The door slams, and she shrinks into an even tighter ball on the floor of her walk-in-closet. It's only a matter of time before he finds her, but, for now, she can allow the illusion of safety to surround her.
"Bethany!" he bellows. "Where the hell are you? I told you to be here when I got home. You'd better get your ass down here now. You won't like what happens if you don't."
She chokes back a fit of hysterical laughter. Five years ago, she would have believed him. She would have hurried down the stairs, ready and willing to do whatever she could to stave off his anger. Now though, she knows that to be an effort in futility. He'll do whatever he wants, regardless of her actions. In truth, what she does, says, or thinks matters little in the grand scheme of things. Her time as his wife has taught her that much.
She can hear him moving around the house, opening doors and slamming them shut. With every slam of the door, his anger grows. She hates the thought of what he'll do when he actually finds her. For the briefest of moments, she considers standing up and walking into the light of their bedroom, but fear immobilizes her. For now, she's safe, and she'll take every second of safety she can get.
He's coming up the stairs now. Closer and closer he comes. Her heart begins to pound, and her breathing grows shallow. He's near the bedroom door now. He'll be upon her in a matter of seconds.
"Bethany!" his voice is sharp. "Don't make me hunt you down. You know it will only make things worse for you. Honestly, Babe, I wouldn't have to do these things if you'd just listen to me. I hate having to punish you. I'm sure you know that, but you don't give me any choice."
By the time he's done speaking, he's on the other side of the closet door. He throws it open, and reaches in, dragging her out by her long, black hair. She knows better than to struggle. She goes limp, allowing herself to become nothing but dead weight, but Mark is strong. He drags her to the middle of the bedroom floor. He lets go of her hair, and her head slams into the floor.
"Bitch!" he hisses, leaning down so his face is only inches from hers. "You defy me all the time. You never learn, no matter how hard I try to teach you what's right."
He begins to hit her in earnest then, his fists landing with great force on her face, her arms, her stomach. She just lies there, as still as she can manage. Hopefully, he'll get bored soon.
He starts to kick her then. Her vision is growing blurry. The grunting sounds he's making grow more and more distant. Her last thought, before the darkness claims her, is that a man's home is his castle. Things would have been so much better for her, if only her life could have been lived in another castle.
He's finally done with her. He looks down at her, his disgust plain to see. He gives her one last kick before turning away, leaving her bleeding on the floor. Maybe after this, she'll finally learn to be the wife he's always wanted. If not, he has no problem continuing to teach her.
This has been my entry for week 3 of
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