Sweating Bullets

Sweating Bullets

A Chapter by

My mother walked through the screen door about an hour after leaving, with two men hanging on her shoulders. I could tell that she was having a hard time keeping her coordination correct. It would have made me laugh watching her, if under different circumstances. Instead I kneeled and didn't move my eyes away from the cabinets in front of me.

The cheap wood was chipped and was falling apart. It reminded me why my mother was always embarrased to have other people over to the house (besides the rare drunk men), because we didn't have a penny to our name and it showed.


Her and the men passed by me with their smell of alchol following them. I wasn't sure where exactly I was supposed to go, so I just stayed still. My mother didn't forget about my presence, and with a wave of her lanky hand she dismissed me from my position on the floor.

I slowly got to my feet and tried to stand, but I couldn't move my knees without the blood running further down my leg. I ended up grabbing an old towel off of the counter and placed it under the knee that hurt the most. I gently crawled through the threshold of the screen door and placed myself on the dead grass that surrounded the house. I layed there and in spite of it all, I gained the courage to try and clean the imprinted holes in my knees. It was a wet bloody mess. The rain poured against my skin and it felt nice.


After a few hours of huddling under the roof for protection against the rain, it started to lighten up. I started coughing and my breathing had started to become rapid, but I was happy that the rain washed some of the dried blood off of my hands and legs. I couldn't complain about the rainfall, because the it was one of my favorite things in the world. It may have made me cold, but it also made me feel alive. The cold made me remember that I could survive.


I layed on the breathless grass and stared at the sky. It became perfectly clear that night, with the stars and moon it was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. I couldn't help myself from secretly thanking God for giving me that pleasure of the stars. It was the least he could do for me, with the life I lived and the things I had to tolerated, I felt I diserved something happy in my life.


The sounds of little critters and larger critters swimming through the bayou was relaxing. It made my throbbing head loosen up and I was finally able to drift in and out of a dazed sleep. It wasn't terribly cold, but it wasn't exactly warm either.


It had taken hours for me to fall into the actual deep sleep phase. I could see my dreams as if they were happening in front of me.



I was sitting against the cabinets in the kitchen and I saw a shadow drift into the room. It was the old man I had seen in my dream once before; the same man in the photo that was hidden in my pocket.

I slid my hand into the front pocket of my dress that held the ripped photo, and felt nothing. The photo was missing, and the man was grinning over me. He had been killed in my last dream, I wondered idly why he was once again in my thoughts, but I was interrupted with a tearing sound that came from the screen door. I glanced over toward the sound and felt my eyes widden with fear.


The rugged farmer, Gordon, was reaching his hand through a freshly made slice of screen door and unlocking the bolt that kept him safely placed away from me. I noticed one of the knives from the kitchen, that was once placed neatly in a drawer, was in his dirty hands. The whites on this knuckles were illuminating on his grasp of the silver glinting object of pain. I couldn't help myself from crying.

He had made his way into the kitchen and stood next to the man from the photo, and with a wink, he and the man reached down towards me.



I woke up wet with sweat and dew convering my body and drizzled down my forehead. I could have sworn that I was being grabbed. I felt the two mens hands squeezing on my arms with enough force to penetrate through the skin, or at least I thought I had. I double checked to see if I had nail imprints on my biceps. There wern't nail imprints, but there were bug bites.


 The sun was blazing above my head and I was face down in the mud. I tried screaming away my fear and grief that the dream left behind into the ground, but I screamed until I didn't have another breath to give and still I felt hollow. A happy thought played in my mind, Gordon was nowhere near me, and neither was the old man from the photo. I still had an eerie feeling that something bad was going to happen, though. It was too peaceful in the bayou. Nothing made a sound. It wasn't cold anymore, and I was fully awake when I made my way back toward the house.

It was late morning and the smell of grass and a hot summer day filled the air. I could feel the humidity roll off from the swamp and mud. The days were hot, but the wetness and heat together used to make me feel like I was drinking water, rather than actually breathing the air. I hated the humidity.

I felt the holes in my knees had started to bleed again once I started walking, but over the course of my life, I had grown to bite back pain. It became a natural reflex, but that doesn't mean it didn't hurt. I felt a small tear of pain and sadness roll down my right cheek, but before I had the time to wipe it away, I had to duck to the side of the house when I heard the screen door slam against the wall. I saw Gordon and the other greased man that had came home with my mother, leaving the house in furry. Gordon had started screaming profanities and awful words at my mother, who was nowhere in sight. He kicked the door frame and made a hand jesture at the house that looked more hateful then anything, and stomped away.


I had to gain all of my courage to go into the house alone. I knew that feeling deep down in my gut, that told me when something bad was going to happen, that I should be prepared. I had that feeling.

I didn't see my mother in the kitchen, which was a surprise. I figured she would have been having a glass whiskey or rum to calm herself. The liquor always made her stress level increase though.

I forced myself to walk past the kitchen and check in her room. I was morbidly curious why she wasn't drinking again. Then I saw her.


She looked awful. Her skin had an odd yellow tent to it. She was holding her lower stomach in the fetal position and was sweating bullets. I ran to her and laid my hand on her forehead. She didn't even slap me away, she just layed there shivering. She had a serious fever that burned my hand to the touch. I had no idea what to do.

I used to tell myself how that if my mother ever needed my help, I would leave her helpless and I would run. But she was my mother, and the day of choosing came and I chose to help her. I couldn't even explain to myself why I did it, I couldn't even grasp what my thoughts were. I just kept my eyes down while handing her wet washcloths and glasses of water. She never thanked me. She never even looked me in the eyes. She just took the offerings and stayed silent, as did I.


That night I could tell that she was feeling a little better. She had me make her a glass of

bourbon and she fell silent again. She didn't speak to me or even give me the slightest sign of gratitude that night. I had a terrible cough that felt like a pound was added to my chest everytime I inhaled air. I couldn't stand for a very long time before I had to rest. After a few hours of sitting and resting, sitting, then resting, I felt a fever form.


I tried to sleep, but my dreams became visions of nightmares. Where I left off in my dreams the night before, were being played out again.


I would scream but the sounds were muted with a punch from the farmer, then a kick from the man from the photo. They told me I was nothing and no one loved me. I already knew that, but the way they slurred their words made me want to fight back. When I did, they would  laugh and hit me again. I would get up again, but the dream would repeat.

Slap, fall, get up, punch, kick, cry, laugh, scream, get up, slap, fall.



I woke up and saw my clothes drenched in sweat. I couldn't even move my head without feeling dizzy. I forced myself to check on my mother, who was continuing to sleep without noise. I thought she was dead more than once, and when I leaned down to find her pulse, she would find my face and shove me away. I stopped caring if she was breathing or not after that.



I laid on the bed in my room the entire day. I had no appetite, no need to move at all. I kept a glass of water next to my bed at all times, but nothing seemed to help my fever or painful cough.

During my hours trying to sleep that same night, I heard a noise coming from the kitchen. The noise was strikingly familier with the noise from my dream. The dream where Gordon was ripping a whole through the screen door to hurt me with the man from the photo.

My fever was making me loopy and I tried not to think too hard on anything. I had already searched through all of the cabinets to try and retreive medicine, but I didn't get my hopes too high. There were none.


The screen door creaked open and my commonsense kicked back in. I heard the sound of boots walking down the hall toward my room. With all the willpower I had left in me, I crawled under my bed and hid myself underneath the quilt.


The floor vibrated with every step the person took. I had to cover my mouth so my hyperventilating wouldn't attract attention.

My doorknob rattled.

© 2010

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Very very good!

Posted 13 Years Ago

Yes, knees bleed. There is wood flooring, as was said in the first chapter. The dreams are necessary for furthering the storyline. It's foreshadowing what will happen and it also is showing the fear that she is always carrying with her, even in her dreams. I will be more careful with my next chapters though.

Posted 13 Years Ago

I have a question. Does the kitchen have tile floor or sharp edges because no matter how long you kneel on it, I don't think knees bleed, bruises would form, though, unless she had rubbed the bruises on the floor, opening them to bleeding. I think you need to expand on that.

And this is a grammical error, but it's one that's kind of awkward, shouldn't the word be "laid" instead of "layed"?

Also, be careful about dreams. Make sure they're necesary. If you can pull them out and the story can continue or make sense, then remove them. Maybe she needs them for strength. If so, say that some kind of way.

Oh my goodness, I wonder what's going to happen to Belle? Leave her alone Gordon! I must read more now.

Posted 13 Years Ago

Chapter had many events for the girl Belle. I could feel her fear. She assisted her mother and never got a thank you. You left a open ending. A very good chapter.

Posted 13 Years Ago

Good, once again. :) My only comment is in your third paragraph: "I started coughing and my breathing had started to become rapid, but I was happy that the rain washed some of the dried blood off of my hands and legs. I didn't complain about the rain, because the rain was one of my favorite things in the world. It may have made me cold, but it also made me feel alive. The cold made me remember that I could survive." You used the word 'rain' three times in two sentences. I would change at least one or two of them to 'it' or another word.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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5 Reviews
Added on April 19, 2010
Last Updated on June 15, 2010


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