The sun played games with the clouds and Susan blinked to protect her eyes.
She laughed and it came uninvited and sounded unfamiliar.
Her body leant into the wind as she dragged her heavy feet, step by step, towards the cliffs edge, fighting for breath from the air that whipped her face relentlessly.
Like in an old film she caught snatches of the shoreline below but the pieces refused to join together.
She shouted into the gusts, but heard only muffled sounds, shredded into thin reedy ribbons of half words that were thrown behind her.
She’d been here many times before.
The uneven tufts of grass had born her weight and accepted her footprints many times, before swallowing them up ready for the next visitor to tread afresh.
As for her tears, those that had kissed the ground disappeared instantly, although over the years, had they survived, they would have formed a mirror to reflect her sorrow.
Yes, she’d been here too many times before, but not of her free will.
In the beginning, from memories that she’d tried so hard to suppress, He would carry her to the edge and hold her with outstretched arms into the wind.
His words were like harsh coloured flashes from hell, that pierced red and purple through her eyes clamped shut to avoid looking at the terror of the lashing waves far below.
The sunny days were hidden so deeply that they were unable to surface. Every single memory was dark and stormy and each trip to the edge followed the same routine.
He made sure of that, carrying her struggling body to the edge to show her what would happen if she were to disobey Him.
When she was too old to be carried ,He would drag her behind Him by her hair and hold her into the wind on the very edge.
She would wake up the next day in pain from the red marks on her arms and watch them slowly fade to blue and then to yellow as each day passed. Identical to the ones that came before, behind locked doors and shuttered windows.
One day, she found a blunt knife, and in a rare unguarded moment, she hacked away at her hair and it fell in clumps to the floor. She made sure not to scream, or to make a sound through the pain, but was glad that it was her pain, and not His for the making.
He was furious of course, and whipped her with His words that splattered her with spit as he hurled insult after insult she would only understand much later.
When He finally calmed down and regained control, her body tensed, knowing what would follow and she protected, as much as she was able, the parts of her body that had not yet recovered from the last onslaught.
The weeks turned into months until time itself disappeared, swallowed by the daily routines.
Then earlier, as she felt herself being pushed once again towards the edge, He suddenly let go with a cry, and instead of holding her, He clutched His chest instead.
It was over before she had even contemplated it. One minute she was in front and the next she had skirted around His body that was about to collapse, and putting years of pain into every muscle, had pushed Him over the edge, making sure her eyes were wide open as he fell to the rocks below.
She had to be absolutely sure and had come back one last time, just to check.
Peering down, she was relieved to see that His body had disappeared, but she thought she saw traces of blood remaining on the rocks above sea level.
She laughed again, but this time her laugh felt a little less strange, coming from her.
Turning, she walked slowly back, passing her prison and advancing towards the unknown and unfamiliar world beyond.
This is day three of the #my500words 31 day challenge. Word length : 651 words.