I recently participated in a writing workshop with a group called Voices From Inside. Info from its website:
"Through creative writing workshops and public readings, Voices from Inside empowers women who have been incarcerated to make changes in their lives and to engage positively with the communities to which they return."
Shine!’s goal is to give good writers a voice. The work done by VFI, its writers and facilitators is also about promoting good writing. I think VFI's participants believe as I do, that a writer resides in each of us as does an artist, photographer or any other creative. Because of this, SHINE! will have the great pleasure of devoting one entire issue to VFI. Stay tuned for more information. You will NOT want to miss putting an ear to these Voices From Inside.
(October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Link-->Domestic Violence Awareness Month - National Coalition Against Domestic Violence You may have seen this before. I am republishing this flash-FICTION story to honor those who have suffered abuse at the hands of a loved one or significant other...)
©2005-2007 Pamela Tyree Griffin
A small, somber crowd gathers in front of the house where the EMTs must be hard at work trying to save Gloria Louis. Nobody is allowed in. Parked next to the ambulance is a hearse.
You know a man will do crazy things in anger, the women in the group say over and over like some sort of mantra. Lord help you, they say, when a man has nothing to lose, especially a drunk man. Miles had been drinking for half the day - after having arrived late for work for the last goddamned time according to the boss who fired him.
It wasn't enough though, the drinking. It fueled rather than satiated his rage. He'd often felled her like a tree, his hands a vicious axe. He'd given no thought to their children and what they might find when they returned from school. They'd seen it before anyway. The oldest one, their sixteen year old Jane, was quite practiced in the cleaning up of blood and the mending of broken bones. There would be much more to clean up this time.
Through the small town grapevine Gloria had learned that Miles had been fired. After three hours when he hadn't shown, she knew what was coming. She'd been down this path so many times before; this worn path where she paid for his disappointments time and time again. She knew a supreme pummeling was on the menu again.
When he got home and saw she was packing, that just about did him in. He just couldn't believe her nerve. He came at her then, a mad dog, frothing at the mouth with the stale smell of cigarettes on his breath. He came at her, with his big paws fisted and ready, his sweaty face curled into a snarl of fury. This time I will finish her, he probably thought.
When the bulging black body bag was born out, a gasp traveled through the crowd like a wave. We gasped but weren't surprised. The worst had finally happened and folks wondered about the children. The sheriff appeared. There was no need for handcuffs. Instead, he held her small, trembling hand in his for the short ride to the hospital.
As he gently helped her into the ambulance, he felt the pistol she'd been packing. It made a small bulge in his pocket and bothered him not at all.