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by optiplex 

Posted: 01 November 2004
Word Count: 520

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

“What” I said as she looked at me. I had some recollection that I was being spoken to but was in a world of my own. I was thinking back to the good ole days, living in Central, drinking, partying and enjoying life. It seemed like a whole lifetime ago now; did it even happen at all? What I would give to be back in Hong Kong again.

“Steve!” Jane shouted at me again. “You haven’t been listening to a word I have said in the past half hour have you”? “Of course I have” I replied, lying through my teeth – the truth was that I had lost interest in anything that she said to me a long time ago. “What was I saying then?” she asked, now starting to get irritated by me, Ermm… I replied – OK, I’m sorry – what was you saying my love?

“My love” – something that you say to someone with whom you are “in love” and are happy with each other, not when your partner does nothing but constantans nags and harasses you. We stayed together because it was convenient and of course the kids…. I love the kids to bits, they are my life and I would do nothing to hurt them.

Jane looked pretty today; her mousey brown hair was tied back, her forehead exposed and a lovely ponytail running down the centre of her back. The white blouse and black knee length skirt also suited her – when she dressed like this, I could almost fancy her again

The nagging started again “you never fucking listen to me!” she started screaming at me… “I don’t know why I bother trying”. She started pacing backwards and forwards – her high heeled boots clicking on the white ceramic floor tiles. She slammed her hands down onto the counter next to the fridge and just stared at me with pure hate and anger.

“Why don’t you just walk out now?” she said to me… “You quite clearly are not interested, go out and see some friends or something… Just leave me alone for a while, Get out!”

“I don’t want to” I replied – “I am quite happy just chilling round the house.”

“Just fucking well get out” she screamed back at me again “I don’t want you around me… just leave and comeback when I am asleep or something”. She walked closer to me and continued to scream abuse – now just standing a foot or two in front of me. “Fuck off!” she yelled at me.

Suddenly – something inside of me snapped, we had this type of confrontation a thousand times before but today it hit a nerve – I could feel myself boiling up inside – this is it I thought to myself, fuck her I have had enough.

I reached over the counter, to the rack – felt my hand clench around the plastic handle – retracted the instrument from the wooden block, and then, with what felt like slow motion – I buried the bread knife into the centre of her forehead.

Silence at last…

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Comments by other Members

roger at 09:51 on 02 November 2004  Report this post
Hi Opti,

Some time ago I suggested you try prose to see if you can translate the emotion and depth that’s in your poetry to it. I’m glad I did. This is raw - from a technical point of view it needs some tidying up – I think it’s a first draft, yes? – for example, where you say things like ‘she said to me’, ‘she said’ is enough because you’re the only ones there, and there are one or two typos – eg ‘but constantans nags’. So technically, I’d suggest that you read this through slowly, a line at a time, and see where you can tighten and adjust. But, hey, I thought you’d make the switch from poetry to prose successfully, and you have. My understanding is that this is your first attempt and, on that basis, it’s very impressive. The pent up emotion is there, and it’s strong. With some prudent editing, I think it’ll be a very powerful piece of writing. I’m not sure that she really deserved the end she got, but of course that reflects the tensions that had clearly been building for a very long time….maybe a warning to people never to let things get to that stage? And finally, remember that even the pros have to edit everything they write, often many times...and for those in the early stages or writing, I think that's a very important thing to appreciate - ie don't get downhearted if it's suggested. All in all, a very impressive debut, I think.

Shadowgirl at 14:40 on 02 November 2004  Report this post
Hi Opti,

Yes the emotion in your poetry translates very well to this short story. I see Rog is taking all the credit for that (you have to watch that) but I say a well done to you too!

The suggestions made above re editing are valid ones, and I have to say my own writing is done this way - initial emotional ourpouring, gradually tided up during several later edits.

This kept me interested and could easily have read more.

Well done, Opti, please continue to write, you have a talent.


Dee at 16:32 on 03 November 2004  Report this post
Opti, I agree with Roger. This is full of emotion and you build the tension well.

But it does need editing, especially the punctuation in your dialogue. Watch out for unnecessary use of crutch words like ‘just’ and beware of the dreaded clichés:
I replied, lying through my teeth.
They’re fine in dialogue because we talk in clichés but, in your narrative, they’re to be avoided at all costs. (see how easily they slip in!)

Or you could simplify the sentence: ‘I lied.’ Is fine.

That aside, this is a very powerful piece of writing. I love the last line.


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