#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Nailed

Spilt red nail polish

Image : Pixabay


Her nails are bitten down to the quick. They snag on her clothes when she dresses in the morning – if she dresses in the morning – scratch her cheek as she sits at the kitchen table, gazing out at her soaked patchy lawn.

Once her nails were immaculate, glossy – ten scarlet blades. Men loved them, some ridiculous fantasy about a woman with claws. A barely tamed creature.

Then one night …

There had been drinks, a man she hardly knew, a scene in a bar taken outside on the street, stumbling into an alleyway of binbags and cardboard boxes.

Shouting, screaming. Then hands were pinning her arms. An animal terror making her freeze, a desperation to escape his trap, that leering, beery breath on her face. She’d fought but he was strong, grip tight – tightening – and she was falling and he on top of her, his weight knocking her breath away, pinning her to the wet tarmac, the base of her spine grinding. And she was clawing, clawing at his wrists, wriggling, sinking further, then …

She was on her feet. Her hands were slick, greasy – stained black in the darkness. He was silent.  Slumped cloth and steaming flesh. She’d ran.

Days later, though she’d washed and washed, the rust was still trapped under the nails, scarlet on the surface, browned like henna on the underside.

So now, the blades are gone, the rust too. But still she smells the metal of that night. And no matter how much she gnaws at herself, the scent clings …


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Today the word is NAILED. See here to read the other tales and to join in.

Also, for The Daily Post’s Daily PromptSCENT. See here to join in and to read the other posts.

25 thoughts on “#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Nailed

  1. Was there a supernatural element to this (sorry I feel daft I have to ask) with the rust/grease? Did she use some supernatural power to kill him? I think that because it’s ‘you,’ but have no evidence I can surmise…loved the story, but curious there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think something’s going on, definitely. I think she had drawn on some extra power from somewhere to kill him, yes. What that was, I’m not entirely sure … Sorry to be so ambiguous. Thanks Bill 🙂


  2. Lynn this is a corker. And, you did leave it a bit of a mystery how she killed him, which got me thinking, maybe she didn’t kill him… there are some verbal clues that she did, but with just a little tweaking you could leave it up in the air, and then the question could be if she was upset by being raped or committing murder. Just a thought…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. Yes, it is indeed ambiguous as to what exactly has happened. I think she killed him – that was my thought when I wrote it, though of course I didn’t want to overtly say so. Now, whether that was justified depends on how far you think he went with her. She’s finding it hard to live with, I know that much. Thanks ever so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story! The rust, the grease, the dirt and drunken violence make the atmosphere so sleazy. She’s not one to mess with! Shame she has to beat herself up about it, but that’s human nature. Especially female nature. As long as she keeps her nails trimmed in future…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Love your take on the story. You’re right that she’s beating herself up for saving herself from something truly awful. Very female 🙂 But yes, nail clippers by her side – always. Thanks Jane

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a raw and visceral piece. This poor woman abdcthe awful thing which happened to her, no wonder she’s chewing her nails and they scratch her. She needs proper help as she was traumatized and suffering PTSD or something. Very much a depiction of character needing the right help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amanda – you’re right, she’s suffering alright and needs psychological help. But not everyone gets the help they need, do they? Let’s hope she does. Thanks so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, even in Canada where the health care is supposed to be good, there isn’t enough help or the right help. You can’t always see what goes on in a person’s mind either. Have a lovely week!

        Liked by 1 person

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