short short story

The importance of burning bridges

She had been beaten until she’d wept for days – so many days she’d totally lost her memory of the times it didn’t happen: when or before that awful now.

And then he’d drunken bottles of whisky before breathing her body sorry – a breathing which left a dreadful smell she quickly learnt to fear as soon as it began to drift up the stairs he would so proudly show off to the neighbours: though, of course, when they were there he never touched her fragile frame.

And then again he would burn into her delicate white skin tiny secretive weals with fag ends he’d gladly smoked and dressed her mentally down with, until she felt like a different kind of fag must have felt in the jolly old privileged school which the fag end-burner had – in his time – so successfully boarded at.

And in the end the violence meant very little.  It meant so little because she knew nothing else.

And when you know nothing but the violence others commit, in truth it’s time to quit.

And that’s the importance of burning bridges: I mean, here, to places you just know you never wish to return …

And violence is a place, you know.

A place you never want to know.


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