Not Bravery

There was a reason Micro-Ice's dad wasn't around.

When Mana-Ice told people the reason why (and she didn't tell many people. Mana-Ice was much more helper orientated. She preferred helping people with their own problems, not talking about hers) the response was often, more times than not: 'Oh, you're so brave!'

But she wasn't brave. Mana-Ice had just done what she had to do. Micro-Ice was her son, her baby.

The way Mana-Ice saw it; there was no other way...

Mana-Ice's husband, Micro-Ice's father...he had domestically abused her.

Mana-Ice and her future husband had met when she was nearing her thirties. Tall, with a shock of black hair and the bluest eyes, Drogan Lons was one of the most beautiful men she had ever seen.

He was also one of the cruellest.

Mana-Ice, herself, was pretty, but she was nothing outstanding. Mundane brown hair that matched mundane brown eyes. The only thing truly enchanting about her was her smile. And that was the thing Drogan fell for.

Mana-Ice had been shocked when the gorgeous, popular -owner of a nightclub- Drogan had asked her out on a date, but she had accepted –of course- and then she fell fast and hard.

Their relationship moved so quickly. Too quickly. Mana-Ice knew that now. One moment they were dancing in his nightclub, the next she was waking up to him.

But Mana-Ice was young and...and stupid. She had felt like she was living some sort of dream, and so she relished it. She grabbed at every compliment Drogan tossed her way. Gnawed on them as if she were a dog and they were his leftovers...he picked up on that.

Drogan had worked out that Mana-Ice was in love with him. He had noticed that she blushed and giggled at his every compliment. He revelled in the fact she looked so enthralled every time he spoke. He adored the fact that, with a snap of his fingers, her clothes would be off.

Then she got pregnant.

Getting pregnant -on Akillian, in those days- without being married was looked down on. Mana-Ice didn't particularly care about other people's opinions, but Drogan did. Especially as he came from a rich, well established family.

They had to get married.

Mana-Ice was thrilled. Her perfect future was coming true. A beautiful, enchanting husband. A baby on the way...

She was six months pregnant when he first hit her.

Something had started going wrong. They had been married a year and it had become a theme that Drogan would come home from work late. So late. Too late.

He would come back and he wouldn't even hide the fact he had been with other women. Their lipstick stained his face, his hair was ruffled from lovemaking, his skin stank of sex.

Mana-Ice had confronted him –she was four months pregnant at this point- and he had been furious. Mana-Ice, to this day, had never seen anyone so angry. He had scared her so much.

He had shouted at her. His spit flying onto her face. Mana-Ice swore he was going to bite her, rip her face right from her skull.

He had accused her of wrecking his life. He had called her a fat pig. He demanded to know what right she had to tie him down the way she had. Did she know how repulsive she was? Did she understand how disgusting she looked?

He spat on her and pushed past, leaving her there; trying to understand the situation, even as tears slowly began forming in her eyes. Inside her belly, the baby kicked as if questioning what was wrong. It seemed alert to its mother's distress. Mana-Ice loved her baby more than she thought she could then. Her hand went down to her stomach and she glanced behind her, listening as Drogan uncorked another bottle of wine, despite the amount of alcohol she had smelt upon his breath.

She hadn't known what to do when he'd first hit her.

At six months pregnant, Mana-Ice was awoken one night by a large bang downstairs. Getting to her feet, with some difficulty, the pregnant woman began making her way downstairs. The last step on the staircase had creaked...this doomed her.

Suddenly Drogan was there. He was drunk. He pawed at her nightgown trying to lift it, chuckling to himself. Mana-Ice resisted, she pulled her nightgown back down, Drogan snapped.

Mana-Ice barely knew what was going on. One moment she had been slapping her husband's hand away, the next...the next she was sprawled upon the stairs as a burning sensation overtook the left side of her face. One hand on her stomach, the other on her face, Mana-Ice looked up at him. She was trembling and she let out a gasp of horror when she saw Drogan's fist uncurl. He had punched her.

Something warm began running down the side of her face. Mana-Ice didn't move her eyes were locked on the wedding ring on Drogan's hand. The ring that had left a bloody imprint upon her head.

Tears began flooding out and she shakily picked herself up. Drogan watched her stand, a look of utter disdain on his face and then he marched away, off into the kitchen.

He left Mana-Ice standing there, tears dripping down her cheeks, falling off of her chin, onto the wooden floor.

He wasn't there when Micro-Ice was born into the world. Mana-Ice went through that ordeal alone. She had no mother, she had no father. She was an orphan. He was all she had. Drogan knew this. He hardly cared.

As Mana-Ice held the tiny boy that was Micro-Ice in her arms, tears glistened in her eyes. She held the tiny baby close to her. He looked so like Drogan, yet he was so innocent.

Micro-Ice had loved his daddy. He truly, honestly had. Drogan had doted on his son; picking him up, tickling him, playing with him, treating him.

Usually mummy wasn't there...usually Mana-Ice was tending to her injuries.

The hitting had become a common theme. A necessary routine of life. Come home from shopping and be rewarded with a fist. Wake up in the middle of the night to verbal abuse. He hurt her so often that Mana-Ice had gradually grown to accept it. She didn't dare try and leave; that would just result in more anger. It would fail anyway. Drogan had made it clear that Mana-Ice would be nothing. She wasn't going to become the author she so desired to be. She was useless, pointless...disgusting.

The only one Mana-Ice had was Micro-Ice. He would come running to her, pudgy little hands reaching in the air as he begged to be picked up. Micro-Ice would tell his mummy she was beautiful. He'd pull at the side of her mouth to try and make her smile. He'd kiss any of the bruises or cuts he saw.

Mana-Ice hadn't thought it would be possible for her to love someone so much, but her gratefulness and her adoration for her son knew no bounds. He was her angel. Her miracle.

So...this was the part everybody claimed made Mana-Ice was brave. Once people said that to her, Mana-Ice wasn't sure they had listened to the story properly. Did they not understand that it had nothing to do with bravery? The very fact she had lived with the abuse for years proved to her she wasn't courageous. No. Mana-Ice wasn't brave...she just loved her son too much to care what would happen to her.

Drogan had tried to hurt Micro-Ice.

It was snowing heavily on that night; Mana-Ice would always recall that. She was sitting on her bed, a four year old Micro-Ice sleeping soundly next to her. She had her sights set on the window; watching as snow spiralled down in the streetlights. She was waiting for Drogan to come home, it was even later than usual...and then his silhouette appeared on the driveway. He began crunching up towards the house and Mana-Ice silently began bracing herself. The last beating Drogan had gifted her with had resulted in a whole chunk of her hair being pulled free. Drogan had laughed at her that morning...chuckled and pointed at the bald patch he had caused. He claimed she was hideous. Disgusting. A monstrosity.

The door opened and Mana-Ice became even stiffer. He began clomping up the stairs. He was so loud that he woke Micro-Ice. The little boy shifted sleepily and then opened his eyes. He eyed his mother curiously and then sat up.

The door opened.


Something wasn't right. Something wasn't right at all. Drogan swayed in the doorway. It made her feel sick to her stomach, but Mana-Ice was still taken by his beauty, no matter how terrible it was.

Those blue eyes of his...they were blood shot. There was a needle mark in his neck. He'd been taking drugs. A new sort of drug that had become all the rage on Akillian recently.

Instinctively, Mana-Ice reached for Micro-Ice, but Drogan was too quick. He lurched into the bedroom, leant down and grinned at his son.

"Yeah, it's daddy!" he slurred.

Micro-Ice looked less than impressed with his father's demeanour. In fact, the four year old looked scared.

That wasn't something Mana-Ice had ever wanted to see in her son's eyes...especially not when the source of the fear was his dad.

"Drogan," she said sharply. That tone was going to get her in trouble.

Drogan's head shot up. His drug addled eyes fixing on his wife.

"Leave Micro-Ice alone." her voice was clear and crisp. Her eyes glinted.

Drogan let out a loud bellow of a laugh. Too mad for the quiet of the room.

"What're you talking about?" he retorted. "He's my son!" the man grabbed Micro-Ice's arm. "Aren't you?"

Micro-Ice squealed in pain and tried to pull free, he was too weak though. All the little boy had managed to do was anger his father.

"That's right," Drogan growled. "Always trying to get back to your whore of a mother aren't you? You are such a stupid little boy. A little shit. Both of you have kept me back-" the loudness and intensity of Drogan's words increased as he ranted, Micro-Ice began wailing, Mana-Ice stared at her son in horror.

It was like the situation was in slow motion. Micro-Ice screaming, Drogan yelling, his hand slowly rising. That was when Mana-Ice moved into action.

"What are you doing?" she screamed, she moved at lightning speed, her own hand coming forwards to grab Drogan's. She pulled her husband forward and then yanked Micro-Ice up.

Drogan yelped in rage as he fell onto the bed and then he turned to glower at her. Mana-Ice had got to her feet, she was standing -with Micro-Ice in her arms- her eyes wide.

"Give him back to me." Drogan snarled.

Mana-Ice could hardly believe what was happening. She was used to Drogan hitting her...had accepted it really, but Micro-Ice? He had never tried to hurt him before. And she would be damned if he ever would.

"Stay back." the words came out harsher than she had intended, but Mana-Ice refused to back down. She drew herself up higher, clutched Micro-Ice to her chest and glowered furiously at Drogan.

Drogan let out a bellow of fury and launched himself at her. Mana-Ice jumped to the side and rushed from the room. She skittered out onto the landing, Micro-Ice shrieking in her arms.

"Ssh. Shh baby." she whispered.


Drogan sounded demonic as he exploded from the bedroom. Mana-Ice set Micro-Ice down behind her –and the boy promptly climbed underneath a nearby table- and then turned to face her abuser. Fire glinted in her eyes. Drogan didn't like this.

"What do you think you're doing?" he demanded his tone so inherently venomous that it sent chills down the woman's spine. "Give me my son."

Micro-Ice whimpered audibly and this only reinforced Mana-Ice's resolve.

"No." she retorted.

Drogan stepped backwards, a cocky and disbelieving smile perched crookedly on his face. "No?" he repeated. "Someone needs to teach you who's the boss. Whore,"

The words stung, but Mana-Ice had no time to react to them as Drogan came rushing towards her. There was no time to move. Drogan rugby tackled her to the ground and sat astride her, grinning inanely.

"Stupid little woman." he snarled and then his fist plunged into her face.

Mana-Ice let out a scream of pain, which was answered by a scream of panic and horror from her son, who was only now understanding where the bruises that littered his mummy had been coming from.

The horror in Micro-Ice's yelp was palpable, and Mana-Ice felt her heart nearly breaking. Drogan's punches hurt. She was sure he was aiming to kill her...but if she died, who would be there for Micro-Ice?

The woman caught her husband's next punch with both of her hands and then she bucked, forcing the huge man to stumble back a little. Taking advantage of her momentum, Mana-Ice managed to get into a crouching position.

Drogan laughed cruelly as he leant himself up by his elbows, watching as Mana-Ice shakily rose to her feet. She was slightly stunned due to the multiple blows to her head, but Micro-Ice's tears were still painfully obvious to her. Her baby.

Drogan was just getting to his feet, so he didn't notice when Mana-Ice came rushing at him. He looked up just in time to receive her boot hitting his nose. There was a sickening crunch and Mana-Ice wretched slightly. Drogan fell back, yelping in pain.

"What are you doing?" he demanded angrily.

Mana-Ice didn't reply, instead she let out a roar of pain, anger, frustration and heartbreak and then began pummelling him. She couldn't control herself; every punch expressed her anger, her sadness.

Drogan began shrieking in pain. Blood ran from his nose, from his forehead and into his eyes. Blinded, the man stumbled backwards.

"Stop!" he began begging. "Please stop!"

"Mummy!" Micro-Ice screamed in distress.

Mana-Ice looked at her son and felt her heart shatter. The boy had moved out from under the table and he was staring at her, his wide eyes filled with tears, mucus dribbling from his tiny nose.

"Baby." she murmured and she turned back to look at Drogan.

The pathetic man was stooped over the banister, snivelling as blood pooled out from his nostrils. His perception was off due to the drugs, Mana-Ice knew this, if she had tried to fight back any other night, she would most likely be dead.


Drogan looked up, squinting through the blood in his eyes.

"Get. Out." Mana-Ice had never heard herself so angry before. Her voice shook with emotion, her hands curled into fists and she glowered at him, even though she wept within herself. She couldn't let Drogan win again. Not if he was going to try and hurt Micro-Ice.

Drogan didn't reply, but he slowly began edging down the stairs. He didn't look back.

Mana-Ice fell to her knees once she was sure the man was gone. Micro-Ice rushed to her side, looping his arms around her neck. Sore, Mana-Ice winced, but she embraced her son's love.

She wasn't brave...

I don't know what it is that inspired this. I apologise if it upset and/or insulted anyone. Obviously domestic abuse is a tender subject and I was actually quite worried about putting this up. However, I hope it is clear that this isn't aimed to glorify abuse and is instead a testimony against it. Reviews would be appreciated. G