These groceries won't put themselves away, Mari thought looking at the counter of brown bags. This was the part she hated most about the divorce. Neil used to unload when she brought in, and vice-versa. As she put away the milk she wondered what he was doing.
Renee, no doubt. She slammed the refrigerator door bitterly. They had been friends once, before that bitch found her way into her husband's bed. Ex-husband, she reminded herself. It's over.
She folded up the brown paper bags and put them in the drawer next to the sink. She had to compress the stack a few times before the drawer would shut. She made a mental note to put the next batch in the recycling bin.
Behind her, she heard a slam. The door had failed to latch and was swinging on its hinges screeching at her for oil or whatever she was supposed to slather on to keep it for making that God awful noise. She shut the door and locked it. She made her way back to the kitchen, promising herself a glass of wine as a reward for putting away all the groceries.
He was standing in the shadows by the pantry.
At first Mari wasn't sure if he was real, but on second blink he was still there and she forced herself not to scream. Manic, she danced back a step or two before turning and running for the door. It was locked, she had just locked it and she fumbled to let herself out. His hands wrapped around her hair before she could, pulling her down to the ground.
This time she didn't hold back her scream. He struck her until the blood in her mouth choked out her ability to protest. She swallowed it, like drinking pennies.
“Why,” she whispered.
“Because I can,” he said. She tried to place his voice but she couldn’t.
From the corner of her eye she saw the glint of steel, and then there was nothing.