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She ducked as the chunky glass came flying across the room, minuscule droplets of the alcohol splattering her cheek. She’d become quite adroit at dodging his missiles. But she couldn’t avoid his booze ravaged rasp.

‘‘When I call for a whisky, that means I want a whisky. Get it?’’

‘‘Sorry. I was busy.’’

‘‘Busy! I'm your busy. All you’ve got to do is get me a whisky. Get it?’’

He carried on bellowing. She turned and trudged from the kitchen, one foot half in and half out of her slipper, dragging it lazily, its torn rubber sole making a wet slippery sound on the cracked lino floor. Her hip crashed into the back of a chair and she rolled her eyes, suppressing a desire to punish the chair.

The elastic waistband of her underwear was biting into her flesh again, she couldn’t afford any new ones until next month. Through her housecoat, she pulled the waistband and welcomed the temporary relief and then masochistically let it slap back against her scored flesh.

She heard him roar again.

She laid her hand heavily on the doorknob, it was cold and a greyish white, and had a series of dark veins running through it. She appreciated its ancient solidity. She pushed the front room cum bedroom door open, stopped, and ran her fingers through her thinning, white hair; she hadn’t set foot in a hairdressers’ for what seemed like decades. One last unseeing look at her drab, musty smelling, dirty housecoat, and she resumed her uneven gait, her heart had begun to thump, providing a backbeat to the slipper.

She could feel the threadbare carpet through her stocking and remembered the faded, boring, pale green color.

Somewhere she heard a car screech to a halt and somebody cursed the driver. Life goes on.

She knew the colorless wallpaper was peeling, when hadn’t it been?

Outside, the evening sky was hued a dark red,

At last, they were enjoying a warm, dry period. It had been a long, hard, cold winter, the worst since...... When was that? The early 60s?

She deftly avoided the dark, hulking shapes of furniture and stood in front of the sash window, it was absolutely filthy, covered in long grey streaks as though somebody had been hurling handfuls of wet clay at it.

She grasped the stubborn and heavy window frame and pushed, as usual, it stuck, and she had to summon up all her strength to raise it, her eyes closed tight and her pale lips stretched tautly.

As it moved it juddered like a sail caught in a gale, and she felt it gain purchase.

Then she painstakingly lowered herself to her knees, it was as if her worn-out bones with their stiffness and inflexibility were trying to dissuade her from her course of action.

On her knees, she laid her chin on the outer window ledge, she could feel its rough edge where the paint had worn away.

She had strong arms, all those years spent looking after him. She stretched one arm up and pulled hard at the bottom of the window and felt it give, she just had time to lay her face on her right cheek, that was the position she adopted for sleep before she heard it crashing down.


 I‘m British and have been living with my German born wife in s.w. Germany for 30 years. I´ve been writing short stories for many years and have had many published by fictionontheweb, Short FictionBreak , Spillwords and other sites. I also have a story in the book The Best of Fiction On the Web.


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