Out Played

Photo prompt: © Anshu Bhojnagarwala


“It’s an effing eyesore.”

“I don’t care.”

Martin balled his fists but Susan just gazed at him.

She said nothing but he knew: Raise a finger on me and off to jail you go. The judge was clear: Anger-Management or prison. Martin took the former but could swear Susan’s infuriating behavior intended to get him the latter.

He inhaled slowly before turning away. “When Sanitation fines us,” he growled, “it’s all yours to pay.”

“Fine,” she shrugged. “Though I think they won’t.”

He glared. “Why? Got connections?”

“Nope,” she patted the rotting piano. “I’ve registered it as street art.”



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers



38 thoughts on “Out Played

    • I hope he WILL work at his Anger Management stuff … To be fair, it seems he is, at least, trying hard. As for her … there’s history between them that he might need to endure, testing from her to ensure she’s safe … AND, one wonders what his threshold of “provoking” is …
      Is an “I don’t care” sufficient to drive him into violence? Is he able to tolerate disagreement or sees it as an ego-wounding? Can she have her own views without it being perceived as ‘provocation’?
      In truth, there is little provocation that ever EVER justifies violence. So if her conduct brings out the worse in him, perhaps they’ll need to part ways. In the meanwhile, this little piano is blooming.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Why do they keep together I wonder. He’s making an effort, she has good reasons… but it’s not really working, I think. Very clever with the street art, made me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like you, I don’t know whether this relationship will survive … or where it goes … and there certainly seems to be a whole lot of history there …
      Glad the ‘street art’ bit made you laugh! 🙂
      Thank you for reading and commenting!


    • She is not particularly subtle, is she? Then again, if they have a ‘history’ together, she may be ‘testing’… to see if he really will change his ways and if his ‘anger management’ is working. Not exactly super supportive, but there’s a backstory there we can only wonder about ….
      To be fair, if someone saying “I don’t care” gets one to fight to not do actual violence, then one is far too easily provoked …
      Eggshells ain’t fun to walk on for a living …
      Maybe they’ll get some couple’s therapy. Maybe they’ll part way. Either way, I hope he keeps his hands to himself … Well, at least as far as violence is concerned …

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Na’ama, I like your bringing up the domestic violence situation here. It shows the thought process of a batterer. In cases like this, if there is no “internal” motivation to stop the violence, then sometimes “external” is needed, i.e. the threat of prison. If he is smart he will realize life is so much better without battering someone he loves. Also, I will have to remember that “licensing as street art” for possible future circumstances 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great comment, and yes … I thought it would help elucidate the immediacy of his response as well as the exaggerated rage for something that may well be irritating, but certainly no cause for violence (no irritation really ever IS justification for violence). That he feels that she is the problem (i.e. testing him) rather than his own reactions needing to be regulated regardless of his habit to lash out, says a lot, too.
      To his credit, he refrained from using violence and he managed to “use his words” and even do so without abusive language.
      Susan may not have been super gracious about the whole thing, but to many people an “I don’t care” won’t be seen as provocation to violence but as … well … disagreement at the most and an opinion at best.
      It wasn’t about the piano at all, now, was it? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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