" It's Your World, I'm Just Living In It " Flash Fiction

She'd hid her bruises from her neighbors long enough.

Morris pleaded with his wife Helen, " Don't leave me hanging. I need to know, are you going to stay or leave? This back-and-forth has gone on long enough. You threatening to leave, then changing your mind has got to stop. "

Helen was shaking with fear, but took a deep breath and managed to utter that this time was no threat. She'd packed her bag for the last time, and was waiting for the right time to tell him, but it seemed there was never a right time. Each time she tried to tell him his off-the-wall remark left her cold and more afraid.

" It's your world, I'm just living in it. "

She'd hid the bruises and lacerations from her neighbors, staying inside for days at a time until healing occurred.

Each episode he begged her for forgiveness, making excuses like, " I'm under a lot of stress at work, or it's your fault, you provoke me. "

Morris was the most considerate man when she first met him. He showered her with lavish gifts and took her to places she'd only dreamed about.

He was a partner in a law firm that was considered the best in New York City and beyond. He was a driven man who fought harder when he heard the word, " No "

They had just reached their second wedding anniversary. Helen had wanted children at first, now, she thanked God that he refused to even discuss the possibility.

She knew he would find her wherever she went, but she had to try.

The only family she had was her mother's sister, aunt Marie who lived in Arizona. Aunt Marie had begged her to leave him and come live with her and that's what she was planning.

After Morris left for work on Monday morning she quickly got dressed and took her packed bag down from where she'd hidden it, and called a cab to take her to the airport. When she saw the cab arrive she grabbed her bag and made a-mad-dash to open the door. When she was seated a voice said, " Where to Ma'am? " She gasped, realizing it was Morris wearing a cabbie cap and jacket. She started to cry hysterically. The last words she heard were, " It's your world, I'm just living in it. "

The onlookers watched in horror as he floorboarded the gas pedal and deliberately steered toward the Manhattan Bridge overlooking the East River.

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Comments 58 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Ruby - Wow. A shriek of terror. Did you hear it?


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Well that was really well done. Kind of took my breath away.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 months ago from southern USA

Whoa, Ruby, you kept up the suspenseful pace on this quite well, and it does leave one with a horrific gasp!

Well done.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Ruby, you just keep getting better and better with your flash fiction stories. This was chilling, and very realistic. Kudos and hugs on a job so well done. :-)


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 months ago from london

Brilliant Flash! Poor woman! Terrible man! Well orchestrated plot.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Mike. I was watching ' Who Wants To Be A Millionaire ' this contestant was stumped on a question and asked her husband to help her, she asked him if he knew the correct answer and he said, " It's your world, I'm just living in it. " I thought that was so strange and couldn't get rid of it. It kept coming back, so my muse had to write something, so in a way I did hear it. lol. Thank you...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Eric. Mission accomplished if it took your breath away. I was hoping for a shock ending. Thank you...


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

I love it....great ending, so much packed into such a small package. You are a force to be reckoned with in flash fiction, my friend.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Theresa. I was hoping for a gasp. I had fun writing this, but I wouldn't wish Morris on anyone. Thank you for supporting anything I try to write.

Hugs..


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 months ago from Central Florida

Wow, Ruby. Short and terrifying! She should never have told Morris she was going to leave him. Now she'll live with him eternally with no escape.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Genna, your comments are always so encouraging, I'm smiling BIG time. I love writing flash fiction. I blame Frank for turning me on to the excitement. Thank you so much....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Manatita, so happy you liked the plot. Thank goodness for good men in the world like you. My sister was married to a man with similar attributes, she left him and found happiness with a wonderful man. Thank you for coming to read my flash....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Bill, my your comment is so appreciated, and coming from a writer who is one of the best, humbles and makes me proud to be a writer. Thank you much...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi Shauna. I agree. I guess he hit her so many times she wasn't thinking straight. What a horrible thought to be destined to spend eternity with the monster. Thank goodness it is only fiction!!!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago

Oh wow! my gem of a friend, this sounds like something my ex would have done. I was told he use to sneak out of work, he worked nights and sit in the car out side to see if anyone was coming or leaving our apartment. I never told him I knew about him watching our apartment.

Your story is sad, but great.

Blessings my dear friend.

No, Shauna, as soon as they hit the water, she is going up and he is going down.

Blessings dear friend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

Wow Ruby it is so strange where our inspiration comes from, isn't it? I can understand why that line stuck with you, and what a powerful and shocking ending. Well done.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 months ago from Shelton

damn what an ending.. blew me out of the water always exploring... loved it!!!!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Your story brings up my anger and protectiveness...very well written in the aspect of promoting such a wide range of reactions.

You and your muse make a great team! Love ya and can't wait until your next, mar


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 2 months ago from Nibiru

she should get a rifle. good one my friend


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Shyron, I didn't know you had to live like that. That must be why we connect so well. I went through the same thing. Jealousy is like a cancer that spreads until there's nothing left but fear and the need to get away. God bless my poetic friend...


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Interesting from beginning to end.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi John. It is strange how something you hear or read inspires one to write. That line wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it down, then the story almost wrote itself. I'm glad you liked my story. Thank you...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Frank. I'm so glad it blew you out of the water. ( and you didn't drown. ) I am always thrilled when you like something I've written. Thank you...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Mar. What can I say except thank you? I don't think I've written a story that you haven't read and encouraged me every step of the way. Your friendship through the years has been precious. Here's to many more my sweet friend...


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Ruby......First I felt nervous, then I got angry, then I held my breath and I'm still in shock over the ending!! So many emotions in such a short story. Great job!! You're really good, girl!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Dana, I'm happy it was interesting for you. Thanks for coming by. I appreciate you.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Wow Paula, I am honored to receive such a great critique of my story. I love to write something that stirs the emotions. You're very kind. Thank you so much.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago

No Clive not a rifle, my mom had a shotgun and it got her a broken nose.

"When a Gun For Protection Becomes a Liability!" when she tried to prevent my aunt's husband from beating his son, who was a child at the time.

I wasn't big enough to fight him or I would have fought.

Ruby this a great hub.


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very thrilling and shocking, Ruby. I pity those women who get tortured by their men. It's too much. Very dreadful ending. I appreciate your muse.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Clive. I missed your comment somehow. Most women do not have the courage to protect themselves after living with an abuser. She made the biggest mistake by telling him she was leaving. There are shelters for women like her. As always I'm happy to see you...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi again Shyron. It appears that you had more than one abuser in the family? I did too. My stepfather was an alcoholic and when he got drunk he would hit my mother. I remember waking up about 2 in the morning at a loud bang, when I was 4, I ran into the living room to see my mother's head print in the wall. I remember her holding my hand and walking blocks to the police station and the police taking us home and arresting him. He worked for the railroad and was kind and took good care of us until he got drunk. There was something about alcohol that changed him into a monster. Thank goodness she finally left him but it took a long time. Thanks again for adding to this story..Hugs..


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Ven. I really never understood why any woman would take abuse for a long period of time but it happens. I'm glad you like my muse. I will tell her. ( Smiling ) Thank you..


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 months ago from England

Oh my God! that ending! it reminded of those thrillers on tv, when the last twist makes you cringe and not forget it for ages! well done ruby!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Nell. I'm so glad you liked my horror story. I guess we'd better look closely when the cab arrives. lol..Thank you....


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

seeing Morris in a cabbie cap was the key point in that linkage of phrases that got me hooked.

This type of writing is not only interesting, but fun to delve into and not come out on the other side confused.

Well done. I sincerely mean that.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Kenneth. It's so nice to see you on my page. I'm so glad you enjoyed my story. Thank you for coming by.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 months ago from Dubai

What an ending, the poor woman, caught again by the monster man. Did not see that coming. Great write.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, always exploring,

And here I am once again.

I forgot to ask you if you have written any fictional adventure books? The text in this hub is pretty much set much like that of the text structure in a book.

If you have written a book, may I have one? Or buy one?

I just love how you lace your text with adventurous phrasings that only make me want to read more.

Peace.

Write to me anytime.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Vellur. He was a monster man for sure. I am pleased when the ending surprises the reader. Thank you for coming by...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Kenneth. Thank you for the sweet compliments. No, I have never written a book. I really do not have a desire to do all the work it takes to get a book published, but I do enjoy writing short stories and poetry. Thank you for coming back to reread. I am honored!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

I find that your comments are only an extension of yourself--so warm, caring and tender in your life and your hubs.

I was the one who was honored to read your work and please keep it up.

Write me anytime.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Thank you again Kenneth. Your comment made me smile BIG time. When someone is honored to read my work, it makes me a happy camper. Cheers my friend...


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

Just shared this hub with my followers and I think that they will enjoy it as much as I did.

You have yourself a quiet, restful night, my dear friend.

And write to me anytime.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Thank you for sharing my hub. So happy you enjoyed reading my fiction.

Cheers my friend


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

My dear friend and follower . . . it was all MY pleasure. I feel that although I may not reach "that" level of success as some hubbers do, I want one, maybe all of my followers to know success as if it were their second nature.

Cheers to you, always exploring.

Have a peaceful day.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Kenneth, you are a good writer. I bet you could write a good fiction story. Why not give it a try. I, for one, will gladly read it. Thank you for following me. I will follow you when you begin to write. Until then, peace and joy my writer friend...


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

"A Sincere THANK YOU for the sweet compliments. Funny you should mention writing fiction stories. In 1999 a friend (who lived in Memphis) and I joined a partnership to write a work of fiction.

I would write one or two chapters and email them to her. Then given a reasonable length of time, she would email her additions back to me and so on and so on.

I did my part. And loved it. But her uncle and aunt in Texas left her and her brother in their will and they inherited a ton of cash, so she moved to Missouri and stopped talking to me. I will wonder why to this day.

I did call and leave numerous messages and did send her enough emails to fill a warehouse, but no response.

That jaded me and jaded me GOOD.

Since that time I have not had the desire to write any disciplined works of fiction in book length, but you do not need to let my defeat affect your decision. I truly believe that you could handle it.

And back to HP. God willing, I will return on Oct. 27, that will be my one month "break," and I will look for your following.

And thanks sincerely ahead of time.

God bless you richly, my true friend.

Kenneth


always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Kenneth, that was a terrible way to treat a friend. I'm sorry that happened to you. I was not talking about writing a book. I meant writing a short story. I have zero interest in writing a book, but I love writing short , or flash fiction stories, especially with an unexpected twist ending. See you on Oct. the 27th...Cheers...


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

I know and I appreciate your understanding in my dilemma, but "I" wanted to hold up my part of our deal and thank God, I did. And even a year or so later, I saw her on Facebook and tried a friendly approach to find out what happened and she never answered.

Now she is not on Facebook at all. It occurred to me that if this girl ever tries to get on HP, unless she has experienced a dramatic change in her character, I will not form an alliance with her and you should not either. Just thought that I would give you a heads up.

And I do appreciate your honesty about not writing a book, but flash fiction and short stories. I can relate to that. I have two favorite literary icons: J.D. Salinger, "A Catcher in The Rye," and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the "Father of Gonzo Journalism." Hunter had style all of his own and he was a successful writer of books, short stories, speaking engagements, but bless his soul, he had such an alcohol and drug addiction that he once said, "If I could remember what I wrote I would enjoy it more."

At least he was honest. Yes, God willing, always exploring, I will look forward to seeing you on Oct. 27.

Stay cool and keep hubbing.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Kenneth. It has always been a puzzle to me that so many of the great writers and poets were alcoholics, I'm thinking of Ernest Hemmingway. I loved everything he wrote. See you soon...


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 7 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

You are so right. It was a puzzle about Thompson, Hemmingway and other literary icons.

I have never uncovered anything like alcoholic in Salinger's bio. Loved all of their works.

Yes, God willing, see you on Oct. 27 . . .Peace.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Kenneth, I think the most famous great writers who were known alcoholics-- Stephen King, Jack London, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Edgar Allen Poe, Dorothy Parker, O. Henry and Tennessee Williams. I'm sure there were more. I find that so sad...

Peace..


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 7 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

Yes, it is so sad. Just as sad was the singers, musicians, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, who not just dabbled into the drug culture, but lived in it. And we both know the sad result.

I have always advocated "why?"

"Why, these few-but-talented people were gifted of God to play guitars, pianos, write songs and have throngs of people hang on their every word only to turn to wasting their talents on drugs, alcohol and other vices?"

To this date, I have not got a believable answer.

Or no answer to be honest.

But as for me, I have literally begged God for years for ONE gift of music, maybe playing my guitar which I love and not for riches or fame. Just to sit and play by myself. That would be sufficient.

Or maybe ONE gift from The Holy Spirit as mentioned in one of my future hubs (coming after Oct. 27--my return to HP), and no answer yet. I have been praying since 1993 for this spiritual gift and the guitar talent for as far back as 1974.

But now at my age and physical condition, Ruby, I am growing more weary by the day. I have to be honest with you.

I am a prisoner of this Fresh Diet my cardiologist put me on after my bout with congestive heart failure last November, so now on top of the very painful Accelerated Fibromyalgia, and the departure of my only daughter in February of this year. She was just 39. She is with Our Lord even as I speak and I am at peace with that.

But I have to wonder, by not being happy in the not getting answers about my guitar or spiritual gift and now this burdensome diet that places me as an outcast when dining with friends, which I stopped for I cannot stand to be outside looking in. Can you?

My question would be, "I wonder if since there is little happiness or fulfillment in my life in any area, if I were to just "check out," and be in eternity where there is peace for me and leave this frustrated maze behind?

The basic reason, and I've never told you, that I write for HP is to bury myself in work so I can harvest a meager amount of peace in my stories and not focus on the other dismal situations in my life.

Now do you understand my publishing so many hubs?

I am glad to be able to trust you with ALL of this comment for it is the truth.

Just pray for me. This is a simple request. I would appreciate it, my dear, trusted friend, Ruby Jean.

P.S. I love your name.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

Kenneth, I didn't know you lost a daughter, I am so sorry. I also didn't know you had a health problem. Yes, I can understand why you wrote so many hubs. I know when I'm writing any problem goes out the window. Writing has always been a catharsis for me and I know it is for you too. Please do not give up. Life is precious and we never know what God has in store for us. About the guitar, I have always wanted to play one too, isn't that a hoot. I've also wanted to play the piano, so I guess we both will have to settle for writing. You are in my prayers Kenneth. God bless you and I'm glad you like my name. When I was born my Mother had a girl named Ruby Shane who helped her do housework, etc. I asked my mother why she didn't name me Ruby Shane because I loved the name Shane and she told me that she liked Jean better, so sense she was the boss I didn't complain. lol..Peace my friend..


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 7 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring/Ruby Jean,

Thank you sincerely for your kind words. You are VERY appreciated. I should have mentioned the things in my comment to you in the beginning, but I did not want anyone to think that I was hiding behind my adversities.

I have in the past, told a few of my followers about the Fibromyalgia, and then a few about Congestive Heart Failure, but as far as I know I haven't shared about our daughter's departure.

I retrained myself to NOT use the word "lost," for I know exactly where

she is. She is enjoying the eternal peace and bliss only found in the presence of The Lamb of God.

I loved your summation about you and I and our "battles" with the guitar and piano.

May God bless you, my Good Friend, Ruby. I mean it.

Please stay in touch with me.

God willing, see you on or after Oct. 27.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

I have lost so many dear loved ones, sisters and brothers. When I think of them I like to think of them laughing together and free of pain. It's funny how our talk about the guitar has inspired me to write a fiction story about a poor family who loved an old guitar. I wrote it last night and will publish it later today. I honestly hope you are feeling better. God's blessings to you. See you soon.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 7 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

always exploring,

I am like you in this respect. I visualize my daughter, Angie, and my parents, sister, my wife's dad, mom, and three uncles along with four of my uncles all sitting around or walking around that celestial city that has no dust or violence, but clear streams, beautiful meadows of flowers of all genres, and animals that we loved as children, yes, the things taken from us in THIS life will return to us again. (This is from the Book of Joel).

I look forward to reading your story about the guitar. I know before I read it that it will be sure-fire prize-winning hub.

See you, God willing, Oct. 27.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois Author

I've read the Book Of Joel but it's been a long time, so I will read it again. It sounds beautiful! I published my story. I hope you like it. Thanks for the kind remarks about my writing. I appreciate you. Hank tight. See you soon....Cheers...

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