domestic violence

Covered

The nurse’s look when she pushed up her sleeves would’ve made Tracy bolt if she could have moved.

“What’s your name?”

Tracy eyed her badge. ‘Tammy’ it said, a cheerful sunflower beside her picture.

“Tracy DeCarlo.”

Her lips felt twice as big and talking sent a pain shooting through her jaw.

“Can you tell me what happened?”

Tracy glanced over at Paul; his stare sent her heart into a stuttered rhythm. Her rapid breaths made her side protest.

“I fell,” she mumbled.

Tammy held her gaze, her eyes asking questions. Tracy looked at Paul and then the floor.

“I fell.”

Child’s Eyes

I watched this video and it made me think of a different tale that inspired me to write a story earlier this year.

Domestic violence or intimate partner violence is far more complicated than just fist and bruises. The impact is deep and far-reaching. Listen to the video first, it’ll make your stomach ache.

“You can get your ass beat right here or we can go down to the basement and talk privately.”

Shane shoved her backwards, jabbing her hip into the counter. Before she could gather her wits, he trapped her between his body and the dishwasher.  Wrapping his fist in her hair, he pulled until he exposed her throat.

“Shane,” she whimpered.

The roots of her hair were on the verge of coming out of her scalp. Maggie squeezed her eyes shut, hoping when she opened them that the expression on his face had changed. He yanked harder and she cried out in pain as he pressed her back into the counter.

“Make up your fucking mind, Maggie.” His breath fanned across her face, hot like his bare chest pressing into hers.

“Dada.” Memphis played on the kitchen floor, her sweet voice questioning.

“Shane, please.” His hand went to her throat, cutting off her pleading.

The wild look in his eyes was all together too familiar and so totally foreign. It was his wildness that attracted her to him in the first place, but now she feared his rage.

A simple misunderstanding blossomed from an argument to Shane threatening her in minutes. Every attempt to reason with him seemed to enrage him further, his threats escalating to this unbelievable moment.

His hand tightened in increments until her vision darkened around the edges.

“Mama.” Maggie felt a small hand on her leg, but lacked the ability to warn her little girl away.  Tears welled up in her eyes as her baby moved back to her spot on the floor.

She didn’t want Memphis to see this, but knew the beating would be so much worse if they went downstairs. Either way, Maggie knew she’d feel the force of his fists on her body soon.