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The Beast

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Coming up the driveway, overflowing with nettles; a thread of its former self, was a ritual done every evening. Gone were the flowers: full of lilies and roses ' a garden of paradise. Like a dreamland, she'd think as they'd sit there, watching passers-by, enjoying each other's company. Yet that was all gone now. No relaxing, no paradise, no fun. A different couple in a different world.

Walking up the drive, she kept her head down, acting without hesitation because she was scared to look up. Scared to look up and see those eyes ' dark and cold; hiding a secret. She thought, 'I used to love him; the way he looked, how he smiled'. That was all gone now, replaced with dread and tension between them.

As he opened the door, her thoughts were suddenly directed to the man in front of her. The beast who had ruined her life. Creeping past him, her disfigured and battered body froze. A consequence of living with someone who had no fear; felt he could do what he liked. Never knowing what would happen next.

Whilst she moved into the living room, she felt his eyes watching over her. Again. Trying to move away from him, she started to feel breathing on her neck. This was something done every evening, every morning, every day. Something she knew like the back of her hand ' what he wanted. She heard the breathing grow heavier, hinting he was going to start: the pain, the agony. A game she didn't want to play.

It wasn't just the physical pain that hurt, it was mentally now. The constant awareness of whether or not people knew what was happening. Could they help it to stop? Did they want to? Paranoia at every turning, all of which was caused by him. But the never-ending thought, the worst of all ' when was the day when he'd do something he'd regret?

As he started drawing closer, the breathing mounting, she started to think: 'Do I deserve this? Should I be treated this way?' Her broken mind could take it no longer. Just as his hands moved to her neck, like a moth to a flame, she turned.

Running to the kitchen, she grabbed the nearest thing she could find. Hearing the thundering footsteps draw to a close behind her, she brought her hands down.

Thud

Moments later, looking down, she noticed the pool of blood lapping towards her. The lifeless body, strewn around her feet, brought her back to life. The realisation of what she had done washed over her.

The face that stared up at her was not the one she was used to. He appeared lonely, a look she had not ever seen. The hands, only seconds ago she was afraid of, now seemed as if detached from the rest of the body. There was no anger or fright emitting from her, just the feeling of knowing that as well as her, this man had never been happy. He had caused pain, but only as a result of it being brought onto him.

Hours later, she walked down her thread-like path with bags in her hand. Slowly, as the situation began to sink in, she felt a release. Never again would she have to walk up the drive, dreading the time ahead; never again would she have to see those eyes; cold and dark, hiding a constant secret.

For she held the secret now.

She was free.





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