Excerpt from "Love Found Me"
by Vanessa Richardson
The house was quiet. For now anyways but she was not fooled. She played the part of fool far too long reprising the role was something she would never do again. She expected the noise to come any moment now. She was not disappointed. You see a routine. The whimpering began followed by the squeaking of the old mattress and then. Thump...thump...thump.
Thump. "I hate you." Thump. "I hate you." Thump. "I hate you." Her words would match the thumps in song. Powerful words for a ten year old. Words a ten year should never have to say and mean them. Then again, she was not an average ten year old. No. She had endured too much, seen too much.
Something was not right. The routine was off tonight. Her breathing quickened. Something was not right. Scurrying from the worn mattress the child peaked through the door. Careful not to make any noise. She knew the old well to well as she never left not even to attend school. She and her Mother were prisonerís and been for the last six years.
Something was not right. Instinct told her to climb out of the window and leave. Nevertheless, she could not leave her mother. That was always the problem preventing her from leaving. Her mother refused to leave the bad man. Tears began to course down the childís cheek. Those sad beautiful eyes have seen things that never should have been seen. Glancing back at the window. She desperate wanted to leave. Every cell ending prompted her to do so. She cried all the harder.
"I canít leave mama," she whispered to her constant companion. A small black button. "I wonít leave her. I am all she has" yet she could not move. A loud crashing caused her to jump. Fear paralyzed her. The noise did not come from the bedroom. It came from downstairs. She could hear rapid whispering. Forcing her feet to move towards the stairs. The lights were out. Taking one last look at the window, she descended the stairs mindful of the creaks.
The muffled voices continued. The rapid fall of sweat irritated her eyes and her throat was dry from fear. Stay to the shadows child. The Voice! Normally she would ignore the voice in fear. Not tonight. Tonight she embraced it. Her mother was the only one who knew about the voice. She dare not mention it to anyone else as she was forbidden to do so. Mama said the people would take her to some bad Place if she ever told anyone. Mama. She had to find mama.
It is time child. Even the voice sounded different tonight. Time for what? Where was mama? Reaching the landing the child was mindful to stay in the shadows. The cold October wind caused her to shiver. The door was open. Someone had turned on a lamp light giving the room a haunted look. The whispering grew frantic and it was coming from the kitchen. Everything happened so fast then.
She was flung across the room hitting her head on the old table. The pain was blinding. She felt something warm and sticky falling from her head. Blood! She felt faint. The blood was falling fast. She heard her Mother scream and then felt her familiar embrace.
"Leave her alone! You monsters!" Her mother screamed wildly. The fast falling of the blood, made vision next to nil for the child. She tried to move her lips and comfort mama but the words would not come."We donít have any money. Take what is her just leave us alone!" Mama was holding the child close to her. So much blood. This was all her fault. If only she left when she had the chance. Now her only child may die. God please help us. Give me another chance. Please.
"Look what you have done. I have got to get her to a hospital or she will die."
The dark figure only laughed at the plea. Angry Steps followed the cry of help then she felt the separation of her mothers embrace. There was a hard slapping sounds followed by her mothers screams. She tried to stay awake but the pull to sleep was too heavy. The child tried again to call out to her mother, the words refused to be released.
"Dear God! What do you want from us?"
The intrudersí voice was muffled from the black facemask he wore. His movements were sure and confident as if he had all the time in the world. Where was her father? Why was the bad man hitting her mother?
Darkness was creeping in and she welcomed its embrace. The blood was making it hard for her to see. Her limbs refused to obey her command to move. Mama screamed. This scream was different. Clothing could be heard ripping. The child stomach heaved and last night dinner surfaced.
I am with you, child. The voice! They were not alone. She never talked to the voice. She was always afraid to. However, Mama needed help. Suppressing her fear, she answered to the voice.
Please, help my mother. Help us, please! Silence. Maybe the voice was mad at her and was punishing Mama for never answering it. Her head was hurting terribly. Darkness was creeping upon her and the room seemed to shrink. Mamaís frantic wailing was becoming faint. Then blessed darkness.