Emma Hayes is an emerging writer with work published in The Irish Times, The Phoenix Magazine, The Journal.ie, The Limerick Magazine, Rollercoaster.ie and I Love Cooking.ie. Emma was a staff writer to Family Friendly HQ and her day job is Content Marketing though she has worked in PR. Emma is a member of the online writing group, Indulge in Writing and has attended the Inspiration Project weekend writing retreat as well as completing the refreshers week course. Emma is also a member of The Underground Writers Society and completed the creative writing course in June 2019.
Emma is putting together the finishing touches to her first fictional novel while working on her second book.
Emma is getting ready to submit her first novel, Stuck in the bottle, a women’s fiction and young adult crossover novel. While working on submitting to agents, Emma is working on her second novel as well as writing a middle grade children’s book. She may (or may not) enter a short story competition this year (for the first time) with a story very close to her heart. Emma writes stories that are stripped back to the raw, issue driven and often dysfunctional relationships between families with a deep focus on the children affected.
This prologue is from Emma’s work in progress, novel two.
The Perfect Beast
They don’t know he transforms at night,
From a class clown to ‘IT’,
They don’t hear the furious calls or see his mad eyes…
As she runs to our room for shelter,
They don’t watch her being dragged from the floors,
Or hear the scratching of her nails against the tiles,
They don’t know her clumps of hair sit on our bedroom floor,
Or that her screams haunt us every single day,
They don’t know how we cower in bed, terrified,
Stupidly thinking sheets will shield us,
They will never know how the ground shakes,
Every time he pounds her…
They don’t know that we are terrified of being bold, even a little…
Just in case his anger ignites,
And she pays a formidable price,
It will never occur to them that the cuts above her lip,
Are caused by the perfectly polite man,
Or why our eyes are always desolate and tired – though we are young,
They certainly don’t know the panic within,
How my heart pounds against my little chest as I gasp for air,
They don’t watch my sibling hold and soothe me to a calm,
They don’t know we rock to and fro, humming to ourselves to drown out the bellowing cries,
Or understand the sheer terror that comes when it abruptly stops,
They won’t know, he cowardly takes himself to bed and leaves her in a pit of despair.
They will never hear the gentle pitter patter of our soft feet,
As we sneak down to her while silently crying our own tears,
How we masterly avoid the smashed shards of a vodka bottle on the floor,
Or the blood smears that lead us to her,
They won’t see us untie her injured hands and dirty feet,
Or ungag her bloodied mouth while noticing her hair drenched in sweat,
They’ll never know how we avoid looking straight at her,
Because her eye is bulging out of its socket,
They’ll never know how it feels to pull a knife out of a loved one,
Hearing her gasp in pain with the crack of her damaged skin before the spray of blood,
They will never notice the deep cuts and bruises under her clothes,
Any they won’t struggle to bandage her up when we are still only learning to read.
They won’t feel our fear as we break into their room, quietly and decisively,
To collect clean pants and a robe to cover her naked body…
Willing ourselves not to make a single sound,
In case we arouse the perfect beast,
They definitely have never dressed a broken woman,
They won’t feel the enormous guilt,
The agony of letting it happen,
And the awful realisation that tomorrow night will be the same.
They won’t notice his scrapes, by her hands as she scrambled to save herself,
They won’t hug her softly and kiss her forehead,
They surely won’t see us wipe her tears away with our miniature sleeves,
These people won’t know that the nice man’s youngsters pick his wife up from the floor,
Dragging her to their bedroom, just to escape the remnants of the damage. Again.
They don’t see us cuddle up, in our room when we finally move her,
They won’t watch us sob in our sleep, united in terror,
Hanging off the single bed, gripped tightly around each other,
They will never know how unsafe we feel in our own home,
They won’t go to school with sore eyes or jump at every little sound,
They won’t have to make excuses or push friends away,
As no one can ever come home to our house, to our hell…
They won’t question that he is a great man,
They will see him EVERY, SINGLE, DAY.
The happy, fun and cheery man,
And not once will they consider that he hurts her,
They’ll watch him leave work and they’ll never save us…
Because they don’t know him,
They don’t know him,
But we know him,
We know him…
The Perfect Beast.