Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Magpie Tale

In the Palm of His Hand

People said his bark was worse than his bite. But that wasn't true.

She hated to be barked at. It made her stomach hurt and her head feel woozy, both things making it hard to think straight. But the bite of his anger was worse. A lot worse.

Harsh words cut knife sharp into her, but angry punches caused bruising that reached down to her soul. Each time he started in on her, she imagined lying in a coffin of his construction. With each blow he hurled her way, he nailed the lid down, tighter and tighter until she had to suck air in great gasps.

In the beginning, his hands had been what attracted her to him. He worked hard. He worked with his hands and everything he constructed was true and straight and strong. When she fell in love with him, she'd put her hand in the palm of his hand and thought she could depend on him to take care of her forever.

Instead, he was destroying her. Word by word. Hit by hit.

She had to do this. She had to do this for herself. She had to do this before she was lost to herself forever. Crying softly, she picked it up and cradled it in her hands for a minute, then she put the phone to her ear and began to dial for help.

It was time to take her life into her own hands.

Hands caress or hit

Sooth or terrorize

Warm or chill with a gesture

Palm up signals no harm,

Balled into a fist the opposite.

Hands should create

Not destroy.


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  1. I am glad it had a happy ending. It almost made me cry. Well written.

  2. yes. yes and yes. hopefully more can head words such as this.

  3. hand should create and not truer words..powerful tale...

  4. Whoa, wasn't expecting that! Very well done indeed! In fact, I suggest submitting that for publication... somehow?

    Hope your Monday was great!

  5. Powerful piece, Stevie. I'm hoping this wasn't autobiographical in any way.

  6. Stevie, this was compelling and powerful. Like Willow, I'm wishing it to be, for you, pure fiction...

  7. The hand, a symbol of both harm and hope in this story. Powerful.

  8. Interesting story Steviewren, but I miss a clear ending. Is this the new way of writing short stories? I am interested because I am in a writing class too? - Dave

  9. I found this very moving and beautiful. Thank you

  10. Very nice -- Thank goodness she picked up that phone!

  11. I'm so glad that you became the leader..placing matters where they should be!

  12. so very true -- "hands should create and not destroy" ... i wish everyone realized this.

    very well done.

  13. That's a powerfully described vignette of a too often true situation. Excellent writing.

  14. Stevie...this is deep and so very painful...yet there is liberation at the end. But the much pain.

    I feel this could speak to SO, SO many.

    Wonderful tale.

  15. Stevie - "Hands caress or hit, Sooth or terrorize, Warm or chill with a gesture..." Marvelous writing.

  16. Stevie:

    It was a cutting, distressing and a poignant piece of writing. A great one for agencies handling abuse cases to use for their ad campaigns.

    Like Vicki said I am glad she took control of her life back and picked up the phone.


  17. I didn't think the ending was particularly 'happy.' Maybe the beginning of the way out but not 'happy.'
    Its obscene what people do to each other.

  18. Your words felt so profoundly real.. I pray that it was not written from personal experience & if so, I send you a big warm hug! I concur with Brian that our hands are gifted to us to do good not to cause harm!

  19. Interesting...for every action there is (can be ) an equal and opposite reaction. We can stroke or strike...the choice is ours. Nicely written.

  20. We all have the choice to take a positive outlook on life or a negative one. The poor choice of this hand having such obvious and deleterious effects. We are the choices we make, unfortunately but true. Writing of such things reminds me of the writer Richard Matheson, "Through A Glass Darkly" famous writer/screenwriter of the cult classic (with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve) "Somewhere In Time". Haunting and excellent your thought-prevoking poem!

  21. Ha, I love that show, I have seen them all at least twice, my favorite is when his agent, forget her name, tries to quit smoking! This piece hit very close to home for me, so to speak. You created so many feelings in such little space. Love your writing.

  22. my life has been so terribly (but gloriously hectic) so i apologize for being late. and i offer you sincere thank yous for visiting me on my magpie and your kind words upon my prose :)

    your magpie, chilling...and yet the ending salvages my heart and soul (thank heaven!) what a world of both wonder and pain we dwell in...i choose to champion the fight for the good...

    your piece pierced me.

  23. wonderfully written! i love your writing style!!


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