Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This week’s prompt was to use music in a short fiction piece, any genre, with a limit of 750 words. I decided to use Def Leppard’s Love Bites. Sometimes it really can, you know…


“Love bites, love bleeds,
It’s bringing me to my knees…”

Rachel began to cry.

“That’s the one, Lionel. I hate the sound of it. That’s the song he always puts on when he…, when he brutalizes me. He calls it uniting our souls with love’s eternal flame or some such insane thing. His idea of foreplay is punching me with his fists, and then he rapes me. I just can’t take it anymore. I’d rather be dead than have him near me again.”

Lionel knew what he had to do. He’d only known Rachel for a couple of weeks, but she had stolen his heart the night they met. She’d stopped in at Gino’s for a nightcap and when he saw her tears, he had moved her to a corner table and begged her to unburden herself. She said she’d been to show her mom her latest bruises, courtesy of her husband, and said she desperately needed a friend. That was the beginning of forever for Lionel.

“Darling, Lionel began, “it is not you who needs to surrender your dreams. It is your bastard of a husband who needs to die, and I promise you, I will take care of everything.”

* * * * *

“Two birds with one stone, my pet. First, the sucker offs my old man after setting me up with the perfect alibi. Then, I worked my magic on him. I went on and on about how the police kept hounding me, tormenting me, accusing and driving me mad, pushing me right over the edge to who knows what. He couldn’t bear to see me suffer any more. He told me again that he would take care of everything.

The sap wrote a letter confessing to my husband’s murder, blaming it on a failed business deal the two of them supposedly had. After he had dropped it down the mail slot, he jumped off his 24th story balcony. To protect me. To save me. Can you believe our luck?

So, both my rich husband and my knight in a shabby three-piece are out of our way. The life insurance check has cleared and all the banks have released the accounts to me. Now, you and I can be together just like we planned. I‘m really glad this is over though. Running into walls and punching myself till I was black and blue got old really fast, you know? My moron of a husband was starting to get suspicious of my recent bout of clumsiness.”

“Live lives, love dies,
It’s no surprise…”

“Oh my sweet, don’t turn that song off”, Rachel smiled at her lover in the driver’s seat of her new Jag. “I just adore it. I always have.”

“Love begs, love pleads,
It’s what I need…”


  1. Damn! That was cold!

    You know though any fool willing to take the fall for some lover pretty much deserves what they get.

    It should go without saying but excellent story Joyce.

  2. (standing and clapping) Yes! Excellent story!

    Cold... gritty... conniving... a chilling tale of a woman who will never have enough, and will go to any lengths to get more.

    Eerily realistic, Joyce... I spent some time in women's shelters and heard stories like that all too often.

    What really brings the story home for me is how well you bring out emotion in the reader.

    At the beginning, I feel this empathy and sorrow for the woman... and then this abrupt switch to anger and outrage at her manipulation as we realize the deceit... and then horror at the death of her 'shining knight', so heartlessly engineered by the woman.

    A roller-coaster of emotion... I enjoyed every minute of this story!

    Extremely well-crafted story, Joyce... Thank you!