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in the 84 page perfect-bound issue...
Down in the Dirt magazine (v079)
(the February 2010 Issue)

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On Broken Glass

Lisa M. Cronkhite

    I’ve tried to get over it, but I can’t.
It was two years ago when it happened.
I could still taste his filthy hands wrapped around my mouth—hear his heavy breathing in my ear.
When he strapped me down with the weight of his body, I could feel the broken glass slitting my back open.
As I fought, wiggling my way out of his grip, the glass dug deeper.
    It was my birthday and I was out with Jane for drinks at Excalibur.
I remember seeing him on the dance floor a few times, grinding up against all the sexy women.
The lights flashed against his demonic face, smiling a devilish grin as he groped and felt his way through the crowd—a prelude as to what was to come.
    “Susan, stay a little longer,” Jane had urged, slurping down another Cosmopolitan.
    “No, I can’t.
I have that book signing tomorrow, member?”
    “Ah, that’s right.
Susan Geller—the great novelist,” Jane replied with a jealous smirk.
    “You know how important it is to me.
Why do you have to say it like that?”
    “I’m sorry Sue.
I was just hoping we could have a little fun here.”
    “I did, but I have to go.”
    I got up off the chair, feeling a little tipsy from the two long islands—gave Jane a peck on the cheek and left.
Usually we’d leave together, but I was in such a hurry to get home—to catch some rest, that I didn’t think anything of it.
Little did I know, he was following me all along.
    I took the back way, thinking it would be quicker to get to the parking lot.
But after I dropped my keys, an overwhelming dizzy feeling came over me as I rose back up.
So I decided to walk a little slower, trying to shake it and try to regain my balance.
    That’s when he grabbed me—pulled me from behind.
    “I’ve been watching you.”
He breathed out in a low voice.
    “What do you want with me?”
The very words caught in my throat.
I froze as my body began to tighten up.
    “Oh, you’ll see,” he whispered back as his brace clung close, wrapping his arms around my waist.
    “Please don’t.
You can have my purse.”
My mind was running on haywire.
I couldn’t think straight.
    “Oh, I want something else.”
    He shoved me into a small alleyway, behind the club—right between a dumpster and the brick wall where no one could see.
It was as if he had it planned. And as he pushed and shoved, I slipped, breaking my heel.
    “Please don’t.”
I was so afraid yet so angry at the same time.
Why was this happening to me?
Why here?
Why now?
    He smothered his body onto mine, ripping my zipper off my jeans and slipped his hand inside me—his dirty disgusting hands.
His putrid breath was worse than the dumpster smells looming overhead.
    I numbed out the excruciating pain from the broken glass that lied underneath me.
    “Take it bitch,” he spit out as he continued to have his way.
    I couldn’t breathe with his hands all over me.
As his heavy thrusts shifted my body, I searched around on the ground for something, anything.
Until finally I grabbed a hold of a sharp object—my broken heel.

    Quickly I wrapped my fingers around the top, holding the pointed center out in the air.
And with one rapid stab, I plunged it into his eye.
    “Oh, bitch, what have you done?”
He cried out as he let go his clamp on me and shielded his face from the gushing bleed.
And as he got up, I suddenly squirmed my way out of the small entrapment and ran my heart out down the alleyway.
    After the police came, they discovered his body exactly where I described it would be.
The heel was still rammed into his face as he laid there in a pool of muddy blood.
    Two years ago it happened and I still can’t believe it.
Later it was found out that the man had been stalking me for months.
He was an obsessed fan of my novels and turned himself into the main character.
It wasn’t until the police told me his name that I found out who he was— Mark Stewart, a guy I used to date in high school.

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