She shattered the dish. She didn't mean to. It slipped from her hands, falling in slow motion, cracking against the floor and then bursting into a million pieces of white glass flying in all directions.
She was punched and then locked in the closet for two days.
In the(more) apartment next door, he cracked the dish. He meant to. He held it high over his head, his little brother laughing, before letting it fall to the ground; it fell quickly, and it landed on the carpeting with a dull thud that was followed by a small crack traveling up through the plate.
His father came in at the noise, saw the plate, laughed, and told him to break dishes outside, where the floor was hard and he would get a nice, big shatter.
Just three apartments over, he didn't break the dish. Not that he wanted to. It was tin and filled with food-stamp-bought food, the only type of plates that the second-hand-store sold in the town. It had tipped out of his hands, and he watched the food- not the dish- fall to the floor, splattering against the tile, sticking to the walls.
He wasn't able to eat that night.
And one apartment to the left on the floor below, she broke the plate. She meant to. Her mother's priceless crystal plate, the only nice thing in their apartment, and a girl going through a rebellious phase? You can bet that plate was in trouble. She picked it up, the weight of it pulling her down just a little bit, before walking over to the open window and tossing it outside. The plate was annihilated, the beautiful sparkle of shattered crystals flying everywhere giving her a sense of accomplishment.
She wasn't punished, but she was searched for drugs.(less)
He supposes it's not the best of coping mechanisms, but it sure as hell helps him. As long as he's careful and cleans up after himself, it's alright. It's not like a little bit of flying ceramic shrapnel is going t(more)o hurt him, anyway. The satisfying crunch of plate against wall, between heavy boot and floor, under his hands feels like breaking bones. Anthony can count his breaths as his muscles change and shift under his skin, rolling to snap crackle break the plate.
People always ask Anthony why he only uses plastic plates; he doesn't tell them it's because they prevent him from venting his rage over dinner, he lies and says it's because he's clumsy. People don't know that he can be as damn graceful as he wants, built like a ballerina on femme girl days, but has anger issues.
The cracking of ceramic is better than that of bones, the blood welling out of his cuts (the same color as the angry eyes he can't mask) better than blood welling out of someone else's, shattering glass better than shattering bodies.
Anthony takes a perverse pleasure out of snapping plates in half, crushing them under tough knuckles that he can callous over with a bare thought, throwing them against walls and watching them shatter, and it terrifies him, making his eyes fade like fire from red to sick yellow-green when the anger fades and he sees the damage. (less)
It seemed like such a small thing, the shard lying on the ground. Just a bit of off white ceramic, with blue squares alternating around the rim. No big deal. And if it slipped and fell against the side of the sink, if a few pieces broke off and(more) hit the slimy, oily floors of the diner's kitchen, who would care?
Just a small thing.
At least, she would have thought so mere minutes ago, before her head had been grabbed from behind and her face plunged into the dirty dish water she'd been working in. The tall yellow rubber gloves that hadn't helped her to keep hold of the dish had equally not helped her keep hold of the counter, and she flailed ineffectually against her boss's grip.
When at last she lay still, he let her fall to the floor. The water swirled out from her hair to streak across the floor, lending shine to the shattered bit of plate.
Such a little thing...(less)
Garrett stared at the shattered porcelain on the floor. He was dead. He was so, so dead. When Mom found out how the plate had been broken, he'd be grounded for his entire life and he'd never see a video game console or remote ever again.
(more) His 8 year old body started trembling, first his lower lip, then his shoulders, then the world blurred as he desperately tried to stop the tears collecting in his eyes, dripping down his still-chubby cheeks.
Even when Mom wasn't all that mad, and forgave him many times over, he still refused to look at anyone in the house and buried his face in the pillow. It was better to have them stare at him, rather than having to look them in the eye and remember his earlier humiliation.
In the end, the plate was forgotten and tossed out, and nobody thought much of it later. After all, a single broken dish was expendable. (less)