Two-Story House

She sat for hours in front of that same damn mirror. The cover-up was beginning to dwindle. She threw away her cotton ball and reached for another.

The darkened circle under her eye was beginning to blend into her mocha-colored skin. The rest of the odd shaped bruises were already covered up with the same make-up.

She threw another cotton ball into the trash can.

Years had passed, and thousands of trash bags filled with those dirtied cotton balls were taken along with millions of other trash bags to the closest town dump. Sixteen years of covering up began to shave away at her though.

Another cotton ball landed in the trash can, joining the fifty other soiled ones.

Her face looked almost normal; normal enough. His footsteps made the floorboards creak loudly. She always loathed the decision he made of installing wood floors; Brazilian Teakwood. The whole damned house was filled with it. He always was an advocate for outward appearances. If it looked great, it was great.

She ground her teeth roughly.

“Seven point five million acres of the Amazon are cleared for assholes like him. I hope he’s the first person to die from global warming,” she thought.

A smirk spread across her face; her husband, dead. A chill traveled down her spine. She wasn’t sure if it was normal to feel like that towards the man she married. But it was the first thing she felt passionate about since that dreadful wedding day.

Another creak from the floorboard, and her husband appeared in the bathroom doorway. She flinched instinctively.

“That cover-up isn’t doing much,” he said.

She faced the mirror again and reexamined herself. He stepped into the view behind her. Their eyes met. She pictured stabbing him through the eye with her pick comb. The thought made her giggle. “That is much too messy to clean up,” she thought.

He took an aggressive step towards her and spoke into her ear, “You better look better than that at the banquet tonight.”

A movie reel popped into her head of her thrusting her palm upward under his nose and pushing his cartilage into his brain. She held back the laugh that was trying to escape her throat. His abusive habits however broke her hand, and her newly healed bones still were tender making that plan impossible.

He paced across the floor and stood in front of the full length mirror, adjusting his Armani tailored suit.

“There has to be a way to get rid of him,” she thought. Her hand squeezed tightly around the cover-up bottle, but she quickly released it as the pain burned through her fingertips.

The sound of his overcoat swinging over his shoulders brought her back to reality. “I don’t know how I am going to be seen with you tonight,” he spoke in disgust. His eyes traveled her body slowly, and his face further scrunched up in disapproval.

She stood as he made his way towards the door to the bedroom and followed him to the staircase. She had run out of plans on how to kill him by the time they had reached the hallway. He was too strong for her to fight off if he did fight back.

In the midst of her thoughts, she stepped on the back of his leather shoe. He turned simultaneously and connected the back of his hand against the tender skin on her face.

It burned and pulsed with each reverberating pound of her heartbeat. She whipped her face towards him, every ounce of anger turning her face a dark shade of red.

“What are you gonna do about it, huh,” he yelled. His voice echoed throughout the empty house. When she didn’t respond, a smug smile spread across his face. “Good girl.”

He took a step closer to the stairs. She had never counted the steps leading to the first floor prior to this night; 18.

His foot reached the top step.

Her time frame was growing smaller with each second. She followed him closer, her breath barely reaching his neck. Her hands trembled, her breathing quickened, and an evil smile spread across her face.

Sometimes what people need to change, is a little push.

Story originally published on Midnight Screaming.

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