Part I - Karen vs Those Goddamn Fucking Walls

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Find a hobby, they said.

Explore your interests. Expand your horizons. Enrich your life.

"Enrich this, assholes," Karen hissed through gritted teeth.

White knuckled grip.

An axe blade whistled through the air.


The blade lodged deep into finished drywall. It was a purely decorative wall that divided Karen's kitchen from the dining room. It was also the current source of Karen's deep-seated, unfiltered, blinding hatred—this useless wall was the very thing that prohibited her from ever viewing her house as a proper home.

It was either the wall or Karen.

The wall had to go.

Karen swiped a rogue strand of blonde hair off her face, smoothing it back against the layered undercut that still reflected her natural, brunette color. She studied the half-buried blade before giving the handle a tug.

The axe didn't budge.


At first she hadn't been sure if the axe would even work on the wall. Now she wasn't sure she'd be able to get the axe out of the wall.

Karen felt like screaming.

So she did.

The rage—it was always there, wasn't it?—boiled over, spilling out of her mouth in an ear-piercing curdle. She could feel her skin flush and she knew—thanks to awkward summers at the beach bar when the drink order wasn't right—that the red had a way of spreading in blotchy, inky blots across her uncharacteristically un-tanned skin.

The red blotches blossomed on her chest and worked their way up her neck, almost as if the scream itself was pulling the flush upwards to her face.

As the rage mounted, Karen grabbed the rubber grip of the axe with both hands and yanked furiously. Muscles strained and veins popped against the skin of her narrow shoulders. The axe shifted, wiggled, and finally pulled free. The force of Karen's yank sent her tumbling backwards, tripping over a rug, and falling ass-first to the ground.

Karen's head hit the ground. A light show danced in her vision as she stared up at the axe spinning weightlessly in the air.

It took a split second for the panic to register.

The axe came crashing down, blade-first, right towards the angular features of Karen's 32-year-old face.

Karen gasped and twisted.

The blade thunked into the wood floor, exactly where Karen's head had been a second earlier. She blinked rapidly, the panic thumping in her chest and that rage—always rage—boiling in her belly. She grabbed the axe handle and rolled to her feet.

Another furious yank and the axe came up out of the floor. Karen squatted and inspected the splintered gash in the wood, running her fingers across the damage. The wood floors had been less than two years old—a massive upgrade from the cheap beige tile the house had come with.

There had been endless arguments about the wood floors. She and Conrad had purchased the house with the understanding that they would renovate in a piecemeal fashion, as their budget allowed. At first, Conrad had been agreeable with this, but every time they priced out a new upgrade, he insisted on pushing her to cheaper options.

Wood floors weren't cheap.

Karen insisted that if they didn't buy the quality stuff now, they'd just be spending more, later.

Conrad would disagree, but countered with at least postponing the floor reno.

Karen had already put the flooring on the credit card. He'd understand when it was finished.


Continued in Part II - Karen vs Her Goddamn Fucking Therapist

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