Forced Hand

This is a short story in response to Trifecta’s Writing Challenge

The story had to utilize the word Clean in it’s 3rd definition.



Sitting in the waiting area with her hands between her knees, trying to hide her shakes.  Nervously waiting for Officer Wilson to come and speak with her.  The door to his office opens and out he steps, motioning for her to go there, so she did.

“Hello Lucinda, have a seat right here” as Officer Wilson pulls out a chair for her.

“We need to talk about what happened yesterday, we have heard a few different stories and we need to clear them up.”

Slightly agitated she says “I told you what happened, I don’t know about any other story, but they are wrong.”

“Listen, your husband is dead Lucinda, you admit to stabbing him, but your story isn’t adding up.” Said the Officer harshly.

Lucinda begins to sob, the shaking had taken over her whole body at that point.  She had suffered at his hands for many years.  The unexplainable bruises, and broken bones were his doing.  Everyone in town knew it but said nothing.  Same beating different day.  That’s just how it was in their household, but yesterday was different for Lucinda, something was going through her head.  She suffered through the beating like usual. But this time she waited until her loving husband was fast asleep with the help from a bottle of Jack and she grabbed a knife out of the dish strainer.  She stabbed that knife through him over and over again, until the life in him was now running down her face.

“I had to do it, he would have eventually killed me if I didn’t.” Lucinda cried out. “I am sorry, but I had to, it was self defense.”

“Unfortunately Lucinda I will have to take you in and let a judge decide that, your record is clean as a whistle so he may take it easy on you. Come on, let’s go.” Wilson said as he cuffed her and lead her down the hall towards a cell.


28 thoughts on “Forced Hand

    1. Thank you so much Ruby, it was hard to write in so few words, I had to edit like crazy. I felt it should be a lot longer, to do her some justice. Maybe I’ll make it into a full short story. It’s a subject dear to my heart.


  1. I really enjoyed your description. Lucinda’s PTSD symptoms seem very plausible .One distraction was that the story starts in the present tense but slides into the past tense. It seems to work best in past for me overall. That line about her record being clean as a whistle is great.


    1. Yeah that’s what happens when you have a word limit, that was one of the things that had to be edited. The snippet that was in past tense form was supposed to be Lucinda’s memory of what really happened. That’s why it had no dialogue in it like the rest of the story. I never realized how hard it is to write with constraints.


  2. I believed every single word to the point I was imagining myself in Lucinda’s shoes and felt tears spring into my eyes… Very well done, Laciejay!

    PS: Yes, the constraints are so difficult but very discipling, eh? I have the same issues when I write for these challenges… edit, re-edit and edit again… UGH. Haha.


  3. Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. Your piece reminded me a lot of one of the stories I recently read in the collection Love In Infant Monkeys. Which is to say I liked it. The stabbing was difficult to read. Which is to say I liked it. 🙂 Hope to see you back on Friday.


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