Descent Into Darkness


We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.” — Louise Erdrich, Tracks

Kate wrapped herself in her favorite yellow scarf and her long flowing black sweater. The late autumn air had taken on a sudden, even cruel chill; one that she was not quite ready to embrace. She stood outside on the back deck facing Madonna Peak. Already, the old girl seemed to be bracing herself for the coming onslaught and endless void of whiteness.

At this moment, Kate felt like that rugged bluff. Trodded upon, windswept, beset by boulders and littered with the detritus of too many lost souls. How many times had she and Sam gone to the well of their relationship only to find it dry once again? At first, he had taken to heading out on aimless drives in their jeep, sometimes returning hours or even days later. No explanations were ever given and Kate was afraid to ask questions.

Lately, he had taken up drinking again. Alcohol had never suited Sam. Sometimes he’d pass out cold on the couch but other times and more often than not now, he turned monstrously violent. Some furnishings and even some precious momentos were scattered and subsequently shattered throughout their cabin.  Once sober, Sam had no memory of his dirty deeds. And he refused to go for help despite Kate’s tears and desperate pleading. When he started to lash out at her last winter, blackening her eye and breaking her arm ( she told the ER doctor that she took a short fall when ice climbing), she made plans to leave. But then Sam begged her forgiveness and promised to clean up his act.

And he did. For a season or two. But the destructive cycle resumed two days ago. He came swerving up the dirt driveway drunk and high off his ass, his face fuming, a savage mask hell-bent on reeking havoc. When Kate locked him out, he took his shot-gun out of the jeep and blew the door open.  She hid in the bathroom while he tore the place apart. Kate tried running outside with just her clothes and the spare key for the jeep, but he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back inside.

And that’s when the worst happened. Unspeakable acts of debasing cruelty that left Kate numb and weak. She must have blacked out because when she woke up, he was gone.

Somehow she knew it wouldn’t be for long. With one last look at Madonna, she took a deep breath, walked back inside, reloaded the 12 gauge and waited for his return.

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#FWF Free Write Friday: Quote Prompt

I didn’t mean for it to get this dark but that’s a free write for you!

23 thoughts on “Descent Into Darkness

  1. This is dark indeed! I love the ease of the storytelling. I had no trouble visualizing the scenes you provided. I think Kate is a strong person. I think it’s definitely not weak that she gave Sam a second chance but I like that it seems that she isn’t going to fall for it again. Nice work, I really enjoyed your story!

    1. I was not thinking it would go this way at all when I wrote the first sentence. I thought maybe it might be a more simple break up story but then when I started describing the mountain, it changed course.Kate is no doubt strong. Just at the end of her rope with that guy!

    1. After the opening sentence, I just immersed myself in the story with a clear picture of the events and situations that unfolded with and between the characters. I am telling you these Friday prompts have allowed me to grow as a writer!!

      By the way, Candy From Strangers arrived yesterday. I am savoring each story/poem. All of us who follow you here, appreciate your compliments about our “secret world”.

      ‘Bar Tales’ speaks to so many women who have been left behind after a long relationship. Feeling and being desired is one of our strongest needs in a relationship. Loved the way you painted this scene. I certainly have witnessed enough of those!

      1. I am so pleased to hear that FWF has taken the hand of your muse in dance. I always love when I am able to find something that ignites my pen, and I am happy I can pass that along to others.

        THRILLED that you have a copy of Candy! Although, it also puts me on edge as I am so nervous about the response…which has been very little so far. 😦 I just keep moving out of my comfort zone and what people expect from me, I suppose.
        I would certainly love a review. IF you like it lol!

        Thank you for your constant support of me. I cannot tell you how much it means. It’s always such a reward hearing positive feedback on the words that I spilled out in a moment of emotion. It’s almost accepting of me personally, if that makes sense.
        Thank you again and again.
        xo Kellie

      2. I just read the transcript of an interview that singer John Mayer gave on November 28th on NPR. When you wrote about being on edge and nervous about the response thus far to ‘Candy’, I thought of that piece.Check out the transcript; I hope you will find it reassuring. And I won’t tell which part of the it resonated in relation to what you said-I am curious as to whether you will discover it as well! I hope you will find it helpful.

        I certainly will be happy to provide a review! I want to read the work in its entirety and go back to my faves-I want it to be a quality piece. One that will entice others to read your work!

        John Mayer said the same thing (although it was not in the transcript) about being accepted. Artists, regardless of their level of success want to be accepted because it is about who they are as a person. XO 🙂

      3. Thank you for sharing that with me. What he said is very true and I needed to be reminded to be patient and that not everything is going to be a success. It’s like paying dues I suppose.
        I will let you in on a little secret, however…
        I’m going back into the style of what Magic in the Backyard was. My real experiences and emotions weaved with nature. The stuff I know. And people felt it. Which is what I said from the beginning… I just want people to feel my words and I’ll be happy. I think I’m going to be happy again 🙂

        Thanks so much for your support on this weird ride lol.
        Muah! Xo

      4. I am glad that you found it helpful. So much of this craft has ebbs and flows; if we don’t take a chance and dip our toes in how will we know what feels right? Regardless of the response to your latest work, I still think it speaks to us. Stories always do. I read more poems last night as I was falling asleep (yep I took it to bed with me along with a new book I am reading, ‘Stoner’ by John Williams-you must read it!).

        I see ‘Candy’ as a snapshot of desperate, even lonely lives. A peek into the darker side of thoughts, actions. A window into the hearts and minds of the “outsiders.”

        As I was about to nod off, my hands caught the book and it fell open to Truck Stop Bathroom-WHOA BABY! I am excited about writing her story!

        So my dear- do not fret! Your work is wondrous! XO 🙂

      5. You have said so many kind and encouraging things to me and I cannot express enough how deeply touched I am.
        I appreciate you more than you know. And I must say that I love your insight into Candy. That is exactly how I wanted it to feel to readers and you confirmed it for me. Maybe I didn’t do so bad afterall lol! 🙂
        I just wrote and posted a post you may be interested in. 😉 Thank you for helping me.

  2. Powerful imagery of the darkness of anger, alcohol and abuse. The opening doesn’t leave you expecting the end. To go from a yellow scarf to a 12 gauge shot-gun shows in a few paragraphs Sam’s descent and Kate’s ascension.

    1. Many thanks! I find myself writing in this style of twists, turns and unexpected endings with my flash fiction lately. And we really do not know how, when or even IF Kate will make use of the weapon, do we? Readers can create their own next scene…

      1. That’s right — I assumed Kate will make use of the weapon because I’m aware of situations where that happened, and the image of her with the gun made me think she would use it. For revenge? For safety? Hide it? Destroy it? I hope we meet Kate again and learn her own resolution of the story.

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