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The Journal (Part 12)
I had a dream last night that I had magic of some sort and was captured by a Mord-Sith. I was tortured for months until I was finally broken, and then I was forced into all kinds of things. When I woke up, Mickey was somehow there. He was sporting a black eye and holding my hands as tight as he could. As it turns out, I punched him in the face when he tried to wake me up.
I was already crying as soon as my eyes opened, as well. He held me as I cried, getting out the fear, anger, and pain that built inside of me throughout the night. I couldn’t stand being helpless and completely under someone else’s control with no mind of my own. It drove me insane.
I’ve always known I don’t like being under someone else’s control. The dream just represented that. I knew before I was kidnapped, too. What happened next just pulled it all together.
Hanging by my wrists, my feet barely on the ground, I gazed into the icy blue eyes. The bruise I had put around one of them was completely gone, letting his eyes take the full effect on me. Some of the pain rippling across my skin vanished as I fell into the daze, same as last time I was left to stare into his eyes.
“I see you haven’t learned to behave.”
His voice was simply threatening this time, no sugar-coating whatsoever. I wasn’t too surprised, and didn’t respond.
My shirt and shorts lay in a corner, although my undergarments were still on. He stood in front of me, a slight smile on his lips, icy blue eyes growing colder and colder by the second. I inhaled slowly, and when I exhaled I gave a slight roar.
It was a dragon breath. It calmed me down more than a simple deep breath would have.
His face darkened. Oops.
His fingers ran down my side. I shivered, my eyes closing automatically.
“Open your eyes.”
I didn’t move.
“I said, open your eyes.”
I imagined myself rolling my eyes, since I couldn’t in reality, “I heard you.”
A sharp pain materialized between my chest and stomach. My eyes opened wide as my breath shot from my lungs, the hit to my sternum the culprit behind the loss of breath. That would leave a bruise. I gasped for air, my eyes staying open and locking on his face. His eyes didn’t pull me in this time. This time, I forced myself to stay slightly disconnected from what was going on around me.
“Tell me you love me.”
“Go screw yourself.”
His fist connected with my side, making me clench my teeth.
Through grit teeth, I hissed, “Never.”
“This is your last chance, SweeTart. Say it.”
“Alright, as you wish.”
Five minutes passed. Tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t breath. Blood flowed down my skin, from my shoulders to my toes. It formed a puddle around my feet. Everything was stained a brilliant red. His icy blue eyes were on me as he let me take first one breath, and then another. It was a slight break from the constant pain. He walked around me, and when I couldn’t see him, drew his knife in a shallow cut across my shoulders. Sweat stung my eyes. I groaned, the slight pain he added to the pile finally drawing me overboard.
I barely managed to choke out the words, “I love you.”
He walked around to stand in front of me, and smiled, “I love you too, SweeTart. Now, tell me you want me.” He paused for a second, and then added, “All of me.”
He just wants to beat me to death, doesn’t he?
Sensing this, he started again, giving me a break every once in a while and a chance to tell him I want all of him. It’s not going to happen. I’ll say I love him, but I wasn’t about to say I wanted him. However, he soon had me begging him to stop, all sense of dignity lost as my vision blacked out, my body tensed over and over searching for a place where the pain couldn’t get me, and my hands clawed at the air they could reach. He simply kept saying the same thing over and over.
“Tell me that you want me and the pain will stop.”
I’m not even sure what he used on me. It could’ve been a bat, or a wrench, or anything else that hurts like bloody murder. At least it wasn’t an Ageil. That’s all I have to be thankful for. Sometime, a shock ran through my body, centered from my right shoulder blade. I couldn’t stop the scream that ripped through my throat. After it stopped, I couldn’t help wondering where they got something that could do that.
Pain went across my skin in waves, and pleas released themselves from my lips towards the man with the icy blue eyes.
“Tell me that you want me and the pain will stop.”
My words stayed on the same track, never varying from begging and pleading. He kept telling me the same thing.
“Tell me that you want me and the pain will stop.”
After a while, I came out of my confusion and pain-induced haze long enough to growl, “You are not my master!”
It got worse, and….
You have no idea how much pain I’m in right now, simply remembering that. I just moaned in pain. That’s how much the memories hurt.
I can’t finish this right now, even though I’m done with most of it. I just can’t. I’ll try to finish it later.
I really will try. My time is running out anyway.
I know what you want to know. What do you mean; your time is running out?
That’s easy. My time is running out. It’s as simple as that.
I’m not sure how long I slipped in and out of consciousness. I just know that, after what felt like years, I finally whispered, “I do not want you, and I never will.”
Now I realize why they choose women to be Mord-Sith. We’re way too stubborn and clear in our values to give in easily, no matter how young.
The pain over the next indescribably long session was so intense I passed out. I saw myself, a young girl, playing in a sandbox. I was building a sandcastle, with towers and pet unicorns and flags everywhere. Then, a boy came over and kicked it all down. I was so young I started to cry. The boy kicked sand in my face, making me cry more. When he laughed and started to walk away, my foot connected with his shin.
He went down quickly, tears coming to his eyes. He screamed for his mother. She came running, and my dad did too. She started screaming that he needs to control his daughter, and that I was a menace to the welfare of children in the community. My dad replied that it was self-defense, and she should just go screw herself and make sure she knows the full story before making the accusations.
She screamed that my family needs to take residence in an insane asylum. My dad agreed. She walked away, angry and pulling her son with her. My dad pulled me into his arms, wiped my tears, and gave me a big hug, “I’m so proud of you, Sheik. Never let the big men push you around, unless it’s me.”
My eyes opened as pain shot through my body. I couldn’t recognize the source. I just knew that it hurt, and remembered the words of my not-so-wise father.
‘Sweetheart, if anyone ever hurts you make sure to hit them at least once before it’s over. Save your pride.’
Every rational cell within me screamed and fought against it, but it was complete instinct. My foot shot out, connecting with his face. I smiled in the split second of no pain that came with the satisfaction of feeling the crack beneath my bare foot, and hearing it in my ears. The smile grew wider even as the pain flooded back into my system. The blood spurting from his nose made it all worthwhile. Men came in and led him out. I watched his blood mix with mine.
Then, I looked up. Jack stood there, a scowl on his face and a box of pins (pins thicker than toothpicks) in his hands. His scowl turned into a small, evil smile that had all his controlled anger in the curve of his lips.
“Let’s see how long you’ll last under my hand, SweeTart.”
An hour later, I hung from the chains, my wrists burning, feet not even on the floor now. Pins stuck out of me in every inch of skin showing, making every movement and every breath hurt. I’m not sure how long I was there, forced into moving this way and that by the use of a lighter. The pain was excruciating.
Jack is a freaking mastermind.
Eventually, he removed the pins, creating small points of red blood where dark red dried blood didn’t already cover. He left. I was alone, still hanging by my wrists. I fell in and out of sleep. I was fed and hydrated regularly. I have no idea how long I was there with the pain, surprised I hadn’t lost too much blood, surprised I was still alive, and surprised they were even bothering to keep me alive.
After an immeasurable amount of time, I was released. Jack had to help me stand. He changed me into clean clothes. Then, he led me down the hall and back into the room with Zelda. She was fine, her wide eyes on me. She was so shocked, she didn’t have room to be angry. I, however, did. The pain had become a dull buzz in the back of my mind. Now, I was p***ed. However, I wasn’t about to do anything rash.
Yoda looked absolutely scared to death, but she still walked calmly over to Jack. She was going to do something rash.
Zelda’s birthday is coming up soon. I’ve decided on that date. For what, you may ask. You’ll find out soon. I promise.
I went out into Fort Bruno today. I found the box. I opened it.
I thought I had been shot through the chest. Zelda and I haven’t been able to find these for a long, long time. We’ve been looking for them, too.
It was a pair of necklaces and bracelets. One necklace had an Oreo pendant hanging from the chain, and the other had a little milk carton. They both had little smiley faces on them. One bracelet had a chocolate chip cookie, and the other had a little milk carton on it. They both had little smiley faces, as well.
It was our friendship necklaces and bracelets from when we were younger. You know, the age where doing the Kit-Kat handshake was cool, when Miss. Mary Mack was an awesome hand game, when double-dutch was popular in the schoolyard, and when the boys had races at recess for king of the playground.
Finding these made me want to jump out of Fort Bruno and see what happens. I would’ve, too, if I didn’t know I haven’t finished telling my story. I have to finish telling my story.
I’m going to finish telling my story.
Yoda punched Jack. As in, she full-out decked him in the face as hard as she possibly could. Jack barely moved, but the point was made. Yoda was p***ed, and she wasn’t going to sit back and let them do this to me.
What has Zelda been teaching her?
Jack growled and pushed her back. She stumbled, falling onto her back. Jack pushed me after her, and I cried out as my bruises hit the ground and my scabs ripped open, coating my clean clothes in blood at places. I groaned, dimly hearing the door slam. Zelda shot to my side. Yoda started to cry, scared to death of what was going to happen to her.
“I’m fine,” I said before Zelda could ask. I pushed myself into a sitting position, moving to lean against a wall.
“My God,” Zelda whispered, and I saw that she was crying, “what did they do to you?”
I shook my head slowly and growled, “I refuse to be broken.”
She whimpered, and I could see in her eyes that she simply wanted to hug me but knew it would hurt. So instead, she turned around and started punched the wall until blood ran down her hands from the splits in her skin. I was too weak to stop her. I could see in her eyes that she was absolutely crazy from anger, pain, and finally breaking to realize that this is completely hopeless.
She screamed at the top of her lungs, her voice high-pitched. I covered my ears. Yoda dove for Zelda, trying to cover her mouth. Zelda simply took her to the ground, stood up, backed up, and screamed again. I winced, tightening my hands around my ears.
Zelda’s gone completely insane.
I stared out the window, my eyes blurring because of the tears. My mom sat next to me, and she didn’t seem to know what to say. Who does know what to say to a girl like me? I’m completely broken. I can’t be fixed. There’s no way.
“So,” she started, “how’s school?”
I shrugged, not answering. A waiter came. My mom ordered me shrimp with French fries. She got some kind of combo for herself. I really don’t care. My coke sat in front of me, untouched. This was supposed to be a mother-daughter bonding day. I’d rather be hanging from my wrists with pins stuck in my skin than pretend I’m normal, pretend I’m okay.
Silence fell over the table. When the waiter came back, he whispered to my mom. I guess he thought I wouldn’t be able to hear him, but he knew something was up. He knew something was wrong inside, not as if that isn’t the most obvious thing in the world. I’m basically going through the motions. It doesn’t surprise me that he would ask my mom if I was a little slow in the head. I also wasn’t so surprised when my mom replied that she wasn’t sure, but I probably am.
See that? I’m broken inside, no will to live, and people think I’m slow in the head. That shows that this country needs some help and needs to fall away from that kind of thinking.
I turned, looked at him blankly, and said, “I’m not slow. Do not think I’m slow.”
He met my eyes. I felt like a celebrity when he said, “You’re that girl who was kidnapped last year, aren’t you?”
I didn’t answer, just turned back to the window. My mom told him I was. He said he was sorry and walked away.
I sighed, very slowly picking up a fry and putting it in my mouth. I didn’t taste it. It was simply there, so I chewed and swallowed. I went back to staring at the window. A few minutes later, I ate another fry. My mom was about a quarter of the way done with whatever she was eating. I had some shrimp. I stared out the window.
“I got you an appointment to see a therapist in two weeks. Try not to wither to death until then, alright Sheik?”
I nodded once and ate one other fry. I wouldn’t have to worry about that appointment.
When the waiter came back, my mom told him to take everything away. He nodded, and said he has a surprise for me. A minute later he came back, another man by his side. The other man was holding a huge bowl of ice cream.
I stared, my mouth automatically watering at the sight of the familiar childhood dessert.
“For you,” the other man said, a smile on his face, “eat up. We made it especially for you, and I will not except no for an answer.”
My eyes widened. My mom recognized the change in me and whispered, “Relax, Sheik, he’s joking.” I forced the fear from my mind, forced my muscles to relax, and forced myself to smile under their confused, surprised, and slightly fearful gazes. My mom, however, looked embarrassed.
I started into the ice cream, taking one bite. It was mint chocolate chip, and it sent sweet sugar through my body. I shivered in pleasure. I haven’t had ice cream in almost a year.
The waiter and the man smiled. The man spoke, “Keep going, honey. Relax a little.”
I nodded, and dug in. My mom was amazed at the transformation in me as the waiter went back to work and the man sat with us, talking to me. I was laughing; I was talking; and I seemed normal for the first time in a long time. I was warned that I probably couldn’t finish all the ice cream. Most people don’t.
It was delicious, with different kinds of ice creams, tons of hot fudge, a brownie, some banana, and more toppings than you can imagine. It was absolutely impossible to finish, yet I didn’t think so. It was good. None of the discomforts bothered me, mainly because I’ve had much worse.
I finished it. He was shocked. My mom was too.
If Zelda saw this, she wouldn’t have been surprised.
He took a picture of me smiling in front of the empty bowl. He put it up on a wall I hadn’t noticed. I was one of only thirty-seven people in five years to finish it. I was the youngest. I was the only girl. They named it after me, changing it to “Sheik’s Surprise.” My mom and I left, our meals free.
I should’ve felt super-accomplished. I didn’t. I felt the same as before.
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"According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. (Generally those who don't have to do it. Politicians and writers spring to mind.) I've never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you're also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking." — Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate)