A River Red in a Valley White

She lay on the bed, the gun in her hand, point against the bottom of her chin, pointed straight for her brain.  Some time ago she had decided that it must be this way, she couldn't figure out how to get a good hold on the gun while pointing it at her heart, and lying the point of the gun on her temple felt somehow strange to her, but this, this felt comfortable.

She was neither afraid nor angry, she knew it was time to go.  He had hit her too many times, called her too many names.  At first she thought that somewhere inside of him he still did love her, but she had seen, over and over, that just wasn't true.  He couldn't see her, couldn't hear her, to him she was already dead.Her white wedding dress made her look almost angelic, were it not for the dark bruises on her arms and back and shoulder, the cuts on her wrists and thighs, and the gun, dark and unholy lying there between her breasts.

She still regretted that day.  If only she had listened, listened to her father who told her not to.  But she had no reason to listen to him.  He had never been there for her, all her life he had been busily working, never actually caring for her any more than he had to.  Then mother had died, the only one in the world who understood her.  She had needed to feel loved, needed support, and she had found a prince who could protect her and care for her.  But he was a prince in her mind only, and her father had seen it, seen that he was taking advantage of her present insecurity.  If only her father was still around she would have had somewhere to go, but he had disappeared long ago.  She was alone, absolutely alone, and she hated herself.

She hated that she had fallen for him, not seen past his seductive mask, not realized that inside he was deception, dark deception that consumed everything about him.  She hated that she could not stop him, when he forced his mouth reeking of alcohol against hers, making her submit to his desires.  She even hated that she was proud, to proud to tell anyone, to confide in them her secret.  His abuse had become her burden of guilt, and she would carry it for him no more.

She never heard the crash of the gun, never felt the bullet strike, and for a moment she thought that it had been empty.  Then she saw the blood.  Blood running like a rivulet down her chest, dying her perfect white dress crimson.  She would carry his burden no more.

The End

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