The air is wild with the newly burst scent of blood and alcohol. She is murderous. Vodka floods her veins and she speaks fluently in the language of a drunkard. She laughs maniacally, tilting her head back as she does so. I think it best to hold my tears or she will drown me with them.

She taunts closer, ever, ever closer.

My exasperations of pain must be subdued for she will surely gain confidence and pleasure from my weak and fragile coat. This skin can only serve me well when brawling with tempestuous words. This charred skin can only do so much. I could never allow myself to hurt her, never.

I court death in a place where a simple whisper could spark a match.

And I dare not look her in the eye, not because I am afraid of the monster she has become yet because I have become blind to all that I see. She means no harm to me, truly. She has just lost herself because of that sickening, toxic poison she empties every other hour.

That jaw of hers can do so much more than snarl.

I try my best for her yet there always seems to be some type of fault within me. I clean up the mess, pick up the pieces, yet there always seems to be that one shard, that one word, that one tone that breaks her from her peaceful orbit. And then, it is as if all of Pandora's box had been opened and all the horrors that I had tried so hard to keep at bay have escaped.

I've prayed before but it is of no use. You cannot and will not hear me. They say you are there, listening, watching. Why do you do nothing? Why do you watch me, beaten and bloody, call your name, and still refuse to answer? How could you bless me with such a gift, once so beautiful, so true, and raze it? How could you send me such a pernicious, bloodthirsty creature? Oh, what kind of God wishes this upon a child? Stuart hides in the corner of his closet, trembling, praying to you and still you aid him not.

And when she strikes him, I hear him call your name. Do you not cringe? Do you not fall to your knees? I beg you not save me. I held out my hand willingly and you chose not to grasp it firmly within your own. I have lost all faith in you and all I regret, throughout this damned life you have so blessedly given me, is bringing my son into such torment. Like I in you, he has lost faith in me and I fully intend to restore that faith if able. I do not need you to guide me. I will guide myself, thanks. It is what I have been doing best for the past thirty-seven years. This devil woman cannot and will not make me.

I make me, not her and, most definitely not you.