Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Rage (violent, uncontrolled hatred and anger) (02/05/15)
- TITLE: Sufficient Grace
By Laura Stansbury
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The shrill whistle of the tea kettle broke the silence in the kitchen. Making a cup of warm chamomile tea to soothe didn't have the effect Joan hoped for. Instead the tightness built in her chest again. She spilled the tea grounds, spilled the sugar, spilled the hot water on her hand. Sweeping her arm across the counter in a wide arc sent the tea items crashing to the floor.
“How dare he leave me like this?” Joan thought for the hundredth time today. No word, no warning; just dead and gone. Suicide by drowning. What a lousy coward! He didn't even have the decency to write a note. The answer was forever swallowed by a watery grave at the bottom of the river.
Raw emotion continued to mount as Joan paced the small confines of her apartment. She left the kitchen a mess. She marched purposefully toward the bedroom, her decision made. Three weeks passed since she received the phone call, her world turned upside down, never to be upright again.
“How dare he?” she demanded of the empty room. Yanking open every dresser drawer and flinging wide the closet doors she eyed his things in disgust. His clothes were tossed to the floor in a growing mound as the dresser gave up its contents. Dumped from the closet were suits, shoes, and boxes filled with his precious baseball card collection. The nightstand was next – his favorite mystery books, reading glasses, alarm clock, and framed photos of their last vacation were thrown onto the stack. But Joan didn't stop there. She purged all of her own things as well.
The tightness spread to a dull ring inside her head and she liked it. For weeks the shock and grief had gripped her, until now. This was so much better; liberated to let the anger roll unchecked. Setting fire to the pile ran through Joan's mind, but a part of her, deep down, knew she would cross the line into insanity. The next best option was to get everything out, every last scrap of anything that reminded her of his abandonment. It poisoned the air she so desperately needed to breathe.
Jerking the second story bedroom window open, Joan tossed items out onto the ground. The jewelry box crashed with a satisfying thud. Who cared if it was two in the morning? Would she ever sleep through the night again anyway? It wasn't enough, the outrage needed more to feed on. She stomped her way into the adjoining bathroom. Scalding tears streamed unchecked down her cheeks and dripped from her chin unheeded. Toothpaste, razor, hair brush, deodorant, toothbrush, shower gel; she hurled all of it through the bathroom doorway toward the general vicinity of the bedroom window.
Slamming the bathroom door, Joan locked herself inside. A guttural scream started low in her belly and clawed it's way out of her throat. Grabbing the ceramic soap dispenser Joan banged into the oversized sink mirror with her full strength. Her hand stung but she didn't notice. Drawing back to smash it again, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror.
Instantly, as if in a vacuum, the energy in the room shifted from Joan's anguish to an enveloping calm. Within seconds her tears dried and breathing returned to normal. Setting down the soap dispenser, she leaned against the counter and gently lowered to the floor.
“How dare he do this to me?” she whispered.
The answer came to her this day the same as it did each new day – “My grace is sufficient for you.”
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