Chapter 1: Coming Home
Cookie unfortunately was born on the day that her mother died struggling to give birth to her. Her mother was dearly loved by her husband and family and, because of the doctor's explanation that the position of the baby in the birth canal caused the fatal, uncontrollable hemorrhaging, Lynn Mullins death was blamed (by her father) totally on the innocent, newborn, baby girl.
So enraged was her father that he didn't even want to see the infant, wrapped in a pink blanket and on display in the hospital nursery.
Michael Mullins was beyond any consolation that day but kept his grief hidden behind his boiling rage over what had taken his wife away from him. Told that he was required by law to fill out a name on his newborn daughter's birth certificate, he looked about the room, saw a discarded shard of a partially eaten, chocolate-chip cookie, abandoned on a tray, and simply scrawled Cookie on the form's blank line. The last name was filled in by a nurse and a middle name of Lynn was added, by some other family member, before the birth certificate was filed. The family (afraid that he would just let her die) sent Cookie away to live with an aging aunt, in a place called Swadlincote, in England, but when her Aunt died, five years later, she was sent back to live with her father and her six year old brother Corey.
Cookie, on arrival at Metro Airport, was blonde, thin and frail with very fair skin, large, azure-blue eyes and delicately pretty facial features. She arrived wearing a white blouse, a blue, pleated skirt, a red blazer and matching beret and white knee-sox with black, patient leather shoes. Cookie talked and talked, chattering like the excited little girl she was, during the drive home from the airport. As soon as they arrived at her new residence, her father yanked the girl from the car, pulled up the back of her skirt and beat her panty-clad rear end to black and blue, with his open hand, to silence her.
Cookie was to learn her two paramount rules that first day with her father: she was never to cry and never ever to scream or so much as whimper when she was "disciplined" with whatever implement her father had at hand.
In the beginning years she spoke with an English accent that further irritated her all-American father. "There is no loo in this house," he screamed frighteningly at the little girl, "this is America and we piss in the fucking toilet here!"
Her brother Corey loved her on sight. His first time seeing her was that day at the airport and he was thrilled to learn that he had a little sister to love but he instinctively knew that he had to hide his feelings from their father to protect her. He always secretly championed her at school, beating up the boys who taunted her for her odd clothing which her father made her wear ... things from the trash or Salvation Army store ... too short or too long dresses ... undergarments that were threadbare and had to be pinned to stay in place.
Cookie soon learned her place in the family and the fact that her father could slap her, kick her, burn her with a lit cigarette or whip her with a belt and she was taught to just stand before him and silently take the punishment so as not to enrage him any further. No tear would drip down from her blue eyes and no grunt, whimper, moan or painful scream would ever be emitted from her tightly clamped little lips.
This both satisfied her father and kept the neighbors from ever hearing any fuss from the Mullin's residence.
Corey was fascinated by having a little female in his house, it being just the two males for as long as he could remember. His father had always instructed him that girls were weak, pitiful, unclean things that were to be avoided by all means and that Cookie was a perfect example of this. When Corey looked puzzled at what exactly made his sister so different from him, her father ordered her take her pants down and expose herself to her brother and, when Cookie objected to such a peculiar and lascivious order, he brutally ripped her flimsy panties from her frail body, pointed out the shortcomings of her smooth, tender-looking vulva to her brother and shouted, "Don't ever think of touching her because she's dirty!" Then her picked her up like a trundled trash bag and flung her into the entry closet, slamming the door behind her.
Cookie got to her feet and stood in the darkness, among the musty coats and shoes, unable to stop her tears but bewildered at why her father would do such an awful thing to her and why he should call her dirty.
Corey was beside himself with misery at what he saw his father do because he felt he was the cause of it. He would do anything to protect Cookie from feeling any pain but knew that he was just a first grader and in no position to oppose the supreme authority figure of his huge, demanding father.
All night he thought about his sweet, new little sister downstairs and alone in the dark closet. He wanted to go to her and comfort her and bring her something to eat but was afraid of what his father would do to her if he were caught in the attempt.
Cookie spent a fearful night on the floor in the closet but, when she awoke in the morning, the door was open and light was streaming in on her. Looking out into the empty living room she was unsure what she was expected to do. Was she to leave the closet, or not?
She never knew exactly what to do because her life became a series of traps set by her father for her. If candy was placed in a dish, he knew exactly how many pieces were there and would punish Cookie severely if just one were missing and unaccounted for. If a knick-knack was out of place, she was accused of having played with it and would be punished, in some severe manner, again. If she were denied food (as she often was) he would place pre-measured slices of bread or cake near the top of the garbage pail and whip her severely if he thought she had taken a bite of it.
Because of all of this, Cookie tried her very best to be as good as she possibly could, all the time, and to never do anything to upset her very strict father in any way.
Her task, though she tried so hard, was next to impossible.
Cookie was always being hit slapped, pushed, punched or beaten by her father. But he never hurt her for no reason. It was always in the guise of punishment ... discipline for something awful that she had done ... like leaving a closet without permission.