Read the first chapter from Discovering Grace

Chapter One

      He came through the door with that look on his face.  The one that said trouble was right behind him.  She cringed, but she tried not to show her fear.  The more she was afraid, the more he seemed aroused.  Like a wild animal, when it caught the whiff of blood.


He sat down at the table.  She put his plate in front of him.  He saw her take it from the oven with a mitt, so he knew it was hot, but he held his hand over it anyway, just in case he’d have something he could complain about.  He hated cold food.  

He ate without saying a word.  When he was done, he pushed his plate to her side of the table.  He was about to get up, when she steeled herself to speak.

“I need grocery money.  I paid the rent, but I don’t have enough money for food for the kids.  And for their school lunches.”  She ducked her head, in case he got mad enough to hit her.

He went to the cabinet, pulled out his fresh bottle of Jim Beam, took a long swig.  He laughed and handed her the bottle.

“Feed them this.  It sure feeds me.”

Something in her died right then.  The part of her that cared for laws and consequences, for right from wrong.  What was left lived like a hot coal.  She turned to the drawer and pulled out the knife.  It was long and sharp.  She faced him, so he could see it in her hand.  He laughed again.

“What you plan to do with that knife?  You surely ain’t plannin’ to stick me with it.  I’ll break you in half before you get a lick in.”

He took another swig from the bottle.  Before he could get the bottle from his lips, she was at him.  She was so quick, he didn’t have time to raise a hand to stop her.  She plunged the knife into his chest.  She’d never know whether he felt pain.  What he showed was pure surprise.  When the message reached his brain that he’d been stabbed, he tried to turn away from her.  He fell from the chair.  Blood poured from the wound in his chest.  He landed hard on the floor.  Bubbles of blood foamed from his mouth.  Two streams of blood ran from his nostrils down the sides of his cheeks.  

She stood over him.  When she was sure he had no breath left in him, she dialed 911.