Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2 of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week 5.
Today I’m featuring entry number #4 by D.L.Finn … And number #5 by Gerry McCullough.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by 4pm EDT on Thursday, June 25th. Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.
I’ll begin sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on June 26th.
Here is the prompt.
#4. This Contribution by D.L.Finn
The golden couple enters hushed admiration.
Their beauty captures the imagination.
Women ache to stand in “her” shoes.
I’ve heard his tone…
I’ve seen the bruises…
I’ve heard her cry.
But now, she grins and laughs
While clinging to his ego.
They are so in love people declare
But they don’t see the invisible strings
They are knotted in oppression.
Her eyes reflect only fear…
Her mouth set in a dark smile…
Her motions are jagged as he tugs her strings.
He is a puppeteer of hatred
Controlling each action…
My heart feels her pain,
Yet, she won’t leave him.
I offer her safety,
She clings to sadistic devotion.
No one sees what makeup covers
No one hears his degrading words
No one feels his anger like she does.
It is a delicate illusion held together by string
Someday, I know that string will break
And I will either comfort her… or grieve by her grave.
As I turn away, I glimpse a glimmer of hope in her eyes.
It goes unnoticed by her pathetic puppeteer.
I smile as I leave in hope,
Knowing the invisible strings are finally fraying.
You’ll find Denise here …
#5 This contribution by Gerry McCullough.
Puppet On A String.
Do you remember the song? Perhaps not – it was quite a while ago.
My relationship with Bart Dobermann made me into a puppet, with strings Bart pulled.
Everyone saw Bart as a pleasant, easygoing man, with lots of friends. They didn’t see behind the curtains, where he casually jerked me round whatever way suited him.
We were married, had been for nearly three years, because at the time he met me Bart had decided a wife would be a useful thing, and I would suit his purposes. I was pretty, and quiet. Unlikely to upset his ideas, to argue with him or disobey his commands.
He got me wrong. I might seem quiet, but I’ve always fought for my ideas. Bart got a nasty shock one evening early in our marriage when he was laying down the law to several male friends he’d invited home for a drink. He commented on the way women nowadays wanted to control everything. The men murmured agreement with him. I felt obliged to put forward my own strong disagreement.
Bart laughed at the time, making a joke of the whole thing, but afterwards, when his friends had gone, he laid into me both verbally and physically.
I don’t know why I didn’t walk out on him there and then. Perhaps because it was cold and dark outside, and we lived in a lonely farmhouse a long way from anywhere. I hadn’t learnt to drive yet, and I had no idea where I could go. Later that night, Bart came up to bed, where I lay crying in misery, and not only apologised, but held me tenderly and swore he would never behave like that again. I believed him.
However, I quickly learnt that his promises were worthless. Things went from bad to worse. I don’t intend to say anything more about the things he did to me. It’s not something I want to live over again.
During the next years, I learned to drive, in spite of Bart. But I still couldn’t work out where to go, supposing I managed to steal Bart’s car – oh, yes, it was Bart’s car, never mine – and drive away.
One day, after a particularly violent row, I thought of an alternative.
Bart didn’t deserve to live. I decided that for once, I would pull the strings instead of him.
At first I considered that I might string him up, literally, in one of the barns. But I soon realised how difficult that would be. Bart was much stronger than me. That’s always been my problem. I couldn’t fight him off.
Instead, I began to build up a store of painkillers. I claimed to have regular headaches, bought packets and hid them in my panty drawer. Not a place that Bart would ever look. He had bought some kinky underwear for when he wanted me to role play for him, but he kept those in one of his own drawers.
He had developed a habit of drinking whiskey just before bed. As often as not the whiskey’d work on him and he’d pick a fight with me and beat me up. I waited till his current bottle held only a few glasses, the amount he’d drink in one evening. During the day, while he was out of the house supervising the farm hands, I dissolved as many tablets as I could into the bottle, enough to knock him out cold, never to wake up. I hoped it would pass as an accidental overdose. I was ready to swear he’d been having headaches and regularly taking more and more painkillers, till he must have badly overdone it.
But it didn’t work out like that. Bart finished the whisky, but it didn’t knock him out straightaway. He staggered to his feet and lunged at me, threatening punishment for some imaginary fault.
I flipped. I’d thought it was all over, that he’d never attack me again.
Slipping round behind him, I grabbed the empty bottle and went for him. The bottle smashed over his head. He collapsed in a mess of blood and glass.
He was dead – I checked his pulse.
The police will be here soon. I had to call them. I don’t know what to say to them. Will I be arrested for murder?
I wish I could think of a good lie to tell them. I really need someone right now, someone to pull my strings and make me dance to some successful tune.
Gerry can be contacted here …
Thanks so much for stopping by. The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #6 will be posted on Friday, June 26th.
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