I have a number of stories that I want to post for you to read. However, although they are short stories, I believe them to be too long for a blog. As a result, I have decided to serialise them. This first story was written over four days in August 2009. The opening image had been stuck in my mind for a considerable time, and I had struggled to find a suitable story for the character. Then on the 10th of August it hit me and ‘Mercy Falls’ was born.
Mercy stood out in the rain, letting it wash her clean. She was sick of feeling old and useless. And after so much dust and dirt and dry, hot weather the rain was a godsend. The blood that had crusted on her hands was dripping away in little red rivulets, seeping into the ground beneath her. All of her feelings began to melt away.
By the time the showers stopped she was standing alone, feeling nothing at all. Slow deep breaths were all she could hear. Comfort and calm enveloped her. Behind her, in the shed, lay the body of her eldest son, Steven. His face almost entirely unrecognisable save for the one blue-grey eye staring up at the roof. His head now just a caved in piece of bone. She had dealt with him long enough and although she knew a mother shouldn’t feel this way about a child, Mercy was glad he was dead.
Steven had been nothing but trouble since the day he was born. Colic and constant crying when he was a baby gave way to irregular sleeping hours and a diagnosis of a mild to moderate level of retardation as a child. The boy was a chore. Mercy had always had to keep one eye on him all the time.
As a teenager he had become prone to violent outbursts and intense rage. She had been on the wrong end of his fists many times. As an adult, Mercy had waited for the day when the police would knock on her door to inform her that Steven had been arrested for something unspeakable. That day was yesterday.
Two strapping police officers arrived on Mercy’s front porch at five to ten at night. Steven had been picked up in a laneway, blood sodden, in front of him the violated body of a seventeen year old girl. She knew that it would happen; it was just a matter of when. She had caught Steven watching her in the shower and had belted him black and blue. That hadn’t deterred him. It reached the point where Mercy would lock him in his bedroom while she showered, for fear that something beyond thought would happen. She didn’t want to take the risk; Steven was too big, too strong to fight off if he wanted his way. But she couldn’t protect every woman in the world. Sooner or later it would happen – Steven would happen.
. . . To be continued . . .