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Copyright © Sierra Jaid 



The rampant beats of her fearful little heart threatened to betray the cover of darkness black as a night’s fickle soul she found for a refuge.

“Sarah, honey, stay in there.” A woman’s muffled, frightened imploring slinked in through the dark. “No matter what happens, do you hear?”

Sarah had only ever known this voice in caution and fear, however the fume of terror it carried today was nothing as she had heard before. Its echo magnified the weight of her own dread ten times, and so burdened, all she could do was nod in answer.

There was no nook or cranny left in her room where her desperation had not led her to seek a cloak of safety. She had once been small enough to hide under a pile of clothes. But whatever place she had chosen to scurry behind or beneath, a feeling of bone deep chill always followed her there.

Today, it found Sarah in her closet with beads of primal fear running down her temples as a man’s foul oaths, quickly drawing closer, rose to hulking bellows. Under its menace her back throbbed remembering the furious lash of his anger it bore the last time.

She shut her eyes against his vile effusion. Clapped her ears to render mute the approaching flounce of his heavy feet. But as always, both actions proved no protection against either threat.

A loud bang rent the air when the door to her room was kicked open.

“Where’s she?” The man snarled.

Within the darkened closet, Sarah heard no answer given. The agony of unknown was weighing her down when a purposeful stalking pierced through the dense silence. What followed was a gouging angry scrape of her bed being violently shoved aside. Then a vicious, “Where?!” brutally jangled her wadded nerves.

“Bradley, I..-” The woman, too, faltered–years of abuse bridling her bravado.

“I’ve seen you mutterin’ thin’s to her.” He hurled the accusation. “Have you already taught the girl how t’ barter for the meat on her bones? Don’t delude yourself even fo’ a second, that I know nothin’ of those countless bastards who come sniffin’ aroun’ your prime ass.”

The man’s drunken risqué scorched the girl cringing in the blinding dark.

“That’s not true! Let go, Brad, please. You’re hurting me..” The woman sobbed miserably.

To her earnest plea, the man growled, “You don’t know what hurt is, yet.”

Furious crashings commenced from here, punctuated only by the roars of this livid man and the howls of the frightened woman.

A sudden thunderous slamming of the closet door against its hinges sent Sarah cowering farther within its shallow depth.

Then she heard a fractured begging, “P..Plea.se..” rise from somewhere very close.

The tenacious bond that existed between this woman and herself wrenched tears of blood from Sarah’s heart. She could literally picture the broken woman sliding down the closet door in abject loss.

Even paralysed with fear herself, knowing there was nothing she could do to help, Sarah wanted to stand beside the woman, sharing her plight if nothing else. Only the knowledge that her being discovered by this man would hurt the woman far more than any injury he inflicted upon her person stopped Sarah from coming out in the open.

“Thas all you eva do, beg! ‘M sick an’ tir’d of it.” His slur became thicker.

“You’re sick and tired?!” The woman spat scornfully as her endurance finally snapped.

No.., no don’t. Sarah nearly cried for her to keep silent. Provocation of him had always ended things much worse. She prayed the woman would not prod him further into bestiality.

Perhaps her prayer was taking longer to reach the Almighty, since the dreaded happened.

Unwisely, the woman again shot back. “It’s you, who come begging, harassing me for every last cent I earn working hard day and night!”

“Shut up.” The man horridly ground the two words together.

She continued, unable to restrain the flood of resentment for once. “You dare complain when you have done nothing to-”

“Shut. The Fuck. Up.” His voice turned ugly.

She refused to see the last of warning. “You have made us live hell with you-”

“Shut.. Up. Shut... Up. Shut U…P!”

Everything went quiet as a cold grave.

A foreboding enveloped Sarah. Her eyes tried to spear through the darkness. She took a step forward, but the long instilled fear shortly locked her feet again. An icy dread began freezing her inside out. She prayed the sanctuary of her closet remained forever.

But it was not the day for her asking.

The door flung open. Stark brightness infiltrated, and along with it, a nefarious hand.

Dragged out and shoved hard to the floor when Sarah’s sight adjusted to the light, a harrowing shriek tore from her.

Pool of blood, everywhere blood, and in the middle of this gory sea lay her mother’s body, cold and lifeless.

Sarah seemed unable to stop screaming. This was the day of her sixteenth birthday. An ironic, bitter initiation to an age vastly believed sweet. The man, who had bestowed this gruesome, cruel gift upon her, was her own inveterate drunkard of a father.

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