The Aftermath

(100-word flash fiction)

She sat down and hoisted her bruised legs onto the chair, HIS chair.  The welts were still visible.

The baby moved inside her in protest.

“Calm down, darling,” she cooed, caressing the bump, a bud waiting to spring forth.  “The storm has taken him. Forever.”

Fallen spring blossoms lay strewn around them like confetti.

“He can’t hurt us anymore. We will always be safe now.”

She felt a slight pressure under her palm. Parting her blouse, she stared down, there was the unmistakable indent of a tiny palm.

She gently lay her palm over it and high-fived her baby back.


My today’s portraiture client was a domestic violence survivor. She said she gave birth to her daughter with bruises on her body. Black-eyes were common. She still stayed for a few more years until she mustered the courage to leave. He walked out of their lives and never contacted his kids. Her eyes were beginning to well up. I had to divert her from unpleasant memories. I guess the above story is a bit of a real-life one.

Thank you Rochelle, for keeping up all going in these difficult times 🙂

 Photo prompt –

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

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24 comments on “The Aftermath

  1. A heartbreaking picture of domestic violence. If only all such survivors have the escape this woman did before a child arrives to suffer through it.

  2. I’m glad she finally escaped, just wish it hadn’t taken so long. There are reasons why a woman stays that don’t always make sense to those of us who have never had to deal with abuse. Sometimes, she simply has no money, no place to go.

  3. The damage had been done but the source could no longer hurt her. A terribly sad story given it could be true. There is far too much hate and violence out there. I like the ending, one with hope, and the high-five was great. Well done in the writing!

  4. Dear Joy, this is such a poignant story, and one that I think some will recognize for it’s truth. I know someone who’d given birth while still sporting bruises. For her the arrival of the totally helpless baby also meant a line drawn in the sand. She told the nurses in the hospital she needed a safe place. To their credit, they called a social worker, made sure to protect her, and did not let him be in the room alone with her till the police arrived. She’s a heroine in my eyes. Na’ama

  5. I bet this woman prayed every day for the storm to take her abuser. I’m glad he never returned. So sad to think of a pregnant woman being beaten but it’s not the first time I’ve heard of it happening 😦

  6. A poignant write on a very intense issue that plagues so many to this day.
    The high 5 between mom and baby brought tears. Sweet innocent life knows how much momma is suffering. Exceptional write, Dora.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Be Safe 😷 … Isadora 😎

  7. You’ve told your moving story very well. I like the way you illustrate the completeness of the abuser’s disappearance by having the young woman put her feet up on his chair – an excellent symbol.

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