I sit here, desolate in my house. The walls are closing in. A sob escapes me, they come frequently when I think about the accident. He had been my friend for years. Always beside me through thick and thin. Whenever I needed him he was there. When my family broke away from me, he picked me up. Through the lonely first weeks, he had constantly been beside me. Now I have let him down like no one else.
If this hammer could talk, what a tale it would tell. As I look down at its strong wooden handle and metal head I hear its voice. I catch my reflection in the shiny metal and see the woman I have become. The handle is smooth. Rubbed down with the hand that has gripped it firm. Dirt shows around the edge. The part of the handle held, still shiny and sleek. The dirt rubbed away with the heavy work that has been carried out with its help.
All the back pages covered the news of Darius Deaddog Dunn’s humiliation at the hands of his mother. He had been ten rounds into the biggest fight of his life when his mother had thrown the towel in for him. Not any towel either, the woman had thrown a tea towel onto the canvas. This effectively stopping the title fight. Darius and his team had a plan. Having watched Rowe’s past fights the man could only last ten rounds. He tired so much after the tenth round, he was dead on the canvas. A couple of punches after that and he would be down. The tough part was withstanding the first ten rounds at his hands. Darius and his team had put a plan together, where he would withstand this. The plan had all been going well until his mother threw her tea towel onto the canvas.
He sat there crouching down in the wet grass, waiting for his dad to say go. A bead of sweat ran down his back. He followed it in his mind as it made its way between his shoulder blades and down the small of his back. He tried to move his knees to regain some feeling in them. He felt the damp grass soaking through. Everything over the last 21 years had led to this one moment. His dad had assured him that this New Year he would start with a new regime. This year, his resolution was to become a better man and follow in his father’s footsteps.
Mary stood in the bedroom and put her hand into the warm, silk pocket of her husband's trousers. Some suit trousers were rough and coarse. Mary ensured, that Jonathan only ever bought the best trousers. Nothing in the right pocket. In the left pocket, Mary found a piece of crumpled paper. The paper caught her hand as she pushed her fingers into the corner of the pocket. Smoothing the paper out, she saw it was a receipt for yesterday, from a local hotel. Mary felt her stomach churn and her heart beat out of her chest. Jonathan had not mentioned that he had been to a hotel the previous day. Mary felt her face flush, as the realisation hit her. Jonathan had lied to her. Mary took the trousers and the offending receipt with her, downstairs. She made her way into the study. Finding Jonathan's laptop on his desk she sat down on the leather chair. Feeling the cold from the leather through her thin trousers, she logged his laptop on.
Meg came to, in the pitch black. She couldn’t remember where she was. Feeling around she felt the cold, damp concrete floor under her fingers. That was when she first realised that she was naked. She shivered as the cold and damp from the floor seeped into her bones. She started to shake, a mixture of cold and fear put her body into spasm. She sat up, the pain in her back was unbearable as the feeling started to return. Hugging herself she tried to calm her breathing, to stop this uncontrollable shaking. She ran her fingers through her hair. Her fingers caught in the sticky mess at the base of her skull. As her fingers touched her head, a shock of electricity went through her brain, almost making her pass out. The pain eased as she massaged her eyes and took a deep breath. Again she tried to feel her head, feeling the wound that was open and seeping.
I’m gonna tell you my story. Not that you’re going to believe me, no one believes me. Not the judge that convicted me, not my family, not the public who hounded me. I don’t expect you to believe me, but, this is my story. Shay was three years old when the night terrors started. I don’t know what prompted them or why they started. Two or three times every night I was woken to the sounds of my little girl screaming. Michael, my husband, did everything he could to help, but he worked with machinery all day. He needed to sleep, otherwise, I would worry about him. Over the months it was me that dealt with 90% of the night shifts. Shay would then stay up most of the day as well. She was too frightened to go to sleep. Where she found her energy from, I don’t know. I was running on empty after six months.