Living In Fear - A Flash Fiction Drama

in hive-114105 •  8 months ago  (edited)


It was raining. Ugh. I watched the rivulets run down the classroom window and felt that familiar tightening in my gut. After the last bell, I closed my locker and headed for the buses lined up like a trail of yellow caterpillars in front of the school. As I took a seat in the back I began my usual rainy day mantra in my head: please don’t be there, please don’t be there, please don’t be there.

The bus rumbled away from the curb and a few minutes later pulled up to the four-way stop heading out of town. I made myself look over to the curbside parking in front of Wayne’s Tavern. Damn! There it was, Dad’s truck parked right in front, where I was sure it had been all afternoon. That’s why I hate rainy days. When your dad is a construction worker and the job gets rained out and he heads for the bar, that’s not a good thing at my house.

Now that I know what kind of evening we are in for, the worrying begins. I try to push back the memories of other rainy day nightmares, but they crowd in anyway not to be denied. The bus stops along the highway in front of our house and my little brother and I dash through the rain and run in the back door. Mom is standing in front of the stove holding a can of vegetables and gives us a strained smile as we come into the kitchen. I can see the lines of tension around her eyes, knowing that she has also seen the location of Dad’s truck on her way home from work.

The late afternoon progresses to evening and supper time comes. The three of us sit at the kitchen table and listlessly pick at our food, Dad’s place being noticeably empty. From past experience we know the longer he stays at the bar, the more likely it is that there will be hell to pay when he gets here.

I sit on the couch, TV playing some mindless sitcom, watching the headlights coming and going on the highway through the living room window. I glance over at Mom in her usual place in her rocking chair, seeing how her hand trembles as she stirs her coffee over and over. My evening mantra is now playing in my head: please don’t stop, please don’t stop - as I will each set of headlights to keep going past our driveway.

My hands are clenched so tightly that my nails are biting into my palms. I know if I were to look in the bathroom mirror I would see a scattering of hives along my collar bones and upper chest. The tension in the room is almost a living breathing being. Then it happens, a pair of headlights slowing down, a lurch of the truck into the driveway and skidding gravel.

Mom and I look at each other and brace ourselves for the opening of the back door.




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@curie Thanks for the curation and upvote!

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Thanks for the curation @mad-runner!

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Hi @blueeyes8960
I'm sitting in front of the computer reading you and listening to the rain.
I like the window open when it rains and listen ...
You have made me cry with your story, reading I have been Mother, daughter and wife.
Without more to say...
Congrats on a Curie vote.

@mariita - thank you for letting me know that my story moved you. I'm afraid that it is one that many can relate to, and that's sad.

Thank you for your empathy.
I live healing the broken parts of my life.
Sometimes certain writings or situations reveal situations that I need to keep healing and that is good for me.
Let's move on, there are also times of rejoicing.

Beautifully done, @blueeyes8860! Congrats on your @curie upvote!

Thanks, Jayna!

It looks like we're back to Steemit! Great story. Well deserving of the @curie vote.

Well, we didn't actually leave Steem now did we? I think we can play Taps and be done with it now.

Oh you do know how to get a reader sitting on the edge of their seats. My family had a similar fear of Dad returning home, only it was everyday because that's where he did the drinking. I learned to be invisible. Alcoholism is a terrible thing. Great story.

It's a horrible way to spend your childhood, living in fear of your father, in the one place you're supposed to be safe. I'm sorry you shared in that experience.

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Hello Hello!

The story is excellent, I find it very interesting and creative in all its points, I hope to continue reading :)

Greetings from Venezuela

@aimsaray - thanks for reading and leaving me this kind comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Hi, @blueeyes8960!

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Your story kept me on the edge of my seat and I get angry thinking how many people I know lived this life and kept their family in a state of uneasy.

This scenario is played out in many households with either a father or spouse being an abusive drunk.

@redheadpei - yes, this scene is familiar to far too many families. It's a horrifying experience.

You pack a punch with this - succinct, poignant, powerful, and all too real!
I love the taut and inevitable prose: from the rainy day mantra lease don’t be there, please don’t be there, please don’t be there (but it is), to the truck parked in front of Wayne’s Tavern, to the lengthening of the day, the headlights on the road as we watch TV after dinner and a new mantra, please don't stop, and at last, the lights in the driveway, the turning of the door knob, and hell to pay when he gets here. You're a masterful writer. Congratulations on your curie!