SURVIVAL

My Husband Blocked Our Escape

Our daughter clung to me

Claire Franky
5 min readFeb 13, 2024

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Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval on Unsplash

My body froze as barking erupted from the living room. My arm remained outstretched, reaching for the freshly clean towel that needed to be folded.

The sound of claws on wood reached my ears and my chest began to thud. Slowly, I pulled my arm back to my side, leaving the towel in the laundry basket on my neatly made bed.

I glanced around the room without moving my body, looking for the only weapon I had — my phone. My mind began to race, after not seeing it on the bed and wondering where I had left it.

The living room. My phone was in the living room on the round coffee table, mere feet from where my dog was barking ferociously and jumping up at the windowsill, gauging grooves into the wood with his claws.

There was no way to call for help.

I forced my head to swivel and directed my eyes to bore into the baby monitor placed on the dresser by the doorway. It showed my daughter, napping peacefully with the sound machine in her bedroom muffling the noise coming from the savage dog down the hall.

What if it’s him? What if he’s outside? What if he has a knife? Or a gun? What if he’s already in the house?

My brain willed my body to move. My legs obeyed, stepping around the bed towards the door. They moved slowly, I couldn’t feel the steps that I took. It was as if my legs didn’t belong to me.

As I reached the baby monitor, I realized my hands were balled into tight fists with my nails digging into my palms. I released them and grabbed the baby monitor, clutching it tightly in my fingers. They would ache later. But not now. Now the only thing I could feel was fear.

Silence. Suddenly there was silence. My eyes stared down the empty hallway before me. My breath sounded in my ears as I stepped onto the cream carpet. One foot. Then the other. Light, slow footsteps as I questioned myself.

Should I keep going forward? Or do I turn into my daughter’s room, barricade the door, and climb out of the window with her in my arms? You’re being ridiculous. Everything is fine. Wait, no. The dog is quiet. Is he dead?

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