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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2260187-Desperate-Measures
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2260187
Lorraine seeks to rid herself and her children of their abusive father.
She waited until the sound of her husband's snore were deep and steady. He was out for the count. No amount of jostling him would wake him. Thank God.

She eased her body up from the bed careful to slip from beneath his outstretched arm he had flung out, pinning her even in sleep. Even now, he added to her bruises.

She checked to make sure Sofia and Trace were asleep. She hesitated at Trace's door, as concern swelled and threatened to devour her. The boy had stepped in to protect her tonight and he had been beaten savagely for his attempts. She needed to stop this. Break this cycle before any more harm could be done.

She bit her lip to still the sob that caught in her throat. She backed away, not wanting to waken him.

Carefully she wrapped the scarves to cover her already forming bruises. She tenderly licked at the cut over her upper lip. A quick look in the mirror had her shrinking back at the shook that surged through her. If Trace had not stepped in, she was sure William would have killed her tonight.

She wrapped the heavy coat around her body and without another thought, slipped out into the stormy night. Her sights set for the old Victorian at the edge of town. She hated to go there. Hated to ask for help, but she oculd not take it any longer. Something had to be done before any more damage could happen. Someone was not going to make it out alive and she was sure as hell not going to let it be her or either of her babies. William had to go and she knew he would not go on his own.

**

Fists pounding on the wet wood, Lorraine hammered on the back door. She'd been careful to make sure no one had seen her come here, but then again, no one in their right mind was out in a storm like this. If she hadn't been so desperate, she wouldn't be here either.

Only the Aunts could do what needed to be done. Them and their witchcraft.

She felt her heart lift as she saw the lights being lit and the door being opened. The storm thrust her into the witche's kitchen. There was no turning back now.

She pulled the sopping layers of wet wool away from her body. The heaviness of it hurt almost as much as the physical punches and the humiliation that swelled in her gut. She was grateful that the witches did not show any sign of distress at seeing her disfigured face and split lip.

Their kindness seemed to engulf her and she shattered into tears as Lydia guided her to the big wooden table that hunkered down in the center of the room.

"You must do something. I fear he’s getting worse and tonight….” she began as Jess poured her some tea and added some soothing herbs to the warm liquid. Taking a sip, she tried to settle the racking sobs that made speech difficult, “he… hit… Trace.”

“The boy was only trying to protect me,” she managed to get out between wracking sobs.

“Is he hurt?” Jess asked.

Lorraine shook her head. “Nothing broken, only bruised,” when she was able.

“This is a matter for the police, Mrs. Wilder. We must not interfere…”

“But you must do something. Anything, I pray. Make him…. I don’t know. Can’t you not fix this?” she wailed. She wanted him dead. They could make it happen. They could do it without even touching him. Nobody would know.

“I can feel in your heart what you want, Mrs. Wilder, but you would die a sick death knowing you had brought him that.”

“We can offer you protections, but they only last for a while, as you well know. You must leave him,” Aunt Jess said in her quiet no nonsense tone.

“Protections. No! I want more…” Lorraine yelled as desperation surged through her.

The aunt’s shook their heads with a sad despair. “It is too dark.” Jess told her.

“But you are witches…” she screeched.

“We are not heartless,” Jess told her.

“Not helping me is heartless,” she wailed back at them. Her fury had her shaking.

“You don’t want this, Lorraine,” Lydia told her calmly. “His death would eat you alive. Your children need you. For their sakes, you must take this matter to the authorities…. And leave him.”

“He’ll never let me go. This is the only way. You must help me. Make it an accident… something.” Her words tumbled over themselves as she tired to make them see reason.

Again, the aunts shook their heads.

“It is too dark,” Jess told her again.

Lorraine stood abruptly. The force of the moment caused her chair to scuttle backward and tip, banging loudly onto the floor, but she did not care. She grabbed her sopping coat and thrust her arms back into it. The cold wetness mirrored the agony of her emotions. Tears flowed down her face as she raged at them. Calling them hateful names.

The aunts said nothing. They only watched her.

Humiliation laced her despair and fueled her further. Her sobs rose up cutting off her words as she flung open the door and bolted back out into the night. She felt lost at sea. the storm surged around, her propelling her home.

Despair clung to her, refusing to be washed away. She headed for home feeling the noose tightening around her neck making her breathing laboured and painful. What more could she do? She could feel the end near at hand. Anger surged though her.
How could they turn her away? They were heartless. They were probably laughing at her. She cursed them as she fought to stay above the fear that gripped her.

**

Days later when things had calmed down and he had been so kind and solicious, she felt foolish for over reacting to the other night. She had been to blame. Yes, if only she had done what he had wanted of her. She could do better. She would do better.

But then she heard the news. He was dead. An accident.

A surge of relief infused her body, but then guilt. Wracking guilt. She had asked for this and they had done it. They had killed him. She was sure of it.

Over the next several days she felt her emotions waver from relief to guilt and back. She had gone through the motions necessary and played the part of the grieving wife. She comforted her children and put on a brave face, but below it all, she knew the truth. She had wanted this.

Her only recourse was to escape. Leave Roseville. Put as much distance between herself and this broken down town. Take her children away from here. She prayered her father would relent and let her come home. She would use the one card she had - Trace. She knew her father would want Trace - someone he could mold and counsel. She was willing to sacrifice him to get away from this place and the life she had lived here. Trace would do it too, anything to save his mother and help the family.

The day they left, Lorraine noticed a small black haired girl watching from the edge of the forest. She trembled. Getting away from here, she would save her children from further contamination with that girl's sort. Witches. They brought tradgey and pain. They caused this heartbreak and she could not get away from this place, and them, fast enough.

Words = 1271
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