The Power of Angels

 

I sit, poised for flight if necessary. Oh, I know running will only make it worse, but at least it will delay the inevitable. If by some miracle, I can dodge him long enough...

He is standing barely a foot away from me, leaning down to bellow in my face. I try not to flinch as he grabs my chin in his hand, to make sure I don't turn my head. As badly as I want to look away, I don't dare. My hands are balled into tight,small fists. The nails are biting into my palms, but I don't relax them. This pain is one I understand unlike the one that is coming. I try to focus on the shelf that holds my mother's collection of angels. Some are quite large and heavy, some only the size of a thimble. I can almost see it over his shoulders...

I see anger and disgust roll like thunder clouds across his face. "Huh, bitch? What's your F***in' excuse this time!?" Spittle hits my face from his mouth. I search for an answer, but I have no idea what my 'crime' is this time. I see the large hand pull back, as it connects with my cheek I fall sideways. I learned a long time ago, it hurts less to go WITH the blow, then to be still. For a second I am free of his grasp, and it is not lost to me. I hit the hard linoleum with a soft 'umph', exhaling the air from my lungs so that the wind isn't knocked out of me, and roll at almost the same second. I jump to my feet, and am sprinting, for the back door.

If I can make the fence and get over it... He won't follow me there... Beyond the fence lies safety...

I can hear him crashing along behind me. He is so much bigger then me, his stride three of mine, but I have the adrenalin of fear pumping my legs. As I run my arms stretch out in front of me, grabbing invisible fistfuls of air, as if this will help propel me forwards. I see the chain link fence looming up, I jump, scrambling, the holes providing holds for my feet. He is right behind me, I feel his hand ensnare an ankle. "NO!" I lash backwards, kicking him. Glancing back I see him clutching his face as I drop to the other side. "That's gonna cost," I think as I drop over. I hear him scream my words back at me, adding Bitch to it, as if that's my name.

I don't stop running, not until I've squeezed through the wrought iron fence that represents sanctuary for me. Not until I am amongst the tombstones of the cemetery. There I slow to a jog, then a walk, waiting for the jack hammering of my heart to quiet down. I see the statue of the angel and lie beneath the shadow of her wings. Safety. He won't dare come here. He has this phobia about cemeteries, or maybe he hasn't figured out this is where I come. I don't rightly know or care. 

I hug the cool grass with my body, and allow my tears to come. 

This part of the cemetery is old and no longer in use, so I've no fear of being seen and questioned.. After a bit, I sit up and lean against the base of the angel. Looking up, I see her beatific, eternal smile. I smile back, wondering if this is how my mother looks. I barely remember her. I was only five when she left us. That was ten years ago. I frown a bit, and tell myself she never would have left me with Jack if she had known what was to take place... I remember him telling me, that I'd have to take her place. ' Be a woman,' is how he put it... I was only five, but I sensed even then it wasn't right. Now at fifteen, I KNEW it was wrong. But I was too ashamed to tell anyone. "It's simple, don't go back," a soft sweet voice speaks.

I know it's my angel, and I smile up at her cemented features. "Stay here forever? With you?" I whisper out loud, while my heart pleads for her to say yes. Oh! Please say 'Yes'! She doesn't answer me...we both know I can't do that. Cemeteries aren't for the living. .. are they?

I sit there for hours, dozing off and on. Dreaming of my mother and my 'real' dad, whom I never knew, but had to be aces over Jack. The haze of dusk had settled in, when I opened my eyes. I stretched, feeling the sun's warmth still in the stone.

Here I was safe, but back there... There being Jack's house. How many times had he told me it was his? Even though my mother had left it to me? How much had he taken from me? Anger was replacing my hurt. I looked up at my angel. Why should I just let him have everything? It wasn't fair! I spent the night there, listening to the angel whisper a plan to me...all I had to really do is believe in the power of Angels.

Early the next morning, I slipped into the house. I didn't have to search for him, his snoring vibrated from the sofa. Dried blood from his nose had caked on his face. I assume that was from my kick the day before, and I smile a bit in satisfaction. Scanning the shelf that ran above the length of the sofa, I see it's leaning even a bit more than before. I had warned Jack that it was coming loose from its moorings, but as usual he had told me to stop my nagging. Above his head, is Mom's heaviest Angel, meant to be a garden ornament, crafted of heavy marble, it weighs maybe ten pounds. 

Jack moves, snorting in his sleep. I swallow hard. "Believe in the power of angels," I whisper softly to myself. I pick up the dusting rag, from under the coffee table, and climb up on the arm at the other end of the sofa. One by one I wipe dust from the Angels leaning on the shelf to reach, I feel it giving under my weight - then a horrendous crash as oaken shelf and Angels rain down on Jack.

The wings of the marble statue pierces his skull, and I smile... That's the power of angels.

 

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