Okay, Jane, here is my violent passage. I’ve left in a bit on the front to put it in context. Two words in your ear:
1) Just to explain any weirdness, this is a ghost story.
2) In addition to the violence, contains sex and a little naughty language.
Okay, here we go.
Smiling down into his face, she began to pump her hips. Joey came to meet her, adding his rhythm to hers until their flesh was slapping together and they were gasping and crying out in unison. Surrounded by her flying hair, Rosalind was lost to the world, oblivious to everything beyond their striving bodies.
Until, from outside, the cry came.
She knew at once that no animal or bird, nothing in nature, could have uttered that cry: a cold, inhuman wail that yet carried human emotion, a burden of grief and despair that banished all the heat of passion and froze her movements on the instant.
Dumbstruck, blinded by her hair, for the space of a few heartbeats Rosalind knew nothing beyond the crawling of her skin and the cold knot of fear in her belly, the pounding of her heart and the panting of her breath. Just as she was about to toss her hair out of the way, it was pulled with such brutal ferocity that her scalp burned and she cried out with the pain of it. Forced to stare at the ceiling as her head was yanked back, she saw from the periphery of her vision that Joey had sat up.
A voice spoke, Joey’s yet not Joey’s: a growl heavy with menace and simmering with latent violence. ‘Well,’ it said, ‘what are you waiting for, whore?’
His hold on her hair had slackened just enough for her to lower her head and look at him. Still astride his legs, she stared in numb horror at the man to whom she’d just been making love.
‘I can’t… Not now…’ Undone by shock, fear and dismay, she could no more have carried on than she could have flown. Even speaking was an effort.
‘What’s the use of a whore if she won’t fuck? You did it with your fancy man. You’ll do it with me.’
‘I have, I did…’
‘You’ll do it again. Finish what you started. Now.’
‘Please, Joey, no…’
A bellow: ‘Do it, whore!’
His face contorting into an unrecognisable mask of fury. His arm swinging. He’s going to hit me again he is it’s coming can’t dodge he’s got my hair oh God the baby…
The flat of his hand on her bruised left cheek her head jerking around pulling on her scalp lights dancing in her eyes a singing in her ears atrocious pain exploding through her face a scream wrenched from her throat…
Again the back of his hand on her other cheek and again his fist on the side of her head her arms raised trying to shield herself in vain her voice screaming screaming…
Again and again blows on her head her shoulders her ribs her belly…
The baby Christ my baby. ‘Joey, no! The baby, Joey! Joey!’
No use the blows still coming on and on arms clutched to her belly no way of shielding her face no help for it do what you like to me but not that not my baby…
Thrown flat on her back. The monster, lowering onto her. Pinned down by his weight, knowing what was coming, helpless.
Christ, I can see it in his face, between his legs. He’s enjoying this.
Rape, pure and simple, husband or no husband. No other word for it. Grit teeth and endure. Not a sound. Not a scream, not a sob, not a whimper. Don’t give the bastard the satisfaction.
‘Now get out of my bed, whore.’ He cuffed her again, shoving her off the bed to thump onto the floor.
Rosalind lay where he had thrown her, eyes shut, shuddering and gulping. Pain everywhere, filling the world. Through it she heard him pulling on his clothes and thumping down the stairs. A minute or two later, from downstairs, came the faint chink of bottle on glass.