"The Wrong Side of the Tracks" by Kelly Washington
This story comes from the anthology magazine Fiction River, issue 24, "Pulse Pounders: Adrenaline." Written by Kelly Washington. The anthology was guest edited by Kevin J. Anderson.
This was the first story I've read in Fiction River. I just recently discovered the magazine and waiting for my first issue to arrive. In the mean time I bought the current issue because I'm so damn impatient and couldn't wait 2 months to get my first copy. The opening story for this issue of the magazine was fantastic and I think I will be reviewing many stories from this magazine.
This story started out with a woman named Marlene in a cabin in the woods smoking a cigarette. She was waiting for something, something that made her jumpy and nervous. She was on edge and strung as tight as a violin string.
Soon she was watching a man exit a police cruiser and circle her cabin in the blackness of the night. She was scared to death. The man was Julian. Her boyfriend. He had found her.
Julian was a man that she once loved. Or so she thought. He was a charming man. Tall, broad, handsome, and a cop to top it all off. He won her over the first night they met. Then she moved in with him.
That's when the violence began. Julian had a temper and it became quite apparent the first day she was living with him. He always seemed to make it seem like something she did was what made him act out. She believed him and didn't want to scare off what seemed like the perfect man.
After a while of being beaten, abused, and held captive by her so-called lover, Marlene decided to leave. She made a break for it and headed to the only spot she could think of, her grandfather's cabin. She holed up in the cabin, waiting for him to find her. Somehow, she knew he would find her. He was a cop after all. He had resources other people didn't.
Marlene was expecting Julian to find her and had a plan all setup to get away from him. When Julian started to knock on the door and soon tried to break down the door she put her plan into action. She crawled through a hole in the ceiling of the cabin and made a run for her life.
That's when the chase began. Marlene running for everything she was worth to save her life and Julian chasing her down trying to get her to come back to him. Marlene knew that if he were to catch her, he would probably kill her. She had no choice but to fight for her life and hope he didn't catch her.
This was definitely an awesome opening to this anthology. To me this story defined what the theme of this anthology was all about. It was fast-paced and very intense. I was turned pages as fast as I could read to see what would happen next.
The story also delved into domestic violence. The story gave a picture of what life would be like as a woman in an abusive relationship. The thoughts she would have, and the feelings of someone who desperately wanted to be loved by a man who abused her in every aspect of her life.
I think this story was a great story that gave an idea of the lengths that some people would go through in order to leave an abusive partner behind. More often than not it isn't just as simple as taking your stuff and leaving. The person has to run, hide, and hope that person doesn't find them in fear of their life, and, or, their children's lives.
The domestic violence portrayal led into a perfect story backdrop for an adrenaline-fueled cat and mouse story. I found myself hoping things went certain ways while reading the story. All the while wondering how it would end. Who would end being the victor? Would anyone come and help? The suspense was amazing.
I would definitely recommend this story as a great read if you want suspense and a thrilling page turner. I don't think anyone would be disappointed after reading this story. There is so much emotion poured into this story that I almost felt exhausted from holding my breath by the end.