78 comments

Creative Nonfiction Sad Crime

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

“Hello, my name’s Maggie.”


“Hello, Maggie!”


“Like most of you, I’m a victim of abuse. I understand what this process involves is sharing my story with others at tonight’s ASCA meeting. I know this is one of the steps we all have to take within this Adult Survivors of Child Abuse support group. I’m sure everyone who’s attended any of these meetings before, and since it’s my first time, knows how hard that is for me to do.”


“Thank you for sharing, Maggie!”


“So, here goes… I’d climbed up behind my boyfriend, Joey, on his motorcycle, and we rode away on the bike that night. Full of fear and fright; doubts I quelled by telling myself goin’ anywhere’s better than here.


Joey says ‘Maggie, we’ll go chase rainbows, and see what’s beyond this dead-end road’. Then, kick-starting the bike, we roared off into the darkness. I can still remember, and feel, that starlight wind blowing my hair. And with my arms wrapped tight ‘round Joey’s waist, we were on the road, a road to anywhere…

 

My mom was probably still sprawled out on the floor, half-conscious, that night; moaning and weeping, blood leaking from her busted lips, trying to rationalize that this was just life with pops. But that life didn’t have to be mine, anywhere was better than there


See, my mother’s man was violent and dangerous – short-fused – always about to explode. And no matter how often the same shit show had happened before, like moths to a flame, mom was drawn and attracted to him. Regardless of the many, many times her wings were left burnt, singed, and broken, ‘cause of him and what he did to me and mama.


But that’s all in the past now, years ago; so many men have passed through my life. A few I cared for, some bad, or worse, but none left a hurt on me like mom’s ol’ man. See, real reason I ran away from home, papa was creepin’ in my room at night, and my mother knew somethin’ just wasn’t right. So simply to be not there - I left home for anywhere


And even though I’d thought I got away, I never truly escaped. Ay, now there’s the Shakespearean-like Hamlet rub, right? At the end of every single day, what difference does it make where you are when you can no longer love; establish long-term lasting relationships with anyone; fully trust your family, friends, and lovers – or actually, anyone at all? Do you know what I mean?”


“Yes, we do! Yes, yes, yes!”


“When mama’s man broke my wings way back when, at an early age, that damn SOB also crushed my heart for good. That prick left a pain I carry every step of the way, each and every day since, ‘cause he did to his daughter what no daddy ever should do. I wasn’t only violated – I was ruined for life when it came to relationships.


Next, if you can fast-forward with me going on some twenty years ago after that night, to a time and place when and where I married me this fella, then y’all’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about standing up here in front of youse tonight here at this ASCA meet.


He, who I guess I’d now say is currently my ex-husband, well, he never hit me or anything, but just couldn’t keep it in his pants. That horny tomcat would dirty dance ‘hind my back – but hah, so much for romance! It hurt me deep down bad, but he never ever even cared, I imagine.


Look, I want to say I’m truly sorry for what I’m about to share next. Perhaps it has nothing to do with rape, incest, or abuse, but maybe it does. Well, I certainly think so, so I hope it’s alright to share it with the room.”


“Share, share, share, share, share, share, share, share!”


“Okay, now a’days my doctor says I’m sick with cancer, and there’s not a helluva a lot that they can do for me anymore. And when that husband heard, he just cut bait, leaves me to never come back – and that’s that for the unhappy marriage. Don’t know where that cheatin’ bastard went, except away from me and my problems. That dude’s just another sorry soul on the run who ran away to anywhere, then simply disappeared


He’s probably shackin’ up with some dumb young thing that’ll wake up one morning to find he done the very same thing he done to me, to her. You know, I pity that girl ‘cause I don’t think she done nothing ‘gainst me. Damn, for all I know, that poor, dumb broad most likely never ever knew he was married while he was a’bangin, her booty in some fleabag cheap motel that lets rooms by the hour, ya know.


Now, I don’t have long here on this Earth, but I’m fine with that. I’ve made my peace best as I can, my friends. Not sure where I go when my life ends but does anyone really know? All I know for sure is it felt like a heavy stone I’d been carrying on my back all these years has been lifted by y’all listening to my miserable life story. It truly does, and I thank y’all – but I believe I won’t be back here for another meet with you. You see, yet again, I’ve got that wanderer’s gnarling, hungry feeling for the road to ‘anywhere’s’. For wherever f’ing anywhere is, it’s got to be f’ing better than the here where I been feelin’ I’m at again.


So after this meetin’ I’m gonna walk until I find me some highway, stick out my thumb. And if finally, some car slows down, and the driver says to me ‘Come inside, it’s cold out there, where ya going, dear?’ I’m not gonna just tell him – oh no – I’mma gonna plead, ‘Mister, or ma’am, please just drive to far away. To anywhere, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere better than here!’ Thanks, I really mean it, and God bless…”


February 18, 2023 22:50

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

78 comments

Viga Boland
20:26 Feb 19, 2023

Oh boy Stevie…you really got me with this one, especially since I was abused by my father for 11 years. I ended up writing a memoir titled “No Tears for my Father”…it’s on my Amazon page…but it took till I was 65 to tell anyone, including my dear hubby. We’d been married over 40 years by then. Seems you and I have a lot in common in other areas. My younger daughter is a singer/songwriter who has performed internationally. Being intricately involved in her career, your lyrical approach to this fabulous piece of writing really resonated wit...

Reply

Stevie B
23:00 Feb 19, 2023

Thank you, Viga, for your insightful comment. I really believe there are so many topics we've swept under the rug that really require discussion. It's wonderful to see you support you daughter's artistic goals as apposed to how my family embraced my own. As per your request: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CovFIIKABrn/ Also you may enjoy and share with your daughter my latest creative pet project: https://www.youtube.com/@StevieBConcertSeries Keep on creating, be kind to others, and do good always, my friend!

Reply

Viga Boland
23:38 Feb 19, 2023

Thanks Steve for link to your IG account. I hope you’ll check out my IG account posts too. You might enjoy “meeting” my daughter, Victoria there too where you can listen to her recent rendering of “Imagine” and an original, “Under Covers” performed with her guitarist husband, producer and music director for FirstNote Entertainment in Florida. And of course, we’ll che k out your concert series.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Lily Finch
14:53 Feb 19, 2023

Hey Stevie B, Cool story about a poor young lady who lives with a physical and sexual abuser. Something nobody should have to go through or see between one parent to another. That is the worst part of an abuser's abuse. It sticks with the victim long after the abuse is over; the abuser never thinks about it again most likely. (Bastards). Defenceless young girls in their own homes where they are supposed to feel safe! Such a rotten, vile creature to do something so disgusting and wrong to a child who is going through puberty becoming a woman ...

Reply

Viga Boland
20:31 Feb 19, 2023

Hey Lily…fancy meeting you here. I guess it’s through you that Stevie found me. Reedsy is becoming more interesting to me by the day. See the note I left him and you’ll know why this story of his hit me hard.

Reply

Lily Finch
04:26 Feb 20, 2023

Hi Viga, I can't see it. Weird. LF6.

Reply

Viga Boland
13:48 Feb 20, 2023

Have to go to his submission where all the comments show up at the end of his story

Reply

Lily Finch
14:59 Feb 20, 2023

Hi Viga, it won't allow me to open the thread. LF6.🙅🏼‍♂️

Reply

Viga Boland
15:51 Feb 20, 2023

All comments are showing on my end if I’m logged in and go to the submission page here: https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/3u18x1/

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Stevie B
15:48 Feb 19, 2023

Lily, thanks for the heads-up on the quotation marks - believe it's fixed now. What I found equally upsetting in addition to the abuse Maggie endured during her miserable life was the way her husband dumped her after the cancer diagnosis. I believe the reason she opened up to me during our weekly tracking calls was we both were outcasts from our childhood homes, and thus felt that connection of shared experiences. On our last call over a decade ago she told me I may be coordinating with a new music director from now on because it was just ti...

Reply

Lily Finch
15:55 Feb 19, 2023

Oh, Stevie B, I am so sorry. It's so hard to miss someone like that. I can empathize. Yeah, deadbeat, disgusting ass of a husband who calls himself a man. A real man would have remained by her side. I totally agree with you. LF6.

Reply

Stevie B
16:53 Feb 19, 2023

Human nature, IMHO, has always been the biggest threat to our environment.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 2 replies
02:23 Feb 19, 2023

That's a real roller coaster. Wasn't quite sure which way this was going.. you def captured the schadenfreude of the audience when they started chanting "share share share" or is there a better word for bonding through shared experiences of misery? Loved the voice of the narrators...not sure where that accent is from but could really picture the character. Wasn't sure where this brainstorm came from and then I read your comment and then it all makes sense. Thanks for putting it out there..

Reply

Stevie B
13:34 Feb 19, 2023

Maggie was someone who frequently moved around during her life, so her speech pattern was influenced and inflected by the colloquialisms, idioms, and dialects of where she'd lived for short periods of time (something I picked up on during our weekly calls). The genesis of this story began on Friday when I awoke from a dream where I saw Maggie's entire life played out in the way she'd conveyed it over the phone. Most vivid was how the dream opened: Maggie riding off in the night atop her boyfriend's motorcycle. The imagery psyched me out so I...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Stevie B
23:03 Feb 18, 2023

AUTHOR'S NOTE: During my M-F/9-5 corporate gig, I plug records to program/music directors at radio stations. Sometimes friendships develop, albeit, only over the phone and/or email. One such friend, a music director at a New England community station, during the course of several years' conversations, she shared with me pretty much all you've read in this tragic tale. I hope this story makes you feel uncomfortable, shocks, saddens, or angers you - it should! My major takeaway from talks my friend was the abuse in itself was bad enough - but ...

Reply

Lily Finch
18:02 Feb 21, 2023

Stevie B, Do you have a Sony connection in NYC?

Reply

Stevie B
18:30 Feb 21, 2023

It's one of the labels we work for.

Reply

Lily Finch
19:03 Feb 21, 2023

I want to use song lyrics in my story for this week, and I cannot get a hold of anyone for permission to use them. Would you happen to know someone who can help me? Their website and phone number are BUST. Answering machines and lost in cyberspace. LF6.

Reply

Stevie B
19:57 Feb 21, 2023

Sorry, don't have that info. You may try contacting The Harry Fox Agency regarding general song clearance.

Reply

Lily Finch
20:04 Feb 21, 2023

That's ok. Thanks for the tip. LF6.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Samsara Lind
09:13 Mar 02, 2023

>>My major takeaway from talks my friend was the abuse in itself was bad enough - but the scar it left on the abused, and which prevents them from ever again establishing lasting relationships - for many - could be even worse.<< >>Reality is often more interesting than fiction, albeit I'd never give up fiction since it allows us to reorganize reality the way we believe best.<< Very true on these points! And I think we are lucky as writers to be able to use our writing as outlet and perhaps as a way to make sense of things that have happene...

Reply

Stevie B
10:00 Mar 02, 2023

Thank you, Samsara. The punctuation mark problems occurred mainly when uploading the tale to the Reedsy platform, as most of my original formatting that had correct punctuation was skewed. When trying to edit it on this platform the changes were seldom saved, so I gave up on editing it here. Thought the message of the story shared was the most important element to preserve, so in frustration, decided to leave it as is. This story in it's original form will be included in my upcoming collection of short stories titled "Beneath A Lazarus Moon"...

Reply

Samsara Lind
11:34 Mar 02, 2023

I share the frustration with the Reedsy platform! Apart from original formatting that doesn't transfer over, even when I tried to put sentences in bold using the Reedsy platform in editing mode, it didn't appear in the actual page. But when I clicked edit, they were already/still in bold - I gave up. Good luck with the short stories!

Reply

Stevie B
12:46 Mar 02, 2023

Thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 2 replies
L J
15:50 Feb 25, 2023

As usual, nicely done. You covered the abuse issue very well and thankyou for making her such a strong character. Any survivors of abuse are the strongest, most courageous people ..as are cancer survivors. Her angst was very clear. She had some resentment but the best word I know is resilience and you showed this in a few words. I like how she kind of felt lost at the end but that she was able to take back control of her life and for as long as she has, she is going to live her life the way she wants! nicely done. Thank you for taking th...

Reply

Stevie B
16:21 Feb 25, 2023

L J, thank you and you're welcome. My weekly talks with Maggie were the source for this sad saga where most of the content were the actual words I heard her say during those many calls. The only addition to them was to choose the setting where she speaks them in their entirety as an abuse survivors support meeting as opposed to a series of actual phone calls from which they were culled.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Douglas W. Carr
18:10 Feb 21, 2023

The scary truth.

Reply

Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.