Deathwish 030: Kristen

Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, November 19th, 2015

"I told the truth. I didn’t want to kill myself, only the pain."

deathwish on nailed kristen


I was standing in the hallway naked and nothing looked right. I didn’t know that my eyes were bulging from their sockets like they were trying to get away. I only knew that I’d swallowed every pill in the house and drowned them in a bottle of wine.

My sister was watching me, hands spread wide, as if she would catch whatever wild thing was loose in the house. I didn’t look at my daughter. Where I was, I was not a mother.

When I opened my eyes again, I was on the floor and my foot was smashing into the concrete blocks that held the fish tank I kept to remind myself of living. There were men in my bedroom. My sister put a blanket over me and I started to scream. I didn’t want to be covered. Let them see the scars. Let them see whatever it was that made them take what they wanted, whether I wanted to give it or not. They looked decent in their uniforms but I knew what was underneath.

“Get out!” The screaming was ripping my throat but I welcomed the pain.

I smashed my foot into the concrete again and the tank moved on the board that was holding it. I kept on smashing until they strapped me down and took me away from my sister. She didn’t hold her arms out anymore. She knew she couldn’t catch the wild thing. My daughter was nowhere.

I bit the tube they put down my throat but I took the blanket they gave me after.

When they asked me why I did these things, I told the truth. I didn’t want to kill myself, only the pain.

At home, my daughter watched me, waiting for the wild thing to come back again.

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To read the previous installment, “Deathwish 029: Amy,” go here. To participate in Deathwish, find details here.

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Kristen was born in Ketchikan, Alaska and currently resides on Vashon Island in Washington.


Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).