Summary: An abusive husband has gone missing.
For the prompts “This is your fault”, “Blood is thicker than water”, and genre: horror
Warnings: offscreen character death, references to domestic violence
“It’s nice your sister has come to stay with you,” the police officer said, after apologising that the latest lead, a sighting of her husband in a casino, had not panned out.
When she first reported him missing the police weren’t that interested in looking for him. He was an adult male prone to disappearing off for long weekends and coming home with other women’s lipstick on his shirt or a black eye for getting into a bar fight.
Oddly he never beat up other women. Perhaps he was afraid they’d fight back or report him. She never did. “This is your fault,” he always said, and he had a hundred reasons why (she didn’t have sex with him enough, she made him angry, she deserved to be kept in line). Nor could she leave him (he swore he would hunt her down and kill her slowly).
When her sister visited and saw her black eye, though, she knew things were going to change. Two weeks later, once her injuries were – for a time – healed, her sister had returned with a suitcase and a toolbox. Like a dutiful wife, she had cooked and when he’d come home, the two women sat him for a nice long chat.
She’d let him isolate her from her family and friends, and it was only her sister’s sudden determination to build bridges that had saved her. Blood, they said, was thicker than water. Perhaps it was true. But enough water and bleach had finally gotten the kitchen floor clean.
The lilac bushes should do well this year.