by Andrea Brown
A man is trapped in a bad marriage.
| He sat huddled in the corner of their bedroom, his body pressed firmly against the wall. Hesitantly, Peter Greenfield unclasped locked hands from quivering knees, slowly raising first his left arm, then his right, giving each a quick once over. He feared that if he looked any harder than that, he would discover even more than what was visible at first glance. Peter could see that his right arm had turned completely black and blue from the shoulder clear down to an inch or so above the elbow, with lighter spots of bluish-purple trickling down the remainder of the limb. The other arm hadn't gotten it nearly as bad, but there were still splotches of dark colors up and down the length of it. His entire body ached, and he felt as though he had been pummeled with an outburst of baseball-sized rocks hurled vengefully in his direction. When he attempted to stand, sliding his back up the length of the wall for support, the immense pain that stemmed from his haunches and flowed outwards throughout his body reminded him of the terrifying reality of his situation. Unable to bear the sharp twinges, Peter slithered back into his crouched position. He was still in quite a bit of pain from his disastrous attempt to get back on his feet, but he could feel the sensations slightly subsiding now. The sound of the front door shutting, and the engine growing fainter as it pulled farther and farther away from the house, assured him that she was gone now. Peter felt safe for the time being, but was still unable to move much without being overcome with waves of agonizing throbbing. He could not bring himself to look down at the rest of his mangled body. He could feel the bruised flesh without having to see that it was there. It seemed the worst now in his abdomen. The slightest fluctuation made him short of breath, and a strong lightheadedness enveloped him. As long as he sat perfectly still, he could deal with it well enough.
It had happened on more than a few occasions, but it had never been as bad as it was this time. Normally, Peter would come out a little sore here and there, but perfectly capable of donning a suit, meticulously making sure to cover any evidence, and traipsing off the following day. Michelle could get mad at the drop of a dime, irrationally angered at the least thing. Most of the time, she could be quite pleasant, and at times excessively nice, but when she got mad, she got furious . In one such incident, Peter had really caught it from her because he had neglected to wash the dishes the night it was his turn.
I can't count on you to do anything around here!" she had screamed at him. Peter had been sitting in the living room, watching the Cowboys clobber Miami, and he looked up in time to see his wife storming over to him.
"Now, calm down. It's just the dishes. I meant to do them last night, I just forgot. I'm sorry, okay? Here, I'll do them right now." As he arose from the couch, his left cheek was met with the sharp sting of Michelle's open palm, and he doubled over when her fist came barreling into his stomach one, two, and then three times. To top it off, she sent it viciously into his side in one swift blow. Peter fell back onto the chair, struggling to breathe.
"Next time, do it when you're supposed to," she quipped, retreating into the kitchen. He heard the sink running and the clattering of the plates knocking together as she finished the chore.
The sexual aspect was not new, either. The very first time was a night five or six years ago, after he came too early. Michelle snatched up a lamp that once sat on top of the night stand and, before Peter had his wits about him, she brought it thundering down on him with such force that it shattered the lamp and left Peter with a severe migraine for the next four days.
"What the fuck is wrong with you? Can't you please anyone besides yourself?"
The rage seeped through her, devouring every sense of her being.
Still stunned from the blow, Peter stammered to find the words.
"Ca-can't, I-I-I can't help - I-I mean, it's not my - not my fault, I-"
"Oh no, it's not my fault, I'm just a sexual moron who couldn't fuck his way out of a paper bag, blah, blah, blah." Michelle's words were harsh, taunting him at every syllable. Peter managed to regain a sense of composure.
"It's not like I can control it, you know, it just happens !"
"It just happens, huh? Well, it doesn't just happen with me, buddy. You have to work at it, the key word here being work . Of course, you're too much of a lazy son of a bitch to do anything that requires effort, right? That's why you always finish in under two minutes and I'm left to take care of myself. Have you ever even gotten me to come, or does that responsibility lie solely in my finger ?" Before he could respond, Michelle had hurled herself on top of him, trying with all of her strength to hold him down. She was no bigger than he was, and less muscular, but her determination made for quite a struggle. Peter thrashed wildly beneath her, finally managing to push her up and off of him. She rolled off the side of the bed and thumped as she hit the floor on her back. He scurried to get up, wanting desperately to get away. But Michelle had already pushed herself onto her knees by the time Peter was off the bed, and she stood fully upright before he had made it halfway to the door. He attempted to make a run for it, but she was quick - she lunged for him, landing squarely on top of him and bringing him crashing to the ground. She got off of him, rolled him over so that he was face up, and grabbed his limp member with such incredible force that Peter was certain it would break off in her hand.
"YAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRHHHHHHHGGGGGGGHHHHHH! STOP IT! IT HURTS! AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH! STOP, PLEASE!" He pushed her away with all of his might, but Michelle's grip held firm. He could not pry her clenched fingers off of it with his hands, and continued to wail in despair. In a fury, Peter punched her directly in the jaw, hoping to catch her off guard so that he could free himself. Michelle let out a brief yelp, but remained steady, applying even more pressure as punishment. He thought twice about swinging at her again, and decided it was best if he remained still. After several moments, she released her grasp, leaving Peter sprawled on the floor, heavily gasping for breath.
"I am not done with you! You will keep going until I am finished, do you understand me?"
"NO," he protested, "I will do no such - AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHRRRRRRGGGGGG!" Peter was once again in her vice. She let go sooner this time. "Now, you will lie here until I'm done, and if you so much as try to stop me, so help me God, you will PAY!" He laid, spread eagle, not daring to speak, fearing that she would squeeze it hard enough to pop it out of its skin the next time. Michelle was stroking him now, not harshly, but gently, and he felt a faint tickling creep up his shaft. She was trying to get it ready, and he prayed that it would remain flaccid, so that she would get discouraged and stop. He thought about everything he could possibly think of that would drive an erection away. The time he walked in on his 70-year-old grandparents showering together when he was 15 came to mind. He shuddered at such a revolting image. But ultimately, the appendage was unable to overcome the tingling sensations being administered to it, and it began to rise. Peter could feel her lower herself onto it, still a little flat but inflated enough for her to continue, and she began thrusting herself vigorously. Peter's eyes clenched shut and he remained in the darkness throughout the ordeal. After what seemed like hours, she stopped and slid off of him, but he kept his eyes tightly closed. They opened in a state of shock, when he was suddenly rolled over onto his stomach, and felt the sensation of something endlessly long and slim being driven roughly into him. His shrieks were even louder now, and she gave the object a final hard thrust before removing it.
"That will teach you to cut out on me!" Michelle had made her way to the bed and was lying in it while Peter remained on the floor, sobbing.
"Don't be such a baby, only wimps cry. Next time, just do it right!" She turned over and as she drifted off to sleep, Peter couldn't help but wonder where along the line he had failed as a man.
Things had grown progressively worse from that point on. As the hours dragged on the morning of the most recent attack, Peter remained in his place, not wanting to move. As he looked feverishly around the room, his gazing eyes caught sight of an object that lay on the floor, beside the bed. Its silver blade gleamed brilliantly under the sunlight streaming in through the bedside window. It was the same knife that Peter had kept in the bedroom for the last three years or so. The window often stuck shut, and the knife was all he had found that was capable of prying it open. It would not normally be a strange site to see it lying about. When Michelle used it to open the window, she often forgot to put it back in the drawer, leaving it lying on top of the nightstand instead, or even at the foot of the bed, where it could easily have fallen off. The thing that struck him as odd about it this time was the fact that the window had not been opened. It was possible that Michelle had opened it briefly and then shut it, but why would she? It was then that Peter noticed the tiny, red stains that speckled the luminous object. He stared at it, horrified. She hadn't, she couldn't...did she? Things had gotten pretty bad this time and he knew what she was capable of, but never had he imagined that she would actually do something so deplorable...bumps and bruises were one thing, after all, but to actually use something able of cutting into his skin, of making him bleed? Peter shook his head, trying desperately to dismiss the thought. He didn't remember Michelle using anything the night before other than her furiously striking fists, and a couple of powerful wallops and deep, invading thrusts delivered from the broom handle. He had blacked out sometime during all of this, only to awaken and find himself incredibly sore and slumped against the wall. Michelle was no longer in the room at this point, but he had heard her scampering about the house. It was possible that she could have done any number of things to him while he sat unconscious and unaware. There was only one way to find out. Peter lowered his head in examination, to see where she might have cut him. An astonished, wavering gasp escaped his lips as his eyes took in the appalling sight. A tattered mess, his body had welts and bruises over the majority of it. Some of the marks were round, as if made by a hard, circular object -like a clenched fist. Others took on no particular shape at all, and looked like blobs stretching out across his torso. He stared intently, but there were no gashes as far as he could see. Peter's gaze shifted downward. His genitals, sore from the violent twisting and jerking and the despicable actions she had demanded from him the night before, flared a bright red, almost as if they were blushing. He was relieved that they hadn't, at least, come across more damage in the struggle. His legs looked much the same way as his arms, with the majority of bruises being on the upper thigh, but some on his shins as well. Still, no signs of anything other than a beating there, either. He concluded that Michelle must not have used the knife on him, after all. In the back of his mind, however, he could not shake the premonition that the blood had to have come from somewhere. It occurred to Peter then that he had only been able to see himself from below his collarbone. He brought his hands up and pawed at his neck, cautiously, then spread them over the surface of his face. It didn't feel like he had been cut. He examined his arms again, closer this time. They were in slightly worse condition than he had originally thought, but he did not seem to be bleeding at all. Had she, in her state of madness, used the knife on herself? Anyway, if that was the case, it had been nothing serious enough to prevent her from leaving for work that morning. Work! For the first time since Peter had awakened, the thought echoed in the recesses of his mind. He couldn't just fail to show up, and he hadn't called in sick. He could get fired for something like this. But exactly how late was he? His eyes darted to his wrist, where 10:43 flashed at him aggressively. He was supposed to be there over two and a half hours ago. He couldn't go in to work now, not in the condition he was in. He wasn't even sure he could make it out to the car, let alone drive it the five miles to the bank. Peter's only chance was that he still might be able to call in. The boss might be irritated that Peter hadn't managed to call before his scheduled arrival time, but Peter figured it was better late than never. The phone was clear across the room, perched atop the writing desk. To reach it would mean possibly putting himself through excruciating pain, but his job could be at stake if he didn't. Drawing a deep breath, Peter once again attempted to stand. Using the wall as a brace, he pushed his weight onto the balls of his feet and gradually rose. When he did so, the pain returned, stirring from deep within his bowels and shooting out every which way. At first it was the expected uncomfort brought on by the relentless pounding of the broom. In the next moment, a new sensation, one of a much greater intensity, took over. An unbearable stinging from deep within his cavity, and persistent burning, fully occupied him now. He screamed painfully, unable to contain his anguish. Through his misery, he could feel the sticky, half-dried droplets of blood clinging to his opening and splashed across the backs of his thighs. The room began spinning swiftly around him. The faster it went, the darker it grew, until he could see nothing more of it.
LOCAL BANK TELLER FOUND BEATEN TO DEATH IN BEDROOM
The headline sent the story flying across town, and it had everyone in a murmur. One of the first places the news reached was at the bank, where Peter had worked. Two of his fellow co-workers, whom he had never really known, were busy debating the issue at hand.
"Would you just look at that? Yikes." Robert Martin shook his head in disgust as he held the front page of the morning edition before his eyes.
"Who did it, a robber or something?" Stan Watson, whose desk sat directly across from Robert's, hadn't gotten his hands on a copy of the paper yet, but he was anxious to see what all the buzz was about.
"Says here his wife admitted to 'violently beating and raping her husband, both during the night in question and on previous instances'. Says here she didn't mean to kill the bastard."
"And she just came clean?"
"Yeah. The dumb bitch was probably just freaked out that he'd actually died on her."
"What the hell? What's she look like?"
"Huh? What the fuck does that have to do with anything?"
"You know, is she big? Very muscular?"
"Doesn't say. Judging from the pictures they put in here, I'd say she was no bigger than he was."
"How the fuck can a woman rape a man? I mean, it has to be up in order to have sex, and if a guy was being raped, he sure as shit wouldn't be horny enough to get a boner..."
Robert paused as he read further down the page. "She forced things into him from behind. The night before he died, she went as far as using a knife .
"Yeooch! I guess that's how, then. Sorry I asked!"
"But apparently, she forced him to have regular sex with her, too."
" That's what I don't get."
"Me either. The fucker must have enjoyed it when she was throwing him around or some shit."
"How pathetic can you get? Letting a woman kick your ass like that? Why didn't he just shove her off? Or hit her back? Or something to get her to back off?"
"Must have been a real fucking pansy."
"Really. Hell, I'm glad my wife doesn't have me pussy-whipped around like that." A content smirk crept its way across Stan's face at the thought.
"There is a point in every man's life where he has to put his foot down, you know?"
"Yep. Too bad no one ever taught ol' Peter there how to be a real man." The two men chuckled over it for a minute, then resumed their work as usual. Long before the end of the day came around, no one had given it so much as a second thought.