Chapter 1

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I wake up to loud, relentless screaming. I guess they are fighting again. You might wonder who 'they' are? Well, 'they' are Robert and Patricia, my parents. If you could call them that.

I'm in my room. I look around at all I own, seeing the bare walls of a basement, a ratty old mattress, and a thin blanket that I've had since I was a child. It's not much, but it's enough to survive.

"Lilly get your ass up here, now!" My mother screeches. I guess they need me for something, they don't need me often. The only time we usually make contact is when they come to my room and beat me. They say they beat me because it will make me behave better. But I did nothing wrong?

I guess it's normal to be hurt daily. I haven't seen many people, only those that I witness on my beer runs. I don't go to school or outside. It feels like I'm locked here for all eternity.

I make my way up the thin, creaking steps and to the kitchen as fast as I can. Don't want them to have another reason to beat me.

When I arrive, my father looks pissed. Bad things happen when he's pissed.

"W-what wrong?" I ask shyly, afraid he will lash out at me. Did I forget to mention no one taught me how to speak? They don't speak to me often, only enough to tell me what to do.

All I felt was a stinging pain on my left cheek. I see my father's hand raised, still elevated from hitting me.

"Don't speak unless spoken to. And speak correctly." He spits angrily. Doesn't he know no one taught me how to speak, it is his fault.

"Go for another beer run." He hands me a $10 bill and pushes me to the door. I stumble but catch myself before walking the rest of the way to the door and leaving.

I can go on beer runs because my dad knows the shop owner, they are good friends. The shop owner allows me to buy beer for my dad, even though I'm underage.

It's a fifteen-minute walk to the store. I walk past dark alleyways, the alluring forest, and beaten down houses, hoping to get to the store safe and sound.

Once I arrive, I quickly go to the front and ask my dad's friend for the usual. He gets it for me and says, "You're about a dollar short little girl. But as a favor to Robert, I'll let it slide this time. Tell him he owes me."

I thank him quickly and make my way to the door. As I'm walking, I see the forest to my right. It has always fascinated me. Something about it is so mysterious and welcoming, unlike anything else in my life.

I wasn't paying attention to my footing and I trip. The bottles go tumbling to the ground with a crash. I fall directly on top of the broken beer bottles. Just my luck. I feel a sharp pain coming from my hands and knees. Glancing at my hands, all I see is red. Dark red blood is everywhere. My parents will kill me.

Quickly I start sobbing, worried about what is to comewhen I arrive home without the beer while ruining my only set of clothes. The tears stream down my face, falling off my chin. I usually try not to cry, because it only gets me beat more.

The forest is looking tempting right now...

Making my decision, I stumble into the dark forest.

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