Fear of Friday

There was a dime of sunlight on the living room floor, and Elani tried to grab it with her fingers; it was a shimmering daub that spilled out from between the bunched curtains. Eldridge demanded darkness when he came home from work. He suffered from headaches, and the smallest swad of light bothered him.

Efrim sat on the floor beside Elani, rolling a toy truck back and forth, being quiet about it, and their mother stood in the middle of the kitchen, staring at the clock. Eldridge was never late coming home Friday night. He’d come in, cradling a case of beer in one arm, and his lunch bucket dangling from his scarred fingers. They could tell right away, all three of them, how it was going to go. The expression on his face was the barometer for the night, or by the way he shut the door. A string of blasphemies sometimes preceded, before the door had a chance to latch. When it was bad, his temper filled the house like burly smoke. No smiles or hugs could subdue him. To Efrim, it felt like living with a bundle of dynamite. When the clock ticked 5:02, they heard the Pinto pull into the driveway, and their bellies tightened.


8 thoughts on “Fear of Friday

  1. familyrulesbyplainjane February 7, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    This is really well done. It gives me the willies as I sometimes work with abuse victims (present) and often work with folks in the aftermath of abuse. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. D. Wallace Peach February 10, 2016 / 12:08 am

    So dark and real, Steven. I used to work with kids from those households. You capture the waiting tension well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steven Baird February 10, 2016 / 1:10 am

    Thanks, D. It’s a more personal story than I planned. Not quite autobiographical, but there is a familiarity. I think this is going to be a large and ambitious undertaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. millie schmidt February 16, 2016 / 12:22 am

    my sister works with troubled kids from abusive homes and I always wonder what the poor kids have gone through. Very chilling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s