"Why are you doing this, Joe?" Annie pleaded, tears streaming down her face.
"Walk," was the only reply she got.
"Please, Joe, don't do this. You said you loved me. How can you do this to me if you love me?", terror flowed through her veins, replacing every drop of blood with the fear of certain death.
Silent, Joe kept the gun pointed towards, Annie. With a flip of his wrist, he motioned towards the water. "Get in", his voice was rough and his words slurred from the combination of alcohol and valium he had been taking since he found out the awful truth about Annie.
Her body began to shake uncontrollably as she stepped into the frigid water. Partly out of fear and partly due to the freezing water. Luckily the water only came to her knees, but even so it was the middle of winter, Annie rapidly began to lose all feeling in her legs. The numbness slowly traveling up the length of her body. Teeth rattling one against the other, "P-P-Please, Joe, why are you doing this?"
"You said you loved me. Why, Annie, why? I would have given you anything you asked me for," Joe screamed at Annie.
"I do love you but I...," Annie began, but before she could finish, Joe began shouting "Shut up you lying bitch. You never loved me. You used me. To get close to him. My own brother. You used me, Annie."
Startled by a sound, Joe looked up at the top of the riverbank. He had been too lost in his rage to hear the car approaching. It was only when Jamie screamed, "Mommy!" that Joe even knew anyone else was there.
Before Bill could stop her, Jamie raced down the river bank. Stumbling on the loose rocks, falling on the wet snow as she made her way down to the troubled man at the water's edge.
"Joe, please don't hurt my mommy," Jamie pleaded.
"Your mama is a lying cunt," Joe slurred. "Joe!" shouted Bill from above. "Don't you take one step, little brother," Joe warned. "If you do, they'll both be dead before you reach the bottom."
Bill knowing full well his brother was capable of making good on his threat, stayed firmly rooted at the top of the river bank.
Jamie, with a wisdom far greater than her 10 years of age, realized it would be up to her to get them out of this alive. "Joe" she began. "Do you love me, Joe?"
Confused by Jamie's question, Joe didn't answer, but he kept the gun firmly pointed at Annie. "Joe" Jamie asked again, "Do you love me, Joe?"
"Of course I do," Joe's voice was barely a whisper. If there had been a sound, Jamie wouldn't have heard his words, but even the woods remained silent out of fear of what Joe might do.
"Then give me the gun, Joe", Jamie inched slowly towards where Joe was standing. She held out her tiny hand, hoping that she could somehow get through to Joe. Could somehow get the gun away from him.
Jamie's words hit Joe like a ton of bricks. Joe slumped on the wet, snow covered ground. His head in one hand, the other wrapped tightly around the gun, still pointed at Annie. Jamie could hear the sound of Annie's teeth rattling. She knew she didn't have much time left. Again but with more force she said to Joe, "Give me the gun. I want to go home. It's cold out here, Joe. Please I am cold. Please take me home."
Before Jamie realized what was happening, she felt the coolness of the metal touch her skin. Her hand dropped towards the ground from the heaviness of the gun. Joe placed his head in both hands and began to weep uncontrollably. Bill raced down the riverbank. Grabbing the gun from Jamie's grasp as he rushed to help Annie out of the freezing water.
All four slowly climbed back up the river bank. Bill helping Annie, whose legs were frozen from standing in the river. Jamie helping Joe whose heart had been shattered by the betrayal of his love. The silence of the ride home was broken only by the sound of Annie's chattering teeth and the hiss of the car heater turned on high to help the warmth return to Annie's frozen body. Jamie occasionally glanced at the 3 adults that sat in the car around her. "Please God just let me make it back to Ma's. I swear I will never come here again," she silently prayed. "Please" she whispered as a tear slowly slid down her cheek. All she wanted was to get back to the safety of her grandma's house. Back to where sanity lived. Where she could be a 10 year old who didn't know how to talk a mad man out of murder. Back to where love lived.
This is for a writing prompt for Mama Kat's workshop. The prompt I chose was a story of love. Not necessarily your typical "love story" but a love story it is none the less.