|Repose Remembers (reposeremembers) wrote in repose,|
@ 2020-04-10 20:30:00
|Entry tags:||hannah smith, mal reed, ~plot: memories|
Will characters be viewing the memory or experiencing it?: Experiencing it
Warning, this memory contains: Mentions of rape
You wake up, and you know this isn't like the times before.
He's gone. You don't hear him moving around in the rest of the house: the creaking of floorboards or the rattling of dishware in the kitchen. It's silent except for the sound of your breathing. Light coming in through gaps in the dirty curtains tells you it's morning: cold and overcast but brighter for the snow blanketing the ground.
You're naked, it's cold, and your first instinct is to gather the dirty, scratchy wool blanket around yourself but you stop with a reaching hand before you can touch it. It's covered you the past three (? four?) nights and you're suddenly afraid that it will coat your skin in the shame you've been drowning in. No. You'll find something else.
You take stock, and while you're not surprised that most things feel better the day after, there's still the echo of a deep ache inside, because not everything goes away. Suddenly your stomach heaves and you're retching, vomiting all over the blanket and the bed, palms pressed down against the dirty mattress. Mostly, it's stomach acid and bile that comes up. You haven't eaten in two (? three?) days, but you can't blame your body for its weakness, not for trying to get rid of the shame that you can feel radiating from your skin like heat. The bed has been covered in worse.
You push yourself up away from the bed, wiping at your mouth with the back of your arm. Your skin is almost translucent, your arms little more than sticks. It's been a hard winter, and a long one. Long and hard, haha, how funny that would've been two (? three?) years ago. Your feet don't really register how cold the wood floor is, because it matches the rest of you. You need to get warm, but you hope that his clothes aren't the only ones you can find. There's a hitch in your gait from the pain that hasn't yet fully healed up from the first night with him. The second had been easier. You'd struggled more because you knew the struggle excited him and it had ended much faster that way. Like it or not, you know what guys like him want. What they like.
You listen for a long time at the bedroom door. If he was here, he'd have heard you throw up. But still you listen, heart fluttering almost painfully. You don't know what the rest of the house looks like. You've been in this room, in that bed, the whole time. When he brought you here, it had been safe, warm. He'd given you soup, warm coffee. You'd slept for hours, maybe a full day. You should've realized he'd drugged the food, and before that, the warm drink he'd given you in the car. First rule of hitching was to never drop your guard, AKA don't fall asleep in the car. But what were you supposed to do? A blizzard in the middle of February, on the highway between towns and with no hope of shelter? It had been that or freeze to death, and maybe you should've frozen. Whatever would have happened after would've been preferable to the things that had in reality.
But those things have already happened: move on. Get out. No clothes in this room, so you push open the door and creep into the silent house. There's another door in the hallway opposite the one you exit, but you know that's his room. Nothing in there for you, if you can help it. Keep looking. Bare feet on dirty wooden floorboards, warped here and there, curling toward the sky like growing vines. There's a bathroom and you pause. You don't have to go. He hasn't been feeding you and it's been two (? three?) days since the last time. You're not hungry, you're not thirsty. You don't even want something to wash the taste of bile from your mouth. Everything right now should be bent toward getting out. You keep moving.
Kitchen: no clothes here, just a rickety wooden table and two chairs with busted rails. It's almost nostalgia, a place like this, and how much better would things have been if you'd just stayed home? No time for regrets. Your heart picks up its pace, beating faster, convinced you're running out of time. Next room, then. Living room, the sun is shining on this side of the house, dust motes floating in shafts of light between dirty beige curtains. Front door here - it's your way out, but you're still naked. No more rooms in the house, but you can't bear to go back to the bedrooms.
You tear down one of the curtains, shaking the dust free as the curtain rod bounces off a side table and thumps to the carpet. You wrap the scratchy, cornflower-blue fabric around your body like a toga, and take a couple steps to make sure you can walk. It goes around too many times for its size, you know that. You're so thin these days. Maybe that's why you're not hungry.
You look out the window and to the snow blanketing the ground. The emptiness stretching beyond it. Long walk, maybe you should get some of his clothing after all. The thought causes the bile to rise in your throat again. Gotta move, gotta move. Swallowing it down you rush back to his bedroom, pushing the door open so hard it crashes against the wall and the doorknob leaves a hole in the plaster. Fuck it. You find a sweater on the unmade bed, pull it on over the curtain. It comes down to your knees and it smells like him but you push the thought away. Pants might be impossible; you remember feeling his heavy stomach against the small of your back. But there has to be something, some way. Where are your clothes, anyway? Why hadn't you thought of that before? Fair's fair: you're not thinking straight.
The room is a Marie Kondo nightmare or a Hoarders wet dream, cluttered with boxes and clothes and milk crates full of empty bottles, but you see a yellow sleeve peeking from the closet door. Your jacket had been yellow. Maybe. You have to wade through the boxes and the heaped piles of books and clothing over to the door standing ajar, don't open it but tug on the sleeve and the door opens on its own, bringing not only your jacket with it but spilling a pile of clothing into the rest of the mess of the room. Clothing that obviously doesn't fit him. Clothing more your size. Your clothing. But more clothing close to your size that isn't your own. Eight (? nine?) more people's worth of clothing. Torn, ratty jeans and holey sweaters and dirty button-down shirts. You shiver hard. Part of you probably already knew you weren't the first.
It's the first noise you've made since you vomited on the bed, but you rip his sweater off with a strangled cry that is half sob, then the curtain after, and put your own things on, with a few extra layers of other people's clothes on besides. Your heart is thumping and it's hard to breathe and you don't care if the socks are yours or someone else's or if they're dirty or crunchy or if that one has a spot of old dried blood on it, you put on three pairs just to keep your feet warm in the snow. That's all that matters. You're zipping up a jacket that's only two sizes two big and looking for some shoes when you hear it over the ragged sound of your breathing: Tires crunching in the snow.
"Fuck," you rasp, your first word since you awoke and the most appropriate one to the situation. The fear and anger and desperation makes you lightheaded: you're literally dizzy with fear and you don't even stop to thing, you just look for the heaviest thing you can find. You can't...it can't happen again. There: brick on the windowsill. Must use it to keep the window open in the summer, or maybe he just puts it on the bed and fucks the holes till his dick bleeds: you don't care what he does with it, you pick it up and stumble back to the living room. You hear the car door slam and you're shivering with fear, but the rage is slowly building in you as you remember the indignities of the past two (? three? four?) days. You hardly have any strength in your spindly arms but you think you have enough to count.
Another sound: another car door closing. Then, footsteps crunching on snow, somehow coming too fast and too slow at the same time. Your breathing is ragged, your chest hurts, the rough stone of the brick is digging into your hands and your knuckles are white. You wait: Two seconds. Three (? Four?).
Door unlocks, then opens, letting in a rush of cold air and with it, the smell of his body. You want to throw up again but there's no time. He's got two heads. No, he's carrying someone over his shoulder. You barely register all of this in the split second you rush at him with a bestial scream and swing the brick with all your might at his head. He goes down, the (turns out) other boy he's carrying goes down. You go down, propelled by the wildness of the swing which by everything blessed has connected with his temple and knocked him out cold on the first swing. You've fallen halfway out the door and your back and socks are wet with snow but then you see movement and your heart stutters again, threatens to stop. Oh Jesus, it wasn't enough. The brick is still in your hands and you're scrambling and sliding around on the new-fallen snow on the concrete porch, trying to get to your feet.
Hit him again you've got to hit him again and again until he stops moving. If he's not moving he can't hurt you anymore. Hit him hit him hit him
"Hunh? Yo, stop!" It's not him it's the other one, the one he was carrying, the boy who looks to be maybe a year or two (? three?) older than you. He's groggy and his eyes don't focus right but something about the fall must have jarred him awake. "What the hell?" He's looking between you and the man and the brick and holding his head.
"He drugged you," you say, because it's obvious. "Picked you up somewhere on the road?" You don't wait for the nod. "Drugged you and he was gonna..." You hug yourself with one arm but you're still holding the brick. "I'm gonna fix it so he don't do it again."
"The fuck, you mean like, kill him?" You nod, not feeling a part of yourself, not feeling human, not feeling like you're even inhabiting the same body that just wants cold hard revenge. "Dude, you can't do that, whatever he did."
"What?" It's like you don't understand the words. You watch the other kid as he gets unsteadily to his feet, but you're always keeping one eye on the man on the ground, his shallow breathing. Oh, he's still alive.
"You can't just...kill a guy."
"He--" You stop, you don't say something that is not what the other kid thinks you might've started to say. You can't express the rage and the urge to pound the brick into his head over and over again until he's just another stain on the filthy carpet.
"You can't," he says again, and he's bigger and stronger than you, because everyone is. He could probably stop you if you pressed the issue. "Like, he did...that to you and well...he fucking kidnapped me. He should be in jail."
"I don't have nothing to call the cops." And more to the point, you don't want to call the cops. Last thing you want is to be involved with any cops.
"Neither do I, but we got his car," he jerks his head in the direction of outside. "So..." He still looks woozy, trying to shake off the drugs. "We take him in. Tie him up. You saved me, I saved you. We bring in this piece of shit and we're fucking heroes."
You think of a dozen ways that could go wrong. The lack of evidence. Two kids just showing up at a police station with a stolen car and a guy in the trunk. Your own criminal record isn't exactly pristine. But then you think of all those other clothes you found in the closet. Where are those other kids? You shiver, sigh, finally drop the brick and slump to the ground, snow soaking into the knees of some dead kid's jeans.
"Can you drive?"