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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Touch (the sense of touch) (08/05/10)

TITLE: Crossroads
By Hanne Moon


“You know I love you, right?” he asked, running one finger down her cheek, stopping at her chin. He lightly rubbed the cleft he found there as he leaned down and brushed his lips against hers.

She winced. Even that light brush of lips had opened up the cut on her mouth.

She tasted blood.

He pulled back. “Right?” he asked again, his brows knotting together in a frown.

She nodded, tears threatening to spill. She tried to brush them away before he could see them.

“Aw, Jeanie…don’t. You know I didn’t mean it. You just drive me crazy sometimes.”

“I’m sorry,” she croaked, her voice tremulous and hoarse. As if it had a mind of its own, her hand strayed to her neck, and tentative fingers brushed against the soreness there.

He scowled.

Her hand dropped. Her heart began to thud — loud, insistent…battering bruised ribs.

“Now, don’t go feeling sorry for yourself,” he said. “You know I hate that. I said I was sorry. Just let it go.”

Her hands fluttered nervously, reaching out to placate him. “I’m not, Mike…”

He grabbed her hand, jerking her closer. His breath rained sour upon her. “Let. It. Go.”

“I haven’t said anything!” she cried.

“‘I haven’t said anything, ’” he mocked. “You don’t have to. It’s in your eyes. I hate it when you look at me like that.”

He slapped her.


The biting sting fell across the previous layer of pain as she brought a hand to her cheek. Sting…upon ache…upon throb…tiled around her. “Please don’t, Mike. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again!”

His fingers bit into the tender flesh of her arm as he growled at her. “It better not.” He shoved her away and she fell, sobbing, across the bed. He stomped out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

She lay there, bathed in more than aches and throbs. Misery, fatigue, and hopelessness blanketed themselves around her. She thought of the bliss and pleasure of their courtship days, dim and faded memories that belonged to another life.

She could remember the flowers, the sweet caresses, and the possessive way he had held her that had made her feel loved and protected. Back then his fingers had left trails of delicious heat that had pricked her skin and left her tingling as if a thousand tiny electrical shocks had run through her all at once.

She didn’t know what had happened to change all that. What caused her husband such anger and hatred toward her? Why couldn’t she say or do anything right? Why couldn’t she make him happy?

She couldn’t last like this. She couldn’t continue to live like this.

She cried then, silently, so he wouldn’t hear her. Her tears gave way to numbing fatigue and she felt herself drift away from consciousness.

She awoke when she felt him crawl into bed beside her. He ran one finger down her arm and she forced herself not to stiffen against him.

The heat from him was abrasive, the trail of his fingers as molten lava.

She trembled and her heart began to thud — loud, insistent…battering bruised ribs.

“You know I love you, right?” he whispered.

She stared into the darkness.

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This article has been read 941 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Heywood08/12/10
This was difficult to read, but only because it dealt with such unpleasantness. You wrote it superbly and I would have liked to read the "rest of the story" to see if your mc gains the courage to leave. Excellent writing!
Rikki Akeo08/12/10
A hard reality for some.
Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/14/10
Wow this is intense. I've noticed several stories about bad touches, your story was done well, it captured my attention as I held my breathe hoping she would find a way out. But like there are stories about bad touches, they are there because so many people have witnessed how a cruel touch can destroy someone. You definitely showed the truth in your story. Outstanding writing.
Philippa Geaney 08/14/10
I agree with all the comments. Very well written.
Maria Egilsson08/14/10
This story has the nitty-gritty touch that makes the emotions very real and gut-wrenching. I wanted to reach down and pull her out from the vicious cycle of abuse. I hope she has the strength to break free from this very soon...
Excellent writing.
AnneRene' Capp08/15/10
Crossroads...Excellent title!
You really did do a superb job conveying the gut wrenching emotions of the heart in such a horrendous situation.
Sherrie Coronas08/15/10
You have great writing skills. The story made my stomach sore:( Can't imagine what this situation would be like but you provided a vivid, believeable scene in this shorty story.
Kimberly Russell08/16/10
As someone who has lived this scenario, you wrote it spot-on. It is one of those "hold-your-breath" stories which means the goal of show vs tell was accomplished perfectly. Great job.
Charla Diehl 08/16/10
You definitely captured the horror of living in an abusive relationship. My heart was pounding for your MC and praying at the same time. Great job capturing the emotions in this piece.
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/16/10
Oooo, well written. You had us there with her, scared, but also begging her to have the courage to walk away.
Barbara Lynn Culler08/19/10
This was very painful to read, but as Kim said, spot on.

Great job.
Mona Purvis08/19/10
Glad this one won an EC. It brings attention to a very important topic and does so with very well chosen words. Splendid.

AnneRene' Capp08/19/10
Congratulations on your win! Most definitely deserved!!
Laury Hubrich 08/19/10
I can't believe I forgot to leave you a comment:( This story is so very disturbing and so real in many homes. Sad.

Congratulations on your EC!!!
Sara Harricharan 08/19/10
Ah, so very sad! It fits the topic of touch very nicely, but I felt for Jeanie. I wish she'd haul off and slug the idiot. Nicely done-I was pulled into this sad tale. ^_^ Congrats!
Marita Thelander 08/19/10
My heart is heavy to read this fiction story that we know is true in so many lives. I agree that this one in the EC list is important to shed light on an often overlooked issue.