The yelling was the first strike.
The possessive control was the second.
Now the bruised eye and busted lip signaled clearly that it was time to get out before it was too late.
He snuck out while she was sleeping, knowing that no one would believe him if he told.
Isabella Pinto is a current undergrad student at The New School, where she continues to work on her first novel.
Once upon a time I had a son, as familiar to me as my own hands.
For years, his sweet face betrayed nothing about his struggles.
One day he left unannounced and upon his return two years later, he was no longer my son.
Please smile. I gained a daughter.
Claire Polders is a Dutch author writing short prose in English. More of her work can be found at clairepolders.com
. She likes it when readers say “hello” to her on Twitter
This stuff on the page would never mean anything to her. And history: names, places, dates… What was the point?
Glancing into a mirror, she saw snow-blonde hair, river-blue eyes, cute ramrod nose. Remembering other eyes, other glances, she knew that these fixed constants would circumscribe her entire life.
Ruby Ray has worked as a barmaid, cleaner, kitchen porter and gardener. After that she had a career in teaching. Now she wonders what will be next.