Monday, October 22, 2012

Buckling Down...

The Fall...

...stepping onto a band of light at the threshold of the bathroom, Johnny craned forward, spotted the man from the driveway leaning into the tub.  Followed the man's gaze and found Jessica crumpled into a shivering ball of arms and legs, a damp towel shielding her body.

He released a gasp, hesitating at the entrance a moment too long.  She caught sight of his shadow, followed it to the source, her expression running a gamut of emotion, from shock, to relief, to horror, as Johnny managed a blink of his eyes.

And as he stood there, little more than an arm's length from his girlfriend's father, Johnny thought, okay Jessie, I'll do this for you.

He said, "Jessie."

Her father turned with a start, offered a grunt, eyes widening.  A set of chafed lips opened, an expression that Johnny recognized as fear, passing over the man's face.  There and gone in an instant, as if carried on an ocean's breeze.

Then he lowered his brow.  Grizzled cheeks gathered around a clenched jaw.  Burly fingers, stained the color of rust, closed to form a pair of clubs, wavering upon the end of each arm.  And from his mouth came a warning, painfully gargled as if some of the rust from his hand had somehow made it to the lining of his throat.  "Get outta my house."

Johnny managed to find his voice, said, "Jessie, it's gonna be okay."

Bracing one hand on the bathroom wall to steady himself, the other remaining closed to a fist, Jessica's father lifted a boot toward the hall.

Johnny stepped across the threshold, hastening a glance at his girlfriend, still huddled upon the floor of the tub.  Her knees were pulled up to her chest, a pair of trembling arms embracing them.  Their eyes met, and a word formed on Johnny's lips.


Just a teaser...a little something to think about as we approach this week's mid-section ;)

Thanks for reading.