Saw You is a flash fiction piece entered for the One Word Challenge on Writer's Talkback, about a child who witnesses violence first hand, and watches her mother raped and beaten, but it's not until the end of the piece that you realise the perpetrator is 'daddy.' I also repeated key words, to mimic how a child might think, so 'I saw you,' appears several times, because these are the direct thoughts of the child.
This darkened place. Veiled by shadows.
I saw you.
From this darkened place, that’s where I heard her screams. Where I heard the cold snap of your hand against her skin and the tearing of her clothes. Somewhere inside the flurry clouding my mind I heard the quickness of your breath, but it sounded instead like a vile hiss against the silence.
I saw you.
But you didn’t see me, hiding beneath the bed, watching you, my heart beating against the wooden floor.
Silent tears pooled like quicksilver beneath my face, stinging the welts you gouged into my skin earlier that night, but I didn’t make a sound from my shadowy enclave, daren’t.
I wanted to blink, but couldn’t. The tears hurt too much. I lay there and watched as you sliced her with fresh cuts, those large, foul hands stifling her, and I realised how many times I’d heard all these sounds before, late at night. The kind of sounds that gave me nightmares; sounds that permanently burned through my skull.
I saw her blood creeping across the floorboards, glistening beneath the light. I saw her skin peel open and everything came spilling out.
I saw you, daddy. I saw what you did to mommy.
That’s why I called the police. I told them exactly what you did.