#52weeks52stories: Week 46
Word prompt: smack
Word count – 414
Reading time – 1 mins, 43 secs
Frozen in Time, Part II
Vance Gwynn was a mountain of a man who used his bulk to intimidate his wife, Luci.
When his size and words failed, he pummeled her plus-size body with his massive fists.
Luci not only took the beatings, but she’d also always apologize and promise to be a better wife.
She shielded and protected him from law enforcement and concerned neighbors and praised him to their three children.
To no avail.
By the time Petra was eight, she had a deep, soul-wrenching hatred for her father, as did her two older brothers, Arnold and Leonard.
Vance saved the physical abuse for Luci, visiting verbal and psychological tirades on his children instead.
Regardless of how much they grew, the Gwynn children only received new school clothes every other year. Their ill-fitting apparel made Petra and her brothers the targets of abuse and bullying at school. The thrift store items Luci bought to bolster their wardrobe only worsened their plight.
Birthdays and Christmas weren’t recognized, and Vance’s practice of destroying any gifts sent by extended family ceased the flow of gifts… and communication.
The siblings grew closer, bound by their misery, their confusion about their mother’s complacency, and their intense hatred for their father.
At the end of his last year in junior high, Leonard received an engraved plaque for maintaining a perfect 4.0-grade point average—the only one in the district at the junior high level. He was on-track to receive multiple scholarships for college.
He beamed with pride when he presented the award to his mother that evening. Leonard refused to allow her blatant indifference to steal his joy.
Vance took care of that.
Snatching the plaque from Luci’s hands, he banged it against the kitchen sink then dropped it in the trash.
“Stop acting like a girl. It’s just a hunk of wood and means nothing. You’ll still end up cleaning hubcaps down at Remington Car Wash… you and your brother. That’s all you’re good for.”
Standing at just under six-feet-tall, Leonard was bigger than most of the boys in his ninth-grade class, but he was almost a hundred pounds smaller than his father.
Still, his murderous glare that followed Vance as he sauntered from the kitchen both scared and excited Petra.
She didn’t want her brother to get hurt, but had he grabbed a knife from the butcher block and ran after their father, she wouldn’t have stopped him.
Just as she couldn’t stop herself two weeks later.
To be continued…