The nights get cold here, even in July. Cold enough that my bare skin ripples with chill in this little room, and the steel of the chain that binds me to the heavy-duty plate on the wall makes me shiver.  It makes the chain sing and I’m afraid, and the slightest bit angry.  My knees hurt from always having to be on them.  I have no choice because the chain on the collar is too short for me to sit.

I forget how long it’s been since I came here. Weeks.  Maybe a month. Long enough for me to count the cracks in the wall or the loose nails that litter the destroyed wood floor.  I don’t remember much.  The day I was put in here is etched on my back.  It’s etched in my mind. It will not recuse itself and so I have to live with it like a scar.  I hated when his misogynistic friends would come to visit. The way they treated me would have horrified their own wives and girlfriends, and they knew it. They also knew that I’d been forbidden to speak of it, under threat.

He laughed when one ordered me to my knees, and punched me in the gut when I balked, and then forced me to them anyway when I had no breath to refuse. I had hope still that he would step in and tell  his friend to knock it off. I prayed when this friend unzipped the zipper on his worn jeans, begged he would step in when this friend shoved his cock in my mouth. But he didn’t.  Apparently the situation was laughable because he cheered like the other reprobates when I couldn’t breath and fought.  I was punished when I bit the sonofabitch and earned a dislocated jaw.  It’s still out and throbs like a motherfucker.

My thighs are battered and a kaleidoscope of colours from nearly black to puke green, abraded inside where they meet. The last time a new one was invited. He liked to bite and hit. I hope he doesn’t come back. That man’s eyes are darker than Satan’s asshole and there is not one ounce of compassion or concern in them. He wanted to hurt me then and was given carte blanche do so with a slap on the arm and a hearty laugh. I can feel the torn edges along the soft inner folds.  My fingertips trace a heavily indented impression of what feels like a full set of teeth.  I screamed until I had no breath left  when he did that.

I hear footsteps coming down the hall. Through the window I can see a strip of colour in the sky. The sun is going down.  His fingers tap annoyingly on the wall as he nears the door, saying my name in a sing-song method that tortures my mind.  I’ve got to get out of here.  The door flies open, knocking me on the side of the head.  The world goes white for a moment and I hear him laughing, calling me stupid for sitting there, when it was he that chained me to the fucking wall in the first place.

The collar is loosened, then gone from my neck, and my arm is yanked hard enough to cause pain. I holler, kicking out with both feet and feeling them connect with something strong but yielding – his knees – and laugh when he hits  the ground with a crash and a not so manly yelp.  There is no time to waste.  The nail I found last week in the wall where my fingers can touch had come loose.  It makes a perfect weapon, and I stab it into his eyeball with a satisfied grunt, shoving it a s deep as I can get it before scuttling over him.   I can barely stand and shuffle like Igor down the hall to grab something to wear before I make my escape.  That was my mistake. I should have run as fast and as far as I could but vanity is a cruel mistress.

That’s why I’m still here.

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