Aftermath

Artwork by Phil Burns

This challenge is produced by GirlieOnTheEdge with the following simple rules:
Write six sentences, no more, no less.
Use the current week’s prompt word – ERUPTION

Aftermath

She paces back and forth in her hut, hands balled into tight fists at her sides, and as she stamps down on the earthen floor, she spits hatred through clenched teeth.

She is a caged lioness, starved of vengeance and straining to be released.

Years have passed since that day and – eventually – she has learned to live with what he had them do to her in the bloody chaos after the battle, she has learned to make her son the gift of that day.

Seeing the man again for the first time, coming face to face with him in the square this morning, the sudden eruption of violence within her has her gasping for air.

The hard work of all the days in between, the belief even that she has understood and forgiven him, all of this has evaporated in the heat of her burning need to reach up and scratch the eyes out of his head, pound on his body till he begs for mercy…

She is that caged lioness – and the cage has no key.


(I read the following sentence in John Steinbeck’s Burning Bright, and, from that, this story was born. ‘His eyes were glazed with hatred and the inability to put it to violent use.’
Of course Steinbeck didn’t need six sentences to capture the idea!’)

31 comments

  1. Oh-jolly-my! (Or other loose translation of p****n de m****)
    This doesn’t so much pack a punch as a kick in the hee-haws!
    Great quote from the Great Man, and your story does it full justice.
    Stunning.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It seems the story worked then! 😉 Thank you.
      I just couldn’t get Steinbeck’s sentence out of my head.
      I am in awe at how he can communicate raw emotion in 15 words, never mind 6 sentences.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your imagination gave my imagination a few nightmares.

    It might be interesting if the SSS hostess provided a sentence from a – famous or not – story that would become the prompt for SSS.

    But then I have trouble enough creating something from one word let a dozen or more words. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sometimes my imagination actually does give me nightmares! Thanks, Ladysighs.
      And I know what you mean about creating a story from one word, but that sentence from Steinbeck just would not leave my mind. Inspiration is fickle!

      Like

  3. I hear you speaking for every violated woman (and man for that matter) in this powerful piece, Jenne. This story lends itself to expanding to explore the relationship with her son and how she channels that anger.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have I mentioned how much I love your writing style? Yeah, pretty sure I have, lol

    6 sentences of absolute raw rage.

    “..she has learned to make her son the gift of that day.” Brilliant writing.

    Powerful piece, Jenne. Think I’ve gushed enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Denise, for your most encouraging comment, I’m glad the piece worked for you, that the raw rage came through. The Six Sentence Challenge allows snippets of ideas to come through and this is one I’d like to work with. So thank you for that too.

      Like

  5. What an excellently constructed tale of being assaulted and being trapped.

    The woman’s damage and pain is so well portrayed that we Readers are ready to take up arms against her attacker, however lurking beyond that central idea is what arguably is a greater violation. We fan our own fires that it takes a moment to see beyond the crime and (would be) punishment.

    For the woman to be trapped by believing the only way to survive the violation was to embrace the violence, holding it close.

    And then, the final sentence (in more than one sense of the word).

    Excellent Six yo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Clark, you’re very kind. It was an idea I was mulling over and the challenge gave me the push to write it down. I’m happy that I managed to convey the damage and pain.

      Like

  6. When we think we’ve fully processed and let go, made a good and peaceful life, and the fullness of reality comes back and reminds there are a few key things left unresolved. Vengeance is complex…and sneaky. And shockingly painful.
    Square on the nose!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry, Liz, I must have got distracted last week and forgot to answer. I appreciated your comment, just when we think we’ve got it sussed, up comes something from the dark side and bites us on the derrière. (Can’t remember what word is fine in UK English but rude in US, so I’ll settle for French!)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jenne, I have nothing more to add to the compliments/thoughts of your fellow writers – I simply concur, both hands raised.

    PS: Your ability of delivering silent screams that pierce through the virtual paper they are written on, finds me in awe and enchanted.

    Like

  8. I seem to have had some kind of thought interruption last week and omitted to reply to some comments. My apologies, Spira. And thank you for the very kind comment.

    Like

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