Guest host for January 8 & 9 for JusJoJan is Dan @ No Facilities. The word for the 8th was mongrel suggested by Geoff @TanGentle; the prompt for January 9 is power, suggested by Erica @ 20/20 hines sight.

Last time I wrote an uplifting story about “the kindness of strangers.” My story about power comes from my darker side. It’s flash noir: bleak with no happy ending. Just so as you know.  Read with caution.


When did she ever feel like she had power; real control over her life. Never.

From narrow parents’ bed to marriage bed. The pain of first penetration; the pain of first birth.

His decisions; his demands; his pleasures; his rewards.

She was ground down to nothing; a mongrel in the streets had more.

The children fled when they were able. They despised their mother – he made them so.

Life was always pain and fear of pain; she merely survived each day.

That day, there was blood everywhere. 

The neighbours knew he beat her but this much blood.

It coated the front step, the front windows. smeared on the door.

They found her with a bucket, “cleaning”, she said. “Not clean enough he demanded so I’m cleaning.”

Cleaning with blood. They couldn’t make her stop. “I have to finish before he comes home.”

By the amount of blood, they doubted he had left that day.

(c) Lorraine