DOMESTIC HATED - COL BURY
Originally appeared at Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers
Sarah Meek had a long-term problem. His name was Steve Fury. Sarah had a short-term problem, too.
She was presently handcuffed to a bed in only her panties with Steve edging closer to her, his eyes wide and manic, his panting like a hunting dog: 'I'm gonna fuckin' kill you, slag!'
When she'd met Steve Fury all those years ago, Sarah was still living at home with her family, relying a tad too heavily on her mum and dad to tidy up after her and mollycoddle her to the extent she'd barely lifted a finger. But then 'The Perfect Gent' had swept her off her feet.
Initially, Steve Fury had broken up a heated altercation in Manchester's trendy Swish Bar, between Sarah and her best friend, Melanie, and a robust Glaswegian woman who'd had one too many. Steve had seen the punch being thrown at the cowering Sarah and had gallantly placed himself in harm's way, taking a hefty right on his nose, before he'd escorted the portly woman over to the doormen who'd promptly thrown her out amid a tirade of expletives.
Just three months later, having been exhilarated by that elusive and long-awaited 'special' romance, she'd gleefully accepted her night in shining armour's offer to her move in with him.
The first year was sheer bliss.
The second one wasn't.
Steve had begun to show signs of possessiveness, pulling his face whenever Melanie called to see if Sarah wanted to go out on the town with the girls. Melanie had warned her she'd seen these signs before, but Sarah was blinded by love and Melanie's calls became less frequent.
By year three, Melanie was a distant memory and, by year four, Sarah had lost touch with her parents, except for Christmas and birthday cards. Steve liked to know exactly where Sarah was all of the time and had encouraged her to pack in her job as logistics clerk for a local import and export firm. After all, he'd insisted, 'My wage as a Director of a Global Consultants would more than cover the household bills, love.' Steve had told her that as long as the house was 'spick-and-span' and a 'hot meal' was on the table when he returned home from the office then he would be a happy man.
Consequently, Sarah became extremely domesticated for the first time in her life. Her parents would have been proud of her, had they known.
The ensuing years merged together, a blur of painful flashbacks. Sarah felt trapped as Steve's controlling became unbearable and if Sarah was to look at a man, even on telly for God's sake, Steve's mood would switch in an instant. The first time he hit her was when he arrived home late from 'work' (again), smelling of booze and stale tobacco. She was sat on the sofa watching a Brad Pitt film.
'Oh, a cozy night in? Just you and Brad, eh?'
It stung like hell. Gob-smacked - literally - Sarah couldn't believe it and put it down to him having a bad day at the office. The next day, a dozen red roses arrived with a note begging for forgiveness and professing his undying love, saying it had been a 'one off.' She was subsequently wined and dined, and the world was a beautiful place again.
Until three weeks later when he accused her of having an affair with the bloke next door. Stanley Wise was sixty-two and had a look of Albert Steptoe! When she'd laughed mockingly and said, 'Don't be ridiculous,' the first blow nearly knocked her out.
The second one did.
She awoke being cradled by the whimpering Steve Fury who was stroking her hair and forehead gently. The black-eye and swollen cheekbone only took a few weeks to clear up so it wasn't so bad. Anyhow, she'd become quite skilled in covering her injuries with make-up and clothing as well as having creative cover stories in case anyone did notice.
The police had attended on two occasions when things had gotten out of hand and once they even took Steve with them, but Sarah didn't have the heart to provide a statement as, to be honest, she was petrified of the repercussions, and he was released the next day.
All ties with friends and family had now been severed beyond repair. Steve had a knack of twisting things, especially the guilt, appealing to her kind nature to forgive him and the cycle of abuse just perpetuated itself, escalating into his kinky sex games.
And there she was lying on the bed, her heart-rate double the norm. His breath and spit showered her as he yelled, 'Do you hear me, you fuckin' whore? I'm gonna kill you!'
She'd become a great actress, Oscar-winning standard. Learning to go with the flow, knowing when to agree, when to compliment and, more pertinently, when to lie. And, although being on her own every day was a lonely life, she'd had valuable thinking time in abundance.
'You think you're fuckin' clever, switching keys, don't you? Unless you let me go now, I will kill you. Do you hear me?' continued Steve, yanking noisily at the bedpost.
Sarah had playfully dangled her cuffs with a raised hand, a look of disbelief on his face. She'd cunningly persuaded Steve to dabble in the submissive role for a change by cuffing his right hand to the bedpost, while his left held the cuff key to release him at his leisure. Although she'd not only swapped his cuff key earlier for a similar one that didn't fit, she'd also adeptly undone her own cuffs with another key acquired from her wily neighbour, Stanley 'Steptoe' Wise, the ex-cop who'd offered her so much advice over the years.
She slid off the bed as Steve Fury kicked and bellowed. No longer was she 'Submissive Sarah.' For the first time in ten years she was now in control.
She lifted a hefty snooker trophy from a shelf and strolled toward Steve.
A look of shock shot across Steve's face. 'Sarah. Now enough's enough!'
'You took the words right out of my mouth, Steve,' she said coolly.
He swung a punch with his free hand which Sarah side-stepped.
Steve slumped on the bed with a low groan, swelling already appearing on his forehead.
'Submissive Steve. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?' said Sarah, returning to her side of the bed where she opened the bedside cabinet and the light shimmered off the kitchen knife's blade. She clutched onto the knife as Steve began to come round. She took in the moment; almost disbelieving it yet also savouring it. Steve Fury's true face now emerged: that of a vulnerable little man.
She raised the knife.
Steve's eyes widened. 'Pleeease. Nooo. Saraaaargh!'
And she smiled as she strolled round the bed; even allowing herself a little wink before plunging it deep into his heart, oblivious to the spurt of crimson spattering her cheeks.
She watched intently as his body tensed then jolted. When he was still, she uncuffed him then took in a deep breath.
Now for the hard bit, she thought.
Sarah Meek quickly slashed at her the palm of her right hand, wincing at the sharp, stinging pain, watching her own blood dripping onto the beige carpet. After another long breath, she cut into her right forearm and screamed.
Regaining her composure, she used her blood-free left hand to clench Steve's fingers around the handle of the knife before tossing it onto the floor along with the upturned trophy. After pushing over the bedside cabinet, she called the police, as Stanley 'Steptoe' Wise had advised her.
BIO: Col Bury lives in Manchester, UK with his wife and two children. He is currently writing a crime novel and is the co-editor - along with thriller author and ex-cop, Matt Hilton - of a site encouraging new writers to showcase their talent: Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers, where more of Col's stories reside.