A heavy man by Jayne Morley

A Heavy Man

She always knows when he is coming - the ornaments rattle in their cases. There are a lot of ornaments and cases in her house, because her mother likes to focus on things that are pretty but that don't matter. He is a heavy man, her mother's husband. He makes the ornaments rattle with his footfall, and he squeezes the breath from the girl just by lying on top of her. He lies on top of her quite often. She has started to scratch at herself, in the night and the early morning. Trying to hurt. She is embarrassed by the chicken scratches on the tops of her skinny thighs, smears of ketchup on French fries. They are not enough. She holds a piece of broken glass, from her princess mirror he has smashed. But still she can't cut. The ornaments begin to rattle, and she conceals the shard. Ready now.


fiction by
Kathy Stevens

image by
Jayne Morley