line, “…slinging her at the living room…” What a picture, picking up a girl and throwing her at an entire room! Beauty : )

    1. Dee Post author

      ha – we were under a tornado watch tonight and number one son was under a warning and had golf ball size hail.
      I had trouble with the ending but I will take that “done well” with a curtsy and a thank you. Leeann is out there still singing somewhere. She loves a good barbecue…

  2. Dee Post author

    I distrust statistics since you can make numbers say anything you want, but it is said that a woman is abused every nine seconds in this country. That’s a lot of going somewhere else…

  3. old egg

    What a horrifyingly realistic and poignant tale. Let’s hope LeeAnn can really get away and not find another loser like George again.

    Superb writing.

  4. paschal

    What goes around, comes around. Kali just took care of the mess. Thank God for fiction that can set things right: life sure ain’t as clean. I really like the quiet resolution of the “LeeAnn slipped quietly” paragraph.

    1. Dee Post author

      Life is not as clean – probably why I got twisted up in the ending. It didn’t feel real. This may be one for future rewriting.

  5. Lilibeth

    A great story that is true much too often. I don’t quite see her singing at the end though, not after something like that. You do make our hearts go with her out into the night.

  6. MichaelO

    That first paragraph was a perfect setup. LeeAnn finishes the dishes, wipes the counter a second time. Every thing clean and in its place. George punches a hole in the cheap panelling. POW!!!! Serenity to violence, lickety split! Loved it, Dee!

  7. June

    deep breath.
    The third paragraph…the closing down, the shutting off of all emotional response…
    The sixth paragraph…she did this, she did that…just a mind with legs and arms and hands, no heart. As it must be.

    I understand that state is called “checking out,” and under some circumstances it is quite the perfect comfort.
    I think you’ve captured LeeAnn’s reaction well!

    But like Lilibeth, I’m not sure, either, that she’d start humming or singing quite yet.

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