Twenty year-old Barbara woke up suddenly, gasping and looking around frantically. She was on the couch, still in her dress from yesterday, but she couldn’t remember how she got there.
She sat up, trying to remember what happened last night. Pushing up on the couch to stand up, her left arm abruptly throbbed with pain. Grasping it, an image flashed in her mind. A cloaked form. Solid black eyes. Fangs. And screaming. Lots of screaming. And ... she looked at her dress. It was covered in blood.
Yesterday morning, she had left her house and walked down the sidewalk to the bookstore that she worked at. She and Glenn lived in the worst part of the Bronx. In her worn and tattered dress, she side-stepped around a wino passed out on the sidewalk. Derelicts wandered about, toothless mothers screamed at their neighbors, trash was everywhere and she had to be constantly on her guard. She kept her head down, not looking at any of the drunks staggering up the sidewalk or the rough guys who occasionally eyed her as she passed by. This was her world. Horrible, dismal and dangerous. Passing by the newspaper rack, she glanced at the headline: ANOTHER BODY FOUND BADLY MUTILATED AND DECAPITATED. It seemed like every two or three days, somebody was brutally murdered. The police said it was a serial killer
She had had no breakfast and there would be no lunch, because there were no groceries. Glenn had spent their money again on drugs. Why did he have to spend their money on drugs instead of food?! How were they supposed to eat? She could use the food pantry at St Michael’s Church to get some free groceries, but, except on Fridays, it closed before she was able to get off work.
She had been with Glenn for the last year, meeting him outside a bar that she had been panhandling at. She had been on the streets ever since she ran away from home when she was eleven. Now, at twenty years old, her face reflected her soul, sad and defeated. She didn’t walk, she trudged as if to the gallows. She had learned years ago that this was her lot in life. And there was no changing it.
She grew up in Middletown, Connecticut, the only child of her well-to-do parents. She was fifteen years old when the principle came to her classroom, asked the teacher if he could speak to her, and in the blink of an eye, her world was forever changed. Her parents had been killed in a car wreck. Having no relatives to take her in, she was put in a foster home. For the first few nights, she cried herself to sleep as she realized her parents weren’t coming back. Her only real comfort was Baloo, her grey teddy bear named after the bear from her favorite Disney cartoon, The Jungle Book, that her parents gave her when she was six. She was home-schooled and there were no other children in her neighborhood so she didn’t have any friends. For a few days, she slowly adjusted to this new life, then...
One night, she had been asleep for a while when she felt something. Opening her eyes sleepily, she saw her foster father climbing on top of her. Her eyes grew big as she gasped. He quickly clamped his hand over her mouth, “I’ve spend a lot of money on you; food, clothes, bills ... Nothing in this world is free! It’s time you earn your keep around here!” She felt her panties being pulled down and then something was pushed roughly into her vagina, causing her to cry out in pain.
“Be quiet!”, he hissed at her. Laying on top of her, he rocked his body against hers as the unseen pain in her vagina continued. She tried to push him off, but he held her arms down, “Hold still!” His eyes, staring into hers, were nothing that she had ever seen before, wild and frenzied. Frightened, she tried to remain quiet, but the pain was too much. Wincing, she told him, “It hurts...” But her pleas went unanswered as he continued thrusting into her, covering her mouth as she cried from the pain. After a minute, he groaned and stopped moving. Scowling down at her, he warned, “Keep your mouth shut about this! This is nothing but a nightmare!” He got up and left her room as she continued crying bitterly. For the next couple of hours, she held Baloo close to her and asked him why her new father would hurt her like that. But Baloo only looked at her with his plastic black eyes. There were no answers.
The next morning, when she woke up, she wondered if it had just been a nightmare until she saw her panties bunched up around her knees and the specks of blood on the sheet between her legs. Her father’s frenzied, terrifying face flashed in her mind along with his warning. She looked at her vagina and touched it. It was still a little sore. Going into the bathroom, she took a shower and washed the drops of blood off. But instead of getting dressed, she crawled back into bed, under the covers. She couldn’t go out there where her father was. To the person who was supposed to take care of and protect her, but who had hurt her instead.
Several minutes later, she heard her door open. Her eyes opened wide in fear as her father silently strode towards her slowly. “Barbara, it’s time for breakfast. Come on, get up. Last night was a nightmare.” He turned and walked towards the door, pausing to turn his head back towards Barbara, his eyes giving her a warning look, “And that’s all it was.” Then he left.
Barbara huddled in fear underneath the blanket, clutching Baloo tightly. Last night was not a nightmare. It did happened. She got out of bed and slowly got dressed. Not wanting to be around her father, but not knowing what else to do, she left her room and went to the dining room.
“Good morning Barbara”, her mother greeted her, “Did you sleep well last night?”
Barbara stared at her blankly, then at her father silently, not knowing how or whether she should answer. “Well Barbara...”, her father looked at her firmly, “Did you sleep well last night?”
Seeing the coldness in his eyes, she knew that she couldn’t tell her mother the truth, so her fear answered for her. “Y-yes”, she finally answered as she sat down to her plate of toast and eggs. She only picked at her food, not having any appetite.
“Good”, her father said, “When you’re finished eating, we’ll get started on your studies.”
She ate a few bites, then took her plate to the kitchen to wash it. Afterwards, she got her notebook and went to her father’s den for that day’s schooling. He made no mention of it, and acted as if it never happened.
When it was bedtime, she laid in her bed, her eyes nervously on the door to see if he would come. She waited ... then began trembling violently as her door opened and her father came in, closing the door behind him.
“Pull your panties down”, he told her quietly. His voice, distant and unfeeling, compelled her to obey. Squeezing her eyes tightly closed so she wouldn’t have to look at him, her breath shuddered as she slowly slid her panties down. She felt his heavy weight pressing down on her as once again, she felt something pushed roughly inside of her. She whimpered as his hand covered her mouth, stifling her cries. She tried to block out her pain, her terror, her screams. After an eternity, he got off of her, telling her, “You had another nightmare, Barbara. Go to sleep.” She cried bitterly after he left until exhaustion finally took her.
The nightmares from her father continued for over a year. He was no longer her new father, but instead, a monster. If she tried to resist, he would hold her down, causing it to hurt even more. There was no one for her to confide in because she was home-schooled and didn’t have a phone to use. She could not even tell her mother because he was always there since he worked from home. She had resigned herself to the fact that this was how her life would be, when one day, her father actually left the house to go to the store, leaving her alone with her mother.
It was mid-afternoon. Seizing upon her father’s absence, Barbara suddenly blurted to her mother, “Every night, Father lays on top of me and hurts my vagina!” Her mother gaped at her as she added, “I’ve been wanting to tell you, but he’s always here and I was scared!”
Barbara waited for her to say something. Her mother’s surprised look narrowed to a scowl, “Your father told me that you make up outrageous lies. I didn’t believe him when he would tell me some of the false accusations that you would make about him, but now I see it’s true.”
In anguish at not being believed, Barbara beseeched her, “But he does...”
Her mother slapped her hard, “I will not stand here and have you say such vulgar things about your father!”
Holding her cheek, Barbara retreated to her room. As her one chance for escape slipped away, the implications of telling her mother loomed over her. She would tell her father and he would...
.... There is more of this story ...