Friday, 6 March 2015

Widening the gap

Author's note:

I was inspired to write this story after reading a short, and powerful piece written by Ally Atherton entitled “INCHES” which was Ally's debut story on the Friday Flash site, and it carried an impressive punch. I liked the story very much, the concept was somewhat offbeat with an underlying darkness, it stuck in my head and rattled around in there until I decided I just had to create something with it.

Although “WIDENING THE GAP” is not a clone of “INCHES” and takes a different direction, it was Ally's story that provided me with the spark.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


I used to love him... I was supposed to love him, and he to love me. That's the way things should be... Isn't it?

It is... Isn't it?

The bond between flesh and blood to bring unconditional love, the embrace of father and child strong and comforting.

As the years passed I began to realize that his was not love, not affection, not how things should be... not how others lived.

Some days were harder than others, but none of them easy, none of them painless.

Yet still it took time to break those feelings. To finally accept that maybe... just maybe, I was worth more than the life I had, the life he allowed me to have.

I escaped.

I fled to the only haven I could, inside my own mind.

I don't sleep much now, outside time is too precious to waste in slumber.

I spend every moment I can in my own special place.

There, I am far away, untouchable, free to be... whatever I want to be, to live the life I want to live. Though that is imaginary too, for I have never seen that life... I can only imagine.

At first I was often dragged from my special place, jolted back by the sound of the door slamming open, and the rapid, heavy footsteps, the alcohol breath, the shouting, and the sting of his palm.

And the other things...

Each time I visit my own special place I feel further away from this world.

Further from him.

But not closer to anything else.

Closer, it seems, does not become me, closeness being something never shown me.

And so...

And so with usage, the skill grew, the gap widened.

I could look down on the room, on myself, experience the detachment, savour it even.

Came the night that he went the step too far, and took the life from me, the gap between what I used to be and what I had now become was so wide, that had he known about it, he would have made his own distance.

But what he had, is now gone. It lies lifeless amid a tangle of soiled sheets.

I am still here. The gap that kept this part of me safe from him now serves to shield him from me.

I will soon be leaving my special place.

I am angry...


My turn is coming now.

And the gap between us will be closing.

©2015 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. Oh I bet he's going to be sorry. You captured here the way someone deals with a violent and abusive partner but I really like the idea that now she is something else she can seek her revenge.

    1. Thank you Helen. One would hope that he truly got what he deserved.
      He would have no idea what would be in store for him. His actions eventually led to the death of his daughter, but she created something beyond the physical, and seemingly something dangerous, dangerous to him at least.

  2. I like the direction you took this. Nice work.

  3. The first thing I thought upon reading the last lines was that this would make an excellent monologue for a drama student. It's so simply and directly put, but with such a wide range of emotions.

    1. Katherine, this comment is very heartening, thank you so much.

      I would be delighted if someone should wish to use this in the way you suggest too.

  4. A powerful piece, Steve. I also enjoyed Ally's story and I love how something like that can spark a whole new story. Great job with this!

    1. Thank you very much, Chuck.
      And thank you also for linking across to Ally's story. INCHES ticked a lot of boxes for me, a great story with an unusual theme in a very low word count. I am really hoping that he will become a regular poster on the Friday Flash site.

  5. I remembered Ally's story without having to reread it, it was a good one! I can see the "spark," but this is definitely a different take. It reminded me, of all things, of the Buffy episode where the student is so often overlooked that she turns invisible: with the episode ending with her at a training center for assassins with many more just like her.

    Regardless... Things are not looking up for Dad.

    1. I know of Buffy, but I'm not very knowledgable about the series, I can definitely see the similarity between that episode and this story though.
      If someone is unacknowledged, then they may as well be invisible. The stuff that successful assassins and spies are made from.

      I think Dad's learning curve may rise steeply sometime soon. Bwuhahahahahaha!! :-)