Ana Mercedes Murillo

The Basement


          It wasn’t my fault, but I can tell by the look in her eyes that it doesn’t matter. I see things as though they are happening in slow motion. Her hair is a tangled mess, and the smell of Jack Daniels seeps out her pores. Her face filled with anger; agony and desperation. The basement air feels damp, and still has the small cot, with no blankets or pillows that has been my bed for the last 5 years. A pool of red seeping through the mattress, creates a puddle on the floor. My small body lies half way on, and half way off the bed.

          I watch the chair fly towards me, hitting me and I don’t react. Her not getting the reaction she hopes for only makes her angrier. “You sorry piece of shit, you ruined my life,” she screams. She begins to pull out her toys, and I feel a shiver run through me, as I see the items pulled out from the box on the shelf. As always, the picture of my parents on their wedding day is put on the counter, as if to have him watch.

          She reaches in the box, pulling out the first item; gardening shears with black hands, and blood on the pointed tips. This tool has seen little action since the time it was used to remove my pinky finger. She eyes it like a mother looking at her newborn child.

          She removes the remaining items; gasoline, handcuffs, blow torch, pliers, and her most used toy, a hammer. With its long brown handle, filthy from being held so often, and deadly black top, clumps of brown hair and flesh still in the claw.

          My heart beats rapidly upon seeing her arrangement of pleasure toys lined up nicely on the counter. “It’s all your fault. You did this to me. You killed him. I told him not to drive you to school that day, but you cried like a pussy, not wanting to take the bus.” Her screams echo in the basement.

          The thin nightgown she is wearing shows the sweat from adrenaline she feels pulsing through her veins.

          She pours gasoline over the bed, the floor, her nightgown, and the shelves. Her tears stream down her face, as she cries out, “You did this.” I know I can’t actually feel the heat, as my heart no longer beats, but I brace myself for the pain anyway. She grabs the photo and the blowtorch from the shelf. She stares at the photo, starts the blow torch, and the room lights up instantly. I hear the screams, “All your fault, you deserved to die for taking him from me.”

          I know now, that I can no longer watch, and must now follow the light.


Ana Murillo lives in Queen Creek, Arizona with her husband and four children. She has spent the last seventeen years working in the real estate industry as an Operations Director. She is currently working on her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at Arizona State University. Ana loves to read and reviews books on her blog site.