This story contains graphic/sensitive themes, including:
sexual elements, mentions of death/loss, stalking, and domestic violence/abuse.
I ask you to please take your mental health seriously and use your own discretion as needed, skipping parts if you need. Each episode that includes such themes will have a warning included at the beginning.
If you or a loved one are dealing with domestic abuse, please reach out for help at the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at
The lights dimmed. I held on tight to my little Max, holding his mouth closed, peeking out of the crack in the closet, praying help would come before he found us. Thunderous footsteps marched up the stairs towards us. My other hand tightly clutched onto my pistol. I prayed I didn’t have to pull the trigger, but I had to protect my son.
My body froze, and I felt my gut churning and chest burning. “Ember.” His venomous voice spat. “Come out, come out wherever you are.” I shut my eyes tight, holding back the tears. “Maxi! Where you at, bud?” I held my son closer. Even though he recognized the voice, he remembered the pain the monster put us through. No child should ever have to see what that monster did.
If only…if only my husband were alive, this would have never happened. If only I hadn’t yearned for the touch of a man again. If only I hadn’t felt so alone. If only I wasn’t scared of falling in love again. If only I hadn’t fallen into a monster’s trap. Then, maybe…just maybe, we would be safe.
*CRASH, BOOM, BANG*
The monster was becoming angry, breaking what little we had left. The sounds of drywall crumbling and glass breaking echoed in the closet. Unfortunately, we became all too used to the sounds during the brief time he was here. Max held onto me tight, burying his face in my chest. What kind of mother am I? Bringing this monster into our lives, I need to protect my baby.
I searched the closet for any place I could hide him, then I remembered…the vent!
“Shush, baby. It’s going to be alright.” I whispered to my son, standing on a box, and loosening the vent cover. “Make it to Tyler’s apartment. Stay safe, baby.” I hoisted Max and asked him to make the same journey he’d made before, and I saw him cry as he didn’t want to leave his mother. I wiped away his tears. “I promise everything will be okay, baby. Go get help.” Taking one last look at him, I blew my son a kiss. “I love you, Maxi Bear.” With that, I closed the vent. It was the only way I could protect him. I just prayed it would not be the last time I saw him.
Gripping onto my gun, I stay in the closet. Sweat poured down my body as the adrenaline took over. Now that Max is safe, I have one mission: to stay alive for my son. The monster wants me, not him.
“Ember, baby. Just come out and let’s talk.” The monster slurred his words, drunk as usual. “I love you, sweetheart. I’ll change, I’m sorry.” He will never change.
I stayed silent, listening to where the stomping was coming from. This upset the monster even more.
“I said come out!” His voice changed back to pure evil. “You are mine! After I’m done with you, your little fuck boy, Tyler, is next!” He let out an evil chuckle. Smashing another hole in the wall.
The footsteps moved closer. I held my finger on the trigger, ready to shoot, tucking my body under a pile of clothes, praying he wouldn’t see me.
The air was sucked out of the room; I tried my hardest to quiet my breathing. The pile of stale clothes smelling of my love spell perfume clung to my sweat, yet I stay still, curled up as small as possible. Begging for help to arrive before it’s too late. My limbs fell asleep, pressed against the hard floor. I shut my eyes tight, constricting my muscles as the footsteps entered the room.
My heart dropped as the sound of the closet creaking open filled my ears. Holding my breath, I froze. The monster slammed the closet shut again; I didn’t move a muscle. Relief fell over my body…I don’t think he saw me.
Just then, the monster ripped my arm upwards, out of the pile of clothes. “Found you, princess.” The monster laughed, pulling my arm towards him.