#writephoto: Chains

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.


Dusk. Twilight. Bats create flickering visual noise. The sounds of the city subside here, on the edge of the suburbs, into an uneasy murmur. I should go home, but home is empty. Dark. Echoing with memories too fresh to be neat and tidy. I have things to do, but nowhere to do them. You filled my space with your angry presence, hollowed it out like an army of termites and left it to rot.

You have gone. Left. Taking only a bag. All you consider of value—a few shirts, toiletries, silk scarf. Behind you left the furniture, your old clothes, the bills. You left me. I wish I could go. Pick up and leave. But someone must stay to pay the bills, go to work, feed the cat. I stay. But I can’t go home.

The wind rises as the light fades. Bats flicker and something else. A creaking. A rocking. I raise my head and stifle a scream. The streetlight is no longer a banal concrete post but a scaffold. I hang, enchained, rocked by the wind. Silent, voiceless. I can’t go home because home no longer exists. I close my eyes and let hot tears squeeze out between the lids. I clench my fists. Take a deep breath. When I open them, the rocking, creaking cage has gone and the moon is rising.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “#writephoto: Chains”

  1. This is so bang on. The bully gone and left behind the wreckage of the relationship. Always one has to stay, do the every day, the norm. You are right when a house is just a house and not a home why would you want to enter. Even though she/ he knows the other was toxic. Just brilliant .

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