DESTROYER by Gretchen Clark • Cleaver Magazine
Canned laughter sounded from the television, but no one was smiling in the kitchen where I faced my mother, our dog's metal chain cold against my palm. She was close to six feet tall, and I was only eight, but I narrowed my eyes and glared at her. "I can hit you," I said. "I can kick you all I want." She looked at me, her green irises bisected by the deep lines etched in the bifocal lens she wore. "Go ahead," she said. I whipped the chain forward as I sprung up in my shiny Mary Jane shoes. It was a clumsy attempt; I barely grazed her shoulder. I swung again. And again, stopping only when the chain connected with my mother's glasses. I didn't break them, but they hung askew on her shocked face.